Below are a collection of resources related to providing research or research-like experiences to undergraduate students during a science course. Research experiences are essential to helping students develop an understanding of the scientific method and to engage them in critical thinking and problem solving skills. Involving students in research can: help students learn content and skills, promotes cognitive development, increases self-efficacy, and can increase STEM participation and retention.
Research-like Experiences Embedded in a Course
Teaching with Data from Pedagogy in ActionStudents generating their own data or working with authentic data sets is a strong strategy to get students involved in research-like experiences in the classroom. Of particular interest, How to Teach with Data presents ideas to incorporate data in the classroom, including a rich description of research strategies that get students involved in research-like experiences. Tips on designing assignments can help you get started.
Undergraduate Research from Pedagogy in Action
Learn what defines undergraduate research, explore why research enriches the learning experience, and delve into methods to engage students in research. This module emphasizes that research experiences take many forms, including class-based activities (naturalistic observation, surveys, quantitative writing assignments, experiments), class-based research projects (term papers, service learning, community-based and campus-based learning), and capstone experiences (senior and honors theses). Also, view examples of student research.
Undergraduate Research as Teaching Practice from On the Cutting Edge
This On the Cutting Edge module represents an aggregation of community knowledge, experience, and resources that can encourage and support undergraduate research across the geoscience curriculum. There is help for integrating Inquiry and Discovery-based Projects into Intro Classes and a set of case studies at the introductory level for conducting research with students. Cutting Edge is also hosting a workshop this fall aimed at incorporating research in the first two years, which will include activities and ideas.
Exploring Genomics Data from Genomics Explorers
The Genomics Explorers provide an iterative way for students to choose strategies for asking and addressing biologically interesting questions using a range of genomics tools.
Inquiry-Based Integrated Instructional Units from Teaching Genomics at Small Colleges
Making use of genomics to address various topics in a guided laboratory experience.
Incorporating in-class research projects example from On the Cutting Edge
Greg Hancock provides detailed information about how he incorporates in-class research projects into his geology courses. Listen to Greg offer advice about making this research project approach successful.
More Research in the Classroom Ideas from Pedagogy in Action
More pedagogic guidance for incorporating research-like experiences into the classroom:
- Classroom Experiments
- Inventing and Testing Models
- Measurement and Uncertainty
- PhET Interactive Simulations is a suite of research-based interactive computer simulations for teaching and learning physics, chemistry, math, and other sciences.
- Teaching with Data
- Teaching with Data Simulations
- Teaching with Spreadsheets
- Teaching with Spreadsheets Across The Curriculum
Research Beyond the Class Period
Beyond the Classroom from Building Strong Geoscience Departments
Faculty examples of how they got their students involved in authentic research and why this model attracts more students to STEM.
Undergraduate Project Funding Sources from On the Cutting Edge
Often, the lack of financial support can make the possibility of student research difficult. The Early Career workshop provides some funding ideas to help get students involved in research.
More Lab, Field, and Summer Research Ideas from Pedagogy in Action
More pedagogic guidance for getting students involved in research during lab, field, or summer experiences:
Additional resources outside of SERC:
- Vision and Change Report
- Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education Framework and Tools
- Inverting the Curriculum: Ariel Diaz TED talk
- Teaching Matters: Turning the Teaching of Sciences Upside Down
- CURE survey at Grinnell College
- SURE III survey at Grinnell College