Expanding the research horizon in higher education : master's students' perceptions of research assistantships
Niemczyk, Ewelina Kinga
MetadataShow full item record
This study explores how effectively current research assistantships impart research methods, skills, and attitudes; and how well those experiences prepare the next generation of researchers to meet the evolving needs of an ever-expanding, knowledge- based economy and society. Through personal interviews, 7 graduate student research assistants expressed their perceptions regarding their research assistantships. The open- ended interview questions emphasized (a) what research knowledge and skills the graduate students acquired; (b) what other lessons they took away from the experience; and (c) how the research assistantships influenced their graduate studies and future academic plans. After participants were interviewed, the data were transcribed, memberchecked, and then analyzed using a grounded theory research design. The findings show that research assistantships are valuable educational venues that can not only promote research learning but also benefit research assistants' master's studies and stimulate reflection regarding their future educational and research plans. Although data are limited to the responses of 7 students, findings can contribute to the enhancement of research assistantship opportunities as a means of developing skilled future researchers that in tum will benefit Canada as an emerging leader in research and development. The study is meant to serve as an informative source for (a) experienced researchers who have worked with research assistants; (b) researchers who are planning to hire research assistants; and (c) experienced and novice research assistants. Further, the study has the potential to inform future research training initiatives as well as related policies and practices.