Using the Affinity Research Group Model to Involve Undergraduate Students in Computer Engineering
The Affinity Research Group model is an attractive vehicle for involving undergraduates in research, retaining them, and fostering their interest in higher education. Using this model, students are given opportunities to develop, employ, and integrate knowledge and skills required for research with knowledge and skills required for cooperative work. Potential adopters of the model often inquire about the feasibility of applying the model in a field like computer science, in which it often is the case that a student must have a solid academic foundation in order to be involved in research. This paper addresses this question by illustrating how the model has been applied to computer science research projects that involve students with different skill levels and experience. In particular, the paper presents example structured tasks and related activities that demonstrate how students develop domain expertise, gain an understanding and appreciation of the research process and its practice, and acquire technical, team, communication, problem‐solving, and higher‐level thinking skills.