Gates, A. Q., Teller, P. J., Bernat, A., Delgado, N., & Della‐Piana, C. K. (1999). Expanding participation in undergraduate research using the affinity group model. Journal of Engineering Education, 88(4), 409-414.
The benefits of working in a research group are clear: students develop domain expertise, gain an understanding and appreciation of the research process and its practice, and acquire team, communication, problem‐solving, and higher‐level thinking skills. Students with this experience are better equipped to make informed judgements about technical matters and to communicate and work in teams to solve complex problems. Clearly, this type of research experience must be made available to a broader population. This paper discusses how the Systems and Software Engineering Affinity Research Group model provides a socialization mechanism and infrastructure that supports the development and management of large research groups that engage undergraduate and graduate students, who have a wide range of skill levels and experiences, in research and projects. This non‐hierarchical model, which is based on the cooperative paradigm, integrates students into small research groups and an encompassing large research group, and uses structured activities to develop their research, technical, communication, and group skills.Link to article