Smolinski, Tomasz G.
Computer literacy plays a critical role in today's life sciences research. Without the ability to use computers to efficiently manipulate and analyze large amounts of data resulting from biological experiments and simulations, many of the pressing questions in the life sciences could not be answered. Today's undergraduates, despite the ubiquity of…
Full Text Available To help bridge the increasing gap between scientists and the public, we developed an innovative two-semester course, called Science Café. In this course undergraduate biology majors learn to develop communication skills to be better able to explain science concepts and current developments in science to non-scientists. Students develop and host outreach events on various topics relevant to the community, thereby increasing interactions between budding scientists and the public. Such a Science Cafe course emphasizes development of science communication skills early, at the undergraduate level and empowers students to use their science knowledge in every day interactions with the public to increase science literacy, get involved in the local community and engage the public in a dialogue on various pressing science issues. We believe that undergraduate science majors can be great ambassadors for science and are often overlooked since many aspire to go on to medical/veterinary/pharmacy schools. However, science communication skills are especially important for these types of students because when they become healthcare professionals, they will interact with the public as part of their everyday jobs and can thus be great representatives for the field.
A study group of scientists was convened by the Sociedad de Biología de Chile (Biological Society of Chile) and the Regional Program for Graduate Training in Biological Sciences, PNUD-Unesco, RLA 78/024, to assess undergraduate and graduate studies in life sciences in Chile. The group presented this report at the 28th Annual Meeting of the Society. Discussion centered on the features that should characterize the studies leading to the academic degrees of Licenciado (Licenciate), Magíster (Master) and Doctor (Ph. D) in Sciences, and also on the qualifications that the universities should satisfy in order to grant them. After analyzing the present situation of undergraduate and graduate studies in Biological Sciences in Chilean universities, the group made the following main suggestions: 1. It is recommended that Chilean universities agree on a 4-year plan for the Licenciado degree, without the requirement of a thesis. The importance of providing the students with good laboratory exercises and field experience and with the opportunity to perform short research projects is stressed. In addition, a sound theoretical training on mathematics, physics and chemistry in the education of a modern Biologist is important. Licenciate studies ought to be the basis for professional careers and the universities should offer to the Licenciados free access to their professional schools. 2. It is considered appropriate for Chile and its universities to develop graduate programs in those disciplines that have reached a level of excellence. To accomplish this aim, adequate finance of the universities is necessary to permit them to provide the essential facilities for doing research, and to create a wide system of fellowships for graduate students. Direct government support for research and graduate student fellowships is requested. 3. Research experience of the kind needed for the preparation of a doctoral thesis is recommended as the academic level appropriate for those engaged in
Wachsmuth, Lucas P; Runyon, Christopher R; Drake, John M; Dolan, Erin L
Undergraduate life science majors are reputed to have negative emotions toward mathematics, yet little empirical evidence supports this. We sought to compare emotions of majors in the life sciences versus other natural sciences and math. We adapted the Attitudes toward the Subject of Chemistry Inventory to create an Attitudes toward the Subject of Mathematics Inventory (ASMI). We collected data from 359 science and math majors at two research universities and conducted a series of statistical tests that indicated that four AMSI items comprised a reasonable measure of students' emotional satisfaction with math. We then compared life science and non-life science majors and found that major had a small to moderate relationship with students' responses. Gender also had a small relationship with students' responses, while students' race, ethnicity, and year in school had no observable relationship. Using latent profile analysis, we identified three groups-students who were emotionally satisfied with math, emotionally dissatisfied with math, and neutral. These results and the emotional satisfaction with math scale should be useful for identifying differences in other undergraduate populations, determining the malleability of undergraduates' emotional satisfaction with math, and testing effects of interventions aimed at improving life science majors' attitudes toward math. © 2017 L.P. Wachsmuth et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2017 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Adedoyin, A. O.; Bello, G.
This study investigated the conceptions of the nature of science held by pre-service undergraduate biology teachers in South-West, Nigeria. Specifically, the study examined the influence of their gender on their conceptions of the nature of science. The study was a descriptive research of the survey method. The population for the study comprised…
Burniston, Amy Lucinda
Undergraduate science education is currently seeing a dramatic pedagogical push towards teaching the philosophies underpinning science as well as an increase in strategies that employ active learning. Many active learning strategies stem from constructivist ideals and have been shown to affect a student's understanding of how science operates and its impact on society- commonly referred to as the nature of science (NOS). One particular constructivist teaching strategy, case-based instruction (CBI), has been recommended by researchers and science education reformists as an effective instructional strategy for teaching NOS. Furthermore, when coupled with explicit-reflective instruction, CBI has been found to significantly increasing understanding of NOS in elementary and secondary students. However, few studies aimed their research on CBI and NOS towards higher education. Thus, this study uses a quasi-experimental, nonequivalent group design to study the effects of CBI on undergraduate science students understandings of NOS. Undergraduate biology student's understanding of NOS were assessed using the Views of Science Education (VOSE) instrument pre and post CBI intervention in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Human Anatomy and Physiology II. Data analysis indicated statistically significant differences between students NOS scores in experimental versus control sections for both courses, with experimental groups obtaining higher posttest scores. The results of this study indicate that undergraduate male and female students have similarly poor understandings of NOS and the use of historical case based instruction can be used as a means to increase undergraduate understanding of NOS.
On many campuses throughout the country, undergraduate biology education is in serious need of an upgrade. During the past few decades, the body of biological knowledge has grown exponentially, and as a research endeavor, the practice of biology has evolved. Education research has also made great strides, revealing many new insights into how…
De Juan, Joaquin; Pérez-Cañaveras, Rosa M.; Segovia, Yolanda; Girela, Jose Luis; Martínez-Ruiz, Noemi; Romero-Rameta, Alejandro; Gómez-Torres, Maria José; Vizcaya-Moreno, M. Flores
Cell biology is an academic discipline that organises and coordinates the learning of the structure, function and molecular composition of cells in some undergraduate biomedical programs. Besides course content and teaching methodologies, the laboratory environment is considered a key element in the teaching of and learning of cell biology. The…
Petzold, Jacquelyn; Winterman, Brian; Montooth, Kristi
In order to integrate library instruction seamlessly into an introductory biology course, two librarians collaborated with a biology faculty member to create a three-part series of instruction sessions known as the Science Seeker. The Science Seeker taught students about the structure of scientific information by tracing the path that discoveries…
Wachsmuth, Lucas P.; Runyon, Christopher R.; Drake, John M.; Dolan, Erin L.
Undergraduate life science majors are reputed to have negative emotions toward mathematics, yet little empirical evidence supports this. We sought to compare emotions of majors in the life sciences versus other natural sciences and math. We adapted the Attitudes toward the Subject of Chemistry Inventory to create an Attitudes toward the Subject of Mathematics Inventory (ASMI). We collected data from 359 science and math majors at two research universities and conducted a series of statistical tests that indicated that four AMSI items comprised a reasonable measure of students’ emotional satisfaction with math. We then compared life science and non–life science majors and found that major had a small to moderate relationship with students’ responses. Gender also had a small relationship with students’ responses, while students’ race, ethnicity, and year in school had no observable relationship. Using latent profile analysis, we identified three groups—students who were emotionally satisfied with math, emotionally dissatisfied with math, and neutral. These results and the emotional satisfaction with math scale should be useful for identifying differences in other undergraduate populations, determining the malleability of undergraduates’ emotional satisfaction with math, and testing effects of interventions aimed at improving life science majors’ attitudes toward math. PMID:28798211
Wachsmuth, Lucas P.; Runyon, Christopher R.; Drake, John M.; Dolan, Erin L.
