IT Connect
Information technology tools and resources at the UW

Involve Students in Research

You can help your students extend their classroom learning, build analytical skills, and prepare for graduate-level studies by involving them in research. Several Web-based technologies serve as powerful and efficient research tools, helping you and your students collaborate with colleagues, collect data, receive feedback, and present research projects.

Common Goals

  • Support research as an opportunity for active and independent learning.
  • Promote the sharing of ideas.
  • Emphasize the importance of inquiry and investigation.
  • Provide a connection between course material and current challenges in the discipline.


Options for involving students in research are suggested below.

Course Web Site

Both students and instructors can present the results of their research on a Web site, by uploading or linking to their essays, projects, and presentations. Access to the Web site can be open to everybody or restricted with a password. By publishing their research papers on a Web site, students and instructors can share their work, provide examples for future classes, or contribute to scholarship in the area. There are numerous ways to go about creating a Web site. The Catalyst Web site offers step-by-step instructions for using a variety of Web page editors.

Building a Class Website

Catalyst ShareSpaces

This online tool for file sharing opens doors to student cooperation and collaborative learning. ShareSpaces provides a common space for students to share and access course materials and their own research. With the correct ShareSpace permissions, one file can be downloaded, edited or amended, and uploaded by other ShareSpace members. Any file is fair game for uploading to ShareSpaces, including sound and video files. By exchanging, reviewing and building upon each others’ ideas, students are encouraged to work and learn together.
ShareSpaces Web Tool Page

Catalyst Collect It

If a project requires sharing files among students or colleagues (for example, collecting papers for a conference) a Web-based tool called Collect It may facilitate the transfer of the documents. Collect It enables people to post their documents to a secure collection area on the Web using a Web browser. Collect It makes it easy to collect, manage and download shared files. With Collect It you can avoid messy email attachments or personal email boxes filled with large documents.
Planning Considerations

Catalyst WebQ

This tool makes it easy to create, administer and collect data from surveys and questionnaires. You an your students can collect data for research projects over the Web and download the results into a file format that can be easily imported into the most common statistics packages.
Planning Considerations

Online discussion tools

Catalyst GoPost, newsgroups, and listservs are all tools that can be used as forums for exchanging research findings and collaborate online. You can exchange information with a group of people and coordinate group discussions. The asynchronous nature of these tools provides a convenient way for students to contribute at any time and from any location.
Planning Considerations


Wikis are Web sites that can be browsed and easily edited by anyone with Internet access and a Web browser. They can be a very useful tool for student collaboration and cooperation. Not only can students easily collaborate on a project using a Wiki, they can also easily make it public and invite experts in the field to react to their contribution.

Campus Resources