Virtually the Same? Evaluating the Effectiveness of Remote Undergraduate Research Experiences
CBE Life Sciences Education
In-person undergraduate research experiences (UREs) promote students' integration into careers in life science research. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted institutions hosting summer URE programs to offer them remotely, raising questions about whether undergraduates who participate in remote research can experience scientific integration and whether they might perceive doing research less favorably (i.e., not beneficial or too costly). To address these questions, we examined indicators of scientific integration and perceptions of the benefits and costs of doing research among students who participated in remote life science URE programs in Summer 2020. We found that students experienced gains in scientific self-efficacy pre- to post-URE, similar to results reported for in-person UREs. We also found that students experienced gains in scientific identity, graduate and career intentions, and perceptions of the benefits of doing research only if they started their remote UREs at lower levels on these variables. Collectively, students did not change in their perceptions of the costs of doing research despite the challenges of working remotely. Yet students who started with low cost perceptions increased in these perceptions. These findings indicate that remote UREs can support students' self-efficacy development, but may otherwise be limited in their potential to promote scientific integration.
Hess, Riley A.; Erickson, Olivia A.; Cole, Rebecca B.; Isaacs, Jared M.; Alvarez-Clare, Silvia; Arnold, Jonathan; Augustus-Wallace, Allison; Ayoob, Joseph C.; Berkowitz, Alan; Branchaw, Janet; Burgio, Kevin R.; Cannon, Charles H.; Ceballos, Ruben Michael; Cohen, C. Sarah; Coller, Hilary; Disney, Jane; Doze, Van A.; Eggers, Margaret J.; Ferguson, Edwin L.; Gray, Jeffrey J.; Greenberg, Jean T.; Hoffmann, Alexander; Jensen-Ryan, Danielle; Kao, Robert M.; Keene, Alex C.; Kowalko, Johanna E.; Lopez, Steven A.; Mathis, Camille; and Tsien, Fern, "Virtually the Same? Evaluating the Effectiveness of Remote Undergraduate Research Experiences" (2023). School of Medicine Faculty Publications. 836.