Active and Collaborative Learning in the Practice of Research: Credit-based Directed Research Groups

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In this article, we aim to convey our excitement for credit-based directed research groups, explain why we believe that they are becoming institutionalized in our curriculum, and provide information to help those interested in this subject to understand how to implement and support such groups. The first section of the article presents a brief description of two of our earliest research groups, to provide a framework and point of departure for understanding the several variant forms that have since been adopted. The second section discusses in more detail the basic structure and rationale for the groups. The third section looks at variations in the format of the groups and discusses the advantages of maintaining flexibility in how such groups are implemented. The fourth section discusses the outcomes of the research groups in terms of participation, breadth of topical coverage, and scholarly productivity, followed by a discussion of the impacts on learning in the fifth section. Finally, after reflecting on some of the challenges and unintended effects of the innovation, we close with a brief look to the future.

Document Type: Journal Article

Publication date: August 1, 2006

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  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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