Research Methods Beyond the Classroom

Carolyn Forestiere is an associate professor of political science at UMBC.

I have always wanted to introduce some form of civic engagement in my courses, but I never thought that the subject matter that I teach – Research Methods in Political Science – could be adapted to the overall goals of the BreakingGround initiative. After attending the BreakingGround Workshop in the Spring of 2012, I realized that with some innovative thinking, virtually any course can be adapted.

I have been teaching Research Methods since 2006. Part of the students’ regular coursework included developing survey and interview questionnaires that students deliver to each other as a means for them to create their own data set to analyze. In the workshop I decided I could add great depth to my course by a identifying a group of people outside of the university that my students could interview. To serve as a foil for my young college-aged students, I decided to bring them to a retirement community in the Catonsville area. The objective of the exercise will be to gather original data for analysis from the residents at local retirement communities and to garner a sense of empathy for different groups of people. [Read more…]

Hrabowski Fund for Academic Innovation Competition Accepting Proposals (Deadline: Oct. 5)

Do you have a fresh idea on how to enhance teaching and learning at UMBC? The Hrabowski Fund for Academic Innovation Competition is accepting proposals for creative, new initiatives that will increase the success of our undergraduate and graduate students.

Approximately $100,000 will be available for the 2013-14 competition to fund curriculum development, course redesigns and other projects designed to improve or understand student-learning outcomes at UMBC. The competition is open to all faculty, lecturers and instructors with full-time appointments and proposals for funding may be made by individuals or collaborative groups.

Applications will be reviewed twice annually. For the inaugural competition, proposal deadlines are October 5, 2012 and February 8, 2013. The Faculty Development Center (FDC) is available to work with faculty as they develop project ideas. Download the Hrabowski Academic Innovation Fund Call for Proposals Packet to get started and contact FDC Director Linda Hodges for additional details.