Ruth Ayres is a Learning & Development Adviser in the Learning and Development Centre at the University of Warwick, where she is responsible for leading the Accredited Programmes in Academic & Professional Practice. She is interested in various aspects of higher education research, including the research-teaching nexus and non-traditional learners and their experiences of learning and teaching. She has been involved in evaluation projects and was invited by the University of the Basque Country to advise on the teaching and assessment of Ecology as part of the project 'Innovation of Teaching Ecology: Bologna 2010'.
Does research-based learning meet its aims and provide 'added value' for those undergraduate students who undertake the Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme (URSS)?
The benefits to the learner of research-based learning are widely acknowledged and the beneficial impacts of research-based learning (RBL) have led a number of Higher Education Institutions to implement different elements of RBL in their undergraduate curricula. At both Warwick University, and Oxford Brookes University, Undergraduate Research Scholarship Schemes (URSS) have been established in order to provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to experience what it's like to be a member of a team working on a cutting-edge research project. Participation in the scheme should thereby enable students to gain an insight into the nature of academic research, whilst developing their research expertise and transferable skills.
This project aims to evaluate the extent to which the URSS has met its aims and enhanced the learning, research capabilities and transferable skills of those undergraduate students who have participated in the scheme. It also focuses on supervisors' experiences of the URSS and the degree to which involvement in the scheme has influenced undergraduate students' decisions regarding their future career choices.