The space between design and delivery in large-scale undergraduate research experiences

Rowland, Susan and Pedwell, Rhianna (2016). The space between design and delivery in large-scale undergraduate research experiences. In: HERDSA Annual Conference: The shape of higher education, Fremantle, WA, Australia, (). 4-7 July 2016.

Author Rowland, Susan
Pedwell, Rhianna
Title of paper The space between design and delivery in large-scale undergraduate research experiences
Conference name HERDSA Annual Conference: The shape of higher education
Conference location Fremantle, WA, Australia
Conference dates 4-7 July 2016
Publication Year 2016
Sub-type Oral presentation
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Large-scale course-based undergraduate research experiences (LUREs) in science education are becoming increasingly common both in Australia and internationally. In the USA there are high-value grants available to support these initiatives, and as a result there are multiple nation-wide research projects that engage thousands of students per year (see e.g., Australian educators, in contrast, deliver LUREs in an environment of more limited funding and support. How do they make these programs work in a resource-limited environment? More specifically, what is the space between the initial design and the delivered curriculum for LUREs in Australia? This knowledge is important, because it allows potential new implementers of LUREs to better consider what a LURE can and cannot offer to their educational program. To address these questions we performed an environmental scan of LUREs in Australia using published literature, conference proceedings, online descriptions of programs, and personal communications from colleagues. We identified 21 LUREs that had been delivered more than once in Australia with a mean enrolment number of 249 ± 355 students (cohort size range 10¬-1400 students). We used the Beckman and Hensel (2009) continua for undergraduate research experiences to categorise the curriculum and ethos of each of these programs. Categorisations were member checked with the implementers of these LUREs whenever possible. Features of the programs that we had used to categorise them as LUREs were common (e.g., intergration in the undergraduate curriculum, collaborative work, and student, process-centred learning objectives). Other areas, such as the selection of the research question, the originality of the results to the field of research, and the modes of assessment, varied from one LURE to the next. One LURE model does not fit all students and all contexts, but are the differences in these models due to design choices by the implementers or do they occur because of hurdles that the implementers encountered? We are currently surveying and interviewing the LURE implementers about their curricula and design ethos. In particular, we ask about the spaces between their envisioned and enacted curricula and probe for the reasons behind these differences. The results will give us a clearer picture of the subtleties involved in fitting undergraduate research into an already crowded tertiary science curriculum and help educators decide which compromises they are willing to make as they deliver large-scale, course-based research experiences to undergraduates.
Subjects 330000 Education
330203 Curriculum Studies - Science Education
Keyword Undergraduate research experience
Science education
Curriculum studies
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
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Created: Wed, 24 Aug 2016, 21:06:57 EST by Dr Susan Rowland on behalf of School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences