Research, Teaching, and Technology
Students participate in research projects throughout their program. The nature and scope of the projects vary, but the common objectives are to achieve high quality research mentoring, ultimately achieve independence, and produce publishable work. Initially, research projects are typically faculty-initiated with the student taking an increasingly substantive role over time in all or most aspects of the project. Through the dissertation process, projects will be designed and conducted by the student under the mentorship of a faculty member.
Several opportunities are provided to translate coursework in teaching into practice. Students complete two semesters of a mentored teaching experience under the direction of a faculty member. This mentored teaching experience may take different forms, including completing a systematic observation, teaching lecture units of an established course, developing a new course unit, establishing and running a laboratory component, and preparing an in-service course. In addition, students have opportunities to co-teach with faculty or teach undergraduate or master’s level courses independently. Students are encouraged to meet with a staff member from the UNC-CH Center for Teaching and Learning to plan for their development in teaching. Appropriate courses and workshops related to teaching are identified and incorporated into the student’s program of study. During the program, each student creates a teaching portfolio reflecting his/her experiences and acquired skills.
All doctoral students participate in a variety of experiences to enhance their knowledge and skills related to classroom technology, research instrumentation, and distance education. The range of possible experiences includes using state-of-the-art classroom technology, participating in web-based learning, and using laboratory equipment.