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(1)

Susan Larson

Research on Undergraduate Research

What do we know about the benefit of UR?

(2)

Undergraduate Research in American

Higher Education

Undergraduate Research as Research

Serves to advance

research

Research

OUTCOMES

are a key

determinant of quality.

Focus on PRODUCT

Undergraduate Research as Pedagogy

A pedagogical

approach to enhance

student learning

Student LEARNING

is

a key determinant of

quality.

Focus on PROCESS

UR as Persistence &

Retention Strategy

A tool to enhance

recruitment and

retention

Student SUCCESS

in

college/university is a

key determinant of

quality.

(3)

Defining Undergraduate Research

An inquiry or investigation

conducted by an undergraduate

student that makes an original

intellectual or creative

contribution to the discipline.

Council on Undergraduate Research

www.cur.org

(4)

Undergraduate Research in American

Higher Education

Undergraduate Research as Research

Serves to advance

research

Research

OUTCOMES

are a key

determinant of quality.

Focus on PRODUCT

Undergraduate Research as Pedagogy

A pedagogical

approach to enhance

student learning

Student LEARNING

is

a key determinant of

quality.

Focus on PROCESS

UR as Persistence &

Retention Strategy

A tool to enhance

recruitment and

retention

Student SUCCESS

in

college/university is a

key determinant of

quality.

(5)

UR Facilitates Involvement, Integration,

Engagement

Involvement

Astin, A.W. (1984), Student involvement: A developmental theory

for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel, 25,

297-308.

Integration

Tinto, V. (2003) Leaving College: Rethinking the Causes and Cures

of Student Attrition, 2

nd

Ed.

Engagement

High Impact Practices

Kuh, G. (2008). High Impact Education Practices: What They Are, Who

Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter. Washington, DC:

AAC&U.

(6)

UR in the Classroom

Students participate in a discovery-based project, engaging

in disciplinary practices, on a broadly relevant question.

Critical components of Course-based Undergraduate

Research Experiences (CUREs) in biological sciences

The use of scientific practices

Thinking like a scientist

Communicating results

Using tools and technology

Collaboration

Iteration

Discovery, broadly relevant work

(7)
(8)

Undergraduate Research in American

Higher Education

Undergraduate Research as Research

Serves to advance

research

Research

OUTCOMES

are a key

determinant of quality.

Focus on PRODUCT

Undergraduate Research as Pedagogy

A pedagogical

approach to enhance

student learning

Student LEARNING

is

a key determinant of

quality.

Focus on PROCESS

UR as Persistence &

Retention Strategy

A tool to enhance

recruitment and

retention

Student SUCCESS

in

college/university is a

key determinant of

quality.

Inquiry for knowledge building vs.

inquiry for learning

(9)

Retention and Student Outcomes

https://news.utexas.edu/2016/06/01/hands-on-approach-boosts-graduation-rates-stem-retention

(10)

Undergraduate Research in American

Higher Education

Undergraduate Research as Research

Serves to advance

research

Research

OUTCOMES

are a key

determinant of quality.

Focus on PRODUCT

Undergraduate Research as Pedagogy

A pedagogical

approach to enhance

student learning

Student LEARNING

is

a key determinant of

quality.

Focus on PROCESS

UR as Persistence &

Retention Strategy

A tool to enhance

recruitment and

retention

Student SUCCESS

in

college/university is a

key determinant of

quality.

(11)

Assessing Outcomes

Determinants of assessment approaches

Overarching goals of the UR program

To improve student learning

To integrate and retain students at college/university

To broaden participation

To contribute to faculty research agendas

Purpose of your assessment

Focus

Students

All or subset of students

Faculty or other mentors

Institutions

(12)

Undergraduate Research as Research

Research

as

Research

Faculty

- Scholarly products

- Data collection

assistance

- Preparing the next

generation

Students

- Scholarly products

- Professionalization

- Understanding the

discipline

Institutions

- External support

and recognition

- Recruitment of

quality students,

faculty & staff

(13)

Undergraduate Research as Research

Research

as

Research

Faculty

- Scholarly products

- Preparing the next

generation

Students

- Scholarly products

- Professionalization

- Understanding the

discipline

Institutions

- External support

and recognition

- Recruitment of

quality students,

faculty & staff

(14)

Does UR prepare students the next generation?

Propensity matched study following students who did and

did not do research for 10 years

Evaluated intensity & duration of UR, GPA, degree

attainment, in graduate school, in STEM workforce

Students who did UR

Had higher GPAs

Were more likely to earn a bachelors degree, be accepted into

graduate school, and have a science-related job

Positive outcomes were related to intensity and duration

of UR

Future research – WHY? What are the salient features of

UR that matter?

