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Current Research Projects with LBC Faculty

Here at Briggs we value undergraduate research experiences, as we know they set our students up for success as scientists. Each year, many of our faculty have projects for which they need student assistants. Below, find opportunities to work with LBC faculty members on research in Summer 2022.

 

Project 1: Teaching Fellows Alumni: longitudinal perspectives 

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Rachel Barnard 
Term: Summer 2022 
Maximum number of research positions: 2 
Expected hours/week: 5-10 hours per week; 7-10 weeks (timing flexible) 
Location: Student may work in-person in East Lansing or work remotely 

Overview 

One secret of higher ed is that most faculty have little formal training in teaching. Briggs works to support the next generation of undergraduate educators through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SUTL) Fellowship. This program is a partnership between Lyman Briggs College and the MSU Graduate School. Since 2016, we have graduated 16 Fellows, most of whom have gone on to academic positions. Relying on the communities of practice and higher education change literature, we will invite alumni to semi-structured interviews to explore questions including the following: Where are these Fellows now? What parts of the Fellowship have impacted their current work, cohort-based professional development and mentored research project? How do these experiences compare to graduate teaching assistants in Briggs courses who do not participate in the SUTL Fellowship program? 

Project specific qualifications or preferences: Students with interest in using research to provide feedback on educational programs, background in psychology or education (e.g. classes, past research experience, etc.), or experience with conducting or analyzing interviews (e.g. intake interviews or class project) will be given preference. 

 

Project 2: Making intro physics materials more accessible 

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Vashti Sawtelle  
Term: Summer 2022 
Maximum number of research positions: 2 
Expected hours/week: 10-20 hours per week; 7 - 12 weeks (timing flexible) 
Location: Student may work in-person in East Lansing or work remotely 

Overview 

In this project we are examining the accessibility of our introductory physics curriculum (across PHY courses and LBC courses) for students with a variety of disabilities. Our project has 2 components -- an interview study examining the experiences of students who identify as having a disability in a variety of STEM classrooms (e.g., lecture courses, group-based courses, lab/practicum-based courses) and reviewing/updating the accessibility of our physics curricular materials along known disability/accessibility criteria. Students working on this project will do a mix of examining course materials (all online) for accessibility concerns and analyzing interview data for an interaction between course structures and accessibility practices.  

Project specific qualifications or preferences: Students must have experience with Introductory Physics 1 and 2 content (could be in PHY or LB courses). Students with experience with RCPD or navigating disabilities/accommodations in course experiences may be given preference. 

 

Project 3: Exploring long-term impacts of learning about 3DL on test writing 

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ryan Sweeder  
Term: Summer 2022 
Maximum number of research positions: 2 
Expected hours/week: 5-15 hours per week; 7-12 weeks (timing flexible) 
Location: Student may work in-person in East Lansing or work remotely 

Overview 

Several cohorts of science faculty from a range of disciplines have participated in the STEM Gateway Fellows Program, which introduces 3-Dimensional Learning (3DL) in the STEM classroom. One of the goals of the program is to help participants understand each of the three dimensions: Scientific Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts. The program helps faculty explore how these dimensions can be included in their assessments and why it leads to better student learning. The goal of the project is to explore if there is a lasting impact of the program. The student researchers will code exams using the 3D-Learning Assessment Protocol from program participants to see if there was a change in their assessment practices and how long those changes remain in place. Exams will come from the disciplines of biology, chemistry, and physics. 

Project specific qualifications or preferences: Students must have experience in biology, chemistry, or physics. Students with greater disciplinary knowledge and/or breadth may be given preference.