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Undergraduate Research, Learning Gain and Equity: The Impact of Final Year Research Projects

Parker

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Abstract

This study evaluates the impact of undergraduate research on student achievement. It analyses graduating students from 2011 to 2016 at a UK university that requires a research project comprising 25% of final-year credits in most subjects, providing a sample of over 5000 students across the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. It compares project grades to other final-year grades to gauge the impact on students’ achievement. A multiple regression analysis then determines what factors affect this impact. It concludes that students achieve better grades on research projects than the average of other modules. This improvement is larger for students with lower prior achievement, women, and students in the natural sciences, though smaller for Asians and students declaring a disability. The implications are that undergraduate research provides a measurable benefit to all students, but this impact is larger for some, though not all, historically underrepresented or underachieving groups of students.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 30, 2017
Publication Date Sep 6, 2018
Journal Higher Education Pedagogies
Print ISSN 2375-2696
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 1
Pages 145-157
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/23752696.2018.1425097
Keywords undergraduate research, high-impact practices, learning gain, assessment, higher education
Publisher URL http://doi.org/10.1080/23752696.2018.1425097

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