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UNLV Faculty Institute on Research-Based Learning for High Impact Classes

January 4-6, 2010, February 5, March 5 and April 23.


During 2010, sixteen teaching faculty members and eight liaison librarians participated in the inaugural Faculty Institute for Research-Based Learning for High Impact courses. For this Institute, the Libraries collaborated with campus partners to provide support to faculty members who are faced with several initiatives that impact the way they deliver their course content, develop their assignments, and assess student success. These initiatives include the movement to large enrollment classes, especially for large impact, core courses; the redesign of the general education requirements around universal learning outcomes; and, enhancing the first-year experience for incoming students. There is no single entity on campus in a position to provide the faculty support and development needed to address these changes. A primary goal of the Institute was to embed library resources into research-based learning. The initial event was held January 4-6, 2010, and three half-day follow-up seminars were held throughout 2010.

Participants in the initial cohort were targeted to teaching faculty who were:

  • Teaching a large-enrollment, lower-division course in Fall 2010
  • Coordinating a multi-section, high-impact, lower-division course in Fall 2010
  • Seeking ways to enrich their courses and engage their students
  • Committed to including substantive research and critical thinking components that utilize the Libraries' collections in their courses
  • Interested in exchanging teaching ideas with colleagues from across the UNLV campus
  • Eager to explore creative and effective ways to work with University partners to bring research into the classroom
  • Interested in utilizing technology to create active learning environments in large classes

The Cohort

Faculty selected for this inaugural Institute were:

  • Michelle Carro, Psychology, Assistant Professor
  • Lynn Comella, Women's Studies, Assistant Professor
  • Ian Dove, Philosophy, Associate Professor
  • Ruby Fowler, English, Assistant Director of Composition
  • Liam Frink, Anthopology, Associate Professor
  • Marcia Gallo, History, Assistant Professor
  • Tim Gauthier, College of Liberal Arts, Director of Interdisciplinary Studies Program
  • Chris Heavey, Psychology, Associate Dean of Liberal Arts
  • William Jankowiak, Anthropology, Professor
  • Timothy Jones, Music, Lecturer
  • William Ramsey, Philosophy, Associate Professor
  • Todd Robinson, History, Assistant Professor
  • Alicia Simon, College of Sciences, Coordinator of SCI 101
  • Al Smith, College of Business, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs
  • Michelle Tusan, History, Associate Professor
  • Paul Werth, History, Associate Professor

The Program

Fellows met Monday, January 4, 2010, through Wednesday, January 6, 2010, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Fellows were also expected to complete independent work outside the sessions and attend three Friday-morning follow-up seminars. Institute sessions were designed to help faculty members:

  • Fine tune their syllabi to integrate research-based assignments
  • Acquire new strategies to facilitate excellent student research
  • Identify effective research-based learning activities appropriate for large enrollment classes
  • Design research-based assignments that are easily managed with large numbers of students
  • Guide their students in developing independent research projects that incorporate relevant library collections
  • Share innovative techniques to quickly and easily evaluate whether students are learning what you teach
  • Learn effective ways to use technology to improve student learning

The Organizers

The Institute was designed by a consortium of academic partners including the University Libraries, UNLV's Office of Information Technology, the Teaching and Learning Center, and the Office of Academic Assessment, with the support of the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.

The Sponsor

Funded by the University Libraries Advisory Board

Resources and Reports