Educational Research

Educational research, sometimes called the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning or SoTL, is the systematic analysis of aspects of instruction and their effect on student learning. This can be descriptive or can be hypothesis-driven. This research also can be quantitative or qualitative. Streveler and Smith suggest that as teachers evolve, they should grow toward this scholarship of teaching as a means of improving their own teaching and providing information to guide other teachers; see information from these authors below.

Moving from the “Scholarship of Teaching and Learning” to “Educational Research:” An Example from Engineering

The Evolution of Teaching

When considering educational research, as with any research project, the first step is to clearly define your research question. This best permits design of a study to capture necessary quantitative data (for example, student grades) and qualitative data (for example, survey of student to determine attitudes). Quantitative studies are descriptive and explanatory; they explain phenomena from an objective perspective and provide data as numbers, statistics, charts and tables. Qualitative studies are descriptive and interpretive; they explain a particular setting or phenomenon from the point of view of the people experiencing it and use words and images to describe and communicate their findings. With any kind of study, attention should be paid to collection of baseline data before changes are implemented and evaluated. Examples of databases that can be searched for literature review to support educational research include ERIC (Educational Resources Information Clearinghouse)Academic Search Complete, and Pubmed and educational databases available through the University library system. Interesting information and some obscure materials can sometimes be found through Google Scholar.

IRB (human subjects research) paperwork

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the University of Minnesota oversees all human subjects research. Investigators who have never taken human subjects training are required to do so before studies can be approved by IRB; this initial training is called the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) basic course. After initial training, advanced training is periodically required. Not all studies require rigorous review by IRB; they will make that determination for investigators. The IRB website has links to training and all necessary forms, and the staff at the IRB are happy to assist investigators as they prepare to do educational research. 


Examples from within the College

Many faculty members at the College participate in SoTL. Examples of their work are included in the dropdowns below. If you have published educational research that is not included in these examples, please send an electronic copy of your work to Peggy Root ([email protected]).

Churchill, Julie

Clarkson, Christina

Diesch-Chham, Athena

Fetrow, John

Flynn, Kristi

Larsen, Roxanne

Lowum, Susan

Madill, Scott

Malone, Erin

Minicucci, Larissa

Molgaard, Laura

Nault, Andre

Ober, Christopher

Root Kustritz, Margaret

Root Kustritz, Margaret

Alternative Assessment Tools

Assessing Communications Competencies through Reviews of Client Interactions and Comprehensive Rotation Assessment: A Comparison of Methods

Availability of Theriogenology Training at North American and Caribbean Veterinary Colleges

Canine Theriogenology for Dog Enthusiasts: Teaching Methodology and Outcomes in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

Closing the Loop: Using Evidence to Inform Refinements to an Admissions Process

Comparison of Student Self-Assessment with Faculty Assessment of Clinical Competence

Comparison of teaching paradigms in theriogenology among schools of veterinary medicine by use of a uniform assessment tool

Creation of a Metric for Faculty Effort in Teaching in the Veterinary Curriculum

Curriculum Review and Revision at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine

Effect of attitudes toward study, study behaviors, and use of study aids on successful completion of the certifying examination of the American College of Theriogenologists

Effect of Differing PowerPoint Slide Design on Multiple-Choice Test Scores for Assessment of Knowledge and Retention in a Theriogenology Course

Effect of increasing student engagement on multiple-choice test scores in the theriogenology diagnostics course

Efficacy of training in theriogenology as determined by a survey of veterinarians

Frequency of Interactions Between Veterinarians and Other Professionals to Guide Interprofessional Education

Monitoring the Curriculum through the Student Perspective

Pilot Study of Veterinary Student Mindset and Association with Academic Performance and Perceived Stress

Professional Development Training through the Veterinary Curriculum at the University of Minnesota

Use of a Civil Discourse Web Site for Ethics Training

Use of Extra-Credit Questions in a Comparative Theriogenology Course

Use of Facebook as a Teaching Tool in a Veterinary Communications Course

Use of stories as a way to increase retention of clinical small animal theriogenology information

Veterinary Curricula Today: Curricular Management and Renewal at AAVMC Member Institutions

Improving Response Rates for Course and Instructor Evaluations Using a Global Approach

Using a Model Board Examination and a Case Study Assessing Clinical Reasoning to Evaluate Curricular Change

Rendahl, Aaron

Sharkey, Leslie