New to the University of Southern Maine?

Register for one of our research learning experience courses and 

  • Satisfy at least one Core requirement
  • Make connections with other students and with your instructor early in the semester
  • Be involved in fun and engaging hands-on learning on and off campus!

In the fall of 2023, the University of Southern Maine is offering a select number of Research Learning Experiences as part of UMS Transforms. RLEs will satisfy student’s Engaged Learning requirement in the Core. Some RLE courses satisfy other Core requirements and major requirements as well. New students will have the opportunity to register for an RLE during their Advising and Course Selection (ACS) appointment.

Fall 2023 RLE Courses

ART 124 Cre8: The Art of Creativity  (section# 21654; Kimberly Bentley)

ENG 102 Academic Writing (section# 27240; Jessica Ouellette)

HON 115 Introduction to Honors (section# 20217; Amy Amoroso)

ANT 101 Anthropology: The Cultural view (section#22132; Sarah Lockridge)

HON 115 Introduction to Honors (section #23396), Richard Bilodeau) 

TAH 150 Professional Practices Immersion in Tourism & Hospitality (section#21767; Tracy Michaud)

Overview of all fall 2023 RLE courses

Additional Information

Research Learning Experiences are first year courses that engage students in inquiry, research,  and creative activity that is hands-on, open-ended, and shaped by discoveries that occur during the course. RLEs support our students’ transition from passive knowledge consumers to active knowledge producers. RLE courses involve:

  • student-focused, inquiry-based learning, research, and creative activity, and 
  • student-directed work that aligns with professional practices in a particular field, 
  • student-led inquiry and creative activity that has  meaning that students can see outside of the classroom.

All first-year RLE’s include immersive, experiential, and hands-on learning experiences early in the semester. See the class schedule and the links above for details on the immersion experiences and dates for each course.

Immersion experiences involve students in

  • fun, hands-on, learning in USM’s experiential learning spaces and off campus locations
  • building relationships with other students and with instructors
  • developing skills of inquiry, investigation, and application that students can apply in their course, throughout their first year, and beyond.

Within the UMS Transforms RLE framework, student-initiated and directed inquiry is key. Within the context of first-year students’ knowledge and experiences, RLEs help students themselves define, pose, and address the questions, to see how their work has relevance outside the classroom, and to understand how it connects to questions and activities that professionals in the field might ask or engage in.

Grant Support:

RLEs are supported through the generosity of the Alfond Foundation funding for UMS Transforms. Grant funding may be used to pay for a range of expenses associated with the development and launch of RLEs, from supporting faculty course redesign to providing funds for student access to and engagement with immersive, experiential learning.

UMS Transforms- Research Learning Experiences Program Learning Outcomes and Assessment

Cognitive Outcomes (changes in cognitive skills

1. Students will formulate appropriately scoped topics or questions that will guide their scholarly exploration.

2. Students will describe their iterative approaches to exploration for work without a defined answer.

3. Students will effectively communicate with collaborators about their experience.

4. Students will demonstrate responsibility for the discovery process.

Dispositional Outcomes (changes in beliefs or attitudes)

1. Students will identify the relevance/applicability of their experience beyond the RLE course.

2. Students will reflect on how their exploratory process has helped them develop as learners.

3. Students will explain the importance of belonging to a community for their learning.

For more information, contact Susan McWilliams.