The ALURE of Undergraduate Research: Developing Leadership through Sharing Successful Models

Paula MYATT
University of Queensland, Australia
p.myatt@uq.edu.au

Susan ROWLAND
University of Queensland, Australia
s.rowland1@uq.edu.au

Gwen LAWRIE
University of Queensland, Australia
g.lawrie@uq.edu.au

Jack WANG
University of Queensland, Australia
t.wang1@uq.edu.au

Kirsten ZIMBARDI
University of Queensland, Australia
k.zimbardi@uq.edu.au

Peter WORTHY
University of Queensland, Australia
peter.worthy@uq.net.au

Abstract

Embarking on an innovative teaching practice with limited experience and resources can be a daunting prospect. The fear of failure, the tyranny of time and the expectation of excellence, all combine to thwart the most innovative intentions of the best teachers. The OLT-funded ALURE project in Australia focuses on Authentic Large-Scale Undergraduate Research Experiences, developing a sustainable model of leadership where existing teachers become mentors (leaders of change), and new innovators become mentees (supported, leader-implementers). While many institutions in the United States draw on big-budget, multi-university projects to enable research experiences for students, this Australian model aims to provide pragmatic solutions in a resource-restricted context. This project has identified exemplars of undergraduate research experiences across 5 Australian universities and used interviews and one-on-one processes to develop materials that enable others to adopt and adapt these proven teaching innovations. Using measurable Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) outcomes as a driver, this model enables successful existing practitioners to: (i) write about their teaching, (ii) evaluate their student learning, and (iii) disseminate the outcomes. For future innovative teachers, this model enables them to: (i) be innovative in a risk-reduced environment, (ii) utilize and build on teaching and assessment tools trialed by others, and (iii) evaluate and disseminate their teaching outcomes. This showcase presentation will build on the first-stage results presented at HERDSA2013 and include audience participation focusing on the topics of leadership, the mutual benefits of sharing resources and experiences, and models of best practice.

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