As a follow-up to my recent post on the Honors Spring Symposium, I’m sharing photos of the research poster and pamphlets created by the Capstone Seminar students as ways to share some of their research findings:
What an event! The students presented their research findings in two sessions separated by a short break. The first group — Sam, Hayden, Holly, Emma, and Paige — addressed morality legislation in a panel discussion. They described their methodology, used women’s reproductive rights as their primary case study, and then elaborated on how the methodology could be applied to thinking critically about other moral issues that have been, or continue to be, legislated.
The second group, Jack and Gus, opened with a cover of Lady Gaga’s song, “Til It Happens to You,” performed by Jack.
This performance was followed by Gus reading his paper and sharing slides describing many facts and statistics on alcohol education at universities and its potential impact on reducing sexual assaults.
This segment concluded with Jack describing the shortcomings of colleges and universities in addressing the realities of alcohol consumption by student and performing a demonstration measuring the recommended amount of alcohol safely consumed per hour vs the actual yet often unrecognized amount of alcohol contained in a typical solo cup of Jungle Juice.
The students also created a research poster, brochure, and website. I will post links to them once their are available.
I have no doubt that these students will continue to pursue research interests during their time at Lane and at their transfer institutions. I hope they will also decide to pursue graduate degrees given their intellects, research skills, and passion for learning.
In my last posts, I noted the college’s plans to eliminate the Honors Program. Although the Board of Education has not officially voted on the final budget, it will do so at tomorrow’s Board meeting. When I know what next year’s version of honors will look like as students complete the program, I will add a post with that information. In the meantime, I want to focus on what the Honors Program has been about for seven years: building scholars and providing opportunities for undergraduate research.
In the Invitation to Inquiry Seminar held each winter, the students visit the University of Oregon’s Special Collections Library. There are previous posts describing this event and sharing photos on this blog.
In the Capstone Seminar held each spring, the students visit the University of Oregon’s (UO) Undergraduate Research Symposium, the Lane Community College Poster Day, and Oregon State University’s (OSU) Honors Thesis Fair. They also put on their own Honors Spring Symposium (I’ll blog about this soon as the symposium is tomorrow!).
There are several benefits to attending the UO’s Undergraduate Research Symposium. These benefits include becoming more familiar with, and comfortable on, the UO campus; seeing examples of research posters; reading a range of abstracts in the symposium program; and attending panel presentations. All of these benefits allow the students to see their research in context of other student research, to build confidence, and to take what they learn from the symposium and apply it to their own projects and assignments in the seminar. In short, this field trip supports the college’s Core Learning Outcome: Apply Learning.
Visiting the college’s own poster day builds on the UO visit by showing students the research projects other students at our college are engaged in and the quality of their posters. This event is organized by honors science faculty, Stacey Kiser, who also team-teaches the two honors seminars with me. Viewing the posters and talking with fellow students helps the seminar students see their work in the context of fellow Lane students.
Finally, the trip to the OSU provides examples of the research and educational experiences of other honors students. We have an information session at the OSU Honors College where the students learn about the requirements for transfer students and see the honors lounge, workroom, and classrooms.
We also review the abstracts for the honors posters, walk through the poster session, and talk with students about their work.
This trip provides a context for honors research, presents sample abstracts and posters that the students can consider when creating their own, and helps make them more comfortable on the OSU campus. It was gratifying to hear students talking about applying to the OSU Honors College after our visit!
Having seen the presentations, poster, and pamphlet the students will share at the Honors Spring Symposium tomorrow, I know the value of these field trips and the impact they have on the students’ own research and on their sense of themselves as scholars moving forward into their academic careers.
Last weekend, two honors students presented at the Western Regional Honors Council’s (WRHC) conference in Ashland, Oregon at Southern Oregon University (SOU). The following members of SOU’s Honors College organized the event: Ken Mulliken, Executive Director; Liesa Morrow-Bratcher, Office Specialist; Prakash Chenjeri, Faculty. SOU Honors WRHC Interns Lauren Aldana, Riley Evetts, Briana Morgan, and Micaela Saling also worked on the conference.
The WRHC is our regional chapter of the National Collegiate Honors Council, and I attend the chapters meetings each year at the national conference. I’ve been waiting for a conference to be held near enough to our college that we could afford to send students.
Tonyae Meeks presented, “Human and Environmental Health vs. The Waste Management System,” based on the research she conducted in Eileen Thompson’s honors WR 121 class.
Gus Smith’s presentation, “Production, Adaptation and Iconography of the Oresteia and Greek Theatre,” shared his research findings from Aryn Bartley’s honors Introduction to Drama class.
His historical research was also shared with the college drama department to inform this year’s production of the The Oresteia Project.
Honors faculty member, Aryn Bartley, accompanied the students to the conference. The Honors Program provided tickets to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s (OSF) production of Julius Caesar on Friday night.
The OSF’s director, Cynthia Rider, gave the conference’s keynote speech on Saturday evening.
Gus is currently enrolled in the Honors Capstone Seminar. I’m sure his experience this weekend will inform his group research project and the symposium he will help organize later this term, and I’m also sure that Tonyae’s experience will impact her work in the seminar next year.
Every winter, the students in the Invitation to Inquiry Seminar visit the University of Oregon’s Special Collections Library. Manuscripts Librarian, Linda Long, teaches an instructive and engaging class on archival research, introducing students to the concepts of scholarly archives, special collections, finding aids, etc.
The last part of the class is open for the students to walk around the room examining the various rare books and manuscripts that Linda has brought out for them to see.
This class session is one of my favorites each year because it is such a pivotal moment for the students. For instance, most students have not been to the University of Oregon’s campus before. Although many of them will transfer to UO, at this point the campus is a large, unfamiliar, and confusing space.
After the special collections class, students have a point of reference on the campus. They also begin to realize that the library resources at UO are available to them now and they are welcome to use them at any time.
A second moment of awareness that occurs on this trip is just how extensive academic research can be, how many sources of information are out there, and that there is no end to what can be researched. Viewing 13th and 14th century manuscripts emphasizes the long research history they are now a part of while the online research opportunities including access to Archives West reveals how contemporary research benefits from an ever-expanding access to materials.
Linda Long and I plan to meet to find ways to incorporate archival research into the Honors Program.
This year, Stacey Kiser and I are making some changes to the Honors Invitation to Inquiry seminar to better support the course goals of engaging in undergraduate research and thinking critically about the research process.
Winter has two official holidays, and each year we miss two days of class. Since the seminar only meets twice a week, those missed days impact the students’ research projects and our focused discussions on critical thinking. This year, we are experimenting with a Wednesday/Friday seminar so that we can have the maximum amount of time working face to face with the students in class.
We’ve also asked the students to do some reading prior to the first class meeting. In addition to reading the first two chapters in the textbook, The Craft of Research by Wayne Booth, Gregory Colomb, and Joseph Williams,
we also assigned a chapter from Teaching for Critical Thinking: Tools and Techniques to Help Students Question Their Assumptions by Stephen Brookfield.
In the past, the class read an excerpt from the first chapter of this book. While this book was written for instructors, the students have done well understanding and applying the portions of the chapter they have read. It seemed reasonable to ask them to read the complete chapter and apply all of that material to their interrogation of academic research.
Finally, we have made the ePortfolio work more central to in-class activities as well as work assigned outside of class time. In addition to building and developing ePortfolios, students will be doing more processing and reflecting within their ePortfolios during class. ePortfolios can have an important impact on equity and student success, as addressed in the latest issue of the AAC&U’s publication, Peer Review.
These elements align with the college’s strategic directions and with the college’s and the Honors Program’s recognition of the importance of adopting an equity lens and always striving to support student success.
Check back for future posts about how these changes worked, student responses, and/or what additional modifications we made to the seminar once we were into the term!
This afternoon, Executive Dean of Student Affairs Kerry Levett organized a conference call with Phil Rowkoski at Oregon State University (OSU) to discuss OSU’s Beaver Hangouts Program. The Honors Program, the Counseling Department, First Year Experience, the Library, the Math Resource Center, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), and Student Life and Leadership Development all participated.
Beaver Hangouts were initially a K-12 program, but the university is expanding the program to two-year colleges. Student coaches from OSU would be available to Lane students to answer questions and provide information about transferring to OSU. The initial contacts would be a series of Skype sessions followed by one-on-one visits. It sounds like the coaches could come to the Lane campus to meet with students.
Honors has a wonderful working relationship with OSU already, especially through the Transfer Services Manager Kayleen Salchenberg Steeves and through Gildha Cumming at OSU’s University Honors College. Kayleen has presented in the honors seminar and sent information to our program, and we take the students each spring to the University Honors College Thesis Fair and an honors information session. The student coaches could potentially provide more contact around these presentations and campus visits.
I can see having Skype sessions and/or meetings with coaches attached to the honors seminars. Combined honors and PTK events could also involve these sessions and meetings.
When we visit the OSU campus, the students could meet in person with their coaches as part of the trip. Alternately, if Lane decides to hold larger Skype sessions or to video a Beaver Hangout presentation and make it available via Moodle, the honors students would benefit from those resources, as well.
OSU is still in the early stages of developing the two-year college component of their Beaver Hangouts Program, but I see a lot of potential for our honors students and would like to see us be part of the pilot.
This morning, I had a great conversation with Casey Reid, the Writing Center Coordinator. We explored ways in which the Honors Program and the Writing Center could support one another. Casey had some exciting ideas that I think will be beneficial to students.
Honors students could be course-embedded tutors for other classes. This option will take some time, as embedded tutors work best when the student and faculty member have already met in a class and established a relationship. There are also scheduling issues to consider, especially given that our students often have jobs and families in addition to taking a full load of classes. Nevertheless, it would be an excellent way for students to engage in experiential learning. I look forward to talking with our coordinator for honors experiential learning and honors cooperative education, Gerry Meenaghan.
Additionally, tutors could be embedded in honors classes, offering a resource to the students in the class and also helping the tutors further develop their skills. I can see this working well in several honors classes, including the seminars.
Our initial steps will be to check in with the current honors writing instructors, Amy Beasley, Anne McGrail, and Eileen Thompson, about these possibilities and to see if there is interest in pursuing them this year. I will also talk with my co-instructor in the seminars, Stacey Kiser, about ways that an embedded tutor could work, especially as the enrollments this year are growing.
Each spring, students in the Honors Capstone Seminar conduct group research projects and share their findings with the appropriate audience. They choose the topic/s, conduct the research, and determine the best means of presenting their findings.
In the past, topics have ranged from the Take Back the Tap movement to gender inequality in higher education to rainwater harvesting to housing stability for the chronically homeless.
This year, the students explored Oregon’s success at reducing recidivism. They examined the economic impact of recidivism, recidivism for adults and juveniles, and the success of specific programs in Oregon. They ultimately argued that the most successful means of preventing recidivism is through programs that focus on altering the behavior of ex-inmates and on providing support for ex-inmates, as well as using a cooperative approach to offering these services.
They shared their findings through a PowerPoint presentation and a research poster that will be displayed in the Learning Commons in the fall. Their presentation was also filmed by Dean Middleton and Randal Painter.
Completing this project supported not only the course learning outcomes but also all five of Lane’s Core Learning Outcomes:
- Think Critically
- Engage Diverse Values with Civic and Ethical Awareness
- Create Ideas and Solutions
- Communicate Effectively
- Apply Learning
I look forward to seeing, and learning from, the research findings of next year’s seminar students!
This week, Lane’s ePortfolio Theory Reading Group met to discuss “E-Portfolios and Inclusive Learning,” a chapter from The Educational Potential of e-Portfolios, a book by Lorainne Sefani, Robin Mason, and Chris Pegler.
There were also several supplemental sources that addressed accessibility in ePortfolios, websites, blogs, etc.
I appreciate that the group’s creator and leader, Sarah Lushia, was able to switch the planned reading so that we could focus on the topic of accessibility. It is a topic I wanted us to discuss. I want to think more about making accessibility a foundational part of my pedagogy and not just something I consider when addressing individual student needs.
This term, I’ll raise the topic of accessibility with the Capstone Seminar students, exploring some of the issues involving design and some of the tools that are currently available. Since accessibility is also something I want to consider in terms of my own ePortfolio, the students and I can participate in this work together.
From an administrative perspective, I’d like the Lane Honors Program to think about accessibility in light of our requirement that students build and maintain ePortfolios in the Lane Honors Program. As a relatively new program, we have a chance to make accessibility a central part of how we think about ePortfolios.
Sarah provides a detailed summary of the meeting on the ePortfolio Theory Reading Group blog.