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ERIC Number: ED513362
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 344
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-8918-3
Learning through Research: How a Summer Undergraduate Research Experience Informs College Students' Views of Research and Learning
Martinez, Anabella
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
This study explores undergraduate students' experiences of learning disciplinary research in a summer undergraduate research program (S-UR). The study used a qualitative research design incorporating semi-structured interview, observation, and document analysis methods to analyze the learning experiences of nine study participants from different academic disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Undergraduate research initiatives, including S-UR programs, have been identified as a means to address the shortcomings of the quality of teaching and learning in undergraduate education. Most research-based writings on undergraduate research are outcomes-based. As such, these writings largely fail to address the meaning that such learning may have for students. In response to this, the study considered how the learning of research can inform the meanings students attribute to: (1) research, (2) themselves as researchers, (3) learning and (4) themselves as learners. It also identified aspects of the S-UR program that students viewed as facilitating their learning of research. The conceptual framework highlights four dimensions of learning: (1) learning as experiential, (2) learning as situated, (3) learning as social, and (4) learning as informing an individual's sense of self. Study findings include: (1) Undergraduate students may enter their S-UR program with substantial understanding of research in their fields of study. (2) Through their S-UR program participation, undergraduate students may further enhance their understanding of the purpose and process of research in their fields of study. (3) An S-UR program experience may increase undergraduate students' confidence in themselves as emerging researchers. (4) Undergraduate students may find that S-UR program expectations, activities and sponsored relationships facilitate their learning of research. (5) Participating in an S-UR program may enhance students' previous views on learning and on themselves as learners. This study provided insight into features of prior learning and current S-UR project that in participants' views mattered for their learning of research. It also elucidates aspects of S-UR programming requiring special attention to support students' learning. Finally, it demonstrates that undergraduate students may attribute meanings to their experiences of learning research that make S-UR program valuable for students with diverse educational and professional plans. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A