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What do you feel is your most significant achievement with regards to the 2010-2011 Research Residency project?


Deborah Anderson, St. Norbert College
I officially completed a SoTL project and am writing the paper! There are so many variables to consider and so many that cannot be controlled in a SoTL project. I worried that I may not be able to find something worthwhile, but I did and I plan to submit my results for publication. In addition, I have established a collaborative relationship with a colleague in psychology who is a very talented statistician. This collaboration has enriched my experience in many ways and will likely lead to more collaborative work!
Charlotte Borgeson, University of Nevada
My most significant achievement with regards to the project was to begin getting the word out on campus about the importance of SoTL. Most of my meetings were soon after I returned from our opening meeting, but some were later. The first was with my chair, director of assessment, associate provost and a few other interested folks. They were all very enthusiastic and supportive wanting to start a brown bag lunch series, workshops, etc. At a later meeting with the Dean of the College of Science, I discussed at great length the BioScholars initiative, SoTL and faculty learning communities. He got very excited about all of these, and especially the last. We discussed beginning a FLC for the college, and then perhaps campus-wide. All of this was very heady, and then the budget ball dropped, departments have closed (including Assessment), programs have been cut, and the president of our university died. Sooo, although, I do believe we will see an upswing in interest in this type of program—right now everyone is sort of trudging along.
Another achievement that was more personal was realizing how difficult this type of research (involving human subjects) can be. I learned much about the IRB process, much about the time periods involved, and much about the similarities to what my ecologist colleagues must see in their research—you can’t do a quick experiment.
Christina Colon, Kingsborough Community College
The greatest achievement for me was designing, administering and carrying out a SoTL investigation, not to mention preparing a poster, presenting at a conference and establishing a long term investigation which will yield valuable data, and hopefully at least one publicatin. Another achievement was simply learning more about SoTL, in terms of current literature, methodologies, types of investigations and applications for course improvement. I also became well versed in IRB protocols and completed my IRB training as well as became an (alternate) member of my schools IRB committee. The final achievement was being able to use data to improve my teaching ability and hopefully enhance the learning outcomes for my students.
Jill Crowder, Milwaukee Area Technical College
Lisa Elfring, University of Arizona

 I feel that my project has raised the awareness of the faculty learning community idea within our University’s administration, and that the projects our group members have taken on have the added benefit of impacting their individual units in a positive way. Because most of my faculty learning community group members are non-tenure-track faculty whose positions in their departments, and within the University, is rather undefined, I think that the professionalism and dedication of these folks to work on projects outside the scope of their individual classrooms also serves as a reminder of the role we can play-- important in our institutional environment of constant budget cuts. For my "own" curriculum project with the faculty learning community, I have established collaborations with several key faculty from other biological sciences departments that have been very productive. 

Cori Fata-Hartley, Lyman Briggs College
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As a result of my work as an ASM Biology Scholar I have collected a large amount of data that I anticipate is the beginning of a long-term research project.  I have collected both quantitative and qualitative data and have taken the time to learn how to analyze both types (although the analysis has only just begun!).  I am excited about what the data may reveal and appreciate having the platform and resources to initiate this research.    

John Geiser, Western Michigan University
  • Presenting my work (May 20) at WMU's SoTL Conference
  • Able to survive the IRB process
  • Able to carry out the proposed research
  • Able to use stats to answer my question
  • Able to show that use of popular media in lecture promotes short-term learning
  • Able to show simple use of popular media in lecture is not sufficient for long-term learning
Cindy Graham, University Of Calgary
This year was both challenging and rewarding.  I was able to complete the first stage in my research project and have significant results indicating both learning gains and attitudinal changes in my first-year students.  Probably the most interesting thing I learned was the power of the interview!  I conducted only a few pre- and post-interviews but the results were astonishing and I feel that I have a much better sense of what my students know coming into the class than I could from only multiple choice or long answer examination questions. I am presenting some of the results of this project at both ASMCUE in June as well as the Western Conference on Science Education in July; I am looking forward to great discussions at both of these conferences. As this project helps us to understand the baseline for our course redesign, much of my work this year was focused on the actual redesigned curriculum.  This has been very challenging but also very exciting!
Jacquelyn Golden, North Carolina State University

The biggest achievement I've had thus far is that I was able to start from "scratch" and redesign my entire research project, perform a new literature search, and get ready to implement this research project in
Fall 2011.


Kai "Billy" Hung, Eastern Illinois University
The most significant achievement from the Biology Scholars program for me is the initiation and implementation of a project that would fit into the SoTL model. Having the tools to be able to start and implement a SoTL project is a great achievement for me because this brings me closer to the goal of integrating teaching, research, and learning in my classroom. I also find that I understand more of the SoTL discipline and more informed about assessment for learning outcomes. Finally, I feel that the network of scholars that I have met through the program and the relationships established through our collaboration will also be important in the long run. 
Allison Hunter, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
My biggest acheivement was actually using cases to teach a 200 student, non-majors biology course held in a large lecture hall.  It took some guts!  And then while all that madness was happening, I actually completed my research project and collected data.  So I was really satisfied just getting through the whole plan once.  I really approached this as a pilot study, so I was focusing on just trying the design once and then being able to modify my design and do two additional years of data collection.  So, I did it.  I learned a lot about my assessments.  Just collecting the data and now thinking about the statistical analysis and how I may need to collect data a little differenlty next time is a huge learning experience.
Jeffrey LaMack, Milwaukee School of Engineering
 Completing my institution's problematic IRB process; initiating a collaboration with a colleague who has jumped on board and will continue working with me; managing the logistics of conducting my study in a course I did not actually teach; gaining a few, albeit inconclusive, insights into how students use unit learning objectives in an introductory cell biology course; gaining a first exposure on conducting research on teaching methods that will hopefully springboard into many more projects.
Stephen Nold, University of Wisconsin-Stout
I am most proud of a revised grant proposal to the NSF TUES program. This research residency immersed me deeply into the literature, improved my ability to collaborate with our institutional research office and the Institutional Review Board on campus, and helped me to think like a social sciences researcher. These advancements are reflected in the revised TUES proposal (just submitted!).  Keep your fingers crossed!!
Byrn "Boots" Quimby, University of Maryland

