Showing posts with label UndergraduateResearch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UndergraduateResearch. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Teaching Tip - Quick and Easy Ways to Use Google Documents for Collaborative Undergraduate Research Endeavors


Good morning! Over the past year and a half, I have become a major proponent of Google Documents! This free, online software has changed the way that I teach class an also it has enhanced the way that I distribute information on Blackboard. For example, I create Google Documents for each of the five undergraduate research groups in my class. I am able to monitor their progress along the way and I am able to leave comments for the group members when they are not present on the document. 

During the time in which I integrated Google Documents in my online and face-to-face classes, the online software has greatly increased the amount of features that are available to users. For example, now I am able to leave a comment on a group research document and the students are able to address the comment by modifying the document (and marking the comment "resolved"). When a comment is "resolved", I receive an e-mail informing me that this section of the document has been addressed. 

I am very thankful that Google has enabled the Google Documents app to remain free (at least for the current time), because some of my students are not able to afford the MS Word software suite and most of them work half or full-time and are unable to meet with their group members outside of work. Google Documents enables these students to "meet" with their group members on the document anytime. I have seen some students "meet" at 3:00 a.m. in the morning!

Here is one of my recent videos on Google Documents for my students.


Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Undergraduate Research Week 2011 - Campus and Local Events


I am very happy to recognize several universities for their programming initiatives during Undergraduate Research Week! While our university did not have a designated event, but we received an awesome e-mail from the Student Research and Creative Activities Director who highlighted the national initiative! :) 

I am also very pleased to see several Texas higher education institutions on the list! 

University of North Texas
University of Texas El Paso
University of Texas Permian Basin

Here is a link to the list:

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Undergraduate Research Week 2011 - Incorporating Undergraduate Research in My Courses (A Reflection)


This semester has been filled of great ideas, wonderful opportunities, and enjoyable experiences. One of these wonderful opportunities include my presentations at various academic conferences and traveling with students and listening to their presentation at the Southern States Communication Association Annual Conference. Through these experiences, I have had time to gain new points of view of my research and research strategies through the eyes of my undergraduate students.

Each semester, I integrate undergraduate research in each of my upper-level undergraduate courses (Fall - Interpersonal Communication and Intercultural Communication; Spring - Interpersonal Communication and Organizational Communication).  Through this integration process, I adopt a scaffolding approach to teach my undergraduate students about the research process and we progress through the steps of the process every week.

During the first week of class, I introduce the undergraduate research experience in my syllabus. Most of the students have never had an undergraduate research experience and an overwhelming majority of the students feel undergraduate research is something that happens in the science department. After explaining the social science research approach and helping the students realize that they CAN do it, the process becomes easier and the students start to select their groups and their research topics. Through their selection of their own topic and creating the problem statement, purpose statement, and research questions, the students start the process of creating a literature review.

They start to take ownership of their projects and become "experts" in their chosen section of their research topic. As a professor (especially near the end of the research project), I discover that the students truly embrace their research and they are able to apply the results of their research as they form conclusions, implications, and suggestions for further research. Usually, the research projects conclude around five to six weeks before the end of the semester we are able to apply the results from their research to the final chapters of their textbook. I think that research is one of the best ways of helping students understand the course material and it enables undergraduate students to "own" their research and to hone (or merely start) the critical thinking process (which is important for higher education and the workplace).


Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Happy Undergraduate Research Week! - April 11th - 15th


As many of you can probably tell, undergraduate research is near and dear to my heart. On November 16, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to declare April 11th - 15th as Undergraduate Research Week! 

Encourage your college students to conduct an independent study project with you OR to help you with one of your undergraduate research projects! They are wonderful helpers and it seems that they learn many incredible skills from their undergraduate research experiences!

Here's a video from their important vote!



Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Traveling with Undergraduate Students - A Recap and the DAY AFTER!


