Throughout the past few months, we have made much progress in the data collection process. I have reviewed previous research in the field of online service learning courses. This is a fairly new field, with much new research on the rise. We hope to contribute our findings to the field decimated to studying the impact of online service learning. Similar to our research project last year we will be collecting data through recorded interviews with Pace students. Last semester we collected 25 interviews through an online service class. This semester we will expand our number of interviews from a pool of students in 2 new classes. We hope to gain a total of 75-100 student interviews. These interviews will be group based not individual. By comparing the interviews, and answers to our questions we have gained a greater understanding of the impact of online service learning. We will be submitting a proposal to several journals, to be reviewed.
After recruiting students for this qualitative research study, we split them into focus groups no bigger than five. Pre determined questions were posed to these groups on an online video forum known as Blackboard collaborate. Students were encouraged to answer each question, and to formulate a discussion with one another. I, as the research assistant, oversaw the conversation and provided the question prompts. Each interview was recorded, and than transcribed.
The next part of this project is combining the data. After this we will begin to analyze student responses for commonalities and trends. We hope to assess the impact of a civic engagement course on students. We also hope to understand the effect online learning has on this course. After we finish analyzing the data we will draw our final conclusion, and type up a report.
The title of this research project is “,Student Evaluation Survey of Online Civic Engagement Courses.” The purpose of this project is collect qualitative responses from students on a series of questions about their C.E. courses. We want to assess the impact of an online approach to C.E. courses. Students will be invited to participate in an online chat in Blackboard Collaborate. Questions will be posed to them, and students will be encouraged to respond to one another as the discussion progresses. We are hoping to replicate a focus group protocol in an online course. This process will take under 30 minutes.
After transcribing and analyzing student responses we will review emerging themes and the identifying of particularly insightful comments. We will draw our conclusions at the end of each data collection.
We have made much progress in our research project. We have gathered several interviews and analyzed the data. Our biggest challenge has been making people comfortable with the idea of being recorded. Despite this, our project has been very successful. We submitted our research proposal to the Hilbert Service Learning Conference, and it was accepted. We presented our findings, last week, to the conference attendees. By comparing the interviews, and answers to our questions we have gained a greater understanding of faculty outlook towards teaching civic engagement courses. Interviewing faculty from all schools and both campuses, has given us a diverse unbiased analysis. We plan to continue this project in the Fall. We will be submitting a proposal to several journals, to be reviewed.
We have made much progress so far. Over nine interviews have been conducted with faculty teaching Civic Engagement courses at Pace University. Of these nine professors four are male, and five are female. Four faculty teach Civic Engagement courses on the New York City campus, and five on the Pleasantville campus. Through these interviews we have gained invaluable insight to the teaching and and effort put into service learning classes. Each professor has a unique approach to teaching their class. The passions of the professor seems to have a large impact on these classes. For example if a professor is passionate about the environment, civic engagement will be centered around “going green,” as opposed to a professor that is passionate about immigration and centers there course around it. Although each class is different we have found something all professors have in common. Each faculty member feels very strongly about increasing CE courses at Pace. They would like to see the University and Center for Community Action and Research make a greater effort in educating and encouraging professors about service learning and civic engagement based courses.
This a a project that will focus on faculty teaching service learning class. The research will employ a qualitative methodology in which I will interview faculty who are teaching service learning classes. The purpose is to do a partial audit of the faculty. I will interview faculty about their experience teaching a service learning class and solicit information on how the Center for Community Action and Research and the Administration can assist in the teaching and the implementation of a service learning class. The title for our project is Faculty Insights on Teaching Service Learning Classes: Where we have been and where we go from here . This project will provide invaluable information to the University and the state of our Civic Engagement Initiative at Pace.We fully expect that this will result in a conference presentation.