INCORPORATING UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
IN AN ASSIGNMENT-DRIVEN COURSE

Robert F. Mulligan, Ph.D.
Department of Economics, Finance, and International Business, Western Carolina University College of Business &
Department of Economics, State University of New York at Binghamton

Discussion paper Comment on discussion paper Session questionnaire results
Related links:
The North Carolina Economic Survey:
http://www3.wcu.edu/~mulligan/NCESpage.html
Assignment Website:
http://www3.wcu.edu/~mulligan/Paptops.html
Data source links:
http://www3.wcu.edu/~mulligan/MBlinks.html
Annotated bibliography:
http://www3.wcu.edu/~mulligan/E303reflist.html
Regression website:
http://www3.wcu.edu/~mulligan/reghand.html

Writing Resources:
WCU Writing Center: http://www.wcu.edu/WritingCenter/
Sweet Briar College Writing Guides: http://www.arc.sbc.edu/writing.html
Clarkson University Writing Center: http://www.clarkson.edu/~wcenter/
 

 

Links to related research

Eflin (1995):
Educating for Scientific Literacy

Jones & Draheim (1994):
Undergraduate Assistance in Faculty Scholarship

Krochalk & Hope (1995):
Integrating Discipline-Related Research with Classroom Teaching

Manning (1996):
Teaching Economics in a Multidisciplinary Context

McClymer & Ziegler (1991):
The Assignment-Driven Course

Nikolova Eddins et al (1997):
Research in Undergraduate Education

Torres (1995):
Analytical Literacy

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TYPES OF UNDERGRATUATE RESEARCH: LITERARY V. POSITIVE/QUANTITATIVE/EMPIRICAL
Different research modes are appropriate for different disciplines and even for different courses in a particular discipline.  Literary research is often appropriate for quantitative disciplines,
given the teaching philosophy and approach of the course.

STUDENT RESEARCH IN UPPER-LEVEL V. LOWER-LEVEL COURSES
Upper-level courses are more likely to be assignment-driven.  Student research in lower-level courses tends to have a more general orientation, but can provide invaluable, unique experience and insight.  Upper-level assignments are often more narrowly focused and technical.  These research projects usually provide depth of understanding of a more delimited topic and develop sophisticated technical skills.

DESIGN ISSUES: THEMATIC UNITY
Course content tends to focus undergraduate research.  The more specificity you design into the assignment, the more students will benefit from oral presentations of related research by their peers.

IMPLEMENTING PEER REVIEW
Students benefit from a structured review of each otherís drafts.  The instructor needs to provide a framework for peer review, such as a checklist.

UTILIZATION OF WRITING CENTERS AND ON-LINE RESOURCES
Expect to be appalled by undergraduate writing and work ethic.  Here are resources you can use to combat poor writing.

TEAMWORK ISSUES: AVOIDING AND MINIMIZING "FREE-RIDER" PROBLEMS
The project can be an individual assignment, or students can be permitted to work in teams of two.  Consider class size in formulating your policy.