Classroom Design + Research + Instructional support = the Mosaic Initiative. Each piece is equally important, but today I want to focus on how we support the research conducted by the Mosaic Fellows.
The Literature: Building on a Foundation through a Lived Experience
To start faculty on their research journey, we begin with a review of selected foundational literature on active learning classrooms. At our first meeting with the Fellows, we discuss and debate these readings as group, and continue to use the readings to inform subsequent meetings.
While reading about space is important, “experiencing” the concepts and arguments of the literature leads to deeper understanding. For example, when we talk about student distraction and off-task behavior in active learning classrooms from (Chen, 2015), we do so after meeting in a classroom/engaging in activities that produce the distractions this article addresses. When we read (Henshaw, Edwards, & Bagley, 2011), we visit a lecture hall and experience the limitations of fixed seating while we also discuss, in the context of the same space, the possibilities of swivel seats for promoting student engagement. By meeting and engaging in spaces described in the literature, we use the spaces to experience findings of the research, all the while debating the merits and limitations of the research and the spaces.
All Fellows Research Day
Each summer, we host a research day for all Mosaic Fellows from across our different IU campuses (both current and Senior cohorts are invited). The day affords opportunities for all Fellows to discuss their research, the literature on active learning classrooms, and have their questions about different steps of the research process answered. This also allows faculty from different campuses to share and discuss their research ideas and consider working together on larger research projects.
Office Hours for Research Support
Over the summer and winter breaks, we offer research “office hours” for any Mosaic Fellow. These office hours are offered both virtually and in person. Serving a similar purpose as student office hours, this provides a time for Fellows to have their individual questions about their own research process answered.
Mosaic Fellows receive a $1,000 stipend, paid into a research account, of which they can use for conference travel, research support, and other fellowship-related needs.
To learn more about the Mosaic Initiative, our research, and hear from our Mosaic Faculty Fellows, visit mosaic.iu.edu/research. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.