Experiential Learning and Undergraduate Success
Research coaches are UTA students specially trained to offer peer-to-peer help for students seeking individualized assistance with their research and course assignments. Research coaches help frame research questions, develop search strategies, understand citation styles, and select and evaluate relevant resources.
The purpose of the Research Coach Program is to create a welcoming environment by offering peer-to-peer guidance for students seeking in-depth help with their research and course assignments. Ideally, the peer-to-peer model will increase participants’ confidence levels in their research skills and ability to meet assignment expectations, increase satisfaction with the research services provided by Library staff, and increase the marketable, professional skills of students who participate as research coaches.
The research coaches are expected to be academic leaders who demonstrate confidence in their own research abilities and academic knowledge, who possess proficiency in library research using an array of resources and methods, and who engage their peers in collaboratively meeting information needs.
In cooperation with UTA Library’s FabLab and faculty representing a wide range of academic units at UTA, we are piloting a program that ties maker-based competencies to the learning objectives of undergraduate courses. We believe that the competencies gained from hands-on, project based learning in the FabLab (for example, working in teams, time management and technical communication) will be vital skills for all UTA graduates. We seek to include courses from all programs of study, including the humanities, social sciences, fine arts, as well as traditional STEM fields.
Faculty who wish to include their courses in this program should assign a project that involves some aspect of maker literacies. This may require creating a new project, or revising an existing one. Representatives from the Maker Literacies Task Force can assist faculty in identifying or creating potential assignments that fit our program and suit their own curricular needs. Faculty would choose one or more competencies from our draft list of maker-based competencies and adapt them as needed to correspond to the learning objectives for their assignments.
Measuring student learning of these competencies is an important part of this program. The Maker Literacies Task Force has several members from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction who excel at student assessment. Our Task Force will work with faculty to develop a strategy for measuring student learning for their chosen competencies.