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Thursday, June 19 • 10:30am - 11:20am
CON4.03 – Undergraduate Research: Not Just a Summer Job! (Room A239)

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Many students, professors, and administrators think that undergraduate research is mentored research, with an undergraduate student working alongside a professor or post-doctoral fellow or graduate student to help advance knowledge.  But undergraduate research is much broader than this conception, available only to a small percentage of elite students.  Healy (2005; Healy & Jenkins, 2009) describe four types of undergraduate research based on the nature of the learning environment and whether the research experience focusses on the research process or research outcomes.  Brew (2006; Brew& Boud, 2009) further elaborates possible outcomes of undergraduate research, ranging from the student acquiring new knowledge and skills to the advancement of new knowledge.   Beckman and Hensel (2009) present a series of continua by which to consider different types of undergraduate research. 

Why do we care about undergraduate research?  A large body of research, cutting across employability (e.g., Finch, Hamilton, Baldwin, & Zehner, 2013), graduate school preparation (e.g., Lopatto, 2004, 2007), and learning (e.g., Healy, 2005), indicates that undergraduate research helps students develop essential skills in written and oral communication, problem solving, creative and critical thinking, and leadership.

In this session, I will briefly present the framework that we use at the University of Alberta to describe undergraduate research (http://uri.ualberta.ca/en/DefiningUndergraduateResearch.aspx), using examples from a wide range of disciplines.  Participants will then work in pairs to identify examples of undergraduate research in their own classes and interactions with students and place the examples within the framework.



Thursday June 19, 2014 10:30am - 11:20am
A239 McArthur Hall

Attendees (7)