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Promoting Student Agency in Research

When: Tuesday, September 27, 2022
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Where: Claire T. Carney Library, Office of Faculty Development
Description: Do your students treat traditional thesis-based papers as something required for class – something they have to do – rather than something connected to their own work or interests? Do you encourage students to think about big ideas, to explore topics that interest them, yet end up answering the same questions over and over? (How many pages? How many sources? Are they allowed to use online resources?)

The first half of the session will show how – by incorporating categorical data analysis into my graphic design history class – student agency in research increased. We’ll explore the two parts of this semester-long assignment: the “chart” project (a more academic paper writing up the process and results of their research) and “the Instagram project” (a more colloquial narrative sharing results of their research with the general public). We’ll also look at examples of student questions and some results, problems that arose (and what I’m doing differently this year), and the successes — the moments when students found a pattern they didn’t expect… or understood how their research fit into the history of graphic design. We'll spend the second half of the session discussing other ways to promote student agency in research. Why do we give research? How do we define success? What can we learn from our colleagues in other fields of study? All participants are encouraged to bring – and share – research projects they've done in their classes... whether you want to share stories of success or ask the hive-mind for new ideas.

To register, please email Ellen Mandly at We encourage you to join our programs in person, especially if you are already on campus. If you are not, know that our programming will remain accessible through the continued offering of virtual participation. Please indicate modality preference when registering. Lunch will be provided for all in-person participants.
Topical Areas: Faculty, Students, Graduate, Faculty Development