Undergraduate life science majors are reputed to have negative emotions toward mathematics, yet little empirical evidence supports this. We sought to compare emotions of majors in the life sciences versus other natural sciences and math. We adapted the Attitudes toward the Subject of Chemistry Inventory to create an Attitudes toward the Subject of…
Yang, Xiaohan; Sun, Luyang; Zhao, Ying; Yi, Xia; Zhu, Bin; Wang, Pu; Lin, Hong; Ni, Juhua
Since 2010, second-year undergraduate students of an eight-year training program leading to a Doctor of Medicine degree or Doctor of Philosophy degree in Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) have been required to enter the "Innovative talent training project." During that time, the students joined a research lab and participated in some original research work. There is a critical educational need to prepare these students for the increasing accessibility of research experience. The redesigned experimental curriculum of biochemistry and molecular biology was developed to fulfill such a requirement, which keeps two original biochemistry experiments (Gel filtration and Enzyme kinetics) and adds a new two-experiment component called "Analysis of anti-tumor drug induced apoptosis." The additional component, also known as the "project-oriented experiment" or the "comprehensive experiment," consists of Western blotting and a DNA laddering assay to assess the effects of etoposide (VP16) on the apoptosis signaling pathways. This reformed laboratory teaching system aims to enhance the participating students overall understanding of important biological research techniques and the instrumentation involved, and to foster a better understanding of the research process all within a classroom setting. Student feedback indicated that the updated curriculum helped them improve their operational and self-learning capability, and helped to increase their understanding of theoretical knowledge and actual research processes, which laid the groundwork for their future research work. © 2015 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
The experience(s) of undergraduate research students in the social sciences is under-represented in the literature in comparison to the natural sciences or science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). The strength of STEM undergraduate research learning environments is understood to be related to an apprenticeship-mode of learning supported…
Yang, Xiaohan; Sun, Luyang; Zhao, Ying; Yi, Xia; Zhu, Bin; Wang, Pu; Lin, Hong; Ni, Juhua
Since 2010, second-year undergraduate students of an eight-year training program leading to a Doctor of Medicine degree or Doctor of Philosophy degree in Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) have been required to enter the "Innovative talent training project." During that time, the students joined a research lab and…
Dirrigl, Frank J., Jr.; Noe, Mark
Teaching scientific writing in biology classes is challenging for both students and instructors. This article offers and reviews several useful "toolkit" items that improve student writing. These include sentence and paper-length templates, funnelling and compartmentalisation, and preparing compendiums of corrections. In addition,…
To a large extent, undergraduate physical-science curricula remain firmly rooted in pencil-and-paper calculation, despite the fact that most research is done with computers. To a large extent, undergraduate life-science curricula remain firmly rooted in descriptive approaches, despite the fact that much current research involves quantitative modeling. Not only does our pedagogy not reflect current reality; it also creates a spurious barrier between the fields, reinforcing the narrow silos that prevent students from connecting them. I'll describe an intermediate-level course on ``Physical Models of Living Systems.'' The prerequisite is first-year university physics and calculus. The course is a response to rapidly growing interest among undergraduates in a broad range of science and engineering majors. Students acquire several research skills that are often not addressed in traditional undergraduate courses: •Basic modeling skills; •Probabilistic modeling skills; •Data analysis methods; •Computer programming using a general-purpose platform like MATLAB or Python; •Pulling datasets from the Web for analysis; •Data visualization; •Dynamical systems, particularly feedback control. Partially supported by the NSF under Grants EF-0928048 and DMR-0832802.
C. R. C. Cruz et al.
"Biotecnological War" board game, a conceptual and perceptual assessment tool for biotechnology and protein chemistry teaching for undergraduate students in biological sciences and related areas. It is a proposal initially conceived as an alternative complementary tool for biochemistry teaching of proteins and peptides, challenging students, aiming to review concepts transmitted in classroom, stimulating diverse student’s abilities, such as their creativity, competitiveness and resource manag...
Matyas, Marsha Lakes; Ruedi, Elizabeth A.; Engen, Katie; Chang, Amy L.
The "Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education" reports cite the critical role of professional societies in undergraduate life science education and, since 2008, have called for the increased involvement of professional societies in support of undergraduate education. Our study explored the level of support being provided by…
Medina, Stephanie R.; Ortlieb, Evan; Metoyer, Sandra
Science content knowledge is a concern for educators in the United States because performance has stagnated for the past decade. Investigators designed this study to determine the current levels of scientific literacy among undergraduate students in a freshman-level biology course (a core requirement for majors and nonmajors), identify factors…
Brownell, Sara E.; Price, Jordan V.; Steinman, Lawrence
Most scientists agree that comprehension of primary scientific papers and communication of scientific concepts are two of the most important skills that we can teach, but few undergraduate biology courses make these explicit course goals. We designed an undergraduate neuroimmunology course that uses a writing-intensive format. Using a mixture of…
Danielson, Kathryn I.; Tanner, Kimberly D.
Scientific research exploring ocean acidification has grown significantly in past decades. However, little science education research has investigated the extent to which undergraduate science students understand this topic. Of all undergraduate students, one might predict science students to be best able to understand ocean acidification. What conceptions and misconceptions of ocean acidification do these students hold? How does their awareness and knowledge compare across disciplines? Undergraduate biology, chemistry/biochemistry, and environmental studies students, and science faculty for comparison, were assessed on their awareness and understanding. Results revealed low awareness and understanding of ocean acidification among students compared with faculty. Compared with biology or chemistry/biochemistry students, more environmental studies students demonstrated awareness of ocean acidification and identified the key role of carbon dioxide. Novel misconceptions were also identified. These findings raise the question of whether undergraduate science students are prepared to navigate socioenvironmental issues such as ocean acidification. PMID:26163563
Fowler, Kathleen; Luttman, Aaron; Mondal, Sumona
The US National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Undergraduate Biology and Mathematics (UBM) program significantly increased undergraduate research in the biomathematical sciences. We discuss three UBM-funded student research projects at Clarkson University that lie at the intersection of not just mathematics and biology, but also other fields. The…
Aldridge, Jacqueline Nouvelle
The first year experience is known to present an array of challenges for traditional college students. In particular, freshmen who major in a STEM discipline have their own unique set of challenges when they transition from high school science and math to college science and math; especially chemistry. As a result, students may encounter negative experiences which lower academic and social confidence. This project was designed as a pilot study intervention for a small group of freshmen biology students who were considered academically at-risk due their math SAT scores. The study occurred during the fall semester involving an enhanced active learning component based on the Peer-led Team Learning (PLTL) general chemistry supplemental pedagogy model, and a biology-focused First Year Experience (FYE). PLTL workshops took place in freshmen residence halls, creating a live-n-learn community environment. Mid-term and final chemistry grades and final math grades were collected to measure academic progress. Self-reporting surveys and journals were used to encourage participants to reconstruct their experiences and perceptions of the study. Descriptive analysis was performed to measure statistical significance between midterm and final grade performance, and a general inductive qualitative method was used to determine academic and social confidence as well as experiences and perceptions of the project. Findings of this project revealed a statistically significant improvement between chemistry midterm and final grades of the sample participants. Although academic confidence did not increase, results reveal that social confidence progressed as the majority of students developed a value for studying in groups.
Baker, William P.; Moore, Cathy R.
Understanding of immunological techniques such as the Enzyme Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay (ELISA) is an important part of instructional units in human health, developmental biology, microbiology, and biotechnology. This paper describes a simple ELISA exercise for undergraduate biology that effectively simulates the technique using a paper model.…
Levis-Fitzgerald, Marc; Denson, Nida; Kerfeld, Cheryl A.
Over the past decade, a number of scholars have publicly criticized large research universities for failing to provide undergraduate students with the skills and abilities needed to succeed both in life and in the workforce. At the heart of this criticism is the concern that research institutions have de-emphasized teaching by increasing the size…
This article features Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER; www.sencer.net) Summer Institute. The SENCER program, which began formally in 2001, was the vision of David Burns; Karen Oates, currently Peterson Family Dean of Arts and Sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and Ric Wiebl, currently director of…
Holt, Emily A.
Regrettably, the sciences are not untouched by the plagiarism affliction that threatens the integrity of budding professionals in classrooms around the world. My research, however, suggests that plagiarism training can improve students' recognition of plagiarism. I found that 148 undergraduate ecology students successfully identified plagiarized…
Smith, Michelle K
To improve undergraduate biology education, there is an urgent need for biology instructors to publish their innovative active-learning instructional materials in peer-reviewed journals. To do this, instructors can measure student knowledge about a variety of biology concepts, iteratively design activities, explore student learning outcomes and publish the results. Creating a set of well-vetted activities, searchable through a journal interface, saves other instructors time and encourages the use of active-learning instructional practices. For authors, these publications offer new opportunities to collaborate and can provide evidence of a commitment to using active-learning instructional techniques in the classroom.
