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Course Information

Instructor Info:Laura Wenk
Office Extension x5364
TA Info:Claire Oberholtzer
Office Extension x4634
Rebecca Rhodes
Term: 2013S
Meeting Info: Monday Wednesday
01:00 PM - 02:20 PM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 221
01:00 PM - 02:20 PM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 221

One definition of "research" is that it is a systematic investigation to solve new or existing problems or to develop new ideas. In this research course, we will have learning at Hampshire as the subject of our research, developing explanations about what excites students and faculty about the pedagogy and educational structure at Hampshire College and what leads to strong student learning. We will use a variety of research methods - from interview to observation, survey to content analysis (as appropriate to our questions) to understand teaching and learning here. Of course, in order to carry out our research, we will read relevant literature on human learning, what promotes learning, and how to help more students succeed. Students will work as a research team along with the professor.

Course Objectives:

1. Retrieving, reviewing, evaluating, and reporting on other people’s research

2. Understanding more about higher education in general, and Hampshire in particular

3. Developing research questions

4. Understanding and evaluating research methods

5. Planning for research

6. Writing research proposals/papers

7. Designing research instruments and data gathering tools

8. Collecting and analyzing different kinds of data (interview, and survey)

Evaluation Criteria:

To receive an evaluation for this class, you need to complete all the work and participate fully in all activities.


1. Attendance and participation in all classroom activities is required. Much of what we do in the course depends on work done in class.  Be present for all scheduled classes.  If you will be out of class due to illness, please email me before the class period you will miss.  If you will miss more than four class periods you will have to meet with me to discuss whether or not it is possible to make up the work needed to get an evaluation. It is up to you to schedule such a meeting

2. Complete all written assignments on time.

3. Complete the final project.  Specific details and due dates will be announced in class and on the course web site.

4. Turn in a portfolio of all your written work and a reflective self-evaluation. Due date will be announced in class and posted on the course moodle.