(15)

Undergraduate Research as Research

Research

as

Research

Faculty

- Scholarly products

- Preparing the next

generation

Students

- Scholarly products

- Professionalization

- Understanding the

discipline

Institutions

- External support

and recognition

- Recruitment of

quality students,

faculty & staff

(16)

Predictors of mentors publishing with UR

co-authors

Surveyed biomedical faculty at 14 US institutions

Collaboration variables

Commitment to UR mentoring

Faculty characteristics

Variables associated with more student-faculty

publications:

Longer mentoring relationships

More mentees

Enjoying teaching about research

Perceive undergrads can help with research

Did not ask if UR mentors published more than

non-mentors

(17)

Undergraduate Research as Pedagogy

Research

as

Pedagogy

Faculty

- Engaged &

improved teaching

- Greater

satisfaction

Students

- Deeper learning

- Thinking like a…

- Cognitive &

intellectual skills

Institutions

- Retention

- More engaged

faculty & students

UR as

Curriculum,

(18)

Undergraduate Research as Pedagogy

Research

as

Pedagogy

Faculty

- Engaged &

improved teaching

- Greater

satisfaction

Students

- Deeper learning

- Thinking like a…

- Cognitive &

intellectual skills

Institutions

- Student

retention

- More engaged

faculty & students

(19)

Do CUREs help students think like a scientist?

National Genomic Research Initiative (supported by

HHMI-SEA) develop a phage hunter course

Nonmajors courses

Goals to develop interest in and understanding of science

Pre-post self-report survey & focus groups to

understanding of science

Outcomes

Positive change in understanding about research

Developed an appreciation of the hands-on nature of science

Had a more sophisticated understanding of science

Also, greater retention from first to second semester

Pre-post assessments, could benefit from matched controls

(20)

CUR Quarterly, 2016

Similar outcomes in a Phage Hunter

course reported by Overath,

Zhang, Hatherill (2016), CUR

Quarterly

(21)

Undergraduate Research as Pedagogy

Research

as

Pedagogy

Faculty

- Engaged &

teaching

- Greater

satisfaction

Students

- Deeper learning

- Thinking like a…

- Cognitive &

intellectual skills

Institutions

- Student

retention

- More engaged

faculty

(22)

Does UR develop intellectual capacity and

disciplinary knowledge of student?

2400 alumni invited to participate; 996 respondents

3 groups emerged: i) students who participated in organized

UR program, ii) students who otherwise reported doing UR,

and iii) students who did not do UR

Asked various questions about student experience

Didn’t make the purpose of their assessment known

UR students reported greater gains related to intellectual

curiosity, acquiring information independently,

understanding findings, analyzing literature critically,

speaking effectively

Greater benefit if in organized UR program

Duration of participation  greater perceived gains

(23)

Undergraduate Research as Retention

Research

as

Retention

Faculty (indirect)

- More students in

major

- Diversify the field,

by retaining more

and diverse students

Students

- Development of

professional

outcomes

- Under-represented

students continue

Institutions

- Improved

graduation rate

- Decreased time to

completion

(24)

Undergraduate Research as Retention

Research

as

Retention

Faculty (indirect)

- More students in

major

- Diversify the field,

by retaining more,

diverse students

Students

- Development of

professional

outcomes

- Under-represented

students continue

Institutions

- Improved

graduation rate

- Decreased time to

completion

(25)

Does UR improve retention?

University of Michigan UROP

Students who did UR matched with students who applied, but

did not get accepted

Both groups were motivated, similar academic traits

UR during first year

Those who did UR had higher retention rates

When controlling for college GPA, test scores, ethnicity

Differences were statistically significant for African Americans

More recent studies suggest underrepresented students

have higher GPAs after UR, but were not faster to

graduate

(Haeger & Frequez, 2016)

(26)

Overlapping Outcomes

Research

Retention

Pedagogy

Degree

Comp-letion

Professional

Skills

Personal

Growth

Cognitive &

Intellectual

Skills

(27)

Student

Outcomes

Cognitive &

Intellectual

Growth

Personal

Growth &

Development

Professional

Skills &

Advancement

Student-faculty

collaborative research

E.g., summer research,

apprentice-style

research in laboratory

Independent research

E.g., honors thesis

Course-based

undergraduate research

Student Outcomes

Thiry, Weston, Laursen, Hunter (2012) CBE-Life Science Education Hunter, Laursen & Seymour (2006). Science Education

(28)

Cognitive & Intellectual Growth

Outcome

Measured by

Thinking like a scientist

Views of Nature of Science

Questionnaire (Khishfe, et al., 2002)

Colorado Learning Attitudes About

Science Survey (Adams, et. al, 2004)

Understanding how the

discipline works

Like surveys noted above;

discipline-based surveys

Content knowledge

Tests, homework, major field

tests

Technique & skill development

Observation in the lab

Problem solving & critical

thinking

California Critical Thinking Skills Test,

Learning Critical Thinking Inventory

Can also evaluate with rubrics, self-report, pre-post assessments.

