Exploring Gender Differences in the Benefits of Undergraduate Research Experiences<br />Omolola A. Adedokun<br />Loran Car...
Outline<br />Undergraduate research<br />Gender differences in benefits of URE<br />DURI program<br />Data collection and ...
Undergraduate Research Experiences (URE)<br />Highly researched aspect of STEM education<br />Many benefits to students<br...
Undergraduate Research and Gender<br />Research on gender and URE<br />URE as a tool to enhance persistence<br />Conflicti...
Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internships (DURI)<br />Selective program for upper-level undergraduates<br />Interd...
Participants<br />51 first time students: 32 females and 19 males<br />
Data Collection<br />Pre-post survey items related to three variables<br />Research self-efficacy <br />(adapted from Kard...
Data Collection<br />Research self-efficacy: 4 items <br />Reliability: pre = 0.86, post = 0.89<br />I have the ability to...
Data Collection<br />Understanding of research processes: 6 items <br />Reliability: pre = 0.91, post = 0.91 <br />Student...
Data Collection<br />Research skills: 11 items <br />Reliability: pre = 0.89, post = 0.91<br />Students rate their skills/...
Analysis<br />Independent sample t-tests<br />Determine gender differences in:<br />Pre-participation values<br />Post-par...
Results<br />Pre-participation values<br />
Results<br />Post-participation values<br />
Results<br />Accrued benefits<br />
Discussion<br />No significant differences between genders<br />Accrued benefits were small<br />Limitations<br />UREs are...
Acknowledgements<br />The participants in this study<br />Generous funding by the Lilly Endowment<br />DURI management tea...
Questions?<br />Possible future directions:<br />Comparison with program for underclassmen<br />Disaggregate data by other...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Exploring Gender Differences in the Benefits of Undergraduate Research Experience. By Omolola Adedokun, Loran Carleton Parker and Wilella Burgess

1,169 views

Published on

This presentation examines the effect of gender on student benefits from Undergraduate Research Experiences (UREs) in STEM disciplines. Much research has documented the benefits of UREs to students. For example, UREs have been shown to enhance students’ research skills, research self-self-efficacy, and understanding of scientific processes, aspirations for graduate education and interests in research oriented STEM careers. While the research is convincing that participation in UREs is related to positive educational outcomes for students in general, little is known about the effect of gender in relationship to URE benefits on students. The few studies that have examined the influence of gender on student benefits from UREs have generated conflicting results. Some studies (e.g., Lopatto, 2004) have reported no significant gender differences in the benefits of URE, while other studies (e.g., Kardash, 2000) documented that male students reported higher gains in their abilities to generate research hypotheses than their female counterparts. Although URE experiences have been shown as effective tools in enlarging the STEM pipeline, harnessing its efficacy to enhance the persistence of female students in STEM disciplines requires that more studies be conducted to clarify gender differences in accrued gains from UREs. This presentation addresses the identified gaps in the literature by investigating gender differences in students’ self-reported pre and post participation levels of research skills, understanding of the scientific process, research self-efficacy and aspirations for graduate education.

Data for the study come from 52 students (Female=32; Male=19) that participated in Purdue University’s Discovery Park’s Undergraduate Research Internship (DURI) program in the summer or fall semesters of 2009 academic session. Interns completed a multi-section pre-post survey instrument requesting them to indicate the extent to which they agreed/disagreed with four Likert-items regarding their research skills (e.g., “I have the ability to have a successful career as a researcher”); six items regarding their understanding of scientific processes (e.g., “understanding of how to formulate a research question”) and eleven items regarding their research skills (e.g., “documenting a research procedure.”) We employed independent sample t-tests to examine gender differences in students’ pre- and post DURI aspirations for graduate schools, research self-efficacy, research skills and understanding of scientific processes. The results revealed no statistically significant differences in any of the variables considered. Further, we calculated accrued gains/benefits from URE by subtracting the pre-participation from the post-participation values of the variables of interest. We observed no statistically significant gender differences in the variables considered. The results suggest that male and female students received similar levels of benefits from the experience.

Our presentation will discuss the importance, implications and applications of the findings to the issues of gender disparity in STEM disciplines. For example, earlier studies have attributed the attrition of women in STEM disciplines to the “abstract” nature of scientific knowledge and concepts. Given that UREs provide students the opportunities to have “hands-on” learning experiences and to understand the societal relevance of their research; we submit that UREs may be effective tools for enhancing the persistence of female students in STEM disciplines.

Published in: Education, Technology
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,169
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
7
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Exploring Gender Differences in the Benefits of Undergraduate Research Experience. By Omolola Adedokun, Loran Carleton Parker and Wilella Burgess

  1. 1. Exploring Gender Differences in the Benefits of Undergraduate Research Experiences<br />Omolola A. Adedokun<br />Loran Carleton Parker<br />Wilella D. Burgess<br />Discovery Learning Research Center<br />
  2. 2. Outline<br />Undergraduate research<br />Gender differences in benefits of URE<br />DURI program<br />Data collection and analysis<br />Results<br />Discussion<br />
  3. 3. Undergraduate Research Experiences (URE)<br />Highly researched aspect of STEM education<br />Many benefits to students<br />Research skills/science processes skills<br />Self-efficacy<br />Interest in STEM education and careers<br />
  4. 4. Undergraduate Research and Gender<br />Research on gender and URE<br />URE as a tool to enhance persistence<br />Conflicting results<br />No effects<br />Higher gains for male students in particular skills<br />This study<br />Exploratory<br />Differences in self-reported gains by gender<br />
  5. 5. Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internships (DURI)<br />Selective program for upper-level undergraduates<br />Interdisciplinary projects<br />Support activities<br />Seminar course<br />Poster session<br />Research reports<br />Reflective journals<br />
  6. 6. Participants<br />51 first time students: 32 females and 19 males<br />
  7. 7. Data Collection<br />Pre-post survey items related to three variables<br />Research self-efficacy <br />(adapted from Kardash, 2000)<br />Understanding of scientific processes<br />(adapted from Bieschke et. al., 1996 and Russell, 2005)<br />Research skills <br />(adapted from Bieschke et. al., 1996 and Russell, 2005)<br />
  8. 8. Data Collection<br />Research self-efficacy: 4 items <br />Reliability: pre = 0.86, post = 0.89<br />I have the ability to have a successful career as a researcher<br />I possess the motivation and persistence required for a career in a research oriented field <br />I have a strong interest in pursuing a career as a researcher <br />My desire to become a researcher is strong enough to help me overcome most barriers I might encounter in pursuit of this career<br />
  9. 9. Data Collection<br />Understanding of research processes: 6 items <br />Reliability: pre = 0.91, post = 0.91 <br />Students rate their skills/abilities in:<br />how to formulate a research question<br />how to plan a research project<br />how to conduct a research project<br />
  10. 10. Data Collection<br />Research skills: 11 items <br />Reliability: pre = 0.89, post = 0.91<br />Students rate their skills/abilities in:<br />documenting a research procedure<br />observing and collecting data <br />relating results to the "bigger picture" in your field <br />writing the results of your experiment or research<br />
  11. 11. Analysis<br />Independent sample t-tests<br />Determine gender differences in:<br />Pre-participation values<br />Post-participation values<br />Accrued benefits (post – pre)<br />Examined differences for each variable<br />Research self-efficacy<br />Understanding of scientific processes<br />Research skills<br />
  12. 12. Results<br />Pre-participation values<br />
  13. 13. Results<br />Post-participation values<br />
  14. 14. Results<br />Accrued benefits<br />
  15. 15. Discussion<br />No significant differences between genders<br />Accrued benefits were small<br />Limitations<br />UREs are unique, many diverse programs have been examined<br />Results are specific to this program<br />Many other factors at work: self-selection, program, etc<br />
  16. 16. Acknowledgements<br />The participants in this study<br />Generous funding by the Lilly Endowment<br />DURI management team: Monica Shively, Amy Childress, and Ann Bessenbacher<br />
  17. 17. Questions?<br />Possible future directions:<br />Comparison with program for underclassmen<br />Disaggregate data by other factors in addition to gender<br />Follow students longitudinally<br />Suggestions?<br />

×