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Dr. Jeff Rydberg-Cox

Department: English Language & Literature
EUReka Course:  Classics 210: Foundations of Ancient World Literature
See Dr. Rydberg-Cox's Syllabus.
See Dr. Rydberg-Cox's Lamp Assignment

How was teaching your EUReka class different from other similar classes you've taught?
The class was different because it gave me a good venue to work much more closely with students than I normally would as an advisor or a classroom instructor. Since the classwork was tied to open-ended research questions, it also allowed me to adopt approaches to the material that were new to me and focused as much on helping students master ways to approach questions rather than answering questions that I had already formulated.

How did teaching a EUReka class allow you to more tightly intertwine your research interest and your teaching responsibilities?
This research project for this class was actually a new research area for me. The EUReka class allowed me to build this project from the ground up as a student collaboration. It was a great way to launch a new project. The questions that students posed as we were working together helped me understand and focus some of my own research questions.

How do you think your EUReka students benefited from being exposed to undergraduate research early in their academic careers?
I think that it was good for students to have much more in-depth contact with the instructor and with each other. The research work in the class was organized around work sessions that I ‘hosted’ in the LaBudde Special Collections Department of the library; on any given day, we had between four and eight students sitting around tables trying to figure out problems with me and with each other. I hope that it was a challenging and engaging environment and I hope that students walked away with an understanding of the process that goes into asking and answering challenging questions about topics where the answer isn’t known in advance.

What advice would you have for colleagues thinking of offering a EUReka course
Not to underestimate what you can accomplish redesigning a course around a research question and not to underestimate what the students can accomplish. The research sessions in the library were some of the most interesting and engaging teaching experiences that I have had in recent years.