Notes to instructor:
- The structure presented here is a simplified scheme summarizing a possible framework. The actual document presented to students should include all activities with specific deadlines.
- Figure 2 presents a summary of the structure in a graphical format. Generally speaking, the framework applies, in order, to the following elements of the CURE:
- Data Collection
- Data Analysis
- Material and Methods
- Figures and Tables
Our goal this semester is to produce a manuscript (per group) akin to one that academics and professional [scholars] submit for publication to academic journals. Yes, I am talking about you putting together an article that could be published for the entire world to read. You will be no longer simply consuming research through your readings and classwork but creating new content for scholars of today and tomorrow to build upon.
This project is an opportunity for you to undertake [scientifically] significant work and possibly publish ground-breaking research. You will be directing your own learning (and mine) as part of a community of learners analogous to those of the professional world. Your work this semester in will be similar to the work of professional researchers (like me).
You will be asked to read articles from the primary literature, think through problems, collect data, develop analyses, interpret results, write, revise your writing, revise your writing, revise your writing … You will be a member of a team and will have to communicate effectively with other students on the team and myself to achieve your goals.
This research project is a training ground for many performance-based open-ended inquiry activities you will encounter in the professional world. Although you are unlikely to spend the rest of your career working on [topic of the CURE], I expect you will spend the rest of your career working with others, producing various reports and deliverables, and thinking through data of one sort or another.
After this project, you will be able to:
[Enter here the ELOs for the CURE]
Most importantly, my hope is that this experience will help you build your identity as a researcher.
The table on the following pages presents a summary of the structure of the entire project along with deadlines. Some assignments and meetings will take place during class time; others will be assigned as homework. You are also welcome to complete your assignments for this project during my office hours with my help. All teams will be communicating with one another (and me) throughout the semester using a discussion board (DB in the table) on [LMS].
By the end of the semester, you will have produced:
- A group research manuscript on an important question aimed at a professional audience beyond the classroom.
- A series of individual and group assignments that will have helped you frame and scaffold your manuscript.
- An individual workbook with answers to reflection questions you will have used to improve your manuscript.
In addition to the manuscript, assignments, and workbook, the discussion board will be regularly assessed for a grade (based on engagement and specific guidelines provided in the rubric [Appendix 3]).
It is very important that you stick to the deadlines expected of you. Deadlines are critical to academic work. Academics face deadlines for the submission of papers and grant proposals all the time. Accountability towards collaborators, and students (who may face thesis deadlines for example) is critical to the success of any academic. Similarly, meeting deadlines is integral to professional success in all fields. This project is an opportunity for you to develop project management skills that are very much in demand in the professional world.
Research, and many other intellectual tasks, require adjustments, revisions, and redoes. For every assignment and deadline this semester, I encourage you to ask: “What happens when things do not work like an analysis, or you need more data?” Do not work last minute because there is no room for adjustments and no way to still meet the deadline. Build-in fail safes. Remember that I am here to help you and am always open to discussing your personal situation. Qualifying events will always be excused and accommodated.
Structure of the units of the course
|Element of the framework
|Reflection Workbook I
|Group meeting agenda
|Reflection Workbook II
|Peer-review of deliverable
- The discussion board is graded every other unit.
- The reflection workbook activities are sometimes used to prepare the tutorial (i.e. reflect on prior knowledge and misconceptions), sometimes to reflect on it, sometimes used to reflect on the group meeting, etc.