Undergraduate Research Embedded Across Course Levels and Types Through Scaffolded Projects

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Sara Z Evans
Jocelyn Evans


This article explores how to embed an undergraduate research project within a course and summarizes the student experience in courses including undergraduate research. The authors specifically focus on how to modify and alter materials to fit with different course foci and different course levels. We have been leading an interdisciplinary, multi-year research project for the past four years. During that time, we have scaffolded a research project from year to year. Each piece of the project has been embedded within a course. However, the specific course level and content focus has changed from year to year.  By embedding a research project within a class, faculty members have a unique opportunity to give their students a high-impact experience and further their own research simultaneously. We have successfully mentored and supervised students in the following formats: a freshman interdisciplinary honors course, two different undergraduate criminal justice courses made up of 5-10 students that were focused around criminological theory testing, individual directed study projects with graduate students, a 30-40 person upper level criminology research methods course, and a freshman individual directed study research project. Throughout all of these modalities, we have kept a core type of course design and course requirements but modified the components and grading criteria as needed for the type and level of course. We will summarize and discuss student assessment data both on their experience in the course as well as their achievement of student learning outcomes.


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Evans, S. Z., & Evans, J. (2021). Undergraduate Research Embedded Across Course Levels and Types Through Scaffolded Projects. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 21(1). https://doi.org/10.14434/josotl.v21i1.30552