National Collegiate Honors Council



Date of this Version



Published in Innovations in Undergraduate Research and Honors Education: Proceedings of the Second Schreyer National Conference 2001, ed. Josephine M. Carubia & Renata S. Engel. Copyright © 2004 The National Collegiate Honors Council.


Individual courses are often the best place to begin integrating research into the student academic experience. As demonstrated by the five papers in this section, research can be included in a wide array of courses. The authors of the papers included in this section use discipline-specific and general education courses to introduce research methods and projectbased techniques. One of the recurring themes emerging from their papers is the importance of providing opportunities for the students to learn the foundation material in the context of addressing problems or probing questions. This problem-based learning approach is outlined very nicely in Edwards' paper. Both he and the authors of "Honors Collaborations: The Presidency in Speech and Composition" and "Leaving Home with IT" recognize the advantage of team-teaching when t~e topic becomes broad enough that meaningful investigation often extends beyond the educational realm of one discipline. Additionally, the latter paper by Devon and Buvat presents the challenges and rewards when including significant international collaboration in the projects. Elements of problem-based learning are recognized in each of the other successful courses; e.g., in the case of the "Ancient Myths in a Modem World" course, Walker requires individual exploration and elaboration for specific stages of the project and team activities for other stages, including the presentation of course material. And at the outset of the course "Berlin in the 1940s," the instructor emphasizes the importance of an environment for scholarly advancement, including trust and collegiality.

In addition to providing a framework to consider when developing a course that includes a research component, these papers include the valuable insights of those who developed and taught courses using this approach. The authors are candid about what worked and how they would make adjustments for future offerings, making these papers all that more valuable.