Educational Research Learning Community


The Faculty of Education has created a pilot project, the Educational Research Learning Community, to enhance M.Ed. course-based student learning regarding applied educational research. It is supported by one research assistant, doctoral student Lin Li, (doctoral student, Lin Li) and guided by two Faculty of Education faculty members, Drs. Clayton Smith and George Zhou. Its purpose is to provide M.Ed. course-based students with an opportunity to engage in a research project (either their own or one done in collaboration with other graduate students). Thesis-track students could also participate in the learning community as a complement to the support provided by their thesis supervisors. The Educational Research Learning Community will begin in October 2022 and continue throughout the 2022-23 academic year.

This is an effort that falls within the framework of high-impact practices (HIPs) that contribute transformational learning experiences to the student experience. They are defined as “an investment of time and energy over an extended period that has unusually positive effects on student engagement in educational purposeful behavior” (Kuh, 2010, p. viii). The Educational Research Learning Community seeks to engage students in four of the eleven high-impact practices, including common intellectual experiences, learning communities, collaborative assignments and projects, and internships and field experiences. We plan to extend the reach of HIPs from within existing courses to an applied out-of-class experience. It would also provide to course-based students an opportunity to acquire research experience that may contribute to further research-based educational studies.

The Learning Community will support the development of a community of practice that will be co-created by students and supporting faculty members. Our hope is that it will lead to completed educational research projects of publishable quality. The first organizational meeting will be held on Friday, October 7th at 9:30 am, Education Building 1120.

Rationale of the Program:

  • Learning through practice
  • Community of practice
  • Reciprocal learning among graduate students

Topics to Cover:

  • Research planning
  • Research collaboration
  • Research skills
  • Paper/report writing
  • Publication process

Student Benefits:

  • More engagement in educationally-effective activities
  • Deeper approaches to learning content
  • Increase in quantity and quality of student-student and student-faculty interactions
  • Gains in critical thinking, writing, problem-solving, intercultural, and research skills
  • Greater appreciation for diversity

More Information: Contact Dr. Smith at