June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Liberal Education/Engineering & Society
Research skills, such as collaborating with others and identifying and producing “good” evidence, are crucial for future engineers and are difficult to learn. Students in academic research communities must learn research skills in order to conduct everyday experimental and design work. How then do the students learn how to ask appropriate research questions, carry out methodologies, interpret evidence, and draw evidence-based conclusions? One valuable way to study how students learn research skills is to watch how graduate and undergraduate students work together to do research. Based on ethnographic observations of pairs of graduate and undergraduate engineers working in four research laboratories, we define five categories of strategies that students use to learn crucial research skills from each other: asking questions, demonstration, supervised attempts, trial and error, and imitation. Our study shows that communities of practice, such as engineering research groups, are valuable sites for graduate and undergraduate students to learn crucial research skills. In addition, these five interaction strategies are relatively stable, even across different research groups, disciplines, demographics, and levels of education. These strategies help facilitate the learning and teaching process within each undergraduate and graduate pair. We found that undergraduate and graduate students learn a great deal from these partnerships, though they tend to learn different things. This finding suggests that partnering novice and advanced researchers can help fill gaps in both partners’ technical and professional knowledge and skills about research.
Wylie, C. D., & Linville, I., & Campo, A., & Kim, S. J. (2019, June), Graduate/Undergraduate Partnerships (GradUP): How Graduate and Undergraduate Students Learn Research Skills Together Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32879
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