The American economy hinges on the health and production of science, technology engineering and mathematics workforce (STEM). Although this sector of the American workforce represents a substantially fewer jobs the STEM workforce fuels job growth and sustainability in the other sectors of the American workforce. Unfortunately, over the next decade the U.S. will face an additional deficit of over a million STEM professionals, thus the need is here now to fill this deficit. STEM education should, therefore, dedicated to producing graduates. One strategy to produce more STEM graduates is through retention of student in STEM majors. Retention or persistence is highly related to student sense of belonging in academic environments. This study investigates graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) perceptions of their classrooms and the implications of those perceptions on professional development. Furthermore, correlations between classroom community and student desire to persist, as measured by Rovai's Classroom Community Index (CCI) were established (P=0.0311). The interactions are described and results are discussed. Using a framework of teaching for community, and a qualitative analytic case study with memo writing about codes and themes methodology supported several themes including passion to teach and dedication to student learning, innovation in teaching practices based on evidence, an intrinsic desire to seek a diverse set of feedback, and instructors can foster community in the classroom. Using the same methodology one emergent theme, a tacit rather than explicit understanding of reading the classroom, was also present in the current study. Based on the results and using a lens for professional development, strategies and suggestions are made regarding strategies to enhance instructors' use of feedback and professional development.
C. R. C. Cruz et al.
Full Text Available "Biotecnological War" board game, a conceptual and perceptual assessment tool for biotechnology and protein chemistry teaching for undergraduate students in biological sciences and related areas. It is a proposal initially conceived as an alternative complementary tool for biochemistry teaching of proteins and peptides, challenging students, aiming to review concepts transmitted in classroom, stimulating diverse student’s abilities, such as their creativity, competitiveness and resource management. OBJECTIVES. Correlate biochemistry importance of proteins and peptides with the development of new products. MATERIAL AND METHODS. Firstly, theoretical-practical classes were given with seminars to be presented by the groups, including topics that will be addressed in game. Groups of 5 students, with previously viewed themes drawn a goal to be achieved. There are two drawn goals variations: Academic or Commercial. Board is divided into provinces, which must be bought with an initial resource to complete the goal. Before the beginning each group will have 15 minutes to plan their actions. The objective is to develop the entire objective drawn with appropriate methodology, having at least 1 territory in each province. RESULTS. This game proved to be an excellent tool for complementary evaluation of students, which stimulated teamwork and a strong competitive spirit within classroom, which allowed to analyze students' perception regarding the protein subject and team work. On the other hand, for teacher and students participating in compulsory traineeship program this game demonstrated new ways to approach complex subjects in biochemistry using creativity with the development of new activities such as this board game. CONCLUSION: Overall, students had a good impression of “Biotecnological war” game since it helped to secure and administer the protein and peptides biochemical subject in a competitive and team work way.
Van Dyke, Aaron R; Gatazka, Daniel H; Hanania, Mariah M
Chemical biology derives intellectual vitality from its scientific interface: applying chemical strategies and perspectives to biological questions. There is a growing need for chemical biologists to synergistically integrate their research programs with their educational activities to become holistic teacher-scholars. This review examines how course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) are an innovative method to achieve this integration. Because CUREs are course-based, the review first offers strategies for creating a student-centered learning environment, which can improve students' outcomes. Exemplars of CUREs in chemical biology are then presented and organized to illustrate the five defining characteristics of CUREs: significance, scientific practices, discovery, collaboration, and iteration. Finally, strategies to overcome common barriers in CUREs are considered as well as future innovations in chemical biology education.
P. Avila Jr
Full Text Available The knowledge of scientific method provides stimulus and development of critical thinking and logical analysis of information besides the training of continuous formulation of hypothesis to be applied in formal scientific issues as well as in everyday facts. The scientific education, useful for all people, is indispensable for the experimental science students. Aiming at the possibility to offer a systematic learning of the scientific principles, we developed a undergraduate course designed to approximate the students to the procedures of scientific production and publication. The course was developed in a 40 hours, containing two modules: I. Introducing Scientific Articles (papers and II. Writing Research Project. The first module deals with: (1 the difference between scientific knowledge and common sense; (2 scientific methodology; (3 scientific publishing categories; (4 logical principles; (5 deduction and induction approach and (6 paper analysis. The second module includes (1 selection of problem to be solved by experimental procedures; (2 bibliography revision; (3 support agencies; (4 project writing and presentation and (5 critical analysis of experimental results. The course used a Collaborative Learning strategy with each topic being developed through activities performed by the students. Qualitative and quantitative (through Likert questionnaires evaluation were carried out in each step of the course, the results showing great appreciation by the students. This is also the opinion of the staff responsible for the planning and development of the course, which is now in its second and improved version.
Singer, Susan Rundell
This special issue of "Journal of Research in Science Teaching" reflects conclusions and recommendations in the "Discipline-Based Education Research" (DBER) report and makes a substantial contribution to advancing the field. Research on undergraduate science learning is currently a loose affiliation of related fields. The…
H. Valles; C.M.S. Carrington
There has been a recent proposal to change the way that biology is taught and learned in undergraduate biology programs in the USA so that students develop a better understanding of science and the natural world. Here, we use this new, recommended teachingâ learning framework to assert that permanent forestry plots could be a valuable tool to help develop biology...
Cundiff, Jessica L.; Vescio, Theresa K.; Loken, Eric; Lo, Lawrence
The present research examined whether gender-science stereotypes were associated with science identification and, in turn, science career aspirations among women and men undergraduate science majors. More than 1,700 students enrolled in introductory science courses completed measures of gender-science stereotypes (implicit associations and…
The objective of this study was to identify and determine the extent of students\\' access to, and use of the Internet using the Science Undergraduate Students of University of Ibadan and University of Lagos as a case study. The study also aimed at comparing the rate of use among this group of students and determine which ...
Barnes, M. Elizabeth; Truong, Jasmine M.; Brownell, Sara E.
A major research thrust in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is focused on how to retain students as STEM majors. The accumulation of seemingly insignificant negative experiences in STEM classes can, over time, lead STEM students to have a low sense of belonging in their disciplines, and this can lead to lower retention. In this paper, we explore how Judeo-Christian students in biology have experiences related to their religious identities that could impact their retention in biology. In 28 interviews with Judeo-Christian students taking undergraduate biology classes, students reported a religious identity that can conflict with the secular culture and content of biology. Some students felt that, because they are religious, they fall within a minority in their classes and would not be seen as credible within the biology community. Students reported adverse experiences when instructors had negative dispositions toward religion and when instructors were rigid in their instructional practices when teaching evolution. These data suggest that this may be a population susceptible to experiences of cultural conflict between their religious identities and their STEM identities, which could have implications for retention. We argue that more research should explore how Judeo-Christian students’ experiences in biology classes influence their sense of belonging and retention. PMID:28232586
Krajewski, Sarah J.; Schwartz, Renee
Research supports an explicit-reflective approach to teaching about nature of science (NOS), but little is reported on teachers' journeys as they attempt to integrate NOS into everyday lessons. This participatory action research paper reports the challenges and successes encountered by an in-service teacher, Sarah, implementing NOS for the first time throughout four units of a community college biology course (genetics, molecular biology, evolution, and ecology). Through the action research cycles of planning, implementing, and reflecting, Sarah identified areas of challenge and success. This paper reports emergent themes that assisted her in successfully embedding NOS within the science content. Data include weekly lesson plans and pre/post reflective journaling before and after each lesson of this lecture/lab combination class that met twice a week. This course was taught back to back semesters, and this study is based on the results of a year-long process. Developing pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for NOS involves coming to understand the overlaps and connections between NOS, other science subject matter, pedagogical strategies, and student learning. Sarah found that through action research she was able to grow and assimilate her understanding of NOS within the biology content she was teaching. A shift in orientation toward teaching products of science to teaching science processes was a necessary shift for NOS pedagogical success. This process enabled Sarah's development of PCK for NOS. As a practical example of putting research-based instructional recommendations into practice, this study may be very useful for other teachers who are learning to teach NOS.
