Collaborative Engagement Model to Enrich Undergraduate Research Experience
|Unit Commended:||School of Applied Sciences|
|Good Practice Recognised:||Collaborative Engagement Model to Enrich Undergraduate Research Experience|
|Description and Merits:||
The objective of the MPI collaborative undergraduate research engagement model is to engage students to do research work as early as possible and it consists of three main building blocks: team work and interpersonal skills, domain knowledge building, and technical communications. Year 1 engagement is particularly important. During the four years of study, students participate in different collaborative extra-curriculum activities to gradually develop their abilities in the three building blocks.
In our model, students who are more mature may be selected to participate in summer research work and students returning from summer research work transfer their experience and knowledge to other students.
In addition to computing courses in the curriculum, we enhance our students’ domain knowledge through various interest groups related to advanced and emerging technologies. These interest groups are usually led by teachers. But some senior students also help in teaching junior peers. Such teaching experience proves to be instrumental for both the senior students to deepen their understanding in domain knowledge and also communication skills. Our curriculum includes system development group project and final year project for all students.
To improve students’ skills in comprehending technical material, writing technical reports and also giving professional presentation in the computing domain, we have instilled various topics in technical communications in the academic English courses and project courses in year 2 to year 4 of the study plan.
We also organize many social skill activities for the students to engage in the study life and team work. Senior students contribute in the organization and operation of the activities. Moreover, senior students serve as mentors to year 1 students, sharing their experience in university study and providing supports to junior students.
One feature of our engagement model is that as the maturity of students grow, we provide opportunities for further growth in leading interest groups, mentorship and top-notch research work. This feature increases the momentum of growth in both senior and junior students.
Different learning activities in our engagement model are interweaved to engage students and develop their research skills in a collaborative learning environment. The model provides learning opportunities for students of different skill and maturity levels.