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Research Course Attributes

Inspired by the attributes available that designate a course as satisfying general education criteria or its upper or lower division status, the O.U.R. has developed Course-Based Research attributes. The attributes indicate to a student that they will engage in an original research project as a portion of the course's learning activities. Three levels of research engagement are available.

Interested in knowing more about the proposed course attributes and how they fit into the OUR’s institutional goals? Contact us for a meeting or departmental presentation!

The O.U.R., with support and input from the O.U.R. Faculty Council, have designated three course attributes for OU that indicate the depth of the research engagement and the fraction of course credit for the project. In addition to helping students find courses using research-as-teaching, the attributes form part of the campus-level assessment of undergraduate research participation and engagement for students and faculty. The RES# attributes will show up as four-character abbreviations in places such as a degree audit course description, and a catalog search will show the attributes by their short titles.

The process for achieving a Research Attribute designation for a course is detailed here. The process starts with reviewing the Research Skill Development Handbook. When a class design meets the definition of an attribute, including correlating with the approximate levels in the Research Skill Development Framework, an application may be completed. If a faculty member or department would like consultation for enhancing courses to achieve a research designation, please contact the O.U.R. 

Research Attributes designation expires after two-five years. Syllabi for individual courses may evolve over time. O.U.R. wants to ascertain that the Research Attributes accurately reflect the active course content.

The Course Research Attributes are:

  • Research Exposure – Research 1 — a course that introduces students to research in a discipline or cross-disciplinary area. (RES1) These courses teach students research or scholarly processes or skills, along with experience applying those processes or skills. The courses might be discipline-based research methods courses or courses that focus on general research-methods topics such as qualitative methods, research ethics, or how to read and critique disciplinary publications or performances. These courses should have one or more small research or creative projects applying the research processes or skills, although the projects will likely be highly-structured. The projects combined will contribute less than 50% of the course grade. These courses are expected to be taken early in the curriculum. {See also Research Skill Development framework levels 1 or 2} {5-year approval}
  • Research Experience – Research 2 — a course that applies the scholarly or research processes of a discipline and where at least 50% of the learning activities and grade are based on each student's significant progress on a research project or theoretically-grounded creative project. (RES2) The courses in this category may have projects assigned to individual students or small teams, provided measures are in place to ensure and measure individual contributions. The course may include a series of small projects (particularly at lower division), or a single larger-scope project. At RES2 level, a large project should have scaffolding of several smaller pieces and check-in points. At the Lower Division level, the project topic and design may be more prescribed by the instructor, but at the Upper Division Level, students should have some input and decision-making authority for the project. For example, in a 1000-2000-level course a student would be expected to evaluate data and make data-driven decisions/conclusions using criteria defined by the instructor; these students should be able to create new questions to further or fill-in (add nuance to) their research results. Students may be able to design their own criteria for collecting, analyzing and critiquing data independently, especially if they are in a upper-division RES2 course. The XXXX 3440 Mentored Research Experience courses will have this attribute as the default. {See also Research Skill Development framework levels 3 or 4} {2-year approval, except for 3440; 5-year approval cycle available with additional information}
  • Research Expertise — Research 3 — a research-project-based or theoretically-grounded-creative-project-based course, where the entire grade is derived from a thesis or disciplinary-based project, performance, or portfolio that is submitted to a committee for review and evaluation and is publicly presented (and the steps that lead to that product). (RES3) The products of these courses should be the culmination of an extended research or scholarly-grounded creative engagement for the student. This course usually will follow and build on at least one semester of a RES2 enrollment working on the same project. These courses generally will be 4000-level and should be taken in the students' final undergraduate year. For RES3 designation, the student should have significant decision-making authority for the project’s direction. A 3rd or higher iteration for credit of 3440 may be re-classified to Expertise in the final year, if the student demonstrates decision-making authority for the project's direction. {See also Research Skill Development framework level 5} {5-year approval}

If your department would like someone from the Office of Undergraduate Research to meet with your whole faculty or a committee of representatives to discuss these attributes, please contact us!

This page was last updated on:
Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 16:05