Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Book > Developing Undergraduate Research And Inquiry

Mick Healey and Alan Jenkins / The Higher Education Academy  / June 2009

Executive summary

This paper argues that all undergraduate students in all higher education institutions should experience learning through, and about, research and inquiry. In undergraduate research, students learn and are assessed in ways that come as close as possible to the experience of academic staff carrying out their disciplinary research.

The origins of our paper lie, in part, in previous published work worldwide – including our work – on bringing together teaching and disciplinary research. In particular, the paper stems from the United States undergraduate research movement, which started by providing research opportunities for selected students in selected institutions. We argue, as does much recent US experience, that such curricular experience should and can be mainstreamed for all or many students through a research-active curriculum. We argue that this can be achieved through structured interventions at course team, departmental, institutional and national levels. The argument is complemented by a large selection of mini case studies, drawn particularly from the UK, North America and Australasia.

This paper addresses four main audiences:

—— Academic staff (or faculty in North America) who are interested in engaging their students in research, either as part of the curriculum or as co-researchers;

—— Course leaders, department heads and staff with faculty and institutional responsibilities for research and teaching and learning who wish to develop strategies and practices to support undergraduate students undertaking and understanding the nature of research;

—— Staff engaged in educational and research development in universities, including Academy staff in the Subject Centres and in Academy York, who support staff in developing linkages between research and teaching;

—— Institutional and national higher education policy makers, including professional bodies and those giving research grants, who are concerned to develop policies to encourage undergraduates to become involved with research.


Preface 2

Executive summary 3

Argument, origins and scope 5

Nature of undergraduate research and inquiry 15

Issues of inclusiveness 33

Disciplinary practices and strategies 47

Departmental and course team practices and strategies 67

Institutional practices and strategies 79

National policies and strategies 105

The research evidence 113

Conclusion: building connections 121

About the authors 125

References 127

List Of Case Studies

Engaging students in research and inquiry at the beginning of their academic studies

Engaging students in research and inquiry later in their academic studies

Undergraduate research and inquiry in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines

Undergraduate research and inquiry in humanities, social sciences and interdisciplinary studies

Undergraduate research and inquiry in departments and course teams

Undergraduate research and inquiry in institutions

Source And Open Access Text Available


!!! Thanks To Alan Jenkins / Professor Emeritus / Oxford Brookes University / For The HeadsUp !!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How To Develop and Administer Institutional Undergraduate Research Programs

At the Interface of Scholarship and Teaching: How To Develop and Administer Institutional Undergraduate Research Programs
Toufic Maurice Hakim / Washington, DC : Council on Undergraduate Research / ©2000 / vii, 75 pp.

- A step-by-step approach to developing and managing a campus-wide undergraduate research initiative
- Commentaries on undergraduate research issues relating to faculty, students and curricula
- Common practices and surveys
- Useful vignettes

"This manual provides a guide to the crucial questions that must be raised and answered at various stages in the decision-making and implementation process...[It is] a much needed guide for the institutions that wish to begin or expand an undergraduate research program , while at the same time it offers fresh ideas and evaluation tools for more experienced institutions." - Larry Wilson, Past President , Marietta College


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How to Mentor Undergraduate Researchers

How to Mentor Undergraduate Researchers

By Carolyn Ash Merkel California Institute of Technology and Shenda M. Baker Harvey Mudd College / 2002

How to Mentor Undergraduate Researchers is written for faculty members and other researchers who mentor undergraduates. It provides a concise description of the mentoring process, including the opportunities and rewards that a mentoring experience provides to both students and mentors. Expectations of mentors are contrasted with those of students. While written primarily with summer research experiences in mind, the booklet contrasts those intensive experiences with day-to-day mentoring of undergraduate research during the academic year including senior theses. Advice is valid for both on- and off-campus research experiences and most academic disciplines. Practical information includes:

  • How to get started
  • Mentoring tips
  • Coaching and Training
  • Helping the student to develop presentation skills
  • Letters of recommendation for students
  • Resources and references
Special challenges are also reviewed, including:
  • How to handle group dynamics
  • What if the project fails?
  • How much should a mentor demand of a student?
  • How to deal with varying levels of student knowledge and abilities

"This is a well-written, informative booklet that is ideal for its intended audience. I believe it will be very valuable for mentors because it gives informative, flexible guidelines rather than rigid rules that may not be appropriate for all cases." ---Reviewer

How to Mentor Undergraduate Researchers may be ordered for $12.00 plus handling and postage ($4.00). It may be ordered by mail, fax, or on the CUR website.


