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Graduate/Undergraduate Partnerships (GradUP): How Graduate and Undergraduate Students Learn Research Skills Together

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society Division Technical Session 7

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32879

Download Count

27

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Paper Authors

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Caitlin Donahue Wylie University of Virginia Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0214-7837

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Caitlin D. Wylie is an assistant professor of Science, Technology and Society in the University of Virginia's School of Engineering and Applied Science.

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Ian Linville University of Virginia

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Ian is a graduating Biomedical Engineer at the University of Virginia. He wants to gain industry experience before returning to graduate school to continue his studies and aims to continue expanding his skills and knowledge in data analysis and engineering.

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Angielyn Campo University of Virginia

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I am a recent graduate from the University of Virginia with a major in Nanomedicine Engineering. In my last year of undergraduate I worked with Dr. Wylie in coding and transcribing interviews as a means of evaluating data on the research of learning how graduate and undergraduate students learn research skills from one another. I am currently working in California where I am working on using a small molecule approach to treat atherosclerosis.

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Suk Jun Kim University of Virginia

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Suk Jun Kim is a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Virginia.

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Abstract

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. https://peer.asee.org/32879

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