Research as Pedagogy: Teaching and Learning in a Community of Research Practice

Principal Investigator:  Dr. Karen McComas

Co-Investigators:  Beverly Miller, Susan Frank


Fostering student research can be challenging in the current academic climate.  According to the American Speech Language Hearing Association, “Individuals shall honor their responsibility to achieve and maintain the highest level of professional competence and performance.” By being competent in one’s profession, one must engage in scholarly activity to keep up with new information emerging the field of communication sciences and disorders (CSD). The required curriculum for communication disorders sciences is intensive; therefore limiting opportunities for research at both the undergraduate and graduate level. The use of research as a pedagogical strategy allows students and professors to be both teachers and learners while gaining an appreciation for, and experience in, acts of research. Consequently, the use of research can supplement the curriculum to provide intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for learning.

The purpose of this study is to develop an understanding of research as a pedagogical strategy to facilitate teaching and foster learning.  Furthermore, this study will examine how CORP participants understand themselves as learners, discover the kinds of learning experienced by CORP members, discover the experiential contexts in which significant learning occurs, and discover the relationship between CORP and the program curriculum.  To those ends, we hope to answer the following broad questions:

  1. How do the members of a research community of practice understand themselves as learners?
  2. What kinds of learning do the members of a research community of practice experience?
  3. In what contexts do the members of a research community of practice experience significant learning?
  4. What connections do the members of a research community of practice see between the community and the curriculum?