Why the EvaluateUR Method is Effective

A Method Based on Student Metacognition

The EvaluateUR Method is shown to be effective because is built on metacognition and improves students' ability to reflect on their learning and direct their efforts.

Read more about Metacognition in the EvaluateUR Method

What Users Are Saying

Users of the EvaluateUR Method provide valuable feedback how the EvaluateUR Method is effective in improving their students' learning.

EvaluateUR has helped our summer research students and faculty mentors to have meaningful conversations about students' professional development as researchers and scholars.
Nicholas Zoller, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Mathematics
Chair, Department of Mathematics
Southern Nazarene University

Bethany, OK

Kerry F. Milch, Ph.D.
Assistant Director for Undergraduate Enrichment
Undergraduate Studies
Temple University

Philadelphia, PA

At the first progress update meeting for our summer research program, one of the students mentioned (unprompted!) that after doing the first EvaluateUR assessment, he and his mentor had both identified communication skills as an area in which he needed improvement. They implemented a plan for his mentor to track his progress, and their conversation prompted him to seek out help from our Writing Center to improve his written communication skills, particularly with audiences outside his specialized field. Without EvaluateUR, I don't think he would have been so proactive in seeking help in this area this early in the program.

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EvaluateUR Method shown effective with research

Findings from EvaluateUR NSF Project

An award from the National Science Foundation's WIDER program supported the scaling up and dissemination of the EvaluateUR method. In 2019, the final year of NSF funding, EvaluateUR was implemented by undergraduate research directors at 37 institutions with 799 student-mentor research pairs completing all of the EvaluateUR steps.

Changes in assessment scores for this group and feedback from user surveys support a number of conclusions about the method:

  • EvaluateUR succeeded in introducing student participants to a comprehensive list of competencies and skills they would need in order to go on to graduate work and/or succeed in the workplace.
  • All EvaluateUR assessment components saw statistically significant positive growth for both students and mentors when tested by a paired sample t test (alpha =.05). Further, the Cohen's d effect size showed medium and large magnitudes of effect for almost all components for both mentors and students. The medium and large effect size suggest that the significance is not just due to chance or large sample size but to genuine impacts on student outcomes.
  • Post-assessment student-mentor conversations contributed to the development and enhancement of student metacognitive skills,characterizedby learners becoming awareof what learning strategies they are pursuing and why, and then using that awareness to make intentional adjustments to those strategies in order to learn more effectively. These conversations also helped most students confirm their plans for graduate school or employment in their major field.
  • Research mentors found it easier to identify the academic strengths and weaknesses of the students they mentored, enabling them to focus their mentoring efforts more productively. 
  • The mentors could also more easily see areas where students might be over- or under- estimating their competencies and could help students gain new insights into their academic strengths and weaknesses and the relative efficacy of their learning strategies. 
  • EvaluateUR provided undergraduate research program directors with tools to help them manage their research program as well as provide them with reliable, readily understandable evidence of the potential benefits of their undergraduate research program. 

Read more about the findings from the 2019 implementation of EvaluateUR 

Summary report of the findings from the 2019 implementation (Acrobat (PDF) 289kB May1 23)

Read about the assessment of student learning outcomes using EvaluateUR-CURE

ETAC ABET and EvaluateUR-CURE: Findings from Combining Two Assessment Approaches as Indicators of Student Learning Outcomes (Acrobat (PDF) 736kB Mar2 22) ©2021 American Society for Engineering Education

Read more about the development of EvaluateUR