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Undergraduate Research Learning

What is Undergraduate Research Learning?

Undergraduate Research Learning (URL) is a pedagogical approach that uses research as a practice to foster student learning. URL is specifically a collaborative process in which students and faculty engage in some, or all, of the following: 

  • Formulating or addressing a question, problem or objective
  • Analyzing it within a disciplinary or interdisciplinary framework
  • Producing findings, conclusions, designs, creative works or performative practices
  • Communicating and defending such outputs to a critical audience in ways that align with practices in the discipline or interdisciplinary contexts
  • Reflecting on the research process and developing an awareness of the iterative nature and scope of the larger scholarly research enterprise.

How does URL differ from traditional classroom assignments?

URL is a form of Experiential Learning that situates the student as a contributing researcher with the primary goal of facilitating student achievement of a set of scaffolded learning outcomes. The faculty member is positioned as a teacher-researcher with responsibility for mentorship of junior scholars within a research partnership.

URL may include both depth and breadth of experiences. Some URL experiences may be entry points into scholarly conversations, while others may be immersive and accelerate the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.