Corroborate with faculty assessments.

(29)
(30)
(31)

Cognitive & Intellectual Growth

Outcome

Measured by

Thinking like a scientist

Views of Nature of Science

Questionnaire (Khishfe, et al., 2002)

Colorado Learning Attitudes About

Science Survey (Adams, et. al, 2004)

Understanding how the

discipline works

Student understanding of

science and scientific inquiry

Content knowledge

Tests, homework, major field

tests

Technique & skill development

Observation in the lab

Problem solving & critical

thinking

California Critical Thinking Skills Test,

Learning Critical Thinking Inventory

Can also evaluate with rubrics, self-report, pre-post assessments.

Corroborate with faculty assessments.

(32)

Cognitive & Intellectual Growth

Preponderance of evidence: self-report

More sophisticated assessments for course-based UR

Yet unanswered

(some work has been done in these areas)

:

What specific features of UR produce cognitive &

intellectual outcomes?

E.g., how important is duration? intensity?

Some assessments of these; are there others to assess?

Are there differences between experiences?

Do UR experiences that focus on process (vs

product) produce different outcomes?

Is UR better in the 1

st

(vs 4

th

) year?

Need to evaluate more sophisticated cognitive domains

E.g. , knowledge integration, expertise development

(33)

Professional Skills & Advancement

Outcome

Measured by

Clarifying & sustaining interest

in discipline

Self-report surveys, focus

groups

Socialization to and completion

of major

Focus groups, graduate rates,

student presentations

Graduate school

acceptance/completion

Alumni surveys

Transferrable skills, such as

- Teamwork

- Collaboration

- Communication

- Independence

- Ethical understanding

Self-surveys, such as: SURE,

CURE survey (Lopatto), USSRA

(Hunter, et al.);

mentor observation of

students

(34)

Instruments Used for UR Evaluation

Survey of Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)

Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE)

Research on Learning and Education (ROLE)

https://www.grinnell.edu/academics/areas/psychology/assessments

Lopatto (2004), Cell Biology Education

Undergraduate Research Student Self-Assessment

(URSSA)

SALG surveys

http://spot.colorado.edu/~laursen/accessURSSA.html

(35)

Professional Skills & Advancement

Outcome

Measured by

Clarifying & sustaining interest

in discipline

Self-report surveys, focus

groups

Socialization to and completion

of major

Focus groups, graduate rates

Graduate school

acceptance/completion

Alumni survey

Transferrable skills, such as

- Teamwork

- Collaboration

- Communication

- Independence

- Ethical understanding

Self-surveys, such as: SURE,

CURE survey (Lopatto), USSRA

(Hunter, et al.);

mentor observation of

students

(36)

Professional Skills & Advancement

Qualitative and quantitative analysis

Self-report survey data confirmed by focus group

Most research on skills & advancement completed with

STEM majors

Especially biology, chemistry

Many studies focus on student-faculty collaborative

research, but similar evidence with CUREs

Yet unanswered

Impact in non-STEM (non-lab science) areas

More research needed

Role of identity and belonging, as drivers of

persistence and advancement

(37)

Personal Growth & Development

Outcome

Measured by

Changes in self-understanding;

self-confidence; self-efficacy

Pre-post measures of student

confidence; reflective writing;

pre-existing measures of

confidence

Identity development

Survey by Palmer, Hunt, Neal,

Wuetherick (forthcoming)

Transferrable skills, such as

- Teamwork

- Collaboration

- Communication

- Independence

- Ethical understanding

Self-surveys, such as: SURE,

CURE survey (Lopatto), USSRA

(Hunter, et al.)

(38)

Personal Growth & Development

Preponderance of evidence from self-report

Self-report survey data confirmed by focus group

Most analyses focus on professional skills and experiences

Less assessment of identity, self-awareness, etc.

Yet unanswered

(some, limited work has been done)

What specific features of UR produce personal growth

and development?

Are there differences between kinds of UR

experiences?

Role of the mentor in personal growth/development

Some attempts to align UR outcomes with developmental

(39)

Summary of the State of Research on Research

Research approaches

Most data from self-report measures & pre-post measures

Limited assessment with appropriately matched control

Best approaches use mixed methods

Relevant, impactful aspects of the UR experience

Some assessment of duration and intensity

Other intervening variables have received little attention

E.g., ownership, role of mentor, number of experiences,

Comparison between types of experiences

Most assessment look at a single UR experience

How do UR experiences compare?

(40)

Undergraduate Research as Research

Serves to advance

research

Research

OUTCOMES

are a key

determinant of quality.

Focus on

PRODUCT

Undergraduate Research as Pedagogy

A pedagogical

approach to enhance

student learning

Student LEARNING

is

a key determinant of

quality.

Focus on

PROCESS

UR as Persistence &

Retention Strategy

A tool to enhance

recruitment and

retention

Student

SUCCESS

in

college/university is a

key determinant of

quality.

What is distinctive about undergraduate

research?

The focus on scholarly products,

learning process, and student success

makes UR distinctive. Assessment of

UR should consider these outcomes

in combination.

(41)

Questions?

Susan Larson, larson@cord.edu

(42)

References & Sources

 Astin, A.W. (1984), Student involvement: A developmental theory for higher education.

Journal of College Student Personnel, 25, 297-308

 Bauer, K.W. & Bennett, J. S. (2003). Alumni perceptions used to assess undergraduate research

experience. The Journal of Higher Education, 74, 210-230.

 Brownell, S.E. & Kloser, M.J. (2015). Towards a conceptual framework for measuring

effectiveness of course-based undergraduate research experiences in biology. Studies in Higher Education, 40, 525-544.

 Brownell, S.E., Kloster, M.J., Fukami, T., & Shavelson, R. (2012). Undergraduate biology lab

courses: Comparing traditionally based “cookbook” and authentic research-based courses on student lab experiences. Journal of College Science Teaching, 41, 36-45.

 Dolan, E.L. (2017). Undergraduate research as curriculum. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Education, 45, 293-298.

 Haeger,H. & Fresquez, C. (2016). Mentoring for inclusion: The impact of mentoring

undergraduate researchers in the sciences. CBE-Life Science Education, 15, 1-9.

 Harrison, M., Dunbar, D., Ratmansky, L., Boyd, K., & Lopatto, D. (2011). Classroom-based

science research at the introductory level: Changes in career choices and attitudes. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 10, 279-286.

 Hernandez, P.R., Woodcock, A., Estrada, M., & Schultz, W. (2018). Undergraduate research

(43)

 Hunter, A-B., Laursen, S.L. & Seymour, E. (2006). Becoming a Scientist: The role of

undergraduate research in students’ cognitive, personal, and professional development, Science Education, 91, 36-74

 Ishiyama, J. (2002). Does early participation in undergraduate research benefit social science

and humanities students? College Student Journal, 36, 380-386.

 Kuh, G. (2008). High Impact Education Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why

They Matter.

 LaPlant, J.T., Ed. (Fall, 2016). Undergraduate research in the curriculum, CUR Quarterly  LaPlant, J.T., Ed. (Winter, 2016). Undergraduate research in the curriculum: Part II, CUR

Quarterly

 Levy, P. (2011). Embedding inquiry and learning into mainstream higher education: A UK

perspective. CUR Quarterly, 32, 36-42.

 Lopatto, D. (2004). Survey of undergraduate research experiences (SURE): First findings. Cell

Biology Education, 3, 270-277.

 Lopatto, D. (2010). Science in Solution: The Impact of Undergraduate Research on Student Learning,

Washington DC: Council on Undergraduate Research.

 Morales, D.X., Grineski, S.E., & Collins, T.W. (2017). Increasing research productivity in

undergraduate research experiences: Exploring predictors of collaborative student-faculty publications. CBE-Life Science Education, 16, 1-9.

 Murray, J.L. (2018). Undergraduate Research for Student Engagement and Learning. New York:

Routledge.

(44)

 National Academy of Science (2017). Undergraduate Research Experiences for STEM Students:

Successes, Challenges, and Opportunities. Washington, DC: National Academies Press

 Nagda, B. A., Gregerman, S. R., Jonides, J., von Hippel, W., & Lerner, J. S. (1998). Undergraduate

student-faculty research partnerships affect student retention. The Review of Higher Education, 22, 55–72.

 Noji, K.Y. (2011). Marketing and recruiting through undergraduate research teams, CUR

Quarterly, 32, 16-21.

 Overath, R.D., Zhang, D., & Haterhill, R. (2016). Implementing course-based research increases

students aspirations for STEM degrees, CUR Quarterly

 Palmer, R., Hunt, A.N., Neal, M.R., & Wuetherick, B. (fortcoming). Mentored undergraduate

research: An investigation of students’ perceptions of its impact on identity development, In Vandermaas-Peeler, M., Miller, P.C., & Moore, J.L. (Eds.), Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research, Council on Undergraduate Research

 Tinto, V. (2003) Leaving College: Rethinking the Causes and Cures of Student Attrition, 2nd Ed.  Thiry, H., Weston, T.J., Laursen, S.L., & Hunter, A-B. (2012). The benefits of multi-year research

experiences: Differences in novice and experience students’ reported gains from undergraduate research. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 11, 260-272

 Willison, J & O-Regan, K. (207). Commonly known, commonly not known, totally unknown: A

framework for students becoming researchers. Higher Education Research & Development, 26, 393-409.

(45)

Questions?

Susan Larson, larson@cord.edu

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