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Assessing Undergraduate Research Experiences in Economics

Assessment activities can help faculty learn what and how students learn, and help students learn this as well! Thoughtful assessment of students can also give faculty the information they need to improve their teaching. Undergraduate research experiences lend themselves to a multitude of valuable formative and summative assessment tools.

In economics, there are several examples of rubrics for different stages of the research experience.

Research Question Rubrics for Economics

McGoldrick (2007) offers guidelines for developing quality research questions in economics (scroll to Figure 2).

Paper and Proposal Rubrics for Economics

Greenlaw (2006)'s Doing Economics, a text written for undergraduate researchers, offers rubrics for both research proposals and research papers.

Elon University's senior thesis grading rubric is used in several of the economics examples on this web page.

McGoldrick (2007) has another version of a rubric for a research paper (find Figure 5) as well as a a research tips handout that can help with student self-assessment and guidelines for conducting peer reviews of paper drafts (in Figures 7 and 8).

Presentation Guides and Rubrics

Greenlaw (2006)'s Doing Economics, offers students guidelines for effective presentations.

The American Economic Association's Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession has a list of ten tips for giving an effective presentation that are as helpful to undergraduates as they are to new and old faculty.