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Integrating Undergraduate Research into Social Science Curriculum: Benefits and Challenges of Two Models

Department of Sociology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA
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Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(4), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9040296
Received: 8 October 2019 / Revised: 2 December 2019 / Accepted: 10 December 2019 / Published: 13 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Undergraduate Research as a High Impact Practice in Higher Education)
Evidence shows that undergraduate research is beneficial to students during their college years and beyond. This study evaluates two models for integrating undergraduate research into the college curriculum: (1) integrating a community-based research project into a social science course and (2) designing a senior seminar course as an undergraduate research experience. Findings show that students benefit from a hands-on research experience that deepens their understanding of both survey methods and social issues. While, students who participated in the community-based research project enjoyed interacting with community members and learning about community concerns, students in the senior seminar research experience ranked all aspects of the research project more favorably than students participating in the community-based research project. We discuss the benefits and challenges of both models as well as the implications of these findings and the steps instructors can take to improve the learning experience of undergraduates in the social sciences. View Full-Text
Keywords: student engagement; undergraduate research; senior seminar; community-based research student engagement; undergraduate research; senior seminar; community-based research
MDPI and ACS Style

Crowe, J.; Boe, A. Integrating Undergraduate Research into Social Science Curriculum: Benefits and Challenges of Two Models. Educ. Sci. 2019, 9, 296.

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