Dr. David Thurmaier
Department: Composition, Music Theory & Musicology
EUReka Course: CONS 242, Musicianship IV
See Dr. Thurmaier's Syllabus.
How was teaching your EUReka class different from other similar classes you've taught?
I put more attention into designing the bigger projects — in my case, a research paper and two composition projects — and downplayed some of the “busy work” I've assigned in the past.. I also thought of ways to increase the research experience beyond a typical paper and project by discussing the idea of presenting at conferences and bringing in graduate students to work with my undergrads.
How did teaching a EUReka class allow you to more tightly intertwine your research interest and your teaching responsibilities?
I think this is something I would like to work on for next year. Though my research area is in twentieth-century music (as was the course I taught), I didn’t find a lot of parallels to explore initially, because the class I taught is an introductory class. But I did make some of my own research available on Blackboard and discussed one of my articles with two students who took the time to read it.
What do you think your EUReka students benefited from being exposed to undergraduate research early in their academic careers?
A greater awareness that what we do as students and professors has a broader reach outside of one semester in a classroom at UMKC. By trying to engage students with current research, updated methodologies, and exposure to what real research is, I hope that students will be inspired to take what they learn in introductory classes out into the world. In fact, one of my students from last semester is now working with me on a SUROP project and is using many materials learned in our EUReka class. He is looking to submit an abstract and present at an undergraduate conference next year, which is exciting!
What advice would you have for colleagues thinking of offering a EUReka course
Find ways to present research opportunities both within traditional projects (e.g., papers) and other less common projects (whether a poster session, or collaboration with grad students, etc.). Stress to the students that materials learned and explored in your class can be expanded and studied in greater depth, and that there are resources for further support. I think this designation also can make a class more meaningful, especially if it is a core class, if the instructor does some work to make research integral to the class.