by Silvia Reyes, HEO Associate
Title V Project Director
Eight faculty members spent a half-day with Dr. Tia McNair, Senior Director for Student Success at the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) on January 13, 2015. The workshop covered a range of topics including key elements of designing a quality research project, defining learning outcomes and project goals, reviewing and discussing examples of student-faculty collaborative research projects, using Rubrics to assess learning outcomes and making projects relevant to students. During the workshop, faculty were quickly engaged in a conversation about their projects and the key elements that defined each one of them. To assist faculty in identifying learning outcomes for their projects, an example of a student-faculty collaborative research project was introduced and assessed. This exercise served to provide faculty with a framework they could use in refining their projects and also as an opportunity to determine a common goal that would connect all the projects. Finding this commonality was particularly important because all projects varied in terms of structure, scope and learning objectives. Using the Hostos General Education Core Competencies, two core competencies were selected as common goal: one from the skills category and another from the synthesis and application category.
On February 6, 2014, 26 very enthusiastic, expressive and motivated students participated in a workshop again led by Dr. Tia McNair. The intent of the workshop was to provide students with an overview of how research is designed, help students identify their projects’ goals and learning outcomes and give students the opportunity to think about how they can contribute to their projects’ assessment. Students participated in several activities, including an assessment of their knowledge and ideas about their project, sharing their reasons for wanting to be part of the project, and a goal setting activity. In all activities student responses showed a great deal of self-efficacy. Students were not only able to identify skills they wanted to learn and develop but also were able to set their own learning goals and outcomes, and, of these, several were related to the Hostos General Education Core Competencies. What a wonderful start!