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.


This section provides an excellent overview of learning strategies that are conducive to supporting undergraduate research in the classroom. Whitfield opens with an overview of the value of a problem-based learning curriculum. Although it is couched in terms of the College of Medicine, the paper is applicable to many disciplines as well as undergraduate and graduate students. She highlights some of the pitfalls, practical tips, and problem development strategies so as to derive the maximum benefit from problem-based learning methods. Williams, Sederberg and Eddins describe research-based learning (RBL) and illustrate the learning strategy with the Marine and Aquatic Research Experience project at the University of South Carolina. RBL presents an alternative educational model that blends research activity, instruction, and curricular offerings to expand the research opportunities for undergraduate student teams while rejuvenating the curriculum. Chaszar focuses her attention on the value of interdisciplinary research. Not only do many research advances occur at the intersection of disciplines, but also honors curricula often carry the distinction of being interdisciplinary and attracting students who integrate fields of study. In their Issue Reaction, Lane and Cawley provide a working definition of "inquiry-based learning" and an accompanying list of resources for further study. The final paper emphasizes the importance of libraries in the successful implementation of either inquiry-based or problem-based learning. Wright makes the point that libraries provide the infrastructure to support the inherent elements of research found in these active learning strategies. She also describes one course designed and offered by the library to support undergraduate thesis research. The course includes a breadth of relevant topics such as database manipulation, identification of appropriate resources, portfolio development, information literacy, and Internet navigation and evaluation.