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ERIC Number: EJ1059080
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-2368-4526
Evidence in Support of Removing Boundaries to Undergraduate Research Experience
Haave, Neil; Audet, Doris
Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, v6 p105-110 2013
Undergraduate research is one of several high impact educational practices used by educational institutions to increase student engagement and success (Kuh, 2008). Many studies on the impact of undergraduate research have surveyed students or faculty on their personal experience and its influence on students' subsequent degrees and employment (Brownell & Swaner, 2010). These studies have documented the ability of high impact educational practices to have the greatest influence on those students who self-identify as belonging to a minority or disadvantaged group. Few studies, however, have documented the impact on students with lower grades. The privilege of being admitted to an undergraduate research experience (e.g., an independent studies course) is typically reserved for upper-year students who have proven themselves academically. This paper presents correlational data from our campus showing that academically weaker students have a greater increase in academic performance between prior grade point average (GPA) and final grade in an independent studies course than academically stronger students. In addition, student annual GPA data shows that the impact of undergraduate research serves to raise students' GPAs in the year of an independent studies course. Although the findings are based on data from one small campus, they do raise the question that if undergraduate research has the greatest impact on academically weaker students and accelerates academic maturity, is limiting registration into these courses on the basis of superior GPA and years of study placing inappropriate boundaries on student learning?
Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 1280 Main Street West, Mills Library Room 504, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L6, Canada. Tel: 905-525-9140; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada