Learning Through Discovery Initiative: 2008-2013
The Learning through Discovery initiative was created in 2008 to implement the UH Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). The Office of Undergraduate Discovery Programs was created to administer this initiative, and functioned under the aegis of the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.
Through a network of UH faculty and staff, alumni and mentors, and business and non-profit organizations, the initiative promoted a research culture by 1) providing research skills and training, and 2) expanding student research opportunities both on and off campus for all undergraduate students. The University of Houston embraced the QEP as an opportunity for transformative change.
UH QEP Objectives
In 2008, the University of Houston developed the Discovery-based Learning: Transforming the Undergraduate Experience through Research initiative, a Quality Enhancement Plan to promote a teaching and learning culture supportive of research in all disciplines for undergraduate students. The plan focused on two key areas 1) to expand research opportunities, and 2) to develop student research-related skills. The program implementation was led by the Learning through Discovery (QEP) office in collaboration with faculty, UH Libraries, UH Writing Center, Educational Technology, Faculty Development & Instructional Support, the Office of Undergraduate Research, and Institutional Effectiveness.
Results of QEP Initiative
The University of Houston’s QEP implementation resulted in an enhanced learning environment for undergraduates. Lessons learned include:
- Student learning outcomes can be enhanced through a targeted student success initiative.
- A multi-tiered approach to QEP implementation results in broader impact among the student population.
- A QEP Curriculum Grant Program is a successful model for sustainable change across the colleges.
- Faculty partners and resource collaborators should be engaged during QEP planning and implementation.
- Faculty development activities facilitate sharing of best practices and support effective pedagogy.