Today, I arrived back on campus. Thank goodness! I have to admit, when I am away from Texas, I REALLY miss conversing with my colleagues, walking on campus, and teaching! I prepare for my departure at the beginning of the semester and I list the departure in my syllabus.

However, when I arrived back on campus this time, I had a different experience! Remember, I traveled with undergraduate students and I had LOTS of paperwork to submit on their behalf and on my behalf. Whew! Aside from the paperwork and teaching, I had my weekly meeting with my colleague and interns with environmental communication week. Then, I had A LOT of e-mails to answer from students and faculty wishing to present in environmental communication week.

When I arrived home, I was so tired and as much as I wanted to water my garden, I had to sleep for the rest of the evening! Traveling with undergraduate researchers is a rewarding, yet an exhausting process! I definitely look forward to my next experience!


Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Travel with Undergraduate Students - My Students' First Day at the SSCA Conference!


Last night, I had the pleasure of dining with a good friend, Dr. Lora Helvie-Mason. She is a communication professor from Southern University New Orleans and we always try to schedule our meals together to talk about the conference and about our journey on the tenure track. This year, we had dinner at a restaurant that was not too far from our conference hotel. We had a great time talking about our institutions, our students, and our families. In addition, this was a great time for me to mentally prepare myself for my students' arrival at the conference. 

The students arrived early on Thursday morning and we had lunch at this wonderful restaurant down the street from our conference hotel. Before arriving at lunch, I took them to the Peabody hotel and they loved the ducks!

After lunch, we arrived back to the conference hotel and the students checked in and received their newcomers and undergraduate honors ribbons for their name badges. Some of the students decided to attend PR sessions and other students attended the communication studies sessions (i.e. - gender communication and environmental communication).

After the conference sessions, we met downstairs to attend the conference reception.  The students were excited about this networking opportunity and they spoke with several institutions about graduate school and job opportunities (conference planning, etc.)

I am very excited about their presentations tomorrow! Through this trip, one of the students was able to fly for the first time! I was really excited about this opportunity for this student and the rest of the students on the trip!

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

This Semester's Undergraduate Research Project (Spring 2011) - Organizational Communication


This semester we are STILL working on undergraduate research papers in my upper-level communication courses (organizational communication and interpersonal communication). This year, they chose some very interesting topics!

Organizational Communication Topics:

Millennial Undergraduate Students' Expectations of Workplace Benefits

Millennial Undergraduate Students' Perceptions of Etiquette on Social Networking Websites

Millennial Undergraduate Students' Perceptions of the Dangers of Social Networking

Millennial Undergraduate Students' Perceptions of Work-Life Balance (My Sample Document for the Students)

They are excited about submitted their projects to a journal! :)


Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This Semester's Undergraduate Research Project (Spring 2011) - Interpersonal Communication


This semester we are STILL working on undergraduate research papers in my upper-level communication courses (organizational communication and interpersonal communication). This year, they chose some very interesting topics! VERY INTERESTING topics!

Interpersonal Communication Topics

Millennial Undergraduate Students' Perceptions of Trust Issues in Interpersonal Relationships

Millennial Undergraduate Students' Perceptions of Stalking and Geo-Tagging on Social Networking Websites and Interpersonal Relationships

Millennial Undergraduate Students' Perceptions of Security, Stalking, and Tagging on Social Networking Websites and Interpersonal Relationships

Online Dating Website Users' Perceptions of Technology and Interpersonal Relationships

Millennial Undergraduate Students' Perceptions of Defriending on Facebook (My Sample Document for the Students)

I provide a sample document for the students and I provide feedback for the students throughout the semester! Very busy semester!

Unfortunately, we do not have a on-campus forum for the students to present their undergraduate research during the spring semester, but we will have a forum in the fall semester. However, I always have to think outside of the box and this semester I think that we will host a poster competition OR a webinar for the students to present their research.