A better understanding of how difficult it is to assess student learning in a meaningful way.

A beginning understanding of the use of control groups in an educational study.

A realization that, like scientific research, in educational research the question you are testing has to be very focused.

Joanne Rampersad-Ammons, University of Texas Pan-American

My most significant achievement with regard to my Research Residency project was going the full circle of conception, design, execution and reporting - in an area that is totally ‘uncharted territory’.  It has been an amazing learning experience for me. I have had to grapple with new concepts with a group of scholars who have given me very valuable insight. The most difficult part of my project was the execution especially getting my assessment instruments designed and put into our software and sorting out the logistics of the students accessing it. The coolest part was finally, getting to do a trial run on several small test populations to see what their feedback was. I am thankful for the Research Residency and its format throughout the year. It has kept me on task and focused especially with the deadlines and the final goal of presenting at ASMCUE. If I did not belong to the Research Residency, I would most certainly have faltered or given up completely when the going got really tough. The group support and banter gave me the courage to keep plodding on.
Susan Rowland, University of <leo_highlight leohighlights_underline="true" leohighlights_url_bottom="http%3A//" leohighlights_url_top="http%3A//" leohighlights_keywords="queensland" onmouseout="leoHighlightsHandleMouseOut('leoHighlights_Underline_0')" onmouseover="leoHighlightsHandleMouseOver('leoHighlights_Underline_0')" onclick="leoHighlightsHandleClick('leoHighlights_Underline_0')" id="leoHighlights_Underline_0" style="border-bottom: _fckstyle="border-bottom: 2px solid rgb(255, 255, 150); background: transparent none repeat scroll 0% 50%; cursor: pointer; display: inline; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial;">Queensland</leo_highlight>

Learning something more concrete about how to plan, execute, assess, and publish an education research project. I published a SoTL paper this year adn I have a much better understanding of how to create quality publications in the future!! I feel "valid" and my head of school is happy :-)

Heather Seitz, Johnson County Community College
 My biggest accomplishment this year has been to start a conversation among my peers about the value of research in our field.  I have inspired two colleagues to begin to do some SOTL of their own.  In addition, I got IRB approval, delivered a survey and have compiled all the data from it.   I feel like I have a good base to go forward and improve my teaching based on what I have learned.
Amy Siegesmund, Pacific Lutheran University
I think that my most significant achievement has been my ability to more quickly ask and answer questions related to my teaching.  I feel like I've gotten much better at designing questions that actually get at what I'm trying to ask my students in terms of their understanding of their own learning (although I feel like I have a long way to go).  Also, as I've started to really crunch data regarding my project I find that I've learned a lot about study design just through the course of doing the study. 
Susan Sullivan, Louisiana State University
 Negotiating all of the steps from IRB throughthe statistics was intimidating. I learned I could not only do it but somehow find the time to do it! I think defining a meaningful question that can be reasonably studied was difficult and I was glad that we did that step with lots of input and guidance. I made necessary connections on campus with our IRB, center for teaching excellence staff and statisticians. This will facillitate future projects. I am most pleased that, as the first person on our campus doing SOTL studies, this work has opened a lot of conversations on campus. I have also taken an even more "intentional" approach to every aspect of my courses.
And lastly, I was proud to move our Louisiana Academy of Sciences a step forward in promoting educational research in the meetings. I will be the program chair for that section for the next term.
Alison Wallace, Minnesota State University Moorhead
I have lots of data! I really got a chance to delve into new literature and learn about the incredible efforts involved in creating concept inventories. My ideas about what ecological literacy is and how it might be measured have become more solidified through this project. 
Kristen Walton, Missouri Western State University
  • I am becoming more successful at being intentional in designing assignments, etc. so that I can assess whether they are useful.  I have often just come up with new ideas for assignments, ways of delivering content, etc. on the fly and then don't have an assessment plan in mind. 
  • I have data ready to put together for my poster for ASMCUE!
  • I have a much better grasp of the variety of methods that can be used to assess student learning.
Valerie Watt, University of Toronto

 My most significant conceptual achievement was understanding the importance of seeing where the innovative teaching I do fits into current pedagogical practice. My most consequential concrete accomplishment was taking one teaching innovation to the stage of presenting at ASMCUE.

Kathy Zoghby, University of Richmond
 My biggest sense of accomplishment is having a poster ready to present at our meeting that I am feeling reasonably good about!  I know I am in the very preliminary stages of education research, however, I am feeling much more confident that I actually will be able to produce some meaningful contributions to the field.  There are so many ways to look at the data that is gathered and I am looking forward to being inspired to pursue some different options.  





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