Monday, May 27, 2013

Working with Student Research Assistants: More Thoughts

 1.You can train most students to collect information. However, you need to speak with them on how to go about doing the research. I often find that I fail to give insufficient guidance.

 2.  Not all students are good at analyzing and synthesizing information. I try to hire students who are in the middle of the class or higher. At least for my projects, the ability to synthesize does not correlate with classroom grades. If a student cannot analyze or synthesize adequately, I assign him or her more work on collecting information for future projects. Sometimes students turn in work that is too superficial. The solution is to show them good work samples so they see the level of analysis that you want.

   3. The best students are the ones that tell me that my project or methodology needs an overhaul. Students who can offer me a better approach to my work are exciting co-workers. I am never able to determine in advance which students can make this contribution. 

    4.In selecting students, I do not take risks. I want students who seem to have a work ethic and no emotional quirks or problems. I am happy to work with troubled or difficult students in other ways, but I need research assistants who will produce and will be easy to work with.


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