ERIC Number: EJ1041408
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Reference Count: N/A
Distance-Mentored Undergraduate Research
Albuja, Analia; Greenlaw, Steven A.
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v46 n5 p44-51 2014
One strength of liberal arts and sciences colleges is their emphasis on so-called "high-impact practices" (HIPs), which are known to be associated with student success. These practices include first-year seminars, learning communities, and study abroad, among others. What all of these HIPs share is a deeper level of engagement and active learning than traditional lecture courses offer. Liberal arts schools tend to be small to medium sized institutions, which means they cannot offer the range and depth of academic disciplines and faculty expertise that one might find at a larger research university. This can pose a problem for students who wish to pursue undergraduate research, (another of the HIPs). Over the last two years, the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), a consortium of some two dozen institutions of liberal arts and sciences in the United States and Canada, has been exploring one possible solution to this problem. While no one member has all the resources of a research university, collectively they do. With the generous support of the Teagle Foundation, COPLAC has probed the viability of distance-mentored undergraduate research, in which students from one institution conduct research under the supervision of expert faculty at another. This essay summarizes the findings of this experiment from three perspectives: those of the program administrators, a student undergraduate researcher, and a faculty distance mentor.
Descriptors: Colleges, Liberal Arts, Student Research, Learner Engagement, Active Learning, Undergraduate Students, Distance Education, Mentors, Research Projects, College Faculty
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A