Photo of Frank Jordan with biology students in Tennessee National Park

Why Collaborative Research, Scholarship, or Creative Activities?

When a student engages in collaborative research as experiential learning, they first learn that, although we often tend to think of “collaborative research” as (a) something taking place in a lab, and (b) an independent project such as a thesis over which the student has primary ownership, both of these assumptions give short shrift to the broad range of experiential learning opportunities that fall under this umbrella.

The term “collaborative research” should be thought of as research, scholarship and creative activities that reach beyond a capstone/thesis type of project to things that can be done either (a) independently by a class as a whole or small groups within a class (whether completely original or “discovery-based” learning), or (b) by individual students or small groups of students working with a faculty member and developing increasing competence and ownership of the outcome or product.

In either case, structured activities can include collecting and analyzing data, texts or other materials in a field, laboratory, archive or lab setting, and drawing conclusions therefrom, independently, or in a small group or classroom setting. Students may also engage in the creation of artistic works (visual, musical or other genres), as author’s collaborators, interpreters and performers; dissemination is also a part of this work.  Intentional reflections on collaborative research will allow students to understand how these activities might have helped them to develop their critical and creative thinking skills, collaborate with others, apply knowledge learned in class or through reading, research, etc. in a more broader context, as well as to explore future vocational paths. It can also help them to develop a greater sense of personal agency and of how they, as individuals and collaboratively, can help to heal the world by being with and for others. In turn, these reflections should empower students to imagine a future where they are productive members of society, contributing to their communities writ large and small.

Advisory Workgroup for Collaborative Research, Scholarship, or Creative Activities

  • Dr. Naomi Yavneh, Chair
  • Dr. Sara Butler (A&S)
  • Dr. Maria Calzada (A&S)
  • Dr. Rosalie Anderson (A&S)
  • Dr. Lynn Koplitz (A&S)
  • Dr. Armin Kargol  (A&S)
  • Dr. Mark Fernandez (A&S)
  • Dr. Carol Ann MacGregor (A&S)
  • Dr. Bob Thomas (A&S)
  • Prof. Bill Kitchens (CMFA)
  • Dr. Jeff Albert (CMFA)
  • Prof. Artemis Preeshl (CMFA)
  • Prof. Mark Grote (CMFA)
  • Dr. Lydia Voigt (A&S)
  • Michael Pashkevitch (Student Rep)
  • Francesca Vaccaro (Student Rep)