Impey, Chris David; Buxner, S. R.; Antonellis, J.; King, C.; Johnson, E.; CATS
Initial results from a major study of scientific literacy are presented, involving nearly 10,000 undergraduates in science classes at a large Southwestern Land Grant public university over a 20-year period. The science content questions overlap with those in the NSF's Science Indicators series. About 10% of all undergraduates in the US take a General Education astronomy course, and NSF data and the work of Jon Miller show that the number of college science courses taken is the strongest predictor of civic scientific literacy. Our data show that gains in knowledge on any particular item through the time students graduate are only 10-15%. Among students who have taken most or all of their science requirements, one-in-three think that antibiotics kill viruses as well as bacteria, one-in-four think lasers work by focusing sound waves, one-in-five think atoms are smaller than electrons, and the same fraction is unaware that humans evolved from earlier species of animals and that the Earth takes a year to go around the Sun. The fraction of undergraduates saying that astrology is "not at all” scientific increases from 17% to a still-low 34% as they move through the university. Equally worrying, half of all science majors say that astrology is "sort of” or "very” scientific. Education majors - the cohort of future teachers - perform worse than average on most individual questions and in terms of their overall scientific literacy. Assuming the study institution is representative of the nation's higher education institutions, our instruction is not raising students to the level we would expect for educated citizens who must vote on many issues that relate to science and technology. We acknowledge the NSF for funding under Award No. 0715517, a CCLI Phase III Grant for the Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS) Program.
As part of a school review process a survey of the students was designed to gain insight into who the students of the school were. The survey was a voluntary anonymous online survey. Students were able to skip questions and select more than one option in some questions. This was to reduce frustration with participation in the survey and ensure that the survey was completed. This conference details the average undergraduate Computer Science student of a large third level institute.
David M. Johns
Large-scale wildlands reserve systems offer one of the best hopes for slowing, if not reversing, the loss of biodiversity and wilderness. Establishing such reserves requires both sound biology and effective advocacy. Attempts by The Wildlands Project and its cooperators to meld science and advocacy in the service of conservation is working, but is not without some...
Wernick, Naomi L B; Ndung'u, Eric; Haughton, Dominique; Ledley, Fred D
Biological thought increasingly recognizes the centrality of the genome in constituting and regulating processes ranging from cellular systems to ecology and evolution. In this paper, we ask whether genomics is similarly positioned as a core concept in the instructional sequence for undergraduate biology. Using quantitative methods, we analyzed the order in which core biological concepts were introduced in textbooks for first-year general and human biology. Statistical analysis was performed using self-organizing map algorithms and conventional methods to identify clusters of terms and their relative position in the books. General biology textbooks for both majors and nonmajors introduced genome-related content after text related to cell biology and biological chemistry, but before content describing higher-order biological processes. However, human biology textbooks most often introduced genomic content near the end of the books. These results suggest that genomics is not yet positioned as a core concept in commonly used textbooks for first-year biology and raises questions about whether such textbooks, or courses based on the outline of these textbooks, provide an appropriate foundation for understanding contemporary biological science.
Nichols, Nicole L; Ilatovskaya, Daria V; Matyas, Marsha L
Life science professional societies play important roles for undergraduates in their fields and increasingly offer membership, fellowships, and awards for undergraduate students. However, the overall impacts of society-student interactions have not been well studied. Here, we sought to develop and test a pilot survey of undergraduate students to determine how they got involved in research and in presenting at the Experimental Biology (EB) meeting, what they gained from the scientific and career development sessions at the meeting, and how the American Physiological Society (APS) can best support and engage undergraduate students. This survey was administered in 2014 and 2015 to undergraduate students who submitted physiology abstracts for and attended EB. More than 150 students responded (38% response rate). Respondents were demographically representative of undergraduate students majoring in life sciences in the United States. Most students (72%) became involved in research through a summer research program or college course. They attended a variety of EB sessions, including poster sessions and symposia, and found them useful. Undergraduate students interacted with established researchers at multiple venues. Students recommended that APS provide more research fellowships (25%) and keep in touch with students via both e-mail (46%) and social media (37%). Our results indicate that APS' EB undergraduate activities are valued by students and are effective in helping them have a positive scientific meeting experience. These results also guided the development of a more streamlined survey for use in future years. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.
Danielson, Kathryn I.; Tanner, Kimberly D.
Scientific research exploring ocean acidification has grown significantly in past decades. However, little science education research has investigated the extent to which undergraduate science students understand this topic. Of all undergraduate students, one might predict science students to be best able to understand ocean acidification. What…
... Staff Issues AIBS Position Statements Funding for the Biological Sciences Supporting Scientific Collections Advocating for Research Policy ... Public Policy Leadership Award Graduate students in the biological sciences who have demonstrated initiative and leadership in ...
Lynch, C; Grant, T; McLoughlin, P; Last, J
Evolving and changing undergraduate medical curricula raise concerns that there will no longer be a place for basic sciences. National and international trends show that 5-year programmes with a pre-requisite for school chemistry are growing more prevalent. National reports in Ireland show a decline in the availability of school chemistry and physics. This observational cohort study considers if the basic sciences of physics, chemistry and biology should be a prerequisite to entering medical school, be part of the core medical curriculum or if they have a place in the practice of medicine. Comparisons of means, correlation and linear regression analysis assessed the degree of association between predictors (school and university basic sciences) and outcomes (year and degree GPA) for entrants to a 6-year Irish medical programme between 2006 and 2009 (n = 352). We found no statistically significant difference in medical programme performance between students with/without prior basic science knowledge. The Irish school exit exam and its components were mainly weak predictors of performance (-0.043 ≥ r ≤ 0.396). Success in year one of medicine, which includes a basic science curriculum, was indicative of later success (0.194 ≥ r (2) ≤ 0.534). University basic sciences were found to be more predictive than school sciences in undergraduate medical performance in our institution. The increasing emphasis of basic sciences in medical practice and the declining availability of school sciences should mandate medical schools in Ireland to consider how removing basic sciences from the curriculum might impact on future applicants.
Hill, Susan T.; And Others
Because undergraduate education is the foundation for graduate studies, it is important to know where our Nation's science and engineering (S&E) doctorate recipients are receiving their undergraduate training. Specifically, this report addresses the following broad questions: (1) What are the undergraduate origins of S&E doctorate holders? (2)…
Wightman, Bruce; Hark, Amy T.
The development of fields such as bioinformatics and genomics has created new challenges and opportunities for undergraduate biology curricula. Students preparing for careers in science, technology, and medicine need more intensive study of bioinformatics and more sophisticated training in the mathematics on which this field is based. In this…
Floraino, Wely B.
This article discusses the challenges that bioinformatics education is facing and describes a bioinformatics course that is successfully taught at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, to the fourth year undergraduate students in biological sciences, chemistry, and computer science. Information on lecture and computer practice…
Mermelstein, Claudia; Costa, Manoel Luis
The enormous amount of information available in cell biology has created a challenge in selecting the core concepts we should be teaching our undergraduates. One way to define a set of essential core ideas in cell biology is to analyze what a specific cell biology community is teaching their students. Our main objective was to analyze the cell biology content currently being taught in Brazilian universities. We collected the syllabi of cell biology courses from public universities in Brazil and analyzed the frequency of cell biology topics in each course. We also compared the Brazilian data with the contents of a major cell biology textbook. Our analysis showed that while some cell biology topics such as plasma membrane and cytoskeleton was present in ∼100% of the Brazilian curricula analyzed others such as cell signaling and cell differentiation were present in only ∼35%. The average cell biology content taught in the Brazilian universities is quite different from what is presented in the textbook. We discuss several possible explanations for these observations. We also suggest a list with essential cell biology topics for any biological or biomedical undergraduate course. The comparative discussion of cell biology topics presented here could be valuable in other educational contexts. © 2017 The Authors. Cell Biology International Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Federation of Cell Biology.
Dennis, D. P.; Marchant, D. R.; Christ, A. J.; Ehrenfeucht, S.
