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ERIC Number: EJ1119871
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Nov
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0047-231X
An Authentic Research Experience for Undergraduates on a Budget: Using Data from Simple Experiments to Develop Mini-Research Proposals
Robertson, Katherine
Journal of College Science Teaching, v46 n2 p32-36 Nov 2016
The benefits of undergraduate research are well documented, and many colleges and universities include a senior research requirement for graduation. In addition, most science curricula attempt to include discoverystyle, laboratory components to prepare students for their research experiences and to expose them to research methods in different disciplines. However, technology is advancing at such a pace as to make it difficult for undergraduate science labs to keep up; it's hard to expose students to modern research methods when class sizes are large or when there are time or budget constraints. Moreover, short classroom-friendly lab activities often don't facilitate students developing very sophisticated, hypothesis-driven experiments. Here I describe how I have incorporated mini-research proposals into my lab courses. Students use the data they collect during class experiments as preliminary data, from which they formulate a next-step question and hypothesis, and then research upto- date methods for testing their hypothesis. Students learn about methods and technologies that they otherwise wouldn't be exposed to while gaining valuable experience for developing a good senior research project later.
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A