WI+RE's Center for Educational Assessment Report

Posted by Doug Worsham

In June of 2017 UCLA’s Center for Educational Assessment completed a detailed report on a variety of approaches to research and writing instruction, including WI+RE’s online Cornerstone Research workshops.

The Center for Educational Assessment (CEA) provided an evaluation of ongoing activities of the WI+RE team which included face-to-face workshops, online tutorials, and course and faculty collaborations. The assessment focus captured both student and faculty perspectives and included review and analysis of existing data provided by the project collaborators and interviews conducted by CEA researchers with select instructors. Existing data included responses to pre- and post-surveys given to students attending the Cornerstone Research Workshops, a post-survey completed by users of an online instructional module, and an active questionnaire integrated through CCLE completed by students of a Psychology course.

It was wonderful to work with the expert team at the CEA, and we greatly appreciated their mixed methods approach which included both analysis of student learning and faculty interviews.

Summary of Findings

Mapping Your Research Ideas Online Module

  • Video modules were helpful and provided direction for developing research topics: Respondents praised the mapping your research video for being concise, straightforward, and easy to follow, as well as providing guidance for focusing topics, creating outlines, and starting research papers. The video also aided students with systematic development and focus of questions.

Psychology 188B CCLE Modules (online)

  • Students found the module to be well designed: Respondents acknowledged that the components of the module were simple, straightforward, comprehensive, and well made.
  • Students found the activities and strategies to be very helpful: Respondents appreciated the step-by-step process of developing a research question and seeking out resources, as well as new tips for utilizing familiar research databases.

Faculty Engagement Interviews

  • Faculty across the board had positive experiences: Faculty found the workshops, modules, and tutorials to be well designed and very helpful for their courses and students. Everyone plans to continue to use the research and writing tools in their courses.
  • Faculty desired efficiency in teaching: Faculty expressed a preference for teaching students the basics and fundamentals about research writing outside of class time so that class time can be used more productively and for greater depth.
  • Course integration was wide-ranging: The various research and writing tools were incorporated into the courses in a mix of in-person, online, and hybrid modes via class time, library time, and CCLE (a course management system).
  • Faculty affirmed student improvement: While acknowledging lack of control groups or pre- and post-tests, there still appeared to be evidence of improvement, including greater understanding of research writing and higher sophistication of work from students.

To learn more, check out the full report, which also includes an assessment of the face to face research workshop series and has extensive notes on student and faculty feedback.

Thank you to OID, CEA, and everyone that contributed to this assessment project!

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Doug Worsham


UCLA Office of Instructional Development, UCLA Center for Educational Assessment

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