Self-assessment of the undergraduate research experience: a case study (Poster 18)
Research experiences mold a researcher's career through different career stages, from undergraduate student to independent researcher, and each phase requires a distinct set of skills, training and mentoring. Undergraduate research is for many their first exposure to authentic research. Therefore, students' learning to self-assess their performance is an invaluable tool to guide their cognition and metacognition of the research enterprise. To this end and within the framework of the Ignatian pedagogy paradigm, I have developed and implemented an instrument that students answer after the first academic period in which they have been involved in research in my group (computational molecular biophysics). The instrument prompts students to reflect on the expectations they had at the beginning of their research experience and the goals they achieved, analyze the limitations they encountered, and comment on the unexpected avenues they had to navigate. Students are also asked to make suggestions to the research mentor that may enhance the research experience. In the last section of the instrument, students write a concise summary of their project and a list of their research outcome authorships. I will report on the analysis of data collected in the last four years of the students' responses to the open ended questions in the instrument.