In our conversations with faculty over the past several years, concerns were expressed about the dearth of opportunities for sophomore and junior students to develop the research skills necessary for success in their majors. To address these concerns, the Research Education department recently piloted a peer-to-peer learning model that builds on the foundational research skills introduced to students in their first year by focusing on research in a specifically disciplinary context.
On March 29th, we hosted the first student-led research workshop with students in the Psychology program. Over lunch, three senior thesis writers engaged twelve of their peers in a lively conversation aimed at strengthening the research skills and confidence of the recently-declared majors. Drawing on their personal experiences with academic research, the thesis writers familiarized their peers with the resources and strategies fundamental to research in their major.
Our hope is to expand this model in the fall and beyond. If your department is interesting in participating, contact Rob Walsh (email@example.com). These workshops will reinforce discipline-specific research skills, foster a sense of community among students in connection with their research, and encourage students to see themselves as scholars.