University of Wisconsin-Stout will host its first-ever online annual Research Day and expand it to a week to allow more people to view student and faculty research.
Research Day will take place from Tuesday, May 5, to Tuesday, May 12, and be delivered through the campus Canvas online instruction platform. The change was made after classes went to alternative learning methods and face-to-face instruction ended because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Registration for Research Day closed May 3.
“One of the main advantages of hosting Research Day virtually is capacity,” said Stephen Eibes, student and faculty research specialist for the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, which hosts Research Day.
“In the last few years, we have seen exponential growth in the number of students wanting to participate. Because of this, we’ve had to make scheduling and space changes. I also see an advantage in time; people can view presentations on their time, instead of trying to see everything in a single day.”
Canvas is used for online course delivery but provided a suitable site to host Research Day. About 50 presentations are expected to be available.
There are two options. Students can submit a video essay and explain what they researched and how they conducted the research or submit a poster and an abstract of their research. Each presentation will have a discussion board linked to it, allowing for questions and comments.
“Research Day has always been a space for students to showcase their research and hard work they’ve done throughout the year,” Eibes said. “I would rather showcase these amazing students online than not at all. Though we can’t gather in person, the spirit of the university and Research Day can continue.”
Kathryn Hamilton, professor and chair of the psychology department, said she is looking forward to the opportunity for students to be able to present their work at the first virtual Research Day.
“The projects that our students are presenting represent research that has been ongoing for at least a year,” Hamilton noted. “Although they won’t get the excitement of meeting and chatting with people in person, our students will get the opportunity to share all of their hard work with the campus.”
Junior Sydney Turner, a psychology major from Wausau, will take part in Research Day with a poster entitled “Predictors of Test Performance: Role of Cell Phone Use, Conscientiousness and Challenge Levels.”
For the research, students watched one of two videos in a distraction-free office. They were told they could use their cell phones if that was something they normally would do while studying. “We found there was a negative correlation between how challenging they thought the video was and their overall test score,” Turner said. “We also found that conscientiousness was a positive predictor of test scores, while cell phone use and perceived challenges of the video were negative predictors of the test scores.
“I think having a virtual research day is a good way for the Stout community to share their accomplishments despite not having a normal end to their semester,” Turner said. “Some of the pros are that we are still able to share our research as well as learn about what others have been doing over the semester.
“I think it's a cool way to connect with our campus community, even though it's very different than what everyone is used to. Some challenges, for me, have been coordinating with my research team to make changes and adjustments to our poster. We've been doing it via, email so it's an adjustment compared to having a meeting in person. With any sort of communication that happens online, I think some things can be lost in translation, so that can make it difficult,” Turner said.
The research will also be available for the public to view. To access it go to https://uws-ce.instructure.com/register. Then select the “I’m a student” option, use join code XYRC9W and create a username and password. Faculty and students who already have a Canvas account can enroll in the course here.
PCEM Lightning Talks
Five graduating students from the professional communication and emerging media program will reflect on their college journeys in the PCEM 5V: Virtual Lightning Talks from 4 to 5 p.m. on Monday, May 4, on Collaborative Ultra.
Each student will deliver a five-minute lightning talk. There also will be time for questions.
To join go here, and use PIN: 584 855 7403. The event is free and open to all.
UW-Stout is Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, with a focus on applied learning, collaboration with business and industry, and career outcomes.
Research Day gives students and faculty an opportunity to share their research with others.