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Supporting Student Research in the WFU School of Business

Moving my office to Farrell Hall has had many benefits, but chief among them has been the casual interactions I now have with students and faculty due to proximity. The increased frequency of such meetings has led to a corresponding increase in more formal interactions. I would like to highlight three projects I worked on in the fall, as they exemplify the scope of support I can provide to School of Business faculty and students.

During the fall semester, informal meetings with three faculty members led to interesting opportunities for me to support their classes. Following a presentation that Dean Lynn Sutton, Bob Hebert and I made to a School of Business faculty meeting, Pete Brewer approached me to see how I could support a research project he was about to assign his Strategic Cost Management class, ACC721. For a project on leadership in accounting, he and I agreed that each student group would meet with me twice before their final presentations. During my first meeting with each of the seven groups, I demonstrated how to effectively search library databases for articles. During my second meeting, I reviewed PowerPoint slides for each group, listened to an abbreviated version of their presentations, asked questions and made recommendations for improvement. Finally, over three evenings, I attended all the final presentations and contributed my assessment of each group.

Another opportunity presented itself following a hallway conversation with Tim Janke about his class, Professional Ethics & Current Issues, ACC790. As part of his focus on critical thinking, he invited me to lead a session of both class sections during which I taught techniques for evaluating articles and websites. Then, I broke the class into groups, which conducted their own evaluations of an article and a website, and, finally, they reported their assessments to the class.

I have worked with John Ceneviva on his BEM class over a number of semesters, and the nature of my involvement has evolved and deepened over time. In the fall semester, I worked with students in his class, Brand Management and New Product Innovation, BEM326. First, I created a research guide – an online resource that directs students to the particular library databases that would best support each phase of the project he was planning. Next, I spoke to his class to present the guide and walk students through the databases. Later, each group was required to meet with me during their research, and many groups returned more than once for guidance. John added me as a co-instructor to the Sakai site for the class, and I contributed suggestions and offers of assistance through it. Finally, I attended the final presentations and contributed my assessment of each group.

These three examples demonstrate the scope of support activities I provide to many other classes, singly or in combination. These include:

  • Help re-design projects to incorporate library or professional-literature research
  • Develop a research guide specific to a class or assignment
  • Speak to the class to present library resources
  • Meet individually with students or student groups to guide their research
  • Contribute recommendations on Sakai

If you are planning research-based projects in your classes, consider contacting Bob or me for support.