Kephart, K., & Villa, E. (2008, October). Demonstrating sustainable success: Using ethnographic interviews to document the impact of the affinity research group model. In 2008 38th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference (pp. S2C-17). IEEE.

The Affinity Research Group (ARG) is a model of undergraduate research that extends the undergraduate research experience to a broad range of students by providing opportunities to learn and integrate the knowledge and skills that are required for research with those required for cooperative work. ARG creates an integrated research environment in which a collective of diverse students and faculty contribute to the research effort. The framework and pedagogy enable faculty to create and sustain a cooperative environment that explicitly develops skills needed for success in research, academe, and the workforce. This paper describes a qualitative design used to investigate ARG. The objectives of the effort were to gather alumni descriptions and to gauge the long-term effects of their experiences in the research group. The study shows that former ARG members readily describe specific aspects of the ARG model, such as paper and presentation critiques, through which they developed technical and social skills that they continue to use in the workplace and that they believe have contributed significantly to their professional mobility and success. To ground the findings, the paper relates components of the ARG model to sociocultural learning theory.

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