Faculty-Student Research

Overall Augsburg Experience Criteria (approved by the Augsburg Faculty April 10, 2002)

  • The Augsburg Experience integrates experiential learning with academic learning.   It demonstrates enhanced learning and reflects research and best practices of experiential education.
  • An Augsburg Experience links on-campus learning to the constituency goals, mission, needs or ideas of off-campus people, organizations and/or communities, through community partners and/or professional activities and/or travel.

I.  General Comments

“The main goals of the Augsburg Experience are to link the theoretical with the practical and to link the on-campus experience to the wider community.   Faculty/student research provides students the opportunity to apply discipline-based knowledge and develop problem-solving skills with the support and under the supervision of an Augsburg faculty member [or other scholar / academic professional]*.  This research process provides both students and faculty the opportunity to engage in scholarly discovery, allowing for both success and failure.  Faculty/student research designed as an Augsburg Experience project requires that the student interact with the wider academic community at any or all stages in the research enterprise.  In some cases, the student will make connections to the wider community during or prior to the data-gathering phase.  In other cases, students may be able to present their research results at regional, national, or even international conferences. “ – from the document adopted April 10, 2002.

Material in brackets added by the Augsburg Experiences Subcommittee, October 14, 2002.

II.  Specific Guidelines for Faculty/Student Research

  1. In order to qualify as an Augsburg Experience, all faculty/student research experiences require both original student work and considerable interaction with a faculty advisor (or other academic professional).
  2. Faculty sponsorship early in the process is required.  (For off-campus and/or summer research, the student must also seek approval of a faculty member to serve as an on-campus sponsor.)  One of the Faculty sponsor’s roles will be to verify that requirements for an Augsburg Experience have been met.
  3. Departments are encouraged, but not required, to provide faculty/student research opportunities that qualify for Augsburg Experience designation to their students.  Faculty/student research opportunities will not be guaranteed to students in all departments, or to all students.  Departments may choose, however, to require faculty/student research of their majors.
  4. Because of the significant time commitment expected in such faculty/student projects, individual faculty normally should not supervise more than 2 non-course-related research projects per year unless they are provided with additional compensation or released time.
  5. The off-campus criterion may be met via either or both a) performance of all, or a significant fraction, of the research at an off-campus site, or b) presentation of the results of the research at a public forum.

III.  Some possible venues:

  1. Course-related

    Departments may propose course-related faculty-student research Aug Experiences that will be part of, or linked to, an upper division course.  Such experiences in two courses in the same department may also qualify as part of a department-approved program, as long as neither course is the introductory (first) course in the majors program.As with other venues, course-related faculty/student research experiences will still require both original student work and considerable interaction with a faculty advisor.  Either individual or small-group work will qualify, as long as these requirements are met.If the research is done totally or predominantly on campus, both a written report and a public presentation of the results of this research before the professional community are required.   At the minimum, the public presentation requirement may be met by presentation at an Augsburg Scholarship Fair, although presentation at regional, national, or even international conferences is encouraged.

    The successful completion of a course-related Augsburg Experience will not be tied directly to the course grade.  (This is in contrast to current policy regarding the skills component of courses).  That is, a student could presumably pass a course and not complete the Augsburg Experience, or vice versa.

  2. Research with an off-campus professional (during summers or during the academic year)

    As noted above, the student must also seek approval of a faculty member to serve as an on-campus sponsor if this research is to qualify as an Augsburg Experience.If the student’s research culminates in a publicly available technical report, conference paper, or a paper submitted to a scholarly journal, any of these may be submitted to the faculty sponsor to satisfy the written report requirement.  In other cases, the student must prepare a written report including a general summary of the disciplinary background, research methods, and findings, and present it to the faculty sponsor for evaluation.Students performing research off-campus are encouraged to make oral presentations of their work to members of the faculty sponsor’s department, and/or to local, regional, national, or international disciplinary conferences.  Departments may choose to require such a presentation for Augsburg Experience credit.

  3. As part of a departmental honors and/or independent study project

    In many cases, independent study projects or departmental honors projects may take the form of faculty/student research.  The guidelines already drafted by each department for such projects may be suitable as criteria for Augsburg Experiences as well.  Of critical importance here, as for the other venues, are a) significant interaction between the student and the faculty advisor, and b) interaction with the disciplinary community either during the research or at its end (via a public presentation).Some projects may qualify for course credit and/or departmental honors without meeting the requirements for an Augsburg Experience.  It is up to the faculty sponsor to communicate to the student the (possibly additional) requirements for an Augsburg Experience.