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Using technology to scaffold student research

October 3, 2013


In this Tech Thursday session, we will explore how technology can be used to help undergraduate students acquire research skills.

Wendy Hayden will discuss how blogs can be used to create scaffolded research assignments. Students in her class used blogs at different steps of an archival research project that stressed advanced research skills, collaboration, and conversation. Students bridged the old (physical archival research) with the new (multimedia blogs), producing work that added something new to current scholarly debates, and even became a form of activism, making the research assignment meaningful to the students.

Mark Hauber will talk about how he involved students in a large, introductory psychology course in a research project. Direct exposure to the scientific process, through original research, is difficult in large lecture classes, yet it is possible.In this class, the scientific method was introduced through a published article about (the lack of) gender differences in aspects of vocal production in people. Class members were then asked to observe wild animals, to collect their own data, and to submit the data through an online survey portal, generating a large, class-wide database. The results were presented and discussed in the classroom and made available to all students, becoming the basis of a bonus credit assignment. Students demonstrated strong individual involvement in the project and its scientific evaluation.