Resources on high-impact undergraduate research practices available at Elon’s Center for Engaged Learning
Elon’s Center for Engaged Learning offers extensive resources on high-impact undergraduate research (UR) practices. The Center’s new resource page on undergraduate research includes best practices, key scholarship, model programs, videos, and emerging scholarship from the Center’s research seminar on Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research.
The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) defines undergraduate research as: “An inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.” Similarly, Kinkead (2003) notes that Undergraduate Research (UR) can include scientific inquiry, creative activity, and scholarship that produces original work.
The Center’s resource focuses on high-impact undergraduate research, meaning the research will:
- Increase academic skills such as critical thinking, research and communication skills;
- Positively affect professional growth and development including a stronger sense of professional identity, ability to persist, greater interest and success in graduate school and helps clarify career and academic major;
- Positively influence psychosocial development with an increased confidence, self-efficacy and intercultural competence; and
- Increase affinity for the university with increased student retention and personal satisfaction.
Further, the Center provides a list of good practices to facilitate such high-impact undergraduate research. Some of these include:
- Mutual engagement by both faculty and students
- Quality mentoring with one-on-one time and clear expectations
- Occurring over a lengthy period of time – the more time students spend on research, the more they benefit (Salsman et al., 2015; Taraban & Logue, 2012)
The Center also has two video series on undergraduate research showcased on the resource page. One video series focuses on mentoring undergraduate research and features participants in the Center’s research seminar on Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research.
The second features undergraduate researchers who share tips for both faculty and their student peers.
Visit the Center’s Undergraduate Research page to learn more.
This resource page and the research seminar on Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research continue the Center for Engaged Learning’s efforts to bring together international leaders in higher education to develop and to synthesize rigorous research on central questions about student learning. The Center fosters investigations of engaged learning and high-impact educational practices; hosts multi-institutional research and practice-based initiatives, conferences, and seminars; and shares related resources for faculty and faculty developers on high-impact practices for engaged learning.
Requests for more information and any questions about the Center for Engaged Learning should be directed to Jessie L. Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.