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The Efficacy of Directed Studies Courses as a Form of Undergraduate Research Experience: A Comparison of Instructor and Student Perspectives on Course Dynamics

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Directed Studies (DS) courses are widely touted for their ability to enhance research skills in undergraduate students – yet little is known about the dynamics, motivations, and perceived outcomes connected to these specific type of undergraduate research experiences. Building on earlier qualitative research, in this paper we report the results of a self-report survey designed to directly compare instructor and student perspectives on DS course dynamics at a small, liberal arts university. Samples of students who completed DS courses and instructors who supervised them completed a survey assessing their motives, perceived outcomes, and barriers encountered in their course work. Parallel wording of items in instructor and student surveys permitted comparison of perceptions of DS course dynamics. Results indicated that there were many similarities in how both groups approached DS courses but that there were also several important differences in motives and perceived outcomes pointing to the need for greater communication between instructors and students about their expectations for the course.

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  • Type of Item
    Article (Draft / Submitted)
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Moore, S. E., Hvenegaard, G. T., & Wesselius, J. C. (2018). The efficacy of directed studies courses as a form of undergraduate research experience: a comparison of instructor and student perspectives on course dynamics. Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education Research, 76(5), 771.