Unfortunately, state budget reductions have eliminated funding for Undergraduate Student Focus Groups for the present.
In our interactions with the academic community at the University of Virginia through the Teaching Resource Center, we have found that students have thought a great deal about the teaching-learning process and have many valuable insights to offer.
As one way to foster an ongoing dialogue about teaching and learning between undergraduate students and faculty members and TAs, the TRC has established an ongoing series entitled "Undergraduate Student Focus Groups on Teaching and Learning." Several times each semester, we invite a cross-section of 6-8 undergraduate students to meet at the TRC for pizza, drinks, and discussion of various aspects of teaching and learning, including the roles of students and teachers. Each group is comprised of different undergraduates and focuses on one topic, such as the following:
receive sample question(s) ahead of time, and one or two TRC facilitators
orchestrate the discussion and note good suggestions, enlightening opinions,
and thoughtful perspectives. TRC staff then disseminate students' ideas
to UVa faculty and TAs through future Teaching
Concerns newsletter articles, TRC
workshops, and, perhaps, Occasional
Focus Group Topics to Date (Articles originally appeared in Teaching Concerns)