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Purpose and Goals of TAR:

Teaching as Research is the “deliberate, systematic, and reflective use of research methods to develop and implement teaching practices that advance the learning experiences and outcomes of students and teachers.”

What is Teaching-as-Research?

Detailed Examples of other TAR Projects:

Engagement with the TAR process provides opportunities for participants to gain a research-based perspective on teaching and learning. Participants will identify a problem/challenge within the context of teaching and learning in their discipline, design a project that will clarify why that challenge occurs or design a teaching intervention to address the challenge, apply appropriate methods, implement, collect data, analyze and interpret the data to draw conclusions.

A long-term goal is to have participants use their TAR experience as a substantial example of their reflective, professional practice applicable to a range of career outcomes.

Benefits and Transferable Skill Development:

  • Develop project management and research proposal development skills in a teaching and learning context related to evidence-based pedagogies.
  • Gather and analyze data from classroom studies to make more informed decisions about evidence-based teaching approaches.
  • Enhance collaboration skills with peers and mentors to promote higher quality undergraduate student engagement and educational experiences.
  • Apply critical thinking skills in the context of teaching and learning in one’s discipline.
  • Demonstrate research competence in an area outside of one’s discipline.

TAR Project Timeline

Prepare (Summer)

  • Get Inspired. Brainstorm ideas or see what others have done.
  • Complete application and enroll in TAR via the CIRTL network
  • Identify possible projects and faculty partner

Plan (Fall)

  • Perform a literature review. What have others published that can inform your proposal?
  • Engage in TAR course to develop project. Engage in TAR learning community cohort meetings and submit TAR proposal.
  • Implement project: collect and analyze data

Do (Spring)

  • Report and reflect
  • Engage in TAR learning community cohort meetings
  • Refine data analysis
  • Generate report and present findings

Steps to completing a Teaching-as-Research (TAR) Project

  1. Complete Associate’s Level of Accomplishment
  2. Get Oriented & Inspired – The TAR experience is focused on process not a product. Explore what others have done at other institutions, search education research literature for ideas of interest. Consider what challenges students’ learning within your discipline to get started.
  3. Identify a project and mentor. Many participants enter into the TAR experience with a project in mind. This could be based on a course or topics you’re interested in, an identified course you’re working with in your department, or based on a faculty member or instructor you’d like to work with. As the TAR program evolves, we will have a list of past projects and previous mentors.
  4. Proposal development.  You will begin to define your TAR project, develop your project plan, explore available resources, and learn more about the university’s institutional review board (IRB) process that facilitates responsible research. Proposal development includes a literature review, defining your learning and project goals, assessments and activities and research methods. Enrolling in a TAR course offered through the CIRTL Network may assist with this development or get support through local TAR trainings and cohort meetings.
  5. In-person cohort meetings will occur to support this process and will continue during the implementation phase.
  6. Complete the Human Research Protection Program training. Prior to the start of your project, all participants are required to complete a brief (1-2 hours) online certification in human subjects research, and if necessary, submit an IRB request. The program director will help you navigate these processes by providing more information during the TAR course and TAR cohort meetings.
  7. Implement your TAR project with the guidance of your mentor and with support from your internship cohort, and CIRTL staff. We estimate that students will typically spend 2-3 hours per week on their projects during the term, including meetings with mentors and cohort meeting sessions. This time commitment is highly variable depending on your project goals and stage of progress. Cohort meetings will involve peer presentation, feedback, and progress updates during this implementation phase.
  8. Submit your final materials after implementing your teaching-as-research internship project. You officially complete the program by:
    1. Submitting a Reflective Statement: This one-page statement should detail how your TAR experience influenced your understanding of the three CIRTL learning goals (teaching-as-research, learning communities, and learning-through-diversity).
    2. Submitting a Final Summative Report: This report is essentially a record of your TAR project. Suggested format will be provided. Sections to include Background/literature review, Question and Significance of project, hypothesis, Methods, Results, Critical Analysis of data (why null results, explanation of other variables, limitations of design and outcomes), Discussion, References.