The surprising truth about who engages in a non-assessed, credit-free undergraduate conference and what they present

Christopher Little

Abstract


This poster will discuss an annual undergraduate research conference, hosted at Keele University. Undergraduate research conferences have been found to lead to a number of reported benefits for participants, namely the development of research and presentation skills, as well as increased self-authorship and disciplinary identity. The poster will first detail what students choose to present, with 70% of all presentations in non-assessed topics of interest. As well as showing a year-on-year growth in presentation numbers each year, this poster will demonstrate that such impactful initiatives can recruit students typically underrepresented at significant levels. The conference regularly recruits BAME students, students with disclosed disabilities, international students and students from a POLAR 1 (Low participation in HE) background at levels above institutional benchmarks. With student delegates also coming from all levels of undergraduate study, the poster will demonstrate that such extracurricular conferences stand as inclusive and impactful teaching and learning practices.

 

KEY WORDS

Undergraduate research; undergraduate conference

 

REFERENCES

1. Hall, N. (2015). Delineating the Learning Process in Generating a Research Culture among Undergraduate Social Work Students: A Case Study of Student Participation in an Academic Conference. Social Work Education.  34(7), 829-845.

2. Spronken-Smith et al. (2013). Completing the research cycle: A framework for promoting dissemination of undergraduate research and inquiry. Teaching and Learning Inquiry: The ISSOTL Journal. 1(2): 105-118.

3. Mabrouk, P. A. (2009). Survey study investigating the significance of conference participation to undergraduate research students. Journal of chemical education. 86(11),1335-40.

4. Little, C. (2018). Utilising action research to evaluate the long-term benefits of student participation in an extra-curricular undergraduate research conference. In L. Arnold & L. Norton (Eds). HEA Action Research: Sector Case Studies. Higher Education Academy: York. Available at: goo.gl/Rm222U

5. Walkington, Hill & Kneale. (2017). Reciprocal elucidation: a student-led pedagogy in multidisciplinary undergraduate research conferences. Higher Education research & Development, 36 (2), 416-429.

6. Hill, J., and Walkington, H. 2016. Developing graduate attributes through participation in undergraduate research conferences. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 40(2), 222-237.


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