Transforming Undergraduate Research Experiences With Experiential Learning


Science and technology drive innovation, create economic opportunity, and are critical to national security. With increased competition for a skilled STEM workforce, high barriers to participation in STEM, the missing millions (Gershenfeld et al., 2021), and the longstanding underrepresentation of minoritized US communities, collective action is urgently needed to expand STEM education and training. Strengthening and expanding STEM education is necessary to meet critical workforce demands and to fortify the national research pipeline. Undergraduate research experiences, long recognized as a high-impact education practice (Kuh & Schneider, 2008), are critical to growing the nation's research and science communities. Universities, therefore, are launching additional undergraduate research opportunities. However, the constraints inherent in the traditional 10-week summer undergraduate research model may limit the impact and outcomes for participating students, faculty, and organizations. This paper explores the adoption of inclusive learning frameworks and David Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory (ELT) as a potential way to capture the lost potential of summer research experiences and transform undergraduate research experiences. To do so, we use the evolution of Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) Robotics Institute Summer Scholars (RISS) program as a case study, offering our experience as an example of how the adoption of inclusive learning frameworks and ELT can improve summer undergraduate research experiences and undergraduate success more broadly.

Author Information
Rachel Burcin, Carnegie Mellon University, United States
Vishwas Mruthyunjaya, Megagon Labs, United States
John M. Dolan, Carnegie Mellon University, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ERI2023
Stream: Experiential Learning

This paper is part of the ERI2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
Full Paper
View / Download the full paper in a new tab/window

To cite this article:
Burcin R., Mruthyunjaya V., & Dolan J. (2023) Transforming Undergraduate Research Experiences With Experiential Learning ISSN: 2435-1202 – The IAFOR Conference on Educational Research & Innovation: 2023 Official Conference Proceedings
To link to this article:

Comments & Feedback

Place a comment using your LinkedIn profile


Share on activity feed

Powered by WP LinkPress

Share this Research

Posted by James Alexander Gordon