Faculty and Undergraduate Research Collaboration
by Alex Jinks
The research conducted for this project focused on undergraduate research opportunities. Topics included the general areas of study where research is prevalent; perceived advantages and disadvantages of conducting undergraduate research; and restraints that may make conducting research difficult. The findings indicate that undergraduate research is most often conducted in various fields, with a tendency to stray toward sciences. Our research also indicates that undergraduate students benefit greatly from research experiences, mostly in terms of intrinsic attitude toward academia and their field of study. Few perceived limitations were found, and there was no evidence that undergraduate research opportunities have any negative effects. However, some sources suggested that research opportunities may not benefit an undergraduate student depending on several factors such as time and personality.
About the Author
Alex is a junior Early Childhood Education major with the recent addition of a minor in Integrative STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Education Methods. I was new to the field of education when I began this research project, and was hoping to use my experience as a segue into other research projects more relevant to the topics I am passionate about—diversity, parent involvement, and STEM education. The research project I participated in examined the benefits on undergraduates of participating in student-faculty research collaborations. The goal of doing research was to familiarize myself with the research methods used by educators, which I believe was achieved. My next step is to take my first research experience and utilize the skills I gained to partake in a more specific research project with deeper ties to my interests. I also hope to explore other research methods used by educators on a daily basis.