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Case Study B

Case Study B

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Published by Sally Blechschmidt

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Published by: Sally Blechschmidt on Apr 27, 2012
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Running head: CASE STUDY B 1Case Study BSally BlechschmidtLoyola University Chicago
 
CASE STUDY B 2Undergraduate research and service-learning are both high-impact practices identified bythe Association of American Colleges and Universities (Brownell & Swaner, 2010). This casestudy will analyze one article related to community-based research, and it will also present anewly developed undergraduate research program, Neuropsychology Research Experience forUndergraduates (NREU) (Merkel, 2003). The analysis will include the core experiences of thecommunity-based research program, the opportunities for formative and summative reflection,the involvement of community members, and how the author could improve the experientiallearning practice. The case study will also review the learning outcomes of NREU, the coreexperiences, the reflection activities, and how this program will qualify as an experientiallearning experience.
Part ICore Experience
 
Throughout the article, Weinberg (2003) discussed how “students have the skills and
opp
ortunities to do surveys, focus groups, asset mapping, and qualitative interviewing” (p. 27).
The students also gained experience within and beyond their academic curriculum. They
developed a greater understanding of “social, political, and economic
challenges to community
development” (p. 28). The
y learned about marketing, research, business strategies, oral andwritten communication, and the importance of technology. Given these experiences, the studentslikely obtained many of the benefits of undergraduate research and service-learning (Brownell &Swaner, 2010; Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education [CAS], 2008a,2008b; Eyler & Giles, 1999). The students directly applied their research skills, developedinterpersonal skills, and also improved upon their communication skills. These projects requiredthe students to identify gaps in the community, recognize what was already being done well, and
 
CASE STUDY B 3develop plans for future improvement. Consequently, the students also likely improved upontheir critical thinking skills.
Reflection
Initially, Weinberg (2003) discussed how he integrated the community issues andreadings into classroom discussions and final papers. Although, the author did not specificallystate whether these discussions and assignments were shaped as formative or summativereflection opportunities, the students may have benefitted from these opportunities to processtheir community involvement with related coursework. Nevertheless, as the author continued todevelop relationships with the community, he also integrated more reflection into hiscoursework. The students would relate their experiences to urban readings; they would identifychallenges and strengths in their work; and, they would have the opportunity to present at threepoints in the semester in order to obtain feedback from their peers. The students also presentedtheir research to the community, which could fulfill the CAS (2008b) requirement of undergraduate research programs of needing to have an opportunity to disseminate their findings.Weinberg (2003) reported that he recognized when students gained more from thecommunity-based research experience, and he modified the courses accordingly. He reported
that he based the grade on the overall reflection of the experience: students’ ability to analyze,
synthesize, integrate course readings, and make sense of their community work. This summativereflection allowed for an overall understanding of what the students gained, rather than basingtheir learning on the community-based research alone.
Community Involvement
When Weinberg (2003) began the article, he wrote that “institutions of higher educationhave an ethical responsibility to local communities” (
p. 26). Upon first read, this statement

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