Directed Independent Research (4912)

Directed Independent Research (XXX 4912) is available across campus to document and formalize independent research activities for undergraduates. UCF defines Undergraduate Research as an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes (or supports the creation of) an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.

This course is different from Independent Study because students enrolled in this course are helping to contribute to the scholarly discourse; rather than simply learning about a topic not offered through another course in the department.

Note: Students who are University Volunteers (learn more here) are not eligible to receive course credit of any kind (including 0 credits) and they must donate products  or creations to UCF, without reservation of rights (including IP).

  • Enrolling in 4912 keeps students accountable and creates a structure around the experience
  • This course shows up on your teaching load
  • This course shows up on a students’ transcript: this is a very good thing for students applying to graduate and professional schools
  • OUR collects data on enrollment in this course (and many other research programs) and can provide you a report with your mentorship activities

The process is different in every college, but OUR recommends the following steps:

  1. Have your student(s) consult with their academic advisor to determine how many credit hours they should enroll in:
    • 0 Credit Hour Option: best for students in a full-load or who do not have the option to take 4912 as an upper-division elective. This option is no-cost to students who are enrolled in other courses
    • 1 – 3 Credits: will contribute to student GPA, and should only be done if it fits into their academic plan
  2. Check if there are active sections of 4912 available already (See a full list of 4912 sections available as of Spring ’19.)
  3. Outline the course with the student: create a syllabus (See below for samples and a Syllabus Template Generator)
    • Choosing the grading scale: A-F or S/U is an important part of this conversation
  4. Send your student to get the 4912 enrollment form: advising office for your college
    • If you or the student has any trouble, contact OUR: we try to keep records and can help you reach the right person

We recommend beginning this process the semester beforehand, but students can be enrolled in 4912 for credit through the ‘Add’ Deadline for courses: the first Friday of the semester. 

If you begin working with a student during the first half of the semester, there is “variable semester” that runs 7 weeks and is 0 credits. Speak to your college advising office about this option. 

Upcoming Add Deadlines:
These are the last days to enroll, but we encourage students to make use of registration windows to enroll in 4912 courses.

Fall 2022:

  • Full semester: Friday, August 26th
  • Variable semester: Friday, October 21st

Spring 2023:

  • Full semester: Friday, January 13th
  • Variable semester: Friday, March 10th
In Summer, you can enroll in Summer Session B in lieu of using the variable credit hour.

OUR recommends including a course schedule that outlines when you will meet with the student(s) and when you expect students to meet benchmarks or submit materials to you.

Appropriate learning outcomes include, but are not limited to:

  • Strengthen oral and written communication of research
  • Develop critical thinking skills
  • Improve their information fluency skills
  • Strengthen peer reviewing skills
  • Gain an awareness of ethical issues in research
  • Strengthen their ability to formulate appropriate research questions
  • Evaluate primary and secondary literature sources
  • Synthesize literature
  • Learn how to use research related equipment or technology
  • Gain skills in quantitative or qualitative data analysis
  • Improve knowledge of academic writing conventions of the discipline
  • Learn about different dissemination modes

Possible final deliverable assignments include, but are not limited to:

  • Research Proposal
  • Research Paper
  • Manuscript draft
  • Poster Presentation
  • PowerPoint Presentation (or other comparable format)
  • Work of art or performance
  • Prototype/Model

See a full sample syllabus here.