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CBE-Life Sciences Education
written by Timothy J. Weston and Sandra L. Laursen
This article examines the validity of the Undergraduate Research Student Self-Assessment (URSSA), a survey used to evaluate undergraduate research (UR) programs. The underlying structure of the survey was assessed with confirmatory factor analysis; also examined were correlations between different average scores, score reliability, and matches between numerical and textual item responses. The study found that four components of the survey represent separate but related constructs for cognitive skills and affective learning gains derived from the UR experience. Average scores from item blocks formed reliable but moderate to highly correlated composite measures. Additionally, some questions about student learning gains (meant to assess individual learning) correlated to ratings of satisfaction with external aspects of the research experience. The pattern of correlation among individual items suggests that items asking students to rate external aspects of their environment were more like satisfaction ratings than items that directly ask about student skills attainment. Finally, survey items asking about student aspirations to attend graduate school in science reflected inflated estimates of the proportions of students who had actually decided on graduate education after their UR experiences. Recommendations for revisions to the survey include clarified item wording and increasing discrimination between item blocks through reorganization.
CBE-Life Sciences Education: Volume 14, Issue 3, Pages 1-10
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Professional Development
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
= Self Assessment
- Student Characteristics
= Affect
- Upper Undergraduate
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Article
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
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License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
T. J. Weston and S. L. Laursen CBE—Life Sciences Education, The American Society for Cell Biology
DOI:
10.1187/cbe.14-11-0206
NSF Number:
CHE-0548488
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created June 5, 2019 by Bruce Mason
Record Updated:
July 12, 2019 by Sam McKagan
Last Update
when Cataloged:
September 2, 2015
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Record Link
AIP Format
T. Weston and S. Laursen, CBE Life. Sci. Educ. 14 (3), 1 (2015), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.14-11-0206).
AJP/PRST-PER
T. Weston and S. Laursen, The Undergraduate Research Student Self-Assessment (URSSA): Validation for Use in Program Evaluation, CBE Life. Sci. Educ. 14 (3), 1 (2015), <https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.14-11-0206>.
APA Format
Weston, T., & Laursen, S. (2015, September 2). The Undergraduate Research Student Self-Assessment (URSSA): Validation for Use in Program Evaluation. CBE Life. Sci. Educ., 14(3), 1-10. Retrieved September 28, 2021, from https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.14-11-0206
Chicago Format
Weston, Timothy, and Sandra Laursen. "The Undergraduate Research Student Self-Assessment (URSSA): Validation for Use in Program Evaluation." CBE Life. Sci. Educ. 14, no. 3, (September 2, 2015): 1-10, https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.14-11-0206 (accessed 28 September 2021).
MLA Format
Weston, Timothy, and Sandra Laursen. "The Undergraduate Research Student Self-Assessment (URSSA): Validation for Use in Program Evaluation." CBE Life. Sci. Educ. 14.3 (2015): 1-10. 28 Sep. 2021 <https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.14-11-0206>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Timothy Weston and Sandra Laursen", Title = {The Undergraduate Research Student Self-Assessment (URSSA): Validation for Use in Program Evaluation}, Journal = {CBE Life. Sci. Educ.}, Volume = {14}, Number = {3}, Pages = {1-10}, Month = {September}, Year = {2015} }
Refer Export Format

%A Timothy Weston %A Sandra Laursen %T The Undergraduate Research Student Self-Assessment (URSSA): Validation for Use in Program Evaluation %J CBE Life. Sci. Educ. %V 14 %N 3 %D September 2, 2015 %P 1-10 %U https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.14-11-0206 %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Weston, Timothy %A Laursen, Sandra %D September 2, 2015 %T The Undergraduate Research Student Self-Assessment (URSSA): Validation for Use in Program Evaluation %J CBE Life. Sci. Educ. %V 14 %N 3 %P 1-10 %8 September 2, 2015 %U https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.14-11-0206


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