Embedding Research and Inquiry Skills Across the Undergraduate Learning Environment
Fifteen years ago, the Boyer Commission (1998) in the US called out research universities for failing to provide undergraduate students opportunities to develop research and inquiry skills. The authors of that report argued, and much subsequent research into this topic has agreed, that ALL undergraduate students MUST develop research and inquiry skills as part of their program, and that the development of those inquiry skills needs to start in the FIRST year. Indeed it has been argued that students' involvement in research and inquiry might help to define what makes higher education higher (Healey and Jenkins, 2009). Further, others have argued that learning in a research intensive environment, like the one here at Dalhousie, ought to be defined as a qualitatively different experience than learning in a non-research intensive environment (Wuetherick and McLaughlin, 2011; U of A, 2007). This workshop will explore how undergraduate research and inquiry has been defined in the literature, and explore practical examples of how we might redevelop courses (particular those early in programs) to embed the development of research and inquiry skills. In particular, participants will be introduced to the research skills development framework developed at the University of Adelaide in Australia as one tool to support course redevelopment processes (Willison and O'Regan, 2007).
Brad Wuetherick, Executive Director, Centre for Learning and Teaching
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Centre for Learning and Teaching
Tel: (902) 494-6641