Research

Research underway

Below are research studies currently underway at IEOP:

The IEOP Exit Level Initiative

  • This is a mixed-methods study currently underway with Dr. Karina Silva and Helen Hoyt Schmidt as the PI and co-PI. The study explores how the Exit Level students perform in their first two semesters as undergraduate students at Iowa State University (ISU) in comparison to other international first year students admitted to ISU based on TOEFL PBT, TOEFL iBT, IELTS, and PTE, etc. results. Quantitative (surveys and students’ GPAs) and qualitative (interviews and focus groups) data have been collected for the past two years. Data are currently being compiled and analyzed for a report to the university in Spring, 2017 and for future publication.
  • Other researchers who are interested in contributing to this ongoing study may contact Dr. Karina Silva or Helen Schmidt to see how their expertise may complement that of the current research team.

Language and Technology Learning in Content-Based IEP Course

  • This ethnographic research study is being conducted by Dr. Tammy Slater (PI) to examine language and technology skills learning in a content-based IEOP course. The study explores teaching and learning approaches; task types and activities; and teachers’ and students’ thoughts about their teaching/learning.

Research priorities

Below are research priorities identified for the Intensive English and Orientation Program (IEOP), mainly for program improvement purposes, but also in preparation for the Commission on English Language Accreditation (CEA). IEOP faculty as well as TESL/Applied Linguistics students may find these priorities and ideas helpful for their pilot studies, course assignments, master’s theses, or even doctoral dissertations. If you conduct research at IEOP, we ask that you share your findings with IEOP either by allowing us access to your paper or by presenting your findings at one of our meetings.

Note that researchers interested in exploring these and other topics at IEOP still need to have Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval and work within the parameters of IRB rules and regulations. For example, participation in research is still voluntary; researchers will still need to recruit their own participants; and consents must be obtained from the participants by the researchers themselves.

IEOP Curriculum Standards, Learning Outcomes, and Textbook Analyses

  • This can be a document analysis study that examines how well IEOP textbooks address the Common European Framework that serves as the standards for IEOP curriculum; how well learning outcomes for various levels address student needs in each skills area; and what recommendations can be implemented for improvement.
  • Data sources for such a study would be the Common European Framework, IEOP learning outcomes, and textbooks. One may study one skill area in the curriculum along with its corresponding standards and learning outcomes, or the whole curriculum along with the complete set of learning outcomes and standards.

IEOP Curriculum Standards, Learning Outcomes, and Digital Material

  • This can be a document analysis study that systematically examines IEOP curriculum standards, learning outcomes, textbooks, and digital materials to make recommendations for IEOP. The purpose of such a study would be to identify relevant, appropriate, and free or affordable digital material that can replace and/or supplement costly paper textbooks currently used for IEOP courses for each skill area and level.
  • Data sources for such a study would be the Common European Framework, IEOP learning outcomes, and textbooks, as well as digital materials available on the market and the Internet. Depending on the nature of the study, one may study one skill area in the curriculum along with its corresponding standards and learning outcomes, or the whole curriculum along with the complete set of learning outcomes and standards.

IEOP Curriculum Standards, Learning Outcomes, and Assessment Instruments Analysis

  • This can be a study of the effectiveness of the IEOP assessment instruments in relation to the standards and learning outcomes. Recommendations for improvement should be made if necessary.
  • Data sources for such a study would be IEOP assessment instruments, standards, and learning outcomes.

IEOP Teacher-made Tests and Learning Outcomes

  • This can be a study of IEOP teacher-made tests and their effectiveness in addressing learning outcomes.
  • Data sources for such a study would be the IEOP teacher-made tests and learning outcomes.

IEOP Special Program (e.g., Proyecta 100K) Goals, Outcomes, and Evaluations

  • A study like this could explore IEOP’s goals for special programs (e.g., Proyecta 100K); program participants’ goals for the special programs they are in; program outcome; and teacher/student evaluations of these programs.
  • This can be an ethnographic study that conducts interviews and class observations; analyzes program policies and needs; student goals and perceptions; and teaching and learning practices. Necessary recommendations for program improvement should be made.

Research Ideas for Additional Studies/Class Assignments

Below are some research ideas that researchers, including TESL/Applied Linguistics students, may find helpful:

Student Goals for IEOP; IEOP’s goals for students; and Teaching/learning at IEOP

  • This can be an ethnographic study that explores students’ goals for IEOP; IEOP’s goals for students; and actual learning/teaching that take place at IEOP.
  • Data sources for such a study can be interviews with students and teachers; analysis of IEOP policies and curriculum, including assessments; and classroom observations.

Research Expectations of Various ISU Colleges (e.g. College of Business) and Alignment with the IEOP Curriculum (e.g., the IEOP Business English course)

  • This can be a mixed-method study that explores the expectations that various ISU colleges may have for IEOP or for any ESL students entering undergraduate programs as well as an analysis of the IEOP curriculum to find out what mismatches, if any, may exist between those expectations and IEOP’s approach to language teaching and learning. This can include exploring any gaps that may exist between the writing courses at the higher levels of IEOP and the 101 courses required by the university.
  • Data sources for such a study could include surveys, document analyses, interviews, and observations.

Disciplinary D(d)iscourses Analyses of ISU Undergraduate Learning/Teaching and IEOP Learning/Teaching

  • This can be a mixed-method study that explores ISU undergraduate learning and teaching materials (texts of all kinds) and IEOP learning and teaching materials (texts of all kinds) as well as ISU and IEOP learning and teaching cultures to find out the D(d)iscourses expected and discourses into which IEOP students are being socialized. If necessary, suggestions for a better language socialization of IEOP students for U.S undergraduate studies should be made.
  • Data sources for such a study could include discourse and corpus analyses of various texts and classroom interactions; program policies and curricula; classroom observations; and interviews with students, teachers, professors, and administrators, etc.

Technology Use by IEOP Students

  • This can be a mixed-method study of IEOP students’ use of various technology tools both in and out of class to see what tools students regularly use for which language learning tasks and make recommendations for how those tools can be utilized by IEOP.
  • Data sources for such a study could include observations of and interviews with students.

How to Apply

Click on the link below to complete the application form.

Application to Conduct Research in IEOP