Faculty FAQs

What is embedded research?

Embedded research is research performed during a scheduled course. Embedded research doesn't have to be a semester-long research project. It can be as simple as substituting one lab a semester for a more inquiry-based approach.

What is inquiry-based learning?

Inquiry-based learning is a broad term that emphasizes student-driven learning. Inquiry-based methods of learning include using case studies and embedded research to facilitate student understanding of the material, interest in the subject matter, empirical and critical thinking, and knowledge.

Research has shown the value of inquiry-based learning methods. Inquiry-based methods have been shown to increase retention, knowledge and transfer success.

How do I incorporate embedded research into my class?

Utilizing embedded research in the class can be as simple as switching one guided lab with an inquiry-based exercise or using online data sets to conduct novel research in a course. MCC will offer Professional Development opportunities for incorporating inquiry-based learning into your course. Check out the Calendar of Events page for dates and times.

What are the benefits of inquiry-based methods of learning?

Instructors at MCC who have used inquiry-based methods of learning say their students are more excited to be in class and are more positive about the learning experience.

Research also shows using inquiry-based approaches - such as research, case studies and problem-based learning - can help decrease attrition, increase knowledge retention and increase transfer success.

Inquiry-based learning gives students ownership of their learning. It also incorporates empirical and critical thinking into the curricula. Furthermore, it teaches students skills they need to succeed in upper division course work, graduate work and in the workplace.

What is a case study?

A case study is the study of a person, small group, single situation or a specific "case." Case studies can be used to teach scientific concepts and content, process skills, and critical thinking. Many case studies are based on contemporary, and often contentious, science problems that students encounter in the news.

How do I use case studies in my class?

A case study can be incorporated into classrooms as discussions, substituted for a lab, used with discussion boards, as group projects, etc.

How do I find case studies to use?

The University of Buffalo has an extensive case study collection. Case studies are free to use and are public domain.

What professional development is available for me?

HURI is always looking for ways to offer professional development opportunities to interested instructors. Please check the calendar for upcoming professional development opportunities. If there is something about which you would like to receive professional development, email HURI@mclennan.edu and let us know.

Are there any informal activities during the semester I can attend?

HURI hosts "Chat and Dream" several times a semester. These food-centered events are open to any faculty across the campus. The aim of Chat and Dream is to offer people an informal, relaxed setting to network, talk about teaching, and to spread the word and success about undergraduate research at MCC. Check the calendar for upcoming events.