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Work in Progress: Undergraduate Research Experiences Survey (URES) and Engineering Identity

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Student Experiences with Undergraduate Research

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Caitlin Donahue Wylie University of Virginia Orcid 16x16

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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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Kathryn A. Neeley University of Virginia

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Kathryn Neeley is Associate Professor of Science, Technology, and Society in the Engineering & Society Department of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. She is a past chair of the Liberal Education/Engineering & Society Division of ASEE and is particularly interested in the role of liberal education in developing engineering leaders.

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Brian P. Helmke University of Virginia

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Brian Helmke is currently Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia. He received the B.S.E. in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, the B.S.Econ. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego. Brian’s research interests include cardiovascular physiology, cellular mechanobiology, and nanotechnology-based biomaterials. He is also interested in technology-enhanced teaching, experiential learning for undergraduates in science and engineering, and inclusive teaching practices.

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In this work-in-progress paper, we discuss the development and preliminary results of a survey about undergraduate engineers’ participation in research outside of classes. We want to know how many students are involved in research, what they do, and what they think they are learning. In particular, we are interested in what categories of students engage in research (year in college, major, race, gender, GPA, first-generation status, etc.), and how are they benefiting from it. We selected questions from the Survey of Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE), the Undergraduate Research Student Self-Assessment (URSSA), and instruments that measure engineering identity and sense of belonging. We also developed open-ended, qualitative questions that invited self-reflection. These questions covered topics such as how students define “engineer,” circumstances in which they did and did not feel like engineers, and how students with research experience would explain the value of that experience to potential employers or a graduate admissions committee. In spring 2019, a survey of 64 questions was administered to all enrolled students in our engineering school, and 28% of students responded. Respondent demographics were representative of the school’s student population. Here we discuss the development of the Undergraduate Research Experiences Survey and a few preliminary findings, publish the survey instrument (Appendix 1), and pose questions for future analysis.

Wylie, C. D., & Neeley, K. A., & Helmke, B. P. (2020, June), Work in Progress: Undergraduate Research Experiences Survey (URES) and Engineering Identity Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35697

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