Research Highlight: Abigail Packard

by arowsey on May 31, 2021

I had the opportunity to interview Abigail Packard concerning her time as a research fellow at Roanoke College.

Can you describe what your research project is about?

My independent project looks at Perceptions of Assessment: Comparing College Students & Faculty. We asked a series of questions about assessment type, including formative, summative, and standardized assessments, what they thought about them, and general questions pertaining to assessment. We also asked about assessment method types such as projects, written exams, oral exams, take-home tests, etc. Through the project, I was able to gain insight into how students and teachers may or may not believe that assessment is an accurate measure of students’ knowledge and if students and faculty differ in their preferences for different methods of assessment.

What made you decide to pursue your topic?

What made me decide to pursue this research is my love for education and insight into assessing students best. I am majoring in elementary education and hope to bring knowledge of assessment preference into my future classroom. I also feel it is essential for others within education to see the possible stressors or benefits of assessment.

Why did you decide to do research?

I am part of the Research Fellows Program for the class of 2021, and what first caught my eye is the many benefits of research after college when looking into graduate programs and being a competitive applicant. I also enjoyed the idea of research pushing you to be a committed individual in your academics and the continued growth it provides me as a student.

How has your experience with your research advisor been?

My research advisor is Dr. Powell, who works in the psychology department. She has been such a wonderful mentor by pushing me to think in new ways, providing support, and continuing to help me grow as not only a student but also as an individual. It is apparent she cares for all students in her lab and wants to see them all succeed and work together, and it has been an incredible experience working with her.

What has been your favorite or most interesting part of your research project so far?

My research project’s most memorable experience has been sharing my research with interviewers as I have been applying to teaching positions. It has allowed me to see my research come to life on campus and in my future career and lets me share it with others.

What would you say to current and incoming students interested in doing research?

If there are incoming students or even current students interested in research, I encourage them to learn more about it and see if they feel they would enjoy it. It is important to ensure you are aware of the time commitment but also recognize the endless benefits that can come from completing research throughout college. It is not very common for college students to conduct research starting from first-year students to senior year. Take a chance and push yourself. You may find you love research!

Lastly, any other additional information or comments you’d like to include besides the questions stated above? 

I want to thank the Research Fellowship for the opportunity I was given and to thank Dr. Lassiter for supporting me throughout my four years at the college. Lastly, to my peers in the lab and Dr. Powell for always being my advocate and pushing me to be the best I can be as a student researcher.

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