How to Mentor Undergraduates [Slides]

How to Mentor Undergraduates [Slides]

A workshop sponsored by the Buffalo State College / Office of Undergraduate Research (UGR) and the UGR Advisory Committee / March 11, 2005

Slides prepared by J.Singer, Director of the BSC Office of Undergraduate Research


See Also



Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research Survey: Conferences

Welcome to the Sigma Xi URS Undergraduate Research Survey conferences data collection form. We aim to collect information from undergraduate research symposia, conferences and similar events throughout the United States and beyond. Please complete as much information as possible. Your contribution is very much appreciated.

  • Name of event (symposium, conference, etc.). Enter the official title of the symposium or conference.
  • How frequently is this event held?
  • If yes, please indicate if this event rotates among different institutions.
  • Please select the response that best characterizes the geographical scope of this event.
  • Enter name of the primary institution hosting the event. If the event is rotating (i.e., from one location to another) indicate the institution at which the event was most recently held.
  • Enter where the event was held, including the city and state. If the event is rotating (from one location to another) enter the location at which the event was most recently held.
  • Please enter the primary professional association or organization supporting or hosting this event, if any. (If none, please enter "None")
  • Please enter the URL for the website associated with this event.
  • Please indicate the date on which this event was first held.
  • Enter the beginning date that this event was most recently held.
  • Enter the duration in number of days of the most recent event, including the first and last days.
  • Please select the option that best characterizes the management and organization of this event. This event was organized and managed:
  • Please indicate the academic level of presenters at this event. (Select all that apply.)
  • Please indicate the total number of registrants presenting in this event. Include only those participants presenting research at the event.
  • Please indicate the total number of people attending this event.
  • Please indicate the different disciplines expected to be represented at the event.
  • Please indicate the value of any sponsorship (US$).
  • Did the event receive any external (non-host institution) funding?
  • Please list the top five non-host institution sponsoring organizations.
  • Please enter your contact information in case of questions regarding this information. (We will not pass on your contact information nor make it publicly available.

Thank you very much for providing this information. Your work on this is helping to improve the knowledge of undergraduate research in the US and beyond.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Welcome, Freshmen. Have an iPod.

August 21, 2008 Welcome, Freshmen. Have an iPod


Taking a step that professors may view as a bit counterproductive, some universities are doling out Apple iPhones and Internet-capable iPods to students.

The always-on Internet devices raise some novel possibilities, like tracking where students congregate. With far less controversy, colleges could send messages about canceled classes, delayed buses, campus crises or just the cafeteria menu.

While schools emphasize its usefulness — online research in class and instant polling of students, for example — a big part of the attraction is, undoubtedly, that the iPhone is cool and a hit with students. Basking in the aura of a cutting-edge product could just help a university foster a cutting-edge reputation.

Apple stands to win as well, hooking more young consumers with decades of technology purchases ahead of them. The lone losers, some fear, could be professors.
Students already have laptops and cellphones, of course, but the newest devices can take class distractions to a new level. They practically beg a user to ignore the long-suffering professor struggling to pass on accumulated wisdom from the front of the room — a prospect that teachers find galling and students view as, well, inevitable.


Experts see a movement toward the use of mobile technology in education, though they say it is in its infancy as professors try to concoct useful applications. Providing powerful hand-held devices is sure to fuel debates over the role of technology in higher education.

“We think this is the way the future is going to work,” said Kyle Dickson, co-director of research and the mobile learning initiative at Abilene Christian University in Texas, which has bought more than 600 iPhones and 300 iPods for students entering this fall.


At least four institutions — the University of Maryland, Oklahoma Christian University, Abilene Christian and Freed-Hardeman — have announced that they will give the devices to some or all of their students this fall.


The University of Maryland, College Park is proceeding cautiously, giving the iPhone or iPod Touch to 150 students, said Jeffrey C. Huskamp, vice president and chief information officer at the university. “We don’t think we have all the answers,” Mr. Huskamp said. By observing how students use the gadgets, he said, “We’re trying to get answers from students.”

At each college, the students who choose to get an iPhone must pay for mobile phone service. Those service contracts include unlimited data use. Both the iPhones and the iPod Touch devices can connect to the Internet through campus wireless networks. [snip] University officials say they have no plans to track their students ... . They say they are drawn to the prospect of learning applications outside the classroom, though such lesson plans have yet to surface.


The rush to distribute the devices worries some professors, who say that students are less likely to participate in class if they are multitasking. “I’m not someone who’s anti-technology, but I’m always worried that technology becomes an end in and of itself, and it replaces teaching or it replaces analysis,” said Ellen G. Millender, associate professor of classics at Reed College in Portland, Ore. [snip]

The experience at Duke University may ease some concerns. A few years ago, Duke began giving iPods to students with the idea that they might use them to record lectures (these older models could not access the Internet).

“We had assumed that the biggest focus of these devices would be consuming the content,” said Tracy Futhey, vice president for information technology and chief information officer at Duke.

But that is not all that the students did. They began using the iPods to create their own “content,” making audio recordings of themselves and presenting them. The students turned what could have been a passive interaction into an active one, Ms. Futhey said.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Reinvigorating the Undergraduate Experience

Reinvigorating the Undergraduate Experience: Successful Models Supported by NSF’s AIRE/RAIRE Program

Edited by Linda Kauffman and Janet Stocks, Carnegie Mellon University. [2004]

This 40-page booklet summarizes twenty successful models for undergraduate research, both in the classroom and as mentored undergraduate research outside the classroom. Each chapter includes challenges and how they were overcome. Some special topics are:
  • Research across the disciplines
  • Peer mentors and teaching fellows

  • Problem-based learning

  • Civic responsibility and undergraduate research

  • Research activities in the education of teachers

  • Undergraduate research abroad

  • Assessment of innovative programs

The authors include faculty and administrators from both undergraduate institutions and research universities. Each chapter represents a school that won a special award from the National Science Foundation for success in integrating research and undergraduate education. There is a forward by Joseph Bordogna, Deputy Director of the National Science Foundation, an Introduction by the Editors, and a Postscript by CUR’s National Executive Officer Elaine Hoagland.


Table of Contents

Foreword: Education in the 21st Century / Joseph Bordogna, Deputy Director, National Science Foundation

Editors' Introduction / Linda R. Kauffman and Janet E. Stocks, Carnegie Mellon University

Section I: Strengthening and Broadening Undergraduate Research Efforts on Campus

Research is Another Word for Education / Reed Wilson, Director of the Undergraduate Research Center for Humanities and Social Science ; Audrey Cramer, Director of the Undergraduate Research Center for Life and Physical Science ; Judith L. Smith, Department of Neuroscience and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, University of California (UCLA)

Establishing a Social Science Undergraduate Research Program / Joseph P. Joyce, Stanford Calderwood Professor of Economics and Director, Social Science Summer Research Program, Wellesley College

From Engineering to English: Encouraging Undergraduate Research Across the Disciplines / T. C. Werner, Florence B. Sherwood Professor of Physical Sciences, and Chistina E. Sorum, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, Union College

Involving Faculty at Research Universities in Undergraduate Research / Janet Stocks, Assistant Vice Provost for Education; Jessie Ramey, Founding Director, Undergraduate Research Initiative ; Barbara Lazarus, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Carnegie Mellon University

The Integration of Research and Education: A Case Study of Reinventing Undergraduate Education at a Research University / Wendy Katkin, Director, The Reinvention Center and Associate Provost for Educational Initiatives, State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook

Peer Mentors in Faculty/Student Research Projects and in the Classroom / Peter J. Russell, Professor of Biology ; Jon W. Rivenburg, Director of Institutional Research ; Carol F. Creedon, Professor Emerita in Psychology ; Gena Anderson '99, Graduate Student, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley ; Natalie A. Yager '03, Graduate Student, Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS), University of Chicago, Reed College

Assessment and Evaluation of Innovative Programs: Measuring their Impact / Russel S. Hathaway, College of Literature, Science and the Arts ; Sandra R. Gregerman, Director, Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program ; Cinda S. Davis, Director, Women in Science and Engineering, University of Michigan

Section II: Developing, Supporting And Assessing Curricular Change

Priming the Pumps: Developing and Assessing Research-Like Experiences in Courses / Janice E. Thornton, Department of Biology and Neuroscience ; Judith Beinstein-Miller, Department of Psychology ; Tysza Gandha, Department of Psychology ; Patricia deWinstanley, Department of Psychology, Oberlin College

Scaling Up Research-Based Education for Undergraduates: Problem-Based Learning / D. E. Allen, Department of Biological Sciences ; B. J. Duch, Department of Mathematics and Science Education Resource Center ; S. E. Groh, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry ; G. B. Watson, Department of Physics and Astronomy ; H. B. White, III, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Delaware

An Agenda for Institutional Change / Robert J. Thompson, Jr., Dean of Trinity College ; Lee W. Willard, Associate Dean of Trinity College, Duke University

The Interdisciplinary Laboratory: An Integration of Chemistry, Biology, and Physics / Gerald R. Van Hecke, Department of Chemistry ; Kerry K. Karukstis, Department of Chemistry ; F. Sheldon Wettack, Department of Chemistry and Vice President / Dean of Faculty ; Catherine S. McFadden, Department of Biology ; Richard C. Haskell, Department of Physics, Harvey Mudd College

The Warm Little Pond and the Warm Little Planet: Research Inquiry for the Second Tier / Jan C. Weaver , Honors College and Environmental Studies Program ; Francis J. Schmidt, Honors College and Department of Biochemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia

Inquiry-Based Biology and Biological Chemistry: An Evolutionary Tale / Bruce A. Voyles ; Patricia Armstrong Johnson, Professor of Biological Chemistry, Grinnell College

Data Driven Inquiry: Reforming the Teaching of Science 101 Through the Use of Instructional Technology / Gregory D. Bothun, Department of Physics, University of Oregon

Teaching Fellows: An Innovative Approach to Facilitate the Integration of Research and Education / Philip J. Nyhus, Deartment. of Earth and Environment, Franklin & Marshall College, formerly NSF-AIRE teaching fellow, Colby College ; F. Russell Cole, Department of Biological Sciences, NSF-AIRE Project Director ; David H. Firmage, Clara C. Piper Professor of Environmental Studies ; Edward H. Yeterian, Vice President for Academic Affairs, NSF-AIRE Principal Investigator, Colby College

Section III: Reaching Beyond The Institution

Undergraduate Institutions as Catalysts for Integrating Research Across Disciplines and Communities of Learners / Susan M. Libes, Department of Marine Science & Chemistry ; Joseph T. Bennett, Director of Environmental Quality Lab, Department of Marine Science ; Sharon L. Gilman, Department of Biology ; Valgene L. Dunham, NSF-AIRE Program Director ; John P. Idoux, NSF-AIRE Principal Investigator, Coastal Carolina University

Connecting Civic Responsibility to the Integration of Research and Education: the High School Student Research Program Aboard the Vessel R/V Vantuna / Robert M. de Groot, Resource Teacher, TOPS Marine Science Experience ; April A. Mazzeo, Program Coordinator, TOPS Science Outreach Programs ; Chris L. Craney, Associate Dean, Professor of Chemistry, Occidental College

Research Activities in the Education of Teachers / Dean Zollman, University Distinguished Professor and Head Department of Physics, Kansas State University
An Integrating Culture of Undergraduate Research / Donald Cronkite, Department of Biology ; Janet L. Andersen, Department of Mathematics ; James Gentile, Dean of Natural Sciences, Hope College

Biomedical Research Abroad: Vistas Open (BRAVO!) A Program to Prepare Science Students for the 21st Century / Carol Bender, Director, Undergraduate Biology Research Program and Biomedical Research Abroad: Vistas Open! Program, University of Arizona