“Making Learning Visible” event helps to promote research-based projects at BC

In the L100 building on Friday November 30th 2018, Bellevue College students showcased their research at the “Making Learning Visible” event.

According to BC event calendar, “‘Making Learning Visible’ is a celebration of the awesome teaching and learning happening on our campus”.

Students in many subjects were able to gather and share their own research visually, but also engage with fellow students about the research they conducted and their findings.

Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and a few other departments were able to bring in posters of their research and share in an exhibit form.

BC students also had the opportunity to showcase more than just their research. Poetry students were able to get together to have a poetry reading and students in the Interior Design Department were able to showcase their year-long capstone project in the spring.

Michael Reese, the Director at Makersquare at BC, said “Making Learning Visible” is really about “anything where students move from being passive recipients of learning to active creators of knowledge.”

As a BC student who was in Anthropology 208, I had the unique experience of crafting a research topic, learning how to conduct this experiment and then collecting and interpreting my data to draw conclusions related to my initial research topic. I, among many other fellow students, were able to present at the “Making Learning Visible” event.

My research was on the analysis of images and emojis compared to text. I found there was a rise in images on social media due to Instagram and Snapchat being most popular, yet in texting, using an emoji in place of a period was becoming new non-verbal texting etiquette.

I’ll admit, there has been stress and struggle to cohesively find a research topic with enough substance to explore, and I’ve learned that in my further research projects I need to be much more detailed in my survey questions. Once I was able to analyze my data, I realized there’s a lot to discover.

It was tremendously beneficial to be able to talk to faculty and students from different departments with different research topics. The event helped to solidify those in the research community and allow students to benefit from everyone’s knowledge.

I think students at BC should know that it is normal to start with a beginning research topic and reach a conclusion they didn’t expect. This doesn’t mean the research is any less useful, but rather it provides information for other potential topics.

Reese mentioned that the UW research symposium is something that BC students can participate in to further their projects to a wider population. He stated that the “University of Washington Undergraduate Research Symposium is a fantastic event. It is the largest celebration of learning on the West coast. We will always send a fairly large group of BC students to that.”

Research is vital for students who want to discover their own ideas and further contribute their education while attending school. Students who intend to transfer to another four-year university should become involved in research early. It can help with understanding how research can be conducted better in order to provide future success in researching and communicating their findings.

The BC student environment is open to more than a research-based curriculum. Learning outside of the classroom setting, and being able to showcase projects helps students prepare for real-world projects and critical thinking skills.

I urge students to get involved in a course that is research based. In-depth projects allow students to show off, further their discussion, help to explore and discover what it is they find fascinating and further grow from that initial research.