Assessing the research experience of postgraduate students at a Hong Kong university

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Research and Development in Higher Education Vol. 33 : Reshaping Higher Education

July, 2010, 654 pages
Published by
M. Devlin, J. Nagy and A. Lichtenberg
0 908557 80 9

The Student Research Experience Questionnaire (SREQ) has been used in an Australian university to measure postgraduates’ research experiences for many years. Hong Kong is undergoing major education reform and for some universities instigating the systematic evaluation of student learning experiences at all levels. The aims of this study were to validate SREQ in a Hong Kong university and explore the effect of student research experiences on the perceived development of generic skills and overall satisfaction. Data were collected from 599 currently enrolled postgraduate students at a Hong Kong university. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis were used to determine the construct validity of the scales and the effects of student research experiences on the perceived development of generic skills. Overall satisfaction was explored using structural equation modelling. The results from exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported the scale structure of five SREQ scales in the Hong Kong context. The reliability estimates ranged from .88 to .93. The structural equation modelling indicated that supervision was a significant predictor of students’ perceived skill development and overall satisfaction. Infrastructure and intellectual climate had only significant contribution to overall satisfaction. The results suggested that the SREQ is a reliable and valid instrument for the measurement of research students’ research experience in the Hong Kong context. The data can provide important information about relationships between student research experiences and how to promote positive learning outcomes.

Keywords: Student Research Experience Questionnaire, validation, Hong Kong context