At the Fall Convocation, which took place on September 13th, 2018, six faculty members were awarded the Learn by Doing Scholar award. They are honored for their contributions to Cal Poly’s signature pedagogy, Learn by Doing. This award is an opportunity to celebrate the work done all across campus to deepen our understanding of Learn by Doing.
This year’s winners of the Learn by Doing Scholar Awards in the category of published research are Drs. Soma Roy, Beth Chance, Karen McGaughey, and Allan Rossman. Together, these four collaborated to create Learning by Doing Statistics: having students engage with scientific studies that matter, every day.
These researchers gathered a substantial collection of presentations, peer-reviewed articles, funded grants, and developed professional education workshops for their colleagues. Their most notable work is an undergraduate general education course textbook, Introductions to Statistical Investigations, which has rounded out the literature regarding use of active-learning in statistics: pedagogy focused on empowering students who have a variety of experiences with statistical concepts, and contributing to the creation of a more statistically literate society.
The Learn by Doing Scholar Award in the planned and in-progress research category is given to Dr. Julie Rodgers from the Psychology and Child Development Department, College of Liberal Arts. Her research, titled: Building Intercultural Competence Through Cultural Immersion Projects, assesses the efficacy of an equalizing approach to intercultural competence.
Her research is building upon initial data collected, assessing traditional on-campus course curriculum and cultural immersion projects (CIP). Often times, universities utilize extensive travel and study abroad programs to help students gain an understanding of other cultural groups. Because these programs are not an option for all students, Rodgers took an interest in exploring low-cost alternates. The research will assess the efficacy of these alternative intercultural competency programs.
Due to the excellent quality of projects, another faculty project was given the same award. Dr. Graham Doig, from the Aerospace Engineering Department, in the College of Engineering received the award for his research titled: Why do some students choose to get involved in co-curricular engineering projects, probes the unexplored question “who gets to learn by doing?”
The research and the project’s advising team represent exciting interdisciplinary faculty-student collaboration and has already collected strong preliminary data. This project focuses on the role that co-curricular engineering projects can play in student retention among under-represented groups. Understanding why students participate and do not participate in these projects, and the variables affecting classroom performance will provide much-needed data to guide curricular and funding decision-making.
These winning projects were among other inquisitive research questions that continue to be investigated and led by Cal Poly faculty. We thank our dedicated staff for their discoveries and for all the research that has led to innovations at this university.