The current structure of many undergraduate programs, particularly those at large research universities, requires students to engage with a major or academic emphasis early in their university careers. This oftentimes curbs exploration outside the major and can inhibit interdisciplinary collaboration. The Boston University Research Education and Communication of Science (BURECS) program seeks to bridge this institutional divide by fostering interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary collaboration on climate change-related issues by students from across Boston University (B.U.). Every year, approximately fifteen first-year students from B.U.'s College of Arts and Sciences, College of Communication, and School of Education are selected to join BURECS, which includes a climate science seminar, a hands-on lab course, a supported summer internship with Boston-area researchers, and the opportunity to participate in Antarctic field work during subsequent B.U. Antarctic Research Group expeditions. Currently in its third year, BURECS is funded through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professors Program.
Vanderklein, Dirk; Munakata, Mika; McManus, Jason
In an effort to make mathematics relevant to biology students, the authors developed two modules that sought to integrate mathematics and ecology instruction to differing degrees. The modules were developed by a team of biology and mathematics educators and were implemented in an ecology course using three different instructional methods for three…
Campbell, A. Malcolm
The field of synthetic biology (the name is derived from an analogy to synthetic chemistry) has recognized itself as a "field" only since about 2002. Synthetic biology has gotten some high-profile attention recently, but most people are not aware the field even exists. Synthetic biologists apply engineering principles to genomic circuits to…
Yeoman, Kay H.; James, Helen A.; Bowater, Laura
This paper describes the design and evaluation of an undergraduate final year science communication module for the Science Faculty at the University of East Anglia. The module focuses specifically on science communication and aims to bring an understanding of how science is disseminated to the public. Students on the module are made aware of the…
Southard, Katelyn M.; Espindola, Melissa R.; Zaepfel, Samantha D.; Bolger, Molly S.
When conducting scientific research, experts in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) use specific reasoning strategies to construct mechanistic explanations for the underlying causal features of molecular phenomena. We explored how undergraduate students applied this scientific practice in MCB. Drawing from studies of explanation building among…
Scott, Lori K.; Simmons, Steve R.
Primary literature is an underutilized learning resource for undergraduate courses in crop science. Reading assignments from scientific journals were utilized in an undergraduate University of Minnesota crop physiology course at Southwest Minnesota State University from 2002 to 2004. The subjects of the articles corresponded to the lecture topics.…
Hartman, Nadia; Kathard, Harsha; Perez, Gonda; Reid, Steve; Irlam, James; Gunston, Geney; Janse van Rensburg, Vicki; Burch, Vanessa; Duncan, Madeleine; Hellenberg, Derek; Van Rooyen, Ian; Smouse, Mantoa; Sikakane, Cynthia; Badenhorst, Elmi; Ige, Busayo
Undergraduate education and training in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town has become socially responsive. A story of transformation that is consonant with wider societal developments since the 1994 democratic elections, outlining the changes in undergraduate curricula across the faculty, is presented.
Feser, Jason; Vasaly, Helen; Herrera, Jose
In this paper, the authors describe how two institutions are helping their undergraduate biology students build quantitative competencies. Incorporation of quantitative skills and reasoning in biology are framed through a discussion of two cases that both concern introductory biology courses, but differ in the complexity of the mathematics and the…
Aikens, Melissa L; Sadselia, Sona; Watkins, Keiana; Evans, Mara; Eby, Lillian T; Dolan, Erin L
Undergraduate researchers at research universities are often mentored by graduate students or postdoctoral researchers (referred to collectively as "postgraduates") and faculty, creating a mentoring triad structure. Triads differ based on whether the undergraduate, postgraduate, and faculty member interact with one another about the undergraduate's research. Using a social capital theory framework, we hypothesized that different triad structures provide undergraduates with varying resources (e.g., information, advice, psychosocial support) from the postgraduates and/or faculty, which would affect the undergraduates' research outcomes. To test this, we collected data from a national sample of undergraduate life science researchers about their mentoring triad structure and a range of outcomes associated with research experiences, such as perceived gains in their abilities to think and work like scientists, science identity, and intentions to enroll in a PhD program. Undergraduates mentored by postgraduates alone reported positive outcomes, indicating that postgraduates can be effective mentors. However, undergraduates who interacted directly with faculty realized greater outcomes, suggesting that faculty interaction is important for undergraduates to realize the full benefits of research. The "closed triad," in which undergraduates, postgraduates, and faculty all interact directly, appeared to be uniquely beneficial; these undergraduates reported the highest gains in thinking and working like a scientist. © 2016 M. L. Aikens et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Morris, Neil P.; Ramsay, Luke; Chauhan, Vikesh
This article reports findings from a study investigating undergraduate biological sciences students' use of technology and computer devices for learning and the effect of providing students with a tablet device. A controlled study was conducted to collect quantitative and qualitative data on the impact of a tablet device on students' use of…
Caudill, Lester; Hill, April; Hoke, Kathy; Lipan, Ovidiu
Funded by innovative programs at the National Science Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Richmond faculty in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and computer science teamed up to offer first- and second-year students the opportunity to contribute to vibrant, interdisciplinary research projects. The result was not only good science but also good science that motivated and informed course development. Here, we describe four recent undergraduate research proj...
Pursell, David P
BIO2010 advocates enhancing the interdisciplinary, mathematics, and physical science components of the undergraduate biology curriculum. The Department of Chemistry and Life Science at West Point responded by developing a required physical chemistry course tailored to the interests of life science majors. To overcome student resistance to physical chemistry, students were enabled as long-term stakeholders who would shape the syllabus by selecting life science topics of interest to them. The initial 2 yr of assessment indicates that students have a positive view of the course, feel they have succeeded in achieving course outcome goals, and that the course is relevant to their professional future. Instructor assessment of student outcome goal achievement via performance on exams and labs is comparable to that of students in traditional physical chemistry courses. Perhaps more noteworthy, both student and instructor assessment indicate positive trends from year 1 to year 2, presumably due to the student stakeholder effect.
Brevik, Eric C.; Senturklu, Songul; Landblom, Douglas
Several studies have demonstrated that undergraduate students benefit from research experiences. Benefits of undergraduate research include 1) personal and intellectual development, 2) more and closer contact with faculty, 3) the use of active learning techniques, 4) creation of high expectations, 5) development of creative and problem-solving skills, 6) greater independence and intrinsic motivation to learn, and 7) exposure to practical skills. The scientific discipline also benefits, as studies have shown that undergraduates who engage in research experiences are more likely to remain science majors and finish their degree program (Lopatto, 2007). Research experiences come as close as possible to allowing undergraduates to experience what it is like to be an academic or research member of their profession working to advance their discipline. Soils form in the field, therefore, field experiences are very important in developing a complete and holistic understanding of soil science. Combining undergraduate research with field experiences can provide extremely beneficial outcomes to the undergraduate student, including increased understanding of and appreciation for detailed descriptions and data analysis as well as an enhanced ability to see how various parts of their undergraduate education come together to understand a complex problem. The experiences of the authors in working with undergraduate students on field-based research projects will be discussed, along with examples of some of the undergraduate research projects that have been undertaken. In addition, student impressions of their research experiences will be presented. Reference Lopatto, D. 2007. Undergraduate research experiences support science career decisions and active learning. CBE -- Life Sciences Education 6:297-306.
Bridgewater, Laura C.; Jensen, Jamie L.; Breakwell, Donald P.; Nielsen, Brent L.; Johnson, Steven M.
A critical area of emphasis for science educators is the identification of effective means of teaching and engaging undergraduate students. Personal microbiome analysis is a means of identifying the microbial communities found on or in our body. We hypothesized the use of personal microbiome analysis in the classroom could improve science education by making courses more applied and engaging for undergraduate students. We determined to test this prediction in three Brigham Young University undergraduate courses: Immunology, Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratory, and Genomics. These three courses have a two-week microbiome unit and students during the 2016 semester students could submit their own personal microbiome kit or use the demo data, whereas during the 2017 semester students were given access to microbiome data from an anonymous individual. The students were surveyed before, during, and after the human microbiome unit to determine whether analyzing their own personal microbiome data, compared to analyzing demo microbiome data, impacted student engagement and interest. We found that personal microbiome analysis significantly enhanced the engagement and interest of students while completing microbiome assignments, the self-reported time students spent researching the microbiome during the two week microbiome unit, and the attitudes of students regarding the course overall. Thus, we found that integrating personal microbiome analysis in the classroom was a powerful means of improving student engagement and interest in undergraduate science courses. PMID:29641525
Milner-Bolotin, Marina; Nashon, Samson Madera
Science, engineering and mathematics-related disciplines have relied heavily on a researcher's ability to visualize phenomena under study and being able to link and superimpose various abstract and concrete representations including visual, spatial, and temporal. The spatial representations are especially important in all branches of biology (in developmental biology time becomes an important dimension), where 3D and often 4D representations are crucial for understanding the phenomena. By the time biology students get to undergraduate education, they are supposed to have acquired visual-spatial thinking skills, yet it has been documented that very few undergraduates and a small percentage of graduate students have had a chance to develop these skills to a sufficient degree. The current paper discusses the literature that highlights the essence of visual-spatial thinking and the development of visual-spatial literacy, considers the application of the visual-spatial thinking to biology education, and proposes how modern technology can help to promote visual-spatial literacy and higher order thinking among undergraduate students of biology.