If you have ANY ideas, PLEASE let me know. I am VERY open to ideas! :)


Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Friday, October 29, 2010

NAGAP Announces Research Grant ~ Deadline for Submission December 15

The National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals is the only professional organization devoted exclusively to the concerns of individuals working in the graduate admissions and recruitment environment. The NAGAP Graduate Student Enrollment Management Research Grant is designed to encourage emerging knowledge and understanding of the complexities of graduate enrollment management including all aspects of admissions and recruitment, enrollment, retention, and graduation in higher education. The grant is open to all graduate students who desire to conduct research in the wide range of graduate enrollment management activities and programs including any aspect of recruiting, enrolling, retaining and graduating professional, masters, and doctoral level degree students.

This award includes:

 *   $2,500, payable directly to the individual researcher. NAGAP will not pay institutional overhead or indirect costs.
 *   One year of NAGAP membership with full privileges.
 *   Travel to and registration for the NAGAP national conference during the year of the award.
 *   Recognition at the NAGAP national conference.

The deadline for submissions is December 15. Please visit our website for more information and guidelines Please contact Kristen Sterba ( with any questions.

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

2010 Student Research Symposium - Our Undergrads ROCKED It!

Today was a very rewarding day! I admit, before attending the "Tarleton Student Research Symposium", I was quite nervous and excited (at the SAME time). However, the students in my COMS 304 - Interpersonal Communication and COMS 332 - Intercultural Communication courses ROCKED the symposium! They did such a GREAT job! By the way, these Google Docs EXPERTS created their collaborative papers using Google Documents, analyzed their data using Google Spreadsheets, and I created their presentations using Google Presentations (which they edited).

Two of our favorite librarians attended the symposium to support our students and to hear their research results! We APPRECIATE our LIBRARIANS! :)

Here are their abstracts - LINK.

Congratulations to such WONDERFUL undergraduate students!

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Working with NINE Student Groups on Undergraduate Research Papers - Whew!


This has been a very busy semester! It is been busy, yet VERY rewarding! Today, the Undergraduate Research Office at my institution just released the schedule for the "9th Annual - Tarleton State University - Student Research Symposium". Six of my student groups will present their research! I have been working TIRELESSLY helping them prepare their research papers and to distribute their surveys.

This was our grant proposal for the project:

To prepare for the “Diversity and Communication Research Symposium",  students in COMS 304, 332, and 406 will work in groups to write collaborative research papers focused on the course emphasis (interpersonal, intercultural, and group process/decision making) and diversity in the workplace. When the students finish their research papers, they will present their research at the symposium for students, faculty, staff, and members of the surrounding communities.

My colleague and faculty partner-in-crime - Cristi Horton, the students, the QEP committee, the library personnel, the undergraduate student body, my department head, the IRB committee, Career Services, and the Center for Diversity Initiatives have made this PROJECT WORK! It has been SIMPLY AMAZING! I hope the students will have their work published in an undergraduate journal OR an applicable scholarly journal. This is too exciting!

Read their titles and the symposium schedule here - 

In addition to my wonderful students' publication efforts, I've been serving in my roles for two state and regional associations. I am learning A LOT this semester and I hope this hard work will pay off in the end.

Any suggestions or words of encouragement? I am in SEVERE need of pep talk right now.

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Considering grad school? Advice in a flat job market -
Considering grad school? Advice in a flat job market -

Readers - As faculty, we have a responsibility to answer undergraduate students' questions about their future. This week, I met with an outstanding student in my department who did not have a resume for his job search. We met for an hour to prepare his resume and I left him with some "resume homework". He will send his resume back to me via e-mail and I will offer feedback. This will be an ongoing process.

Some undergraduate students are interested in attending graduate school and I remain objective. I present the positive and negative sides of this investment. Yes, it is an time and financial investment. It has been a great choice for me, but I do not try to infringe my beliefs on my students. 

For example, I incorporate undergraduate research in my courses and some people use this engagement tactic to recruit for their graduate programs, but I tell my students that they can incorporate these skills in their future career or their future endeavors (even if they plan to become a stay-at-home mom (or dad) - which a few students aspire to become). Anyone can incorporate scholarly research in their lives by gathering family perspectives on a subject while remaining objective or conducting research using scholarly databases. Many of my students are REALIZING this!

Grad school may not be for your students, but it is an option...and a job is an option as well! :)

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Friday, September 3, 2010

My Co-Sponsored Fall Project - “Diversity and Communication” Research Symposium


Good afternoon! This semester, my colleague and I received a "Real-World Experiences Applied to Learning Real" (Keeping it R.E.A.L.) grant for undergraduate research and to plan our conference. Yay!

This conference is open to students (undergraduate and graduate), faculty, and staff. We are PLEASED that the grant committee picked our project! Here is the call for proposals I sent this afternoon:

If you are interested in presenting, please let me know! :)


Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

The Tarleton State University – Communication Studies Department will sponsor a “Diversity and Communication” Research Symposium on Wednesday, November 3, 2010 in TSU Dining Hall.

The conference planning committee is seeking panel and paper submissions from STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND STAFF focused on, but not limited to the following topics:

- Cross-Generational Communication (i.e. – baby boomers communicating with millennials)
- Small Group Communication and Diversity
- Organizational Communication and Diversity
- Instructional Communication and Diversity
- Social Media and Diversity
- Political Communication
- Interpersonal Relationships and Diversity
- Great Ideas For Teaching Education and Diversity (G.I.F.T.E.D.)
- Communication in Student Organizations and Diversity
- Diversity Programming Ideas

Panels (including roundtables and discussions) or papers/abstracts are possible forms of submission. Panels: Include a title, 100 word abstract, name of the contact person, and names, emails, affiliations, and addresses of all participants.

Papers/Paper Abstracts: Maximum length is 25 pages (excluding tables & references)
for a full paper submission or a one page abstract (with the expectation of a full paper at least two weeks before the conference). Include a separate title page to
conceal the author(s)’ identity. Title page should contain a 100-word abstract. Remove all author references. Designate “Student Authored” papers. *Full papers will be given priority over abstract submissions.
***Awards will be given for the Top Faculty/Staff Papers and Top Student Papers***

Deadline: Complete the conference submission form ( AND e-mail papers/panels to Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards ( no later than Friday, October 15, 2010 (midnight CST).

Attachments: E-mail submissions as e-mail attachments in MS Word (2003 or 2007) or Rich Text format.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards ( and Prof. Cristi Horton ( via e-mail or telephone (254-968-9638).

***We are also seeking conference sponsors (on-campus and community sponsors). If your department is interested in co-sponsoring this conference, please contact us.***

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Helping At-Risk Students Succeed in the College Classroom


As a professor, I strive to help every student in the classroom. I have a strong believe that everyone has the ability to succeed. However, there are a few variables which inhibit some students from being successful. These variables include: not attending class, not keeping an updated schedule, not paying attention in class, and other more subject/academic-based variables.

As a result, I loved reading this article, "Helping At-Risk Students Succeed in the College Classroom". Now, I am eager to implement some of the suggestions from the article in my Fall classes! I plan to integrate an undergraduate research opportunity/conference, in-class presentations, virtual office hours, weekly reminders, and Twitter reminders. I cannot wait to help my students!

J. Edwards

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Encouraging Students to Copyright their Creative Works!

Our students work hard on their class assignments and most of the time, these assignments are diverted to File 13 (the trash or a forgotten folder) after the class ends. However, in the higher education environment, we are encouraging students to present or publish their undergraduate research. This provides students and faculty to showcase concepts learned in the classroom and how the student(s) was/were able to gain new knowledge within a semester's time frame.

In addition, to the higher education environment, some high school teachers encourage their students to create and maintain wikis. These wikis enable high school students to have a record of their educational development. As a result of their students' efforts, faculty and K-12 educators might want to encourage their students to copyright their materials through the website Creative Commons.

Creative Commons - Draft 1

Millennial Professor
Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.