Student Mindsets : Exploring the Undergraduate Research Classroom
Hoepner, Jerry K.
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Undergraduate research experiences improve confidence and understanding in the research process, as well as subsequent coursework. In the applied discipline of speech-language pathology/audiology, understanding the connections between research and clinical practice is important in development of future professionals. Intimidation by research amongst Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) students is common. Dweck’s research extensively describes fixed and growth mindsets that determine students’ effort in learning intimidating topics/concepts (Yeager & Dweck, 2012; Dweck, 2006). The current investigation examines the influence of mindsets on development of perspectives within a sophomore-level research course in CSD. Students completed a mindset survey (Personal Beliefs Survey; Flores, 2006) and reflections at the beginning and end of the semester. Survey results, paired with the reflections, will identify students’ mindset distributions and perceptions of research. Preliminary analyses show student intimidation by the work/effort and knowledge needed to produce quality research projects. Those perceptions shifted to a sense of pride in work, knowledge of applications to coursework and the profession, and an understanding of the clinician-researcher relationship by the course finish.