The College

Collaborative Research and Scholarly Experiences

Collaborative Research and Scholarly Experiences (COEX) enable students to participate in direct research and scholarship.

COEX courses engage groups of students in addressing a research question or knowledge gap of interest to scholarly communities. These courses make research and scholarly experiences more inclusive and accessible and are designed to complement the traditional model of 1:1 faculty-student mentorships or independent studies. 

Typically, a COEX course would intentionally be designed to include these five learning experiences or outcomes:

  1. Research practices authentic to the discipline. This may include asking questions, using the tools of the discipline for gathering and analyzing data and developing and critiquing interpretations and arguments.
  2. Discovery or exploration of ill-structured questions where the outcome is not known to the students nor the instructor, and there is the potential for generating new knowledge or insights
  3. Creating work that has potential impact beyond the classroom. Examples include producing reports for an outside organization, achieving authorship or acknowledgement in a potential publication or creating blogs or podcasts distributed beyond the classroom.
  4. Collaboration, such as group work, giving and receiving peer feedback, pooling data and sharing interpretations.
  5. Iteration, or processes of revision, learning from failure and acknowledging and building on other students’ work.

Adding the COEX Designation to a Course

Courses under consideration for the COEX designation (as with other curricular programs) may be submitted via the Banner course proposal system (by selecting "yes" in the "curricular programs" field and then choosing the appropriate type) either at the time the course is first proposed or by initiating a "modification" for an existing course (modifications can be submitted in Banner until the last day of shopping period of the semester in which it is offered).

Syllabi should explicitly spotlight how the five required COEX elements are factored into the intentional design of the course. (For example, these elements may be noted as course objectives, or described in the syllabus’s description of key assignment or course expectations.)

Courses will be reviewed by the College Curriculum Council (CCC) and will be reviewed regularly for effectiveness in meeting the goals of the curricular designation (see below).

Support for Developing COEX Courses

The Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning is available to consult with instructors who are interested in developing or enhancing COEX courses and provides online resources useful for developing COEX courses, including a syllabus template. College course development funds or undergraduate fellows are additional resources to support development of COEX courses.

Opportunities for Student Feedback

In addition to the standard course feedback questions asked of students enrolled in all undergraduate courses, students in COEX courses are asked to reflect on the effectiveness of the course and on the impact of COEX elements on their overall learning and the development of their academic pathway moving forward. 

Accordingly, COEX course instructors will be asked to include the following items, adapted from the LCAS instrument by Corwin, Runyon, Robinson, & Dolan (2015), that will be listed as “customized COEX questions” on the optional item bank:

In this course, I was encouraged to… (Strongly Agree ... Strongly Disagree)

  1. share the problems I encountered during a project and seek input on how to address them.
  2. contribute my ideas and suggestions on how to approach or complete a project during class discussions.
  3. generate novel work or a product that could be of interest to a broader community (e.g., scholars, practitioners, artists, or the public).
  4. significantly revise or repeat my work to account for errors or fix problems.
  5. revise drafts of papers or presentations about my project based on feedback.
  6. pursue additional independent research opportunities in this field/discipline.

For continual review, responses to these items will be aggregated and discussed by the COEX Committee and College Curriculum Council every five years, to make improvements to these courses and the environments that support them (e.g., need for professional development around a topic).

Reference: Corwin, L.A., Runyon, C., Robinson, A., & Dolan, E.L. (2015). The Laboratory Course Assessment Survey: A tool to measure three dimensions of research-course design, 14(1-11). CBE Life Sciences Education.