ERIC Number: ED301100
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
A Second Look at the Relation of Research Assistantships and Research Productivity.
Worthen, Blaine R.; Gardner, Michael K.
A study was conducted to: depict the current types of research assistantships in universities; ascertain students' perceptions of their assistantship experiences; depict the specific activities of research assistants; determine whether today's assistantships provide a genuine research apprenticeship; and compare today's assistantships with those considered predictive of later research productivity. The population consisted of all graduate students holding education, social science of behavioral science research assistantships at five U.S. universities. A questionnaire was distributed with the aid of a local facilitator at each university. Of the 838 students who received questionnaires, 430 (52%) responded; the final sample consisted of 294 responses. Results, which are compared with those of the Worthen and Roaden study (1971), included the following: (1) 44% of the research assistants (RAs) were female, and 55% male, ratios that were similar to those of the graduate student pools at the universities; (2) 72% of the assistantships lasted between 4 and 12 months; (3) 81% of the RAs reported that their assistantships had been created to provide support for a research activity, and 17% gave "training for the RA" as the reason; (4) financial support and desire for research experience were the predominant reasons for seeking an assistantship; and (5) although RAs are involved in research activities, it does not appear that they receive complete training, and their participation in research is far less than in the 1971 study. The results are considered more provocative than conclusive, but suggestive that assistantships may be falling below their training potential. Data are provided in five tables and a series of handouts that accompanied the presentation. (KM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 5-9, 1988).