Undergraduate Research Projects
Welcome to the Mini-Course Undergraduate Research Projects
How engaged are your students in their research assignments? Do you feel that they are engaging in critical inquiry or fulfilling expressed requirements? How do you help them understand and participate in the research process?
While there is agreement that research is an essential skill for our professional, civic and personal lives, there is little agreement on how we can best help our students master the research process. This course will guide participants through their own process of critical inquiry that culminates in the creation of a new or updated research project.
In this mini-course participants will explore how students experience the research process. In light of this information they will explore how they frame research in the classroom in preparation for research assignments. Alternative models to the standard research paper will be considered along with some of the common pitfalls of research assignment presentation and handouts. This will all come together as participants create a research project that includes student learning outcomes, mechanisms for making the research process visible, a project handout, and a strategy for assessing the research component of the project.
Participants are expected to have at least one year of experience assigning and assessing undergraduate research assignments.
How This Course Works
First take a look at the units and objectives listed below - this will give you an overview of the sequencing of this course. Each unit will have most, if not all, of the following elements
- Introduction - overview, objectives, and tasks
- Engage - actively engage with readings and videos
Do whatever works best for you to facilitate active reading/viewing. An old school option is a dedicated notebook, a newer school option is an electronic word journal or blog.
- Apply - apply what you have learned in assignments that will build and result in a research project for one of your classes
- Reflect - answer suggested questions and reflect on what you have learned, how you learned it, and how you can apply that learning
There is also a diigo group where you can share useful resource - please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and include your email so that I can add you to the group.
While units will link directly to open access resources, there are two books that I highly recommend for this course and for your library:
Badke, W.B. (2012). Teaching research processes: The faculty role in the development of skilled student researchers. Oxford, England: Chandos.
Bean, J.C. (2011). Engaging ideas: The professor's guide to integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Click on the units below to begin
Unit 1 - Research on Student Research
- Participants will Identify common hurdles experienced by undergraduates in the research process.
- Participants will reflect on previous research assignments.
Unit 2 - Reconsidering Research Projects
Participants will create a research project plan that reflects how research is conducted in a specific discipline and makes the research process visible.
Unit 3 - Presenting the Research Project
- Participants will identify how assignment handouts can create barriers or bridges to understanding.
- Participants will create a project handout that develops bridges to understanding for students.
Unit 4 - Assessing the Research Project
- Participants will create a project rubric that facilitates assessment of the research process and product.