Learning by Doing: Mentoring Group-Based Undergraduate Research Projects in an Upper-Level Political Science Course

Benjamin R. Knoll

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Undergraduate research is a “high-impact practice” that has been consistently shown to effectively promote desirable student-learning outcomes including critical thinking, logic, written and oral communication, problem solving, and interpretation of evidence, especially among minority and disadvantaged students. Mentoring quality research experiences in regular upper-level political science courses, however, is a difficult and time-consuming activity. This article describes an attempt to provide an intensive, semester-long, and group-based undergraduate research experience in an upper-level American politics course at a liberal arts college. It discusses how this experience was designed to deliberately foster specific institutional undergraduate research learning outcomes for students and summarizes student perceptions of the overall effectiveness of the experience.

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PS: Political Science & Politics / Volume 49 / Issue 01 / January 2016, pp 128-131

Copyright © American Political Science Association 2016