A multi-disciplinary study of the benefits students gain from engaging in research experiences

Zimbardi, Kirsten and Myatt, Paula M. (2011). A multi-disciplinary study of the benefits students gain from engaging in research experiences. In: HERDSA 2011 Conference, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, (). 4-7 July 2011.

Author Zimbardi, Kirsten
Myatt, Paula M.
Title of paper A multi-disciplinary study of the benefits students gain from engaging in research experiences
Conference name HERDSA 2011 Conference
Conference location Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
Conference dates 4-7 July 2011
Publication Year 2011
Sub-type Oral presentation
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Undergraduate research has been associated with high levels of student engagement, academic success (Kuh, 2008), and a large range of professional and personal benefits (Hunter, Laursen, & Seymour, 2006; Lopatto, 2009). However, many previous studies have focussed on a limited definition for undergraduate research across a limited range of disciplinary contexts. In this showcase, we examine the student benefits across a range of models of undergraduate research in a large number of diverse disciplines (Farrand-Zimbardi, van der Burg, & Myatt, 2010). Sixty-eight academics were interviewed to obtain detailed information on the undergraduate research programs they coordinated. All comments relating to student benefits were identified in the interview transcripts, and categorised in relation to eight themes of benefits developed by Hunter and colleagues (2006). There were clear differences in the frequency with which certain benefits were reported in our broad study, compared with previous reports focussing on narrower examples of undergraduate research. The most frequently reported benefits related to the development of students’ skills, particularly communication skills. The second most frequently reported benefit related to the experience of thinking and working like a researcher or professional in each of the different discipline areas, for example applying research skills to solve complex industry-relevant problems. Benefits related to enhancing students’ career preparation were also frequently reported, most notably students using the outcomes of their research projects to gain employment. By investigating undergraduate research experiences across a diverse range of disciplinary and curricular contexts, we have highlighted adaptations to the traditional model of undergraduate research which specifically benefit students who plan to pursue careers outside academic research.
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown
Additional Notes Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA)

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
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Created: Mon, 24 Oct 2011, 09:55:53 EST by Dr Kirsten Zimbardi on behalf of School of Biomedical Sciences