Where Undergraduates Publish Their Research

As my son starts his senior year in high school and Austin returns to traffic as usual with the return of UT students, I’m reminded that many students have just wrapped up their summer research projects. Colleges and universities are rich with work needing a place to be published. 

While browsing the internet recently, I found a resource on the website of Duquesne University for students looking to publish their research. It's an annotated bibliography under "Journals for Undergraduates – View a list of journals," a pdf that anyone can download. The list includes publications from the sciences to the humanities, from sustainability to creativity, from neurology to ethnography. The list is comprehensive and might help some students find an unexpected outlet for their work.

In my own backyard, a client cued me to UT Austin's own list of places where undergraduates can publish the research. That list includes places to publish that are internal to UT, some external resources, and ways to find still others.

Take a look and please let me know if any of your students publish in one of these journals.

Think about What First-Generation Students Navigate in Academia

Back in my twenties, I spent a couple of years getting a master's degree in Paris at La Sorbonne. Although I learned content that at times took a strikingly different perspective than did similar content for my bachelor's in the States, what I learned most was how to navigate a completely different system of education – how students and instructors interact, what it means to do well in class, how to prepare for exams and where to take them? Remarkably, this experience is evocative of what first-generation students confront when they enter college.

In The Chronicle of Higher Education last month, Chatelain writes about recently-designed courses that help first-generation students successfully navigate the "hidden curriculum" in academia. The courses have students read personal accounts to reflect on their own experiences, such as the imposter syndrome, conflicts between their own physical comfort at college and instability in housing back at home, and look at data about degree completion and lifetime earnings. They connect first year and advanced first-generation students in addition to discussing the ins and outs of relationships with professors.

This kind of course could be helpful across the nation. What are your thoughts about instituting one on your campus?

Gather Some Data about Your Instruction

You assess student work, but how often do you get a chance to assess your own instruction. Recently, a group published a study that describes what instruction in college classrooms look like. They used an instrument developed to document student and instructor behaviors. It's called the COPUS, the Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM, part of efforts to study instruction where students are actively engaged.

Interestingly, a related app allows you to gather data and learn about your own instructional style. It's the COPUS Analyzer. An observer codes instructor and student behaviors every two minutes during class. You upload the data and easily view graphics that characterize it. Perhaps, you and a colleague take turns observing one another, or a student assistant could do the coding. Take a look, give it a try, and share your thoughts.