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Infusing Twenty-First-Century Research Activities into Traditional Classrooms

International Perspectives on Emerging Trends and Integrating Research-based Learning across the Curriculum

ISBN: 978-1-80043-477-6, eISBN: 978-1-80043-476-9

Publication date: 20 January 2021


Modern society searches for information primarily though handheld internet devices. Universities, on the other hand, traditionally rely on printed textbooks. If the main purpose of higher education is to graduate a civically minded and high-functioning member of society, then there is a disconnect between society and the undergraduate when it comes to the ability to research and find information quickly. In other words, the university-societal pact is broken when it comes to digital research. Thankfully, it can be restored. The following chapter highlights the author’s technique to eliminate required textbooks and nightly assigned readings. Instead of daily pages for students to read, each assignment is based on the ability to answer historical questions through whatever research methods most interest the student. Using questions, discussion, and debate, the semester revolves around student research throughout the multimedia domain, including social media and online academic databases. In the process, students learn to differentiate between sources, judge online biases, and discover their preferred method of scholarly research. The case studies show that the elimination of assigned textbooks and the re-imagining of research projects that include publicly consumable projects are a unique and engaging way to integrate twenty-first-century digital research methods into the traditional institution of higher learning. In doing so, college classrooms can once again begin to mend the fractured university-societal pact.



Menath, R. (2021), "Infusing Twenty-First-Century Research Activities into Traditional Classrooms", Sengupta, E. and Blessinger, P. (Ed.) International Perspectives on Emerging Trends and Integrating Research-based Learning across the Curriculum (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 36), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 119-134.



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