Mentoring Undergraduate Research during a Pandemic
In response to shifts to online learning due to COVID-19 in spring 2020 and in anticipation of alternate models for higher education in fall 2020 and beyond, we have curated publications and online resources that can help inform programmatic and facuty/staff decisions about facilitating mentored undergraduate research during a pandemic.
Regardless of the medium for mentoring and for engaging in undergraduate research, existing scholarship offers salient practices of mentors to develop a high-quality mentoring pedagogy and good practices in high-impact undergraduate research. These concrete strategies offer a stable foundation as undergraduate researchers and their mentors adapt to online or hybrid/flex models.
The bibliography shared below will be updated as we identify additional resources. Please suggest additions in the comments or by emailing the Center’s staff at CenterForEngagedLearning@elon.edu.
Strategies and Tools for Mentoring or Presenting Undergraduate Research Online or in Hybrid/Flex Models
Bennett, Jacqueline, and Harry E. Pence. 2011. “Managing Laboratory Data Using Cloud Computing as an Organizational Tool.” Journal of Chemical Education 88 (6): 761–63. doi:10.1021/ed1005745.
The authors examine how cloud-based applications like Google Drive can be used to manage project components and research results.
Faulconer, Emily K., and Amy B. Gruss. 2019. “Undergraduate Research for Online Students.” Quarterly Review of Distance Education 20 (3): 45–47.
This brief piece summaries benefits and barriers to undergraduate research and poses questions for future research; those questions could guide reflection on moving mentored undergraduate research online.
Fischer-Faw, Victoria, and Wesley Rose. 2013. “Adventures in Long-distance Research Mentoring in Music.” Perspectives on Undergraduate Research and Mentoring 2(2). Retrieved from http://www.elon.edu/u/academics/undergraduate-research/purm/wp-content/uploads/sites/923/2019/06/PURM-2.2-VFF.pdf
The authors describe their experience with mentored undergraduate research when neither mentor nor undergraduate researcher were on campus. Although their adaptations were necessitated by a sabbatical and a semester-long study abroad experience, their reflections and recommendations are relevant to other contexts for long-distance mentoring.
Kalel, Christina Renee, Jessala A Grijalva, and Brandy Allison Brown. 2017. “Immersed in Mentoring: A Case Study of Developmental Networks in an Online Research Lab.” Perspectives on Undergraduate Research and Mentoring 6(1). Retrieved from http://www.elon.edu/u/academics/undergraduate-research/purm/wp-content/uploads/sites/923/2019/06/Kalel_et_al_6.1.pdf
This case study from University of Arizona South explores the formation of developmental networks via online mentoring and examines differences between face-to-face and online mentoring.
Kassens, Alice, and Sara Caudle, Tyler Rinko, and Justin Tuma. 2012. “Do as I Say and as I Do: An Adaptation of McElroy’s Mentor Demonstration Model for Multiple Independent Study Projects.” Perspectives on Undergraduate Research and Mentoring 2(1). Retrieved from http://www.elon.edu/u/academics/undergraduate-research/purm/wp-content/uploads/sites/923/2019/06/PURM-2.1-Kassens-et-al.pdf
The authors describe a group meeting model for mentoring multiple undergraduate researchers working on independent projects through similar stages in the research process. The group meeting topics could be adapted for online, group research meetings among mentors and their undergraduate researchers.
Oppenheim, Willy, and Alex Knott. 2018. “Digital Mentorship, Global Service-Learning, and Critically-Engaged Undergraduate Research: Case Studies from Omprakash EdGE.” Perspectives on Undergraduate Research and Mentoring 7(1). Retrieved from http://www.elon.edu/u/academics/undergraduate-research/purm/wp-content/uploads/sites/923/2019/06/Oppenheim-Knott_Main-1.pdf
The authors use case studies to explore pedagogical aspects of mentoring undergraduate research from a distance.
Pollock, Meagen, and Laura Guertin. 2013. “Online Guide Encourages Undergraduate Research Using Social Media.” CUR Quarterly 34, no. 2: 14.
This brief CUR Sidebar article describes using VoiceThread for online poster sessions and links to CUR Geoscience’s public resources on using online tools to support undergraduate research.
Sengupta, Jayanta. 2017. “Researching History in Cyberspace: Scouring through the South Asia Archive.” South Asian History & Culture 8 (3): 365–75. doi:10.1080/19472498.2017.1350416.
This article examines the benefits and limitations of using online resource repositories for research. Although focused on history, the article could inform selection and assessment of online repositories in other disciplines.
Tomaszewski, Robert. 2016. “The Concept of the Imploded Boolean Search: A Case Study with Undergraduate Chemistry Students.” Journal of Chemical Education 93 (3): 527–33. doi:10.1021/acs.jchemed.5b00255.
The author describes an information literacy strategy for chemistry students. The strategy could be adapted for other fields and used by undergraduate researchers conducting literature reviews.
van Scoyoc, Anna M., and Caroline Cason. 2006. “The Electronic Academic Library: Undergraduate Research Behavior in Library Without Books.” Portal: Libraries & the Academy 6 (1): 47–58. doi:10.1353/pla.2006.0012.
The authors examine undergraduate students research habits in an online/electronic library context.
Vandermaas-Peeler, Maureen, Jackie Nelson, Larissa Ferretti, and Lauren Finn. 2011. “Developing expertise: An apprenticeship model or mentoring undergraduate research across cohorts.” Perspectives on Undergraduate Research and Mentoring 1(1). Retrieved from http://blogs.elon.edu/purm/developing-expertise-an-apprenticeship-model-of-mentoring-undergraduate-reseach-across-cohorts-purm-1-1/
If adapted for online interactions, the apprenticeship model the authors describe could help mentors’ extend capacity to mentor additional students by promoting near-peer mentoring.
Walkington, Helen. 2012. “Developing Dialogic Learning Space: The Case of Online Undergraduate Research Journals.” Journal of Geography in Higher Education 36 (4): 547–62. doi:10.1080/03098265.2012.692072.
Walkington explores the benefits of online circulation venues for undergraduate research, including strategies for scaffolding students’ writing processes.
Wuetherick, Brad, John Willison, and Jenny Olin Shanahan. 2018. “Mentored Undergraduate Research at Scale: Undergraduate Research in the Curriculum and as Pedagogy.” In Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research, ed. Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler, Paul C. Miller, and Jessie L. Moore, 181-202. Washington, D.C.: Council on Undergraduate Research.
The authors share case studies of course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) that facilitate scaling student access to undergraduate research. Particularly as faculty/staff adapt their courses for online or flex/hybrid contexts, revising courses to incorporate CUREs offers a way to engage more students in undergraduate research. Faculty who are considering designing CUREs also should read Buffie Longmire-Avital’s blog post on “The Art of Crafting a Mentored CURE” for historically underrepresented minority students.
Resources for Faculty Development to Support Mentored Undergraduate Research
Baker, Vicki L., Jane Greer, Laura G. Lunsford, Dijana Ihas, and Meghan J. Pifer. “Supporting Faculty Development for Mentoring in Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Work.” In Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research, ed. Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler, Paul C. Miller, and Jessie L. Moore, 131-153. Washington, D.C.: Council on Undergraduate Research.
The authors offer recommendations for both undergraduate research program directors and faculty directors, with attention to undergraduate research and inquiry across disciplines. They include a brief discussion on creatively rethinking the relationship between curricula and undergraduate research, which could be key for short-term adaptations in online and hybrid/flex models.
Hall, Eric E., Helen Walkington, Jenny Olin Shanahan, Elizabeth Ackley, and Kearsley A. Stewart. 2018. “Mentor Perspectives on the Place of Undergraduate Research Mentoring in Academic Identity and Career Development: An Analysis of Award Winning Mentors.” International Journal for Academic Development 23(1): 15-27. doi: 10.1080/1360144X.2017.1412972
The Salient Practices research team studied factors that motivate faculty/staff engagement as undergraduate research mentors. They share four recommendations for faculty development, all of which could be adapted to fostering online or flex/hybrid mentoring of undergraduate research.
Ketcham, Caroline J., Eric E. Hall, Heather M. Fitz Gibbon, and Helen Walkington. 2018. “Co-Mentoring in Undergraduate Research: A Faculty Development Perspective.” In Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research, ed. Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler, Paul C. Miller, and Jessie L. Moore, 155-179. Washington, D.C.: Council on Undergraduate Research.
The authors describe the benefits – and challenges – of co-mentoring and explore co-mentoring as a form of faculty development. They also examine co-mentoring in relation to the salient practices of undergraduate research mentors.
Wallin, Patric, and Tom Adawi. 2018. “Entry Points When Undergraduate Research Mentors Reflect on Their Role: A Qualitative Case Study.” International Journal for Academic Development 23(1): 41-51. doi:10.1080/1360144X.2017.1414053
Wallin and Adawi share three questions that can guide faculty/staff reflection on their role(s) as undergraduate research mentors. The questions could help faculty/staff conceptualize their mentoring role to inform their decisions about mentoring strategies online or in hybrid/flex contexts.
This resource is curated by Jessie L. Moore, Director of the Center for Engaged Learning and Professor of English: Professional Writing & Rhetoric at Elon University. With Peter Felten, she edits the Stylus Publishing/Center for Engaged Learning Series on Engaged Learning and Teaching and the Center for Engaged Learning Open Access Series.
How to cite this post:
Center for Engaged Learning. 2020. “Mentoring Undergraduate Research during a Pandemic?” Retrieved from https://www.centerforengagedlearning.org/mentoring-undergraduate-research-during-a-pandemic