Preview the types of questions and outcomes assessed in EvaluateUR

Student Pre-Research Open-Ended Questions

Before beginning independent research projects, students will respond to a series of open-ended questions about their experiences, interests, and expectations for the research.

Examples of these questions include:

  • Why did you decide to do an undergraduate research project and what is the value you see in conducting research?
  • How did you decide on your research topic?
  • What would you do if you encountered an unexpected problem or setback in your research and it was not obvious how to proceed?

Assessment Questions

Before and during/after the research, students and their mentors assess the following student outcomes on a 5-point scale. Each outcome category in the list below is assessed by several different components.


Click to view components in each outcome category:

Example Assessment Questions: Ability to deal with obstacles

  • Is not discouraged by setbacks or unforeseen events and perseveres in when challenges are encountered.
    5-Always 4-Usually 3-Often 2-Seldom 1-Never
  • Shows flexibility and a willingness to take risks and try again.
    5-Always 4-Usually 3-Often 2-Seldom 1-Never
  • Trouble-shoots problems and searches for ways to do things more effectively.
    5-Always 4-Usually 3-Often 2-Seldom 1-Never

Outcome Categories and Components


  • Understands and uses discipline-specific language
  • Expresses ideas orally in an organized, clear, and concise manner
  • Writes clearly and concisely using correct grammar, spelling, syntax, and sentence structure


  • Displays insight about the topic being investigated
  • Shows ability to approach problems from different perspectives
  • Uses information in ways that demonstrate intellectual resourcefulness
  • Effectively connects multiple ideas/approaches


  • Demonstrates an ability to work independently and identify when guidance is needed
  • Accepts constructive criticism and uses feedback effectively
  • Uses time well to ensure work gets accomplished
  • Sets and meets project deadlines

Ability to Deal with Obstacles:

  • Is not discouraged by unforeseen problems and perseveres when encountering challenges or setbacks
  • Shows flexibility and a willingness to take risks and try again
  • Trouble-shoots problems and searches for ways to do things more effectively

Intellectual Development:

  • Recognizes that problems are often more complicated than they first appear
  • Approaches problems with an understanding that there can be more than one right explanation or even none at all
  • Displays accurate insight into the limits of their own knowledge and an appreciation for what isn't known

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving:

  • Challenges established thinking when appropriate
  • Looks for the root causes of problems and develops or recognizes the most appropriate corrective actions
  • Recognizes flaws, assumptions and missing elements in arguments

Practice and Process of Inquiry:

  • Demonstrates ability to formulate questions and hypotheses within the discipline
  • Demonstrates ability to properly identify and/or generate reliable data
  • Shows understanding of how knowledge is generated, validated and communicated within the discipline

Nature of Disciplinary Knowledge:

  • Shows understanding of the way practitioners think within the discipline and view the world around them
  • Shows understanding of the criteria for determining what is valued as a contribution in the discipline
  • Shows awareness of important contributions in the discipline and who was responsible for those contributions
  • Reads and applies information obtained from professional journals and other sources
  • Is aware of professional societies in the discipline

Content Knowledge and Methods:

  • Displays knowledge of key facts and concepts
  • Displays a grasp of relevant research methods and is clear about how these methods apply to the research project being undertaken
  • Demonstrates an appropriate mastery of skills needed to conduct the project

Ethical Conduct:

  • Recognizes that it is unethical to create, modify, misrepresent, omit, eliminate or misreport data or findings, or to misrepresent authorship
  • Behaves with a high level of collegiality and treats others with respect

Career Goals:

  • Is clear about academic and/or professional/work plans
  • Is aware of how research skills relate to academic and/or professional/work plans