Advertisement

Research in Higher Education

, Volume 53, Issue 7, pp 695–716 | Cite as

The Role of Institutional Research in a High Profile Study of Undergraduate Research

  • Karen L. Webber
Research and Practice
  • 810 Downloads

Abstract

Armed with a strong toolkit of knowledge and skills, institutional research (IR) professionals often serve as collaborators with campus colleagues who may need assistance with survey design, statistical analysis, program review, and assessment of individual programs or the institution. This paper discusses the role that an IR professional played in a comprehensive and high profile study of undergraduate research. The project was grounded in educational theory and principles of academic assessment. It consumed many long hours, but it also yielded gains in IR visibility, heightened professional relationships with campus colleagues, a second sizable grant, and multiple publications. Implications for the IR practitioner, contributions to the scholarship of assessment, and institutional synergy are discussed.

Keywords

Institutional research collaboration Assessment of undergraduate research The scholarship of assessment 

References

  1. Aper, J. (1993). Higher education and the state: Accountability and the roots of student outcomes assessment. Higher Education Management, 5, 336–376.Google Scholar
  2. Astin, A. (1977). Four critical years: Effects of college on beliefs, attitudes, and knowledge. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar
  3. Astin, A. (1991). Assessment for excellence: The philosophy and practice of assessment and evaluation in higher education. Westport, CT: Oryx Press.Google Scholar
  4. Astin, A. (1993). What matters in college: Four critical years revisited. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar
  5. Astin, A. (1999). Student involvement: A developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Development, 40(5), 518–529.Google Scholar
  6. Banta, T. W., et al. (1993). Making a difference: Outcomes of a decade of assessment in higher education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  7. Banta, T. W., et al. (2002). Building a scholarship of assessment. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar
  8. Bauer, K. W. (2004). Conducting longitudinal studies. In S. Porter & P. Umbach (Eds.), New techniques for survey research, new directions in institutional research, No. 121 (pp. 75–90). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  9. Bauer, K. W., & Bennett, J. S. (2003). Alumni perceptions used to assess the undergraduate research experience. Journal of Higher Education, 72, 210–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bauer, K. W., & Bennett, J. S. (2008). Evaluation of the undergraduate research program at the University of Delaware: A multifaceted design. In R. Taraban & R. L. Blanton (Eds.), Creating effective undergraduate research programs in science: The transformation from student to scientist. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  11. Bauer, K. W., & Liang, Q. (2003). The effect of personality and precollege characteristics on first year activities and academic performance. Journal of College Student Development, 44(3), 277–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Blanton, R. L. (2008). A brief history of undergraduate research. In R. Taraban & R. L. Blanton (Eds.) Creating effective undergraduate research programs in science: The transformation from student to scientist. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Campbell, D. T., & Stanley, J. C. (1960). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for research. Hopewell, NJ: Houghton-Mifflin.Google Scholar
  14. Costa, P., & McCrae, R. R. (1991). The NEO Five Factor Inventory. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.Google Scholar
  15. Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  16. CSEQ, 3rd ed. (1987). http://cseq.iub.edu/pdf/cseq_whole.pdf. Accessed 7 July 2011.
  17. Csikszentmihayi, M. (1996). Creativity: Flow and psychology of discovery and invention. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  18. Ethington, C., & Horn, R. (2007). An examination of Pace’s model of student development and college impress. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 31, 183–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ewell, P. (1997). Strengthening assessment for academic quality improvement. In M. W. Peterson, D. Dill, L. Mets, et al. (Eds.), Planning and management for a changing environment: A handbook on redesigning postsecondary institutions. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar
  20. Ewell, P. (2002). An emerging scholarship: A brief history of assessment. In T. W. Banta, et al. (Eds.), Building a scholarship of assessment (pp. 3–25). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar
  21. Fechheimer, M., Webber, K., & Kleiber, P. (2011). How successful are undergraduate research programs at promoting engagement and transformation of students? CBE-Life Sciences Education, 10(2), 156–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fischer, K. W. (1980). A theory of cognitive development: The control and construction of a hierarchy of skills. Psychological Review, 87(6), 479–531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gates, A. Q. (1999). Explaining participation in undergraduate research using the affinity group model. Journal of Engineering Education, 88, 409–414.Google Scholar
  24. Gray, P. (2002). The roots of assessment: Tensions, solutions, and research directions. In T. W. Banta, et al. (Eds.), Building a scholarship of assessment. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar
  25. Hakim, T. (1998). Self-assessment of undergraduate research: Reactions and student perspectives. Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly, 18(4), 189–192.Google Scholar
  26. Hathaway, R. S., Nagda, B., & Gregerman, S. (2002). The relationship of undergraduate research participation to graduate and professional education pursuit: An empirical study. Journal of College Student Development, 43(5), 614–631.Google Scholar
  27. Hu, S., Schuch, K., Schwartz, R., Gayles, & Li, S. (2008). Reinventing undergraduate education: Engaging college students in research and creative activities. ASHE Higher Education Report, 33(4). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  28. Kardash, C. A. (2000). Evaluation of an undergraduate research experience: Perceptions of undergraduate interns and their faculty mentors. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, 191–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. King, P. M., & Kitchener, K. S. (1994). Developing reflective judgment: Understanding and promoting intellectual growth and critical thinking in adolescents and adults. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar
  30. Kremer, J. F., & Bringle, R. G. (1990). The effects of an intensive research experience on the careers of talented undergraduates. Journal of Research and Development in Education, 24, 1–5.Google Scholar
  31. Kuh, G., & Ewell, P. (2010). The state of learning outcomes assessment in the US. Higher Education Management and Policy, 22(1), 9–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kuh, G., Kinzie, J., Buckley, J., Bridges, B., & Hayek, J. (2007). Piecing together the student success puzzle: Research, propositions, and recommendations. ASHE Higher Education Report, Vol. 32, no. 5. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar
  33. Kuh, G., Kinzie, J., Schuch, J., Whitt, E., et al. (2005). Student success in college: Creating conditions that matter. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar
  34. Lopatto, D. (2004). Survey of undergraduate research experience (SURE): First findings. Cell Biology Education, 3, 270–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lopatto, D. (2009). Science in solution: The impact of undergraduate research on student learning. Tucson: The Research Corporation for Science Advancement.Google Scholar
  36. Mabrouk, P. A., & Peters, K. (2000). Student perspectives on undergraduate research (UR) experiences in chemistry and biology. http://www.chem.vt.edu/confchem/2000/a/mabrouk/mabrouk.htm. Accessed 5 July 2011.
  37. Manduca, C. (1997). Broadly defined goals for undergraduate research projects: A basis for program evaluation. Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly, 18, 64–69.Google Scholar
  38. Mentkowski, M., & Loacker, G. (2002). Enacting a scholarship of assessment. In T. W. Banta, et al. (Eds.), Building a scholarship of assessment. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar
  39. Nagda, B. A., Gregerman, S., Jonides, J., von Hippel, W., & Lerner, J. (1998). Undergraduate student–faculty research partnerships affect student retention. The Review of Higher Education, 22, 55–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pace, C. R. (1982). Achievement and the quality of student effort. Paper presented at a Meeting of the National Commission on Excellence in Education, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  41. Pace, C. R. (1984). The college student experiences questionnaire (3rd ed.). Now available through the Center for Postsecondary Education, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.Google Scholar
  42. Pace, C. R. (1987). Good things go together. Los Angeles: Center for the Study of Evaluation, University of California Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  43. Pascarella, E. T. (2006). How college affects students: Ten directions for future research. Journal of College Student Personnel, 47(5), 508–520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (2005). How college affects students (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar
  45. Rogoff, B. (1990). Apprenticeship in thinking: Cognitive development in social context. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Seifert, T. (Ed.). (2010). Longitudinal assessment for institutional improvement. New Directions for Institutional Research, Assessment Supplement S2, Winter.Google Scholar
  47. Seifert, T., Pascarella, E., Erkel, S., & Goodman, K. (2010a). The importance of longitudinal pretest–posttest designs in estimating college impact. In T. Seifert (Ed.), Longitudinal assessment for institutional improvement. New Directions for Institutional Research, Assessment Supplement S2, Winter.Google Scholar
  48. Seifert, T., Pascarella, E., Goodman, K., & Salisbury, M. (2010b). Liberal arts colleges and good practices in undergraduate education: Additional evidence. Journal of College Student Development, 51(1), 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Smart, J. C. (2005). Attributes of exemplary research manuscripts employing quantitative analyses. Research in Higher Education, 46(4), 461–477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tabachnick, B., & Fidell, L. (1996). Using multivariate statistics. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  51. Taraban, R., & Blanton, R. L. (Eds.). (2008). Creating effective undergraduate research programs in science: The transformation from student to scientist. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  52. Terenzini, P. T. (1993). On the nature of institutional research and the knowledge and skills it requires. Research in Higher Education, 34(1), 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  54. Wabash National Study 2010. (2010). Retrieved at http://www.liberalarts.wabash.edu/wabash-study-2010-overview/. Accessed 21 July 2011.
  55. Watson, G. B., & Glaser, E. M. (1994). The Watson-Glaser critical thinking appraisal. Form S. San Antonio, TX: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  56. Wood, P. K. (1997). A secondary analysis of claims regarding the reflective judgment interview: Internal consistency, sequentiality and intra-individual differences in ill-structured problem solving. In Higher education: Handbook of theory and research (pp. 245–314). Edison, NJ: Agathon.Google Scholar
  57. Zydney, A. L., Bennett, J. S., Shahid, A., & Bauer, K. W. (2002a). Faculty perspectives regarding the undergraduate research experience in science and engineering. Journal of Engineering Education, 91, 291–297.Google Scholar
  58. Zydney, A. L., Bennett, J. S., Shahid, A., & Bauer, K. W. (2002b). Impact of undergraduate research experience in engineering. Journal of Engineering Education, 91(2), 151–157.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GeorgiaAthensUSA

Personalised recommendations