The Research Associate (RA) Notebooks chronicles the adventures of undergraduate and graduate students in the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning (TI) Research Associate (RA) Program. In recognition of students’ diverse roles at the TI (from Research and Program Assistants to Learning Technology Coaches), the Program refers to them collectively as research associates (RAs).
Launched in 2016, the Program seeks to evaluate how to provide RAs meaningful professional experiences that empower them to engage with their present roles in ways that support their future goals and aspirations. As affirmed by the TI’s “Principles of Good Practice in Collaboration and Knowledge-Sharing,” all TI faculty and staff are encouraged to “invite students as partners in their efforts to better understand and improve student learning and effective teaching”. With additional mentoring, resources, and support from the Program Coordinator (Rachel Braun), the Program provides RAs opportunities to gain professional work experience, build upon their academic studies, and contribute actively to the evaluation, enhancement, and development of the TI’s activities. All Program initiatives are guided by three priorities:
- Creating RA community and communication at the TI. The Program invites RAs to the TI as colleagues, and builds connections and communication across TI teams and projects.
- Developing RA capacity for their specific roles. The Program provides evidence-based resources to strengthen the knowledge, skills, and abilities relevant to RAs’ roles. We additionally evaluate the scope, quality, and impact of our activities working with RAs with a focus on continuous improvement.
- Empowering RA learning and success. The Program promotes RA awareness, application, and evidencing their unique and individual talents, interests, and goals as aspiring professionals and lifelong learners.
Participation is voluntary, and all resources are provided. All RAs and TI staff are also invited to contribute to The RA Notebooks as guest bloggers. For guidelines, please consult here.