Dymond, Jessica S.; Scheifele, Lisa Z.; Richardson, Sarah; Lee, Pablo; Chandrasegaran, Srinivasan; Bader, Joel S.; Boeke, Jef D.
A major challenge in undergraduate life science curricula is the continual evaluation and development of courses that reflect the constantly shifting face of contemporary biological research. Synthetic biology offers an excellent framework within which students may participate in cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and is therefore an attractive addition to the undergraduate biology curriculum. This new discipline offers the promise of a deeper understanding of gene function, gene order, and chromosome structure through the de novo synthesis of genetic information, much as synthetic approaches informed organic chemistry. While considerable progress has been achieved in the synthesis of entire viral and prokaryotic genomes, fabrication of eukaryotic genomes requires synthesis on a scale that is orders of magnitude higher. These high-throughput but labor-intensive projects serve as an ideal way to introduce undergraduates to hands-on synthetic biology research. We are pursuing synthesis of Saccharomyces cerevisiae chromosomes in an undergraduate laboratory setting, the Build-a-Genome course, thereby exposing students to the engineering of biology on a genomewide scale while focusing on a limited region of the genome. A synthetic chromosome III sequence was designed, ordered from commercial suppliers in the form of oligonucleotides, and subsequently assembled by students into ∼750-bp fragments. Once trained in assembly of such DNA “building blocks” by PCR, the students accomplish high-yield gene synthesis, becoming not only technically proficient but also constructively critical and capable of adapting their protocols as independent researchers. Regular “lab meeting” sessions help prepare them for future roles in laboratory science. PMID:19015540
Lang, Sarah Adrienne
Using a sequential, explanatory mixed methods design, this dissertation study compared students who persist in the biology major (persisters) with students who leave the biology major (switchers) in terms of how their pre-college experiences, college biology experiences, and biology performance figured into their choice of biology and their persistence in or departure from the biology major. This study combined (1) quantitative comparisons of biology persisters and switchers via a questionnaire developed for the study and survival analysis of a larger population of biology freshmen with (2) qualitative comparison of biology switchers and persisters via semi-structured life story interviews and homogenous focus groups. 319 students (207 persisters and 112 switchers) participated in the questionnaire and 36 students (20 persisters and 16 switchers) participated in life story and focus group interviews. All participants were undergraduates who entered The University of Texas at Austin as biology freshmen in the fall semesters of 2000 through 2004. Findings of this study suggest: (1) Regardless of eventual major, biology students enter college with generally the same suite of experiences, sources of personal encouragement, and reasons for choosing the biology major; (2) Despite the fact that they have also had poor experiences in the major, biology persisters do not actively decide to stay in the biology major; they simply do not leave; (3) Based upon survival analysis, biology students are most at-risk of leaving the biology major during the first two years of college and if they are African-American or Latino, women, or seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree (rather than a Bachelor of Science); (4) Biology switchers do not leave biology due to preference for other disciplines; they leave due to difficulties or dissatisfaction with aspects of the biology major, including their courses, faculty, and peers; (5) Biology performance has a differential effect on persistence in
Stoilescu, Dorian; McDougall, Douglas
Previous research revealed a reduced number of female students registered in computer science studies. In addition, the female students feel isolated, have reduced confidence, and underperform. This article explores differences between female and male students in undergraduate computer science programs in a mid-size university in Ontario. Based on…
Hershey, David R.
This book contains science projects about seed plants that deal with plant physiology, plant ecology, and plant agriculture. Each of the projects includes a step-by-step experiment followed by suggestions for further investigations. Chapters include: (1) "Bean Seed Imbibition"; (2) "Germination Percentages of Different Types of Seeds"; (3)…
... Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230. Type of Meeting: Open. Contact Person: Chuck... research that is the basis for the 21st century bio-economy and the undergraduate and graduate biology...
McGowan, Alan H
The teaching of the ethical implications of scientific advances in science courses for undergraduates has significant advantages for both science and non-science majors. The article describes three courses taught by the author as examples of the concept, and examines the disadvantages as well as the advantages. A significant advantage of this approach is that many students take the courses primarily because of the ethical component who would not otherwise take science. A disadvantage is less time in the course for the science; arguably, this is outweighed by the greater retention of the science when it is put into context.
The remarkable advances in the field of biology in the last decade, specifically in the areas of biochemistry, genetics, genomics, proteomics, and systems biology, have demonstrated how critically important mathematical models and methods are in addressing questions of vital importance for these disciplines. There is little doubt that the need for utilizing and developing mathematical methods for biology research will only grow in the future. The rapidly increasing demand for scientists with appropriate interdisciplinary skills and knowledge, however, is not being reflected in the way undergraduate mathematics and biology courses are structured and taught in most colleges and universities nationwide. While a number of institutions have stepped forward and addressed this need by creating and offering interdisciplinary courses at the juncture of mathematics and biology, there are still many others at which there is little, if any, interdisciplinary interaction between the curricula. This chapter describes an interdisciplinary course and a textbook in mathematical biology developed collaboratively by faculty from Sweet Briar College and the University of Virginia School of Medicine. The course and textbook are designed to provide a bridge between the mathematical and biological sciences at the lower undergraduate level. The course is developed for and is being taught in a liberal arts setting at Sweet Briar College, Virginia, but some of the advanced modules are used in a course at the University of Virginia for advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students. The individual modules are relatively independent and can be used as stand-alone projects in conventional mathematics and biology courses. Except for the introductory material, the course and textbook topics are based on current biomedical research.
Sonnert, Gerhard; Fox, Mary Frank
Using longitudinal and multi-institutional data, this article takes an innovative approach in its analyses of gender differences in grade point averages (GPA) among undergraduate students in biology, the physical sciences, and engineering over a 16-year period. Assessed are hypotheses about (a) the gender ecology of science/engineering and (b) the…
High attrition among undergraduate Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) majors has led national and business leaders in the United States to call for both research and educational reform within the collegiate STEM classrooms. Included among suggestions for reform are ideas to improve retention of first-year students and to improve critical thinking and depth of knowledge, instead of covering large quantities of materials. Past research on graphic organizers suggest these tools assist students in learning information and facilitate conceptual and critical thinking. Despite their widespread use in high school science departments, collegiate humanities departments, and even medical schools, their use is considerably less prevalent in the undergraduate biology classroom. In addition to their lack of use, little research has been conducted on their academic benefits in the collegiate classroom. Based on national calls for improving retention among undergraduate STEM majors and research suggesting that academic success during an individual first major's related course highly determine if that individual will continue on in their intended major, the researcher of this dissertation chose to conduct research on an introductory general biology class. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, the research in this dissertation examines the effectiveness of graphic organizers in promoting academic success and also examines their influence on student attitudes. This research is grounded in the theories of constructivism and cognitive load theory. Constructivism suggests that individuals must build their knowledge from their personal experiences, while the cognitive load theory recognizes the limited nature of one's working memory and suggests that instructional practices minimize cognitive overload. The results of this dissertation suggest that the use of graphic organizers in an undergraduate general biology classroom can increase students' academic
Southard, Katelyn M.; Espindola, Melissa R.; Zaepfel, Samantha D.; Bolger, Molly S.
When conducting scientific research, experts in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) use specific reasoning strategies to construct mechanistic explanations for the underlying causal features of molecular phenomena. We explored how undergraduate students applied this scientific practice in MCB. Drawing from studies of explanation building among scientists, we created and applied a theoretical framework to explore the strategies students use to construct explanations for 'novel' biological phenomena. Specifically, we explored how students navigated the multi-level nature of complex biological systems using generative mechanistic reasoning. Interviews were conducted with introductory and upper-division biology students at a large public university in the United States. Results of qualitative coding revealed key features of students' explanation building. Students used modular thinking to consider the functional subdivisions of the system, which they 'filled in' to varying degrees with mechanistic elements. They also hypothesised the involvement of mechanistic entities and instantiated abstract schema to adapt their explanations to unfamiliar biological contexts. Finally, we explored the flexible thinking that students used to hypothesise the impact of mutations on multi-leveled biological systems. Results revealed a number of ways that students drew mechanistic connections between molecules, functional modules (sets of molecules with an emergent function), cells, tissues, organisms and populations.
Caudill, Lester; Hill, April; Hoke, Kathy; Lipan, Ovidiu
Funded by innovative programs at the National Science Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Richmond faculty in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and computer science teamed up to offer first- and second-year students the opportunity to contribute to vibrant, interdisciplinary research projects. The result was not only good science but also good science that motivated and informed course development. Here, we describe four recent undergraduate research projects involving students and faculty in biology, physics, mathematics, and computer science and how each contributed in significant ways to the conception and implementation of our new Integrated Quantitative Science course, a course for first-year students that integrates the material in the first course of the major in each of biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, and physics.
Perfil socioeconômico e expectativa docente de ingressantes no Curso de Licenciatura em Ciências Biológicas. Socioeconomic profile and teaching expectations of undergraduate students of Biological Sciences
Santos, Rodrigo Souza
Full Text Available A opção dos estudantes por um curso de graduação em licenciatura envolve vários fatores. Porém, muitas vezes, os jovens não estão preparados para esta escolha, gerando frustrações e desistências. Desta forma, este trabalho objetivou traçar o perfil socioeconômico e conhecer as expectativas profissionais acerca da docência de estudantes ingressantes no Curso de Licenciatura em Ciências Biológicas de uma instituição privada de Ensino Superior, localizada no município de Rio Branco, Acre, Brasil. Foram distribuídos questionários estruturados aos estudantes, contendo perguntas fechadas e abertas, a fim de conhecer o perfil socioeconômico e as razões da escolha do curso, além de analisar suas expectativas futuras quanto à docência. Concluiu-se que o perfil dos estudantes ingressantes no Curso de Licenciatura em Ciências Biológicas é, em sua maioria, composto por mulheres, alunos que concluíram o Ensino Médio em escolas da rede pública de ensino, são de classe média baixa e filhos de pais com baixo nível de escolaridade. A docência é preterida por aproximadamente metade destes estudantes, os quais relataram que não possuem as características necessárias para lecionarem. Em relação aos que pretendem lecionar, quase a totalidade dos estudantes gostariam de ministrar aulas no Ensino Superior em vez de lecionar nos níveis de Ensino Fundamental e Médio. Choosing a degree course involves many factors, and young people are often not prepared for this choice, causing frustration and dropouts. In this context, this study focused on certain socioeconomic profiles and teaching expectations of students entering the Biological Sciences undergraduate course. Structured questionnaires, containing open and closed questions, were distributed in order to learn more about the students’ socioeconomic profile and their reasons for choosing the course, and to analyze their expectations regarding future teaching. We conclude
This contribution states deficits and makes proposals in order to overcome them. First there is the question as to why the Biological Anthropology--despite all its diversifications--hardly ever deals with educational aspects of its subject. Second it is the question as to why Educational Science neglects or even ignores data of Biological Anthropology which are recognizably important for its subject. It is postulated that the stated deficits are caused by several adverse influences such as, the individual identity of each of the involved single sciences; aspects of the recent history of the German Anthropology; a lack of conceptual understanding of each other; methodological differences and, last but not least, the structure of the universities. The necessity to remedy this situation was deduced from two groups of facts. First, more recent data of the Biological Anthropology (e.g. brain functions and learning, sex specificity and education) are of substantial relevance for the Educational Science. Second, the epistemological requirements of complex subjects like education need interdisciplinary approaches. Finally, a few suggestions of concrete topics are given which are related to both, Educational Science and Biological Anthropology.
Meisel, Richard P
Evolution is the unifying principle of all biology, and understanding how evolutionary relationships are represented is critical for a complete understanding of evolution. Phylogenetic trees are the most conventional tool for displaying evolutionary relationships, and "tree-thinking" has been coined as a term to describe the ability to conceptualize evolutionary relationships. Students often lack tree-thinking skills, and developing those skills should be a priority of biology curricula. Many common student misconceptions have been described, and a successful instructor needs a suite of tools for correcting those misconceptions. I review the literature on teaching tree-thinking to undergraduate students and suggest how this material can be presented within an inquiry-based framework.
Kazempour, Mahsa; Amirshokoohi, Aidin
This article discusses the key components of a reform-based introductory undergraduate environmental science course for nonscience majors and elementary teacher candidates as well as the impact of such components on the participants. The main goals for the course were to actively engage the students in their learning and, in doing so, to enhance…
Naidu, Jaideep T.; Sanford, John F.
Standard textbooks in core Statistics and Management Science classes present various examples to introduce basic probability concepts to undergraduate business students. These include tossing of a coin, throwing a die, and examples of that nature. While these are good examples to introduce basic probability, we use improvised versions of Russian…
Reed, Kelynne E.; Aiello, David P.; Barton, Lance F.; Gould, Stephanie L.; McCain, Karla S.; Richardson, John M.
This article discusses the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Teaching and Research (STAR) Leadership Program, developed at Austin College, which engages students in activities integrated into undergraduate STEM courses that promote the development of leadership behaviors. Students focus on interpersonal communication,…
Savin, Mary C.; Longer, David; Miller, David M.
Undergraduate curricula for natural resource and agronomic programs have been introduced and revised during the past several decades with a desire to stay current with emerging issues and technologies relevant to constituents. For the past decade, the Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences (CSES) faculty at the University of Arkansas…
Scott, Eugenie C.; Matzke, Nicholas J.
Although evolutionary biology is replete with explanations for complex biological structures, scientists concerned about evolution education have been forced to confront “intelligent design” (ID), which rejects a natural origin for biological complexity. The content of ID is a subset of the claims made by the older “creation science” movement. Both creationist views contend that highly complex biological adaptations and even organisms categorically cannot result from natural causes but require a supernatural creative agent. Historically, ID arose from efforts to produce a form of creationism that would be less vulnerable to legal challenges and that would not overtly rely upon biblical literalism. Scientists do not use ID to explain nature, but because it has support from outside the scientific community, ID is nonetheless contributing substantially to a long-standing assault on the integrity of science education. PMID:17494747
Woodin, Terry; Vasaly, Helen; McBride, Duncan; White, Gary
This is an exciting time to be a biologist. The advances in our field and the many opportunities to expand our horizons through interaction with other disciplines are intellectually stimulating. This is as true for people tasked with helping the field move forward through support of research and education projects that serve the nation's needs as for those carrying out that research and educating the next generation of biologists. So, it is a pleasure to contribute to this edition of CBE-Life Sciences Education. This column will cover three aspects of the interactions of physics and biology as seen from the viewpoint of four members of the Division of Undergraduate Education of the National Science Foundation. The first section places the material to follow in context. The second reviews some of the many interdisciplinary physics-biology projects we support. The third highlights mechanisms available for supporting new physics-biology undergraduate education projects based on ideas that arise, focusing on those needing and warranting outside support to come to fruition.
Lyons, David W.
Quantum Information Science (QIS) is an interdisciplinary field involving mathematics, computer science, and physics. Appealing aspects include an abundance of accessible open problems, active interest and support from government and industry, and an energetic, open, and collaborative international research culture. We describe our student-faculty…
Gehring, Kathleen M; Eastman, Deborah A
Many initiatives for the improvement of undergraduate science education call for inquiry-based learning that emphasizes investigative projects and reading of the primary literature. These approaches give students an understanding of science as a process and help them integrate content presented in courses. At the same time, general initiatives to promote information fluency are being promoted on many college and university campuses. Information fluency refers to discipline-specific processing of information, and it involves integration of gathered information with specific ideas to form logical conclusions. We have implemented the use of inquiry-based learning to enhance and study discipline-specific information fluency skills in an upper-level undergraduate Developmental Biology course. In this study, an information literacy tutorial and a set of linked assignments using primary literature analysis were integrated with two inquiry-based laboratory research projects. Quantitative analysis of student responses suggests that the abilities of students to identify and apply valid sources of information were enhanced. Qualitative assessment revealed a set of patterns by which students gather and apply information. Self-assessment responses indicated that students recognized the impact of the assignments on their abilities to gather and apply information and that they were more confident about these abilities for future biology courses and beyond.
Weber, K Scott; Jensen, Jamie L; Johnson, Steven M
An important discussion at colleges is centered on determining more effective models for teaching undergraduates. As personalized genomics has become more common, we hypothesized it could be a valuable tool to make science education more hands on, personal, and engaging for college undergraduates. We hypothesized that providing students with personal genome testing kits would enhance the learning experience of students in two undergraduate courses at Brigham Young University: Advanced Molecular Biology and Genomics. These courses have an emphasis on personal genomics the last two weeks of the semester. Students taking these courses were given the option to receive personal genomics kits in 2014, whereas in 2015 they were not. Students sent their personal genomics samples in on their own and received the data after the course ended. We surveyed students in these courses before and after the two-week emphasis on personal genomics to collect data on whether anticipation of obtaining their own personal genomic data impacted undergraduate student learning. We also tested to see if specific personal genomic assignments improved the learning experience by analyzing the data from the undergraduate students who completed both the pre- and post-course surveys. Anticipation of personal genomic data significantly enhanced student interest and the learning environment based on the time students spent researching personal genomic material and their self-reported attitudes compared to those who did not anticipate getting their own data. Personal genomics homework assignments significantly enhanced the undergraduate student interest and learning based on the same criteria and a personal genomics quiz. We found that for the undergraduate students in both molecular biology and genomics courses, incorporation of personal genomic testing can be an effective educational tool in undergraduate science education.
Holm, Bethany; Carter, Virginia Celeste; Woodin, Terry
The purpose of this short article is to (a) briefly summarize the findings of two important recent resources concerning the future of biology in the 21(st) century; one, Vision and Change, A Call to Action [AAAS, 2009. AAAS, Washington, DC], concerned with undergraduate education in biology, the other, A New Biology for the 21st Century [National Research Council, 2009. National Academies Press, Washington, DC], concerned with advances within the discipline itself; (b) urge you, the reader of BAMBED, to review the material on the Vision and Change website [AAAS, 2009. AAAS: Washington, DC] and then to think how you might change things at your own institution and within your courses, and; (c) make readers aware of the programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF) that might support change efforts, as well as refer you to efforts other funding agencies are making to help biology undergraduate education respond to the challenges and opportunities chronicled in these two reports. Although NSF funding opportunities are specifically available to US investigators, the recommendations of the two reports should be of interest to a wide spectrum of international researchers. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Hatfull, Graham F.
Bacteriophage discovery and genomics provides a powerful and effective platform for integrating missions in research and education. Implementation of the Science Education Alliance Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (SEA-PHAGES) program facilitates a broad impact by including a diverse array of schools, faculty, and students. The program generates new insights into the diversity and evolution of the bacteriophage population and presents a model for introducing first-yea...
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Almeida, Maria Strecht; Quintanilha, Alexandre
We explore the integration of societal issues in undergraduate training within the life sciences. Skills in thinking about science, scientific knowledge production and the place of science in society are crucial in the context of the idea of responsible research and innovation. This idea became institutionalized and it is currently well-present in the scientific agenda. Developing abilities in this regard seems particularly relevant to training in the life sciences, as new developments in this area somehow evoke the involvement of all of us citizens, our engagement to debate and take part in processes of change. The present analysis draws from the implementation of a curricular unit focused on science-society dialogue, an optional course included in the Biochemistry Degree study plan offered at the University of Porto. This curricular unit was designed to be mostly an exploratory activity for the students, enabling them to undertake in-depth study in areas/topics of their specific interest. Mapping topics from students' final papers provided a means of analysis and became a useful tool in the exploratory collaborative construction of the course. We discuss both the relevance and the opportunity of thinking and questioning the science-society dialogue. As part of undergraduate training, this pedagogical practice was deemed successful. © 2016 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(1):46-52, 2017. © 2016 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Science literacy is a matter of broad concern among scientists, educators, and many policy-makers. National Science Foundation surveys of the general public for biannual Science Indicators series show that respondents on average score less than 2/3 correct on a series of science knowledge questions, and less than half display an understanding of the process of scientific inquiry. Both measures are essentially unchanged over two decades. At the University of Arizona, we have gathered over 11,000 undergraduate student responses to a survey of knowledge and beliefs that is tethered in the NSF survey. This non-science major population demographically represents ten million students nationwide. There is a less than 10% gain in performance in the science knowledge score between the incoming freshmen and seniors who graduate having completed their requirement of three science classes. Belief levels in pseudoscience and supernatural phenomena are disconcertingly high, mostly resistant to college science instruction, and weakly correlated with performance on the science knowledge questions. The Internet is rapidly becoming the primary information source for anyone interested in science so students may not get most of their information from the classroom. Educators and policy makers need to decide what aspects of science knowledge and process are important for adults to know. College science educators have major challenges in better in preparing graduates for participation in a civic society largely driven by science and technology.
Edmondston, Joanne Elisabeth; Dawson, Vaille; Schibeci, Renato
Despite rapid growth of the biotechnology industry worldwide, a number of public concerns about the application of biotechnology and its regulation remain. In response to these concerns, greater emphasis has been placed on promoting biotechnologists' public engagement. As tertiary science degree programmes form the foundation of the biotechnology…
Stiner, K. S.; Graham, S.; Khan, M.; Dilks, J.; Mayer, D.
Th e Journal of Undergraduate Research (JUR) provides undergraduate interns the opportunity to publish their scientific innovation and to share their passion for education and research with fellow students and scientists. Fields in which these students worked include: Biology; Chemistry; Computer Science; Engineering; Environmental Science; General Sciences; Materials Sciences; Medical and Health Sciences; Nuclear Sciences; Physics; Science Policy; and Waste Management.
Biomolecular Sciences: uniting Biology and Chemistry www.rug.nl/research/gbb The scientific discoveries in biomolecular sciences have benefitted enormously from technological innovations. At the Groningen Biomolecular Science and Biotechnology Institute (GBB) we now sequence a genome in days,
Bang, Heejung; Davidian, Marie
In this chapter, we cover basic and fundamental principles and methods in statistics - from "What are Data and Statistics?" to "ANOVA and linear regression," which are the basis of any statistical thinking and undertaking. Readers can easily find the selected topics in most introductory statistics textbooks, but we have tried to assemble and structure them in a succinct and reader-friendly manner in a stand-alone chapter. This text has long been used in real classroom settings for both undergraduate and graduate students who do or do not major in statistical sciences. We hope that from this chapter, readers would understand the key statistical concepts and terminologies, how to design a study (experimental or observational), how to analyze the data (e.g., describe the data and/or estimate the parameter(s) and make inference), and how to interpret the results. This text would be most useful if it is used as a supplemental material, while the readers take their own statistical courses or it would serve as a great reference text associated with a manual for any statistical software as a self-teaching guide.
Ward, Jennifer Rhode; Clarke, H. David; Horton, Jonathan L.
In response to the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education initiative, we infused authentic, plant-based research into majors' courses at a public liberal arts university. Faculty members designed a financially sustainable pedagogical approach, utilizing vertically integrated…
Full Text Available In two upper-level elective biology courses and one beginning-level general biology course, college students participated in Learning Partnerships with middle or high school classes to study some aspect of biology. The goals were to enhance learning by providing resources to middle and high school students and teachers and by encouraging college students to consider teaching as a learning tool and a possible career goal. The college students designed lessons, activities, and laboratories that were done at the schools and at Bates College. Feedback and data suggest that the partnerships have helped teