Leveraging Undergraduate Expertise to Create Innovative Learning Objects: A Mentorship-Learning Model from the Honors College's Research, Technology, and Online Community Project


  • Richard Todd Stafford Honors College, Instructor and Digital Initiatives Coordinator
  • John Woolsey Honors College




research-based courses


The Honors College's Research, Technology, and Online Community (RTOC) project was an OSCAR-funded initiative designed to leverage undergraduate expertise to improve the way that we teach students about the research process. The project aimed to provide a meaningful learning experience to our paid and volunteer student participants by inviting them to collaboratively develop high-quality Open Educational Resources (OERs) based on the HNRS 110 course, but intended these resources to be relevant to a broader student audience. The norms of the HNRS 110 community were conducive to these goals: the course design uses a mentorship model to facilitate learning in the "zone of proximal development" between what first-year Honors students can comfortably do on their own and what they are able to do with the support of more advanced undergraduate, graduate, and library mentors. This offered a uniquely fertile institutional context in which to cultivate new modes of mentorship appropriate to our students' increasingly digitally mediated social and educational identities. We will describe the process involved with planning, producing, revising, and deploying the OERs and reflect on our students' learning process. We will discuss the ways that the RTOC model might be improved or adapted by other departments seeking to replicate RTOC's success.





11:20am-12:00pm Mini-Workshops, Panels, & Roundtables