Benefits of the QEP

Center for Applied Research and Scholarship (CARS) 

The Center for Applied Research and 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

  • Establishing the Center of Applied Research and Scholarship (CARS)

Student Opportunities

  • Curricular Opportunities
    • Development of a research orientation seminar
    • Aligning and redesigning program learning outcomes, curriculum, and courses for terminal degree programs
    • Development of faculty-mentored research courses
  • Co-curricular Opportunities
    • Funding the Provost’s interdisciplinary research pods
    • Establishing an Office of Research Services & Tutoring
    • Establishing internal student research grants and soliciting support for external funding of student research
    • Expanding the Graduate Research Symposium
    • Developing a Research Assistantship Program 

Faculty Opportunities

  • Creating Faculty Research Fellow positions for terminal degree programs
  • Establishing a Faculty and Curriculum Research Development Office
  • Revising the faculty teaching load to include research
  • Establishing internal faculty research grants and soliciting support for external funding of faculty research
  • Creating Faculty Research awards

The QEP Promotes Faculty and Student Collaboration

  • The curriculum will be reviewed thoroughly by the School of Health Sciences faculty to assure alignment between research pedagogy and mission.
  • Faculty structuring Twenty-first century courses with substantial research and scholarship components will receive professional development and training to ensure integration into the QEP model.
  • Students who participate in research opportunities will receive research focused instruction through key coursework, workshop and resources provided by CARS, the Jerry Falwell Library and other appropriate entities on the LU campus.
  • Students in research focused coursework and with faculty mentors will present their projects at the Research Symposia, hosted by the Jerry Falwell Library on an annual basis.

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 an 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)