The EvaluateUR Methods: Improving learning outcomes, mentorship, and evaluation in independent undergraduate research, course-based research, and team competitions through metacognitive practice

Poster Session Part of Friday Poster Session


Maureen Kahn, Carleton College
John Draeger, SUNY Buffalo State University
Sean Fox, Carleton College
Jill Singer, SUNY Buffalo State University
Daniel Weiler, SUNY Buffalo State University
Jill Zande, Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center
Metacognition is central to student learning, encouraging learners to be aware of what they are doing and why, and to use that awareness to make intentional adjustments to learn more effectively. Undergraduate research experiences provide rich opportunities for students to learn new skills, develop scientific thought, and work independently and collaboratively. EvaluateUR serves education institutions across the U.S., providing statistically reliable assessments of student growth in specific outcome categories through online open-ended questions and assessments, arranged mentor-student meetings, and support. While this approach provides evidence for the benefit of research experiences in student learning, the primary benefit is to the participating student through the development of metacognitive skills.

Across three programs designed for different settings, the EvaluateUR methods provide a structure for students to build and leverage metacognition to self-assess their progress and enhance their learning experience. Each version of EvaluateUR assesses a variety of outcome categories, such as communication skills or critical thinking, each defined by several components and scored online both by the student and their mentor. Automatically generated score reports are shared between the student and mentor pairs, and conversations are facilitated to help students understand their academic strengths and weaknesses, and to provide chances for reflection and improvement throughout the research experience. EvaluateUR is available by subscription for research programs and institutions facilitating independent undergraduate research. The modified EvaluateUR-CURE method provides assessment for course-based undergraduate research, assessing student learning gains in research settings more broadly accessible to STEM students. Evaluate-Compete is designed to help high school, community college, and college/university students participating in ROV (remotely underwater vehicle) competitions to improve their learning through this activity. Technical platforms have been developed and are in use for all three applications of EvaluateUR methods, and new users are encouraged to explore the resources and enroll at