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  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 1

    Enhancing Undergraduate Enhancing Undergraduate Education through Education through

    Research and Independent Research and Independent StudyStudy

    Dr. Brad StithUniversity of Colorado Denver

    I will post this Ppt talk:http://carbon.cudenver.edu/~bstith/

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 2

    My talk is divided into 3 Sections

    1. Defining Undergraduate Research2. Assessment 3. How To for Undergraduate Research

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 3

    1. Defining Undergraduate Research?

    Using Google # of hits for "undergraduate research ~2,870,000 hitsundergraduate research grant program -64,400Director of Undergraduate Research -20,800 hitsDirectors now commonIt is ONE OF THE HOTTEST NEWPROGRAMS IN HIGHER EDUCATION

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 4

    Council on Undergraduate Research see www.cur.org.also see their new book: Developing and Sustaining a Research-Supportive Curriculum (2007)

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 5

    T. McDormans major concerns for Undergraduate Research in Rhetoric

    1. Since research can be personal, solitary and very individualistic, how can students be involved?

    2. How can the project be broken into parts for groups of students?

    3. It is difficult for the students to understand advanced concepts necessary for a paper

    4. Student writing skills low

    T McDorman; Wabash College, Promoting Research in the Humanities 2004 CUR Quarterly.

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 6

    McDormans Program:(Wabash College)

    1. Weekly meetings (small steps)2. Students read original literature3. Students write SHORT criticisms (5-7 pages)4. Faculty feedback5. Faculty and students write paper (line by line

    reviews)6. Present paper on campus (Undergraduate

    Research Symposium)7. Next semester: submit (2 SEMESTER PROCESS)8. Address journal concerns9. Resubmit or submit to new journal

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 7

    Undergraduate Research in the HumanitiesCUR Quarterly 2007by Laurie Grobman (Penn State Berks

    Lists of where to publish (if it is not published, is it research?)It is not a term paper: not collecting info and then passing it onnot paraphrasing reference works...Students move beyond synthesis of othersresearch, .performing my own original research.".. possibly 2 semestersIt involves: many drafts with peer review, field research, first person voice, different media/subjects/genres with multiple perspectives, primary sources, where the student defends every statement.

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 8

    Problems to overcome; Making HistoryDavid Wittner, Utica College) (CUR Q: fall 2007)

    Problem: Students frustrated with lack of progress and understanding of the materiallose motivationstudents have limited research abilitiesneed to examine many sources to obtain little bits of relevant information Solutions: Require at least 10 sourcestake a methods course beforeteach word processingSHORT WEEKLY ASSIGNMENTSPEER review powerfuluse an OUTLINEstudents need to answer why, so what and who cares?

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 9

    In Research Experience or Independent Study: Students can

    Develop hypotheses based on a reading of background literatureApply logic and critical thinking skills to defend or criticize the hypothesesDesign and Conduct Experiments Collect Information (data) and Interpret the InformationWrite, Graph, and Present their Results

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 10

    Benefits of Und Res/IndptStudy

    Enhance the students creativity in overcoming obstacles, Increase confidence in the subject (thus increasing retention),Learn original literature (which is more challenging to students than the use of textbooks)

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 11

    Benefits Contd

    Learn by doing hands onapproach to learning (see a method or fundamental concept) Enhance oral and written presentation skills. Students teaching others (best way of learning is through teaching)Facilitates career decisions (do I want to get a Ph.D.?)

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 12

    ability to work in groups, career opportunities (Pat Ayres letter), development of regular work habits- real world skillcritical thinking skills

    Benefits contd; It Enhances

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 13

    THESE ACTIVITIES ARE ALL TECHNIQUES OF ACTIVE LEARNING

    J. Handelsman et al., 2004.

    Research is the finest form of Teaching

    (L. Hoopes, 1993)

    We give Bachelors degrees in tennis,but never allow the student play tennis

    -they only read about it

    Teaching and Undergraduate Research

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 14

    Research at a PUI (Primarily Undergraduate Institution) is not a lower-level version of research at a (Research 1 institution).

    (We do it) because it is the best way of teaching

    Scott Gilbert, Swarthmore College

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 15

    Based on studies of how students learn, faculty in physics have found that traditional lecture, laboratory, and recitation courses, are relatively ineffective as compared with courses including active, inquiry-based, and collaborative learning, assisted by information technology

    WB Wood, JM Gentile, Science 302:1510, 2003

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 16

    Benefits for FacultyEnhance careers (I have received almost 2.5 million $ in grant funds)Increase job satisfactionIncreases connections with local/national/international facultyKeeps faculty intellectually vigorousEnhances the quality of classroom teachingEngages faculty in original scholarship and new methodology

    (help from Jill Singer, Department of Earth Sciences and Director, Office of Undergraduate Research, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY)

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 17

    Benefits to the Department and Institution:

    Intellectually vigorous facultyEngaging academic environmentSupports academic activities (symposia, seminars)Enhances fund raising and national profileEnhances students progression to graduate/professional programs

    (help from Sally Koutsoliotas, Bucknell University)

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 18

    HOLD ON! WAIT A MINUTE!

    At this point, some will say (correctly)

    ARE THE STUDENT BENEFITS REAL? WHERE IS THE PROOF?(MOVE ON TO PART 2 OF TALK)

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 19

    2. Assessment of undergraduate research: 4 Types

    1. Student tracking where did the students go? (a more successful career path?)

    2. Enhanced retention rates? 3. Surveys -- large numbers of students with

    carefully designed survey instruments, developed by social scientists experienced in survey methodology

    4. Measure Student skills

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 20

    Survey conducted by SRI International (Henry, 2005a)

    Undergraduate Research motivates and encourages students to pursue an advanced degreeGains were largely independent of the mentor's race or sex.Students report increased confidence and independence.

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 21

    Undergraduate Research increases confidence in the subject -thus

    increasing retention

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 22

    2nd SurveySeymouret al., 2004

    Gains in:CONFIDENCECOLLEGIALTIYRESPONSIBILITYUNDERSTANDNG OF HOW SCIENCE WORKSCOMMUNICATION SKILLSRES EXP DID NOT INCREASE NUMBER OF STUDENTS GOING ON TO SCIENCE CAREER

    (76 students interviewed; Seymour et al., 2004)

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 23

    Largest Survey*- SURE Survey (Lopatto, 2004;2007)

    Students Report Very High Gains in:1. Understanding the Research Process2. Readiness for more demanding research3. Tolerance for Obstacles4. Learning to Work Independently5. Skill in the Interpretation of Results6. Ability to Analyze Data7. Felt part of the learning community8. Increased Self-confidence

    *1135 students in summer research programs at 41 institutions

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 24

    LOPATTO CONTD

    Influenced Career Choice (but increase in students choosing science career was balanced by those who dropped out)Minority students gained as much as non-minority studentsHigher Gains correlated with Higher Positive Social Interaction (with faculty and fellow students students should work in teams)College, Masters Univ, and Research University Students Showed Same Gains!

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 25

    Other surveys* report undergraduate research students

    haveHigher rates of satisfaction with their educationGreater understanding of the scientific methodGreater gains in critical thinking skills Increased skills in leadership Increased ability to work independently

    *summarized in Rueckert, 2002

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 26

    But many surveys do not involve a randomly selected" group of students or a control group

    One study did: Nagda et al., 1998 The randomly selected group that had a research experience showed increased

    retention spent more time talking to professorscontributing to class discussionsless time socializing, sleeping, eating

    than other students

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 27

    The need for more studies..

    Surveys use self-reporting by the student and may not be accurate

    Need direct test of student skills in before and after a research experiencethencompare to control group

    ONE SUCH STUDY HAS BEEN COMPLETED

  • Dr. Brad Stith Univ CO Denver 28

    Rauckhorst et al. (2001) Tested for Increased thinking skills after a

    Research Experience2001)

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