Understanding the Nature of Mentoring Relationships During an Undergraduate Research Experience
thesisposted on 2021-07-27, 15:52 authored by Bethany Anne Butson CrowellBethany Anne Butson Crowell
This qualitative study examined how university students learn to engage in the practices of scientific inquiry via research apprenticeships and how such experiences prepare them to be STEM literate. Surveys and interviews addressed two primary research questions: 1. What is the nature of interaction between student participant and faculty mentor? Subsidiary question: What is the role of technology in the mentoring relationship? 2. How do students and faculty describe the development of STEM literacies in the undergraduate research experience? Subsidiary question: How does the mentoring process contribute to the development of STEM literacies? Results demonstrated the importance of learning by engaging in authentic activity under the guidance of mentor experts, the undergraduate research experience helps enable acquisition of STEM literacies but mere participation in research experiences does not always lead to high quality learning, mentoring relationships are not all the same, and the use of technology in undergraduate research experiences varies. Overall the study concludes that students find undergraduate research experiences beneficial as compared to other experiences. Research afforded them the opportunity to understand how research can be applied and gain knowledge that they would not have gained in the classroom.