June 1, 2017

Research and Scholarship Intensive Courses

In Research & Scholarship Intensive courses, we expect that students are doing authentic scholarly work, that the work is a significant portion of the class, and that the students have the opportunity to disseminate the results beyond the classroom. In these classes, students actively participate in the process of scholarship and make a significant contribution to the creation of a disciplinary-appropriate product.

All Students as Scholars courses should be designed so that students learn about scholarly activities at Mason. Courses should highlight:

  • How faculty are engaged in scholarly work
  • How undergraduate students are engaged in scholarly work
  • The connection between the course, Students as Scholars, and opportunities available through OSCAR and academic programs.
Research & Scholarship Intensive courses

Jay Richardson dispels the cherry tree myth in his presentation at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon in HIST499 (photo by Evan Cantwell, Creative Services)

In Research & Scholarship intensive courses, students will create an original scholarly project and communicate knowledge from their project. Students will need to demonstrate "Proficiency"-level accomplishments (see the updated Students as Scholars Program Rubric) on the three required project-focused learning outcomes and on one of the methods-related outcomes. That is, by the time they have finished the course or project, students will be able to:

  • Articulate and refine a focused and manageable question, problem, or challenge that may contribute to the field.
  • In consultation with a faculty mentor, design a project that has the potential to make contributions to knowledge,  appropriately adapt research or design strategies as the project progresses, and complete the project.
  • Clearly communicate the results of a scholarly or creative project through publishing, presenting or performing, consistently employing conventions appropriate to the audience and context.

And at least one of the following methods outcomes:

  • Consistently choose effective methods for exploring an inquiry, and address advantages and limitations of those methods.
  • Acquire information or data using effective, well-designed strategies; consistently use appropriate criteria to judge the credibility of the evidence.
  • Consistently analyze or synthesize new and previous evidence to make important contributions to knowledge.

Course may also choose to address the following outcomes:

  • Consistently make accurate distinctions among personal beliefs, opinions, claims and evidence.
  • Consistently identify relevant ethical issues; demonstrates attention to ethical principles at all stages of the inquiry process.
  • Articulate an understanding of the value of research and creative inquiry to individuals and communities in local, civic, professional, or global contexts. Consistently identify and explain implications of, and questions raised by, the project.
  • Explain relevant pathways for dissemination of scholarship. Consistently place the inquiry within a scholarly context and be able to make explicit connections between own and others' work.

We encourage departments to designate upper-division "classroom"-type classes as well as individualized scholarly activity courses ("independent studies" or "independent research") to be RS designated. We have syllabus template for an RS-designated Individualized Scholarly Experience (in PDF and DOC formats) for you to adapt.

Applying for RS Course Designation
Applications for RS designation will be accepted in both the spring and the fall. To apply, departments submit a course information form, a copy of the syllabus that includes the RS student learning outcomes, a curriculum map that demonstrates how the course activities are related to the Students as Scholars student learning outcomes, and brief narrative statement. Chairs submitted a statement of support.Deadlines for RS Course Designation are October 18, 2017 and April 11, 2018.We encourage faculty who are developing RS courses to attend an information session or schedule a meeting to learn about the application.  If you need financial support for (re)designing an RS course, please submit a Course Scholarship Development Grant Proposal. If awarded, you'll be expected to submit an application for a course designation in within the next two semesters.