Student perceptions of the undergraduate research experience: what do they think they really gain and how much influence does it have?

Paula Myatt

Abstract


This paper explores the benefits that undergraduate science students perceive as a result of participating in an undergraduate research experience (URE) and explores the possible influences that UREs have on the future career directions of students. Authentic undergraduate research experiences in science play an important role in providing context to student learning and providing a sense of being a 'scientist'. There has been, however, some concern over the validity of the claims made relating to the extent of the impact that research experiences have on undergraduate students. This paper focuses on a new Summer Research Scholarship experience and reports on some of the findings from a 2008/2009 pilot study that investigated student perceptions of their undergraduate research experiences as 2nd year students studying within science.

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