Undergraduate research training and employability

Towl, Michael and Senior, Carl (2010). Undergraduate research training and employability. IN: Good practice guide in learning and teaching. Green, Julie and Higson, Helen (eds) Aston University.

Abstract

Formal opportunities for Psychology undergraduates to carry out research training are starting to emerge. In spite of the fact that such training programmes would have a high authentic learning component little is known of undergraduate expectations and attitudes towards such programmes. Here 108 undergraduate participants were surveyed in two experiments that recorded both the prospective and retrospective attitudes towards research training participation. Questionnaires and focus groups were employed and the data were triangulated together to converge on an understanding of student expectations towards authentic learning programmes. It was found that while Psychology undergraduates expect to be trained in contemporary research techniques it is the sense of community development that is the prime motivator for participation. These findings are placed within the context of increasing the employability profile of the undergraduate cohort.

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