Discovery Learning Research Center

Current Higher Education Research

Integrating Spatial Educational Experiences (Isee) - Mapping a New Approach to Teaching and Learning Soil Science

Isee Field TripThe objectives of this project are to develop the ability of our students to use digital maps (1) to learn how and why soils and landscapes vary spatially at scales ranging from individual fields, to counties, states, and, ultimately, globally; and (2) to learn how the spatial distribution of soils and landscapes impacts the distributions of land use, and environmental and ecosystem services across various scales.
For more information contact

Active Learning Spaces and University Teaching and Learning

Active Learning Space Active learning strategies engage students in learning through a variety of techniques that include enhanced use of technology (i.e. clickers), group problem solving, flipped classrooms, and studio or workshop designed classes. At its root, active learning seeks to redefine the traditional role of higher education from a model that transmits knowledge from faculty to student to a model that enables students to construct and use knowledge. Colleges and universities are beginning to build active learning classrooms. While an increasing number of studies examine the impact of active learning on students, there is a dearth of information about the impact of teaching with or without an active learning classroom on faculty practice, self-efficacy, and satisfaction. As active learning spaces are currently the exception rather than the rule in many institutions, colleges and universities are struggling to develop policies and procedures that effectively align classroom functionality with faculty needs and provide the necessary faculty development opportunities to help faculty most effectively utilize active learning spaces. DLRC, in collaboration with Purdue Libraries, ITaP, and Office of Assessment is undertaking pilot studies utilizing the experimental learning spaces in our Hall for Discovery and Learning Research, as well as, the new active learning spaces across Purdue University to explore the role of learning space on faculty practice, self-efficacy, and satisfaction.
For more information contact Loran Carleton Parker

IMPACT: Instruction Matters Purdue Academic Course Transformation

IMPACT The overarching goal of IMPACT is to achieve a greater student-centered learning environment by incorporating active and collaborative learning as well as other student-centered teaching and learning practices and technologies into large enrollment foundational courses. The creation of a student-centered learning environment will foster student engagement and student competence, as well as increased attainment of course-specific learning outcomes. Specifically, the goals of the IMPACT program can be summarized as follows:

  • Refocus the campus culture on student-centered pedagogy and student success.
  • Increase student engagement, competence, and learning gains.
  • Focus course redesign on research-based pedagogies.
  • Reflect, assess, and share results to benefit future courses, students, and institutional culture.

The DLRC was integral to the creation of the IMPACT initiative and is studying the IMPACT faculty development model and its effect on faculty attitudes, beliefs and practices regarding teaching and learning. Additionally, DLRC is examining the IMPACT initiative’s effectiveness as a mechanism for sustainable change in the culture of teaching and learning at the university.
For more information on the faculty development model research contact Loran Carleton Parker
To learn more about the IMPACT project visit the IMPACT website

The U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security Program

Borlaug Fellows The U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security program is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to expand the pool of U.S. food security professionals who have the scientific base needed to effectively study and manage the global landscapes in support of sustainable food systems. The program is comprised of two key elements; a Graduate Research Fellowship Grant Program and a Summer Institute on Global Food Security.
For more information contact

Statistics Living Learning Community - STAT LLC

This project at Purdue University addresses two transitions in the training of undergraduate statistics students: 1.The bridge from first-year general curriculum into sophomore year Statistics major courses, and 2. The bridge into a student's first research experience in data analysis, especially with Big Data. Each year over a five year period, 20 sophomore trainees will take part in the STAT-LLC that involve: a new project-based course in big data analysis, new mentored research collaborations and thrusts, a new seminar series, professional development initiatives, and living together in a new learning community.

HHMI entitled: Deviating from the Standard: Integrating Statistical Analysis and Experimental Design into Life Science Education

HHMI Project The collaborative project led by Dennis Minchella, Professor and Associate Head of Biological Sciences, is a partnership among six faculty members from three colleges (Science, Agriculture, and Engineering) which plans to integrate statistical analysis and experimental design into life science education. For more information contact Dr. Dennis Minchella (

For information on our past projects, click here.


Discovery Learning Research Center
207 South Martin Jischke Drive, Suite 203
West Lafayette , IN 47907-1791

Research Projects

Student Programs

Affiliated Centers

Featured Events

Current Events

No current events were found.