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Undergraduate Research in Australia

Implementing Undergraduate Research and Inquiry

Many students are now being encouraged to engage in 'research tasters' such as carrying out research for an assessment, or exploring how academic teachers generate research in a particular discipline (Brew 2006:70).

Some forms of undergraduate research and inquiry focus on students solving predetermined problems, developing knowledge which is new for them, but which is well known by experts in the subject.

Other forms involve students in developing new knowledge where they may work on unforeseen, open-ended problems alongside experts. If students are to be encouraged to develop the ability to deal with the complexity and ambiguity of knowledge generation, then it is this kind of research and inquiry that they must increasingly be engaged in.

Academics typically learn through a process of engaging in collaborative research groups and through peer review (Brew & Boud 1995). Involving undergraduates in such processes can only enhance their learning and engagement in study.

This section of the website explores issues associated with implementation. It is designed for academics who are new to using research in undergraduate courses or who wish to set up undergraduate research scholarship schemes. There are four sections: