Research in Action
Research. You've heard about it. You've probably done it sometime in your life (that 13 page paper for SAGES?). But lets face it, looking up things in Wikipedia don't quite make the cut. So what is it really and why do so many people think it's so important?
Quite frankly, I had no idea what it was. I didn't know how to access legitimate research articles (for one thing, Case has an extensive database of articles with amazing search engines). And most importantly, I didn't know how to do it.
Thankfully, one of the classes that I'm taking actually teaches you how to do research by making you do a research study on yourself. They term it as a "Personal Quality Improvement Project" which I have decided to lose 10 pounds within the span of a month. So far, I have gained a pound and a half despite going to the gym 3-4 times a week. After Superbowl Sunday, I had gained three pounds. But anyway, what's cool about this class is the non-conventional way of teaching. Sure the professors go over the concepts like most classes do, but their belief in experiential learning has really helped us realize the different parts of research (the formation of concepts, the hypothesis, the data collection, etc.) through the use of this creative assignment.
Another cool thing about this class are the professors themselves. Of the four that co-teach the class, mine is a prolific researcher of kangaroo care (http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/kangaroocare.asp), a technique that is now used throughout the healthcare field (on a side note: my professor is the head author of manly resource cited by wikipedia). The fact that I get to learn from a prominent researcher twice a week makes this class pretty amazing. The best thing about it was I didn't have to compete against my fellow classmates for this opportunity.What this class also made me realize was how a simple observation could lead to a revolutionary change in a body of knowledge.
For many, undergraduate research becomes the first stepping stone on the journey to make a difference in the world. The great thing about Case is that you're not only surrounded by these opportunities, but you also have the opportunities to learn from the best.