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Teaching Research Skills In Summer Undergraduate Research Programs

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Research Infrastructure in STEM Disciplines

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1173.1 - 13.1173.25



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Paper Authors

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Jacqueline Fairley Georgia Institute of Tehnology

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Jill Auerbach Georgia Institute of Technology

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Adrianne Prysock Georgia Institute of Technology

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Leyla Conrad Georgia Institute of Technology

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Gary May Georgia Institute of Technology

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Teaching Research Skills in Summer Undergraduate Research Programs Abstract

High-quality research skills are an essential component in successfully navigating the graduate school process. The focus of this work is to describe a successful approach to teaching research skills to undergraduate students by combining laboratory experience with weekly instructional seminars in an attempt to foster future success in graduate school. This approach was designed and implemented for a ten-week summer research experience program for undergraduate students. The weekly instructional seminar series addressed research skills in three key areas: communication, investigation, and documentation.

The seminar series began with the “Communications Seminars,” where student participants learned how to concisely explain their research topics through an ‘elevator talk’ activity, a common exercise utilized in business fields. Followed by “Investigation Seminars,” that addressed conducting literature reviews and creating annotated bibliographies. Instructions on formulating and maintaining a research notebook were given in the “Documentation Seminar” to close out the seminar series. Each seminar consisted of hands-on activities that demonstrated the application of the material covered during the workshop. Students were then encouraged to use the applications while conducting their own research throughout the summer.

Details on the procedures used to implement each seminar are included in this work. A survey assessment of the research skills seminars was also conducted. The survey findings show the effectiveness of the research seminars in enhancing student participant’s understanding and application of research skills. The 2007 program year survey results provide insight on the overall effectiveness of incorporating weekly research skills workshops into a summer undergraduate research experience and are presented in this study.

Fairley, J., & Auerbach, J., & Prysock, A., & Conrad, L., & May, G. (2008, June), Teaching Research Skills In Summer Undergraduate Research Programs Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4091

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