Student Experience Research Network Blog

Research about a topic as complex as student learning benefits from perspectives across a wide array of academic disciplines – from economics and neuroscience to psychology and sociology. Structures in academia, however, often serve as barriers to interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge-building.

Moreover, not enough research on learning is directly relevant to or informed by education practice and policy. And this research – particularly research published in high-profile journals – tends to understudy the full spectrum of students’ identities and lived experiences. Bridging these gaps is a core priority for Student Experience Research Network and for a growing number of scholars seeking to advance high quality research that is relevant to the complexities of education practice and policy.

To support researchers in applying a multidisciplinary, practical, and equity-centered lens, we have developed two new publicly available resources. The resources are designed to encourage innovative questions and insights based on existing data and measures.

Data Archive for Interdisciplinary Research on Learning (DAIRL) is a new data and paper repository, developed in partnership with ICPSR at the University of Michigan, that provides an infrastructure for accessing and sharing datasets to promote interdisciplinary research on student learning.

A summary of DAIRL holdings outlines the 34 datasets in the archive, which include quantitative and qualitative data and can be used for a host of scholarly activities, such as conducting novel secondary research, replicating existing findings, pilot testing ideas in support of a funding application, teaching courses, and mentoring students.

DAIRL also features user resources and a series of working papers from Student Experience Research Network initiatives, which highlight pressing topics and emerging themes in scholarship on learning.

The Compendium of Studies that Measure Learning Mindsets is a complementary tool that compiles measures of belonging, growth mindset, and purpose and relevance from more than 70 empirical studies. The compendium illustrates how learning mindsets have been measured across multiple disciplines and frameworks, and contains contextualizing information about the study, sample, and measure to aid researchers in using this tool to engage in practice- and policy-relevant scholarship that centers equity.

Together, the resources aim to support researchers in pursuing a more complete understanding of student learning and the structures that shape it. We at SERN look forward to seeing the resources at work and we encourage you to share them with researchers in your networks.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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