August 23, 2022
June 26, 2022
June 29, 2022
Participating in a research experience for undergraduates (REU) site provides opportunities for students to develop their research and technical skills, network with other REU students/professors, raise their awareness of graduate studies, and understand the social context of research. In support of this mission, our REU site at the University of Alabama is exploring research at the intersection of engineering and communicative disorders. Students from engineering and computer science from across the country are recruited to support projects with a sensor and signal processing focus to support a need in communicative disorders under the mentorship of two faculty, one from engineering and another from communicative disorders. Beyond research training this site coordinates professional development workshops (networking training, graduate school applications, poster development, communications skills), clinical shadowing, social activities, and cultural activities (visit to local museums and state cultural sites) to enrich the student experience. To understand participants satisfaction with the program, their research, and specific program elements their feedback is solicited using an online survey (using quantitative and open-ended questions) and a focus group facilitated by the program evaluators at the end of their program participation. After 2 summer iterations of this REU site in 2019 and 2021 a total of 20 students have participated in the program. This work will provide an overview of the REU site and detail the reported student satisfaction with the overall experience, workshop and shadowing experiences, faculty mentoring experiences, research experience, perceived learning gains, and impact on interest in graduate school. Additionally, comparisons between 2019 and 2021 student feedback related to program elements that were revised between iterations will be completed to evaluate the impact of these revisions on the student experience. This analysis, which comes at the program midpoint, will identify program elements that students feel contribute most to their experience and elements that could be improved. These details will inform the design and execution of the 3rd iteration of the REU site at the University of Alabama and help other REU coordinators identify successful program elements that could support their own site goals.
Freeborn, T., & Gosa, M., & McCallum, D., & Steele, E. (2022, August), Student Satisfaction and Perceptions of Summer REU Experience in an Engineering/Communicative Disorders Focused Site at Program Midpoint Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/41915
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