Benefits of the QEP

Center for Applied Research & Scholarship (CARS) 

The Center for Applied Research & Scholarship will coordinate with a number of departments and function as a central location for services that will help students to develop skills, knowledge, values, and behaviors to design and disseminate research. CARS will also support faculty professional development in the area of research and scholarship.

Supported by the Center, faculty and students will work on research that contributes new knowledge to their disciplines and has direct impact on improving the university, the local community, and the world.

Strategic Actions

The QEP’s focus on research and scholarship fosters Liberty’s current strengths through expansion in these strategic areas:

University Infrastructure

  • Establish the Center of Applied Research & Scholarship (CARS) to facilitate and lead the implementation of the QEP process and to serve as a hub for research activities at the university.
  • Enhance collaboration between academic support units that play a role in fulfilling the outcomes of the QEP.

Student Opportunities

  • Curricular Actions that Support Learning
    • Experience research modules early in the program coursework to gain basic research values, knowledge, and skills and understand the integration of research and Christian worldview.
    • Engage in courses, throughout the academic experience, designed to strengthen knowledge and skills in the develop, design and disseminate levels of research and scholarship.
    • Participate in research mentorship opportunities with faculty through Twenty-First Century Researcher courses
  • Co-curricular Actions that Support the Learning Environment
    • Use innovative presentation and collaboration technologies and techniques to disseminate research
    • Participate in Research Week, which provides the opportunity to disseminate research to faculty and fellow students as well as to also experience research happening at Liberty University
    • Participate in Student Research Societies to collaborate and network with peer researchers

Faculty Opportunities

  • Benefit from newly established CARS Liaisons positions charged with guiding QEP actions and implementation and facilitating research initiatives within his or her College/School.
  • Engage in new professional development opportunities focused on research and scholarship to be offered during August Faculty Orientation and throughout the year.
  • Participate in mentorship of student researchers through Twenty-First Century Researcher courses. 

Benefits Discussed in Literature

Benefits of Technology Integration
A review of the empirical literature demonstrated that students benefit from technology integration in the classroom (e.g. Bonk, 2009; Burbules & Callister, 2000; Lehman & Conceiçâo, 2010; Gedera, 2014; Hall & Hord, 2001; Neo, 2003; Siemens, 2008):

  • Improved critical thinking
  • Increased ability to retain information
  • Improved problem solving skills 
  • Better academic achievement
  • Active participation
  • Increased student interaction
  • More pedagogical experimentation and variety
  • Community and sense of belonging
  • Retention
  • Enhanced ability for both team work and autonomous learning
  • Ability to communicate synchronously when at a distance
  • Improved access to knowledge
  • Enhanced interdisciplinary, research collaboration
  • Innovative research dissemination to the masses
  • Increased twenty-first century marketplace competitiveness

Benefits of Student Research and Scholarship
A review of the empirical literature also demonstrated that student who are exposed to or participate in research during their academic careers reap the following benefits over those who do not have research opportunities (e.g. Bauer & Bennett, 2003; Craney et al., 2011; Hart Research Associates, 2010; Hunter, Laursen, & Seymour, 2007; Levenson, 2010; Lopatto, 2010, 2008; Osborne & Karukstis, 2009; Russell, Hancock, & McCullough, 2007; Thiry & Melton, 2010):

  • Increased curiosity about self and the world
  • More advanced analytical and critical thinking, problem-solving, technical, information literacy, and communication (writing and speaking) skills (i.e. twenty-first century skills necessary for the professional world)
  • Better acquisition of discipline knowledge and ability to apply college learning to real-world settings
  • Deeper appreciation for evidenced-based practice and ability to conduct research and analysis to support evidence-based practice
  • Increased academic achievement
  • Greater likelihood to integrate socially and academically into the university community
  • Higher persistence in the initial degree enrolled
  • Higher motivation to attend graduate school
  • Greater likelihood to be accepted into graduate school (undergraduates)
  • More refined career goals
  • Greater competitiveness in the job market
  • Better ability to secure discipline specific jobs

Benefits of Faith-Learning Curriculum for Students
A review of the empirical literature showed the following anticipated benefits for students participating in a biblically informed curriculum (e.g. Elliot, 1940; Entwistle, 2004; Glazner & Ream, 2009; Jacobson & Jacobson, 2004; Ward, 2014; Zigarelli, 2012):

  • A desire to be excellent and professional
  • Ability to lead change as effective ambassadors for Jesus Christ
  • Increased ability to affect their workplace, neighborhoods, communities, and their churches in ways that honor God
  • Ability to engage and shape culture from a Christian perspective
  • Increased ability for scholarly engagement between theology and a specific discipline.
  • Increased ability to conduct research from a distinctly Christian perspective
  • Greater inspiration and motivation to conduct quality research and disseminate it beyond the walls of the classroom to impact the world as an act of Christian stewardship
  • Ability to apply a theologically and academically sound mental model in everyday life
  • Improved character development
  • Good articulation of Christian worldview
  • Ability to think Christ-like and desire to grow the kingdom (e.g. To see the world from God’s perspective and increasingly to have the heart of Jesus Christ)