Collaborative Research and Scholarly Experiences (COEX)

Collaborative Research and Scholarly Experiences (COEX) engage groups of students in addressing a research question or knowledge gap of interest to scholarly communities. These courses make research and scholarly experiences more inclusive and accessible to students, and they are designed to complement the traditional model of 1:1 faculty-student mentorships or independent studies. 

Typically, a COEX course would intentionally be designed to include these five learning experiences or outcomes:

  1. Research practices authentic to the discipline (e.g., by asking questions, using the tools of the discipline for gathering and analyzing data, developing and critiquing interpretations and arguments).

  2. Discovery, or exploration of ill-structured questions where the outcome is not known to the students nor the instructor, and there is the potential for generating new knowledge or insights.

  3. Creating work that has potential impact beyond the classroom (e.g., through reports for an outside organization, authorship or acknowledgement in a potential publication, blogs or podcasts distributed beyond the classroom).

  4. Collaboration, such as group work, giving and receiving peer feedback, pooling data, and sharing interpretations.

  5. Iteration, or processes of revision, learning from failure, and acknowledging and building on other students’ work.

Finding COEX courses

COEX courses can be found by visiting [email protected] and selecting "Collaborative Research and Scholarly Experiences" from the curricular programs filter at the bottom of the site.

Process for adding the COEX curricular designation to a course

Instructors who would like to add the COEX designation to their courses should email a course syllabus to [email protected] and [email protected]. (In the future, instructors will be able to use the course proposal system to request the COEX designation, as is the case with other curricular programs.) Syllabi should explicitly spotlight how the five required COEX elements are factored into the intentional design of the course. (For example, these elements may be noted as course objectives, or described in the syllabus’s description of key assignment or course expectations.)

Courses will be reviewed by the College Curriculum Council (CCC); they are also reviewed by following this process:

  1. The CCC will direct the syllabus to the Sheridan Center in order to arrange for a second review with the COEX framework in mind. Reviewers will be asked to use the rubric approved by the CCC April 2020 (and included below). When possible, the faculty reviewer will be from the same division as the proposed course and the reviewer will have COEX teaching or professional development experience.

  2. This feedback will be relayed back to the CCC, for corroboration with the CCC review.

COEX courses will also be reviewed regularly for effectiveness in meeting the goals of the curricular designation (see below).

Support for developing COEX courses

For online resources useful for developing COEX courses, including a syllabus template, please see this Sheridan Center page on Course Design Centered Around Research Experiences. The Sheridan Center ([email protected]) is available to consult with instructors who are interested in developing or enhancing COEX courses. College course development funds or undergraduate fellows (Data Science Fellows or Problem-Solving Fellows) are additional resources to support development of COEX courses.

Opportunities for student feedback on COEX course elements

In addition to the standard course feedback questions asked of students enrolled in all undergraduate courses, students in COEX courses are asked to reflect on the effectiveness of the course and on the impact of COEX elements on their overall learning and the development of their academic pathway moving forward. Accordingly, COEX course instructors will be asked to include the following items, adapted from the LCAS instrument by Corwin, Runyon, Robinson, & Dolan (2015), that will be listed as “customized COEX questions” on the optional item bank:

In this course, I was encouraged to … (SA...SD)

  1. share the problems I encountered during a project and seek input on how to address them.

  2. contribute my ideas and suggestions on how to approach or complete a project during class discussions.

  3. generate novel work or a product that could be of interest to a broader community (e.g., scholars, practitioners, artists, or the public).

  4. significantly revise or repeat my work to account for errors or fix problems.

  5. revise drafts of papers or presentations about my project based on feedback.

  6. pursue additional independent research opportunities in this field/discipline. 

For continual review, responses to these items will be aggregated and discussed by the COEX Committee and College Curriculum Council every five years, to make improvements to these courses and the environments that support them (e.g., need for professional development around a topic).


Corwin, L.A., Runyon, C., Robinson, A., & Dolan, E.L. (2015). The Laboratory Course Assessment Survey: A tool to measure three dimensions of research-course design, 14(1-11). CBE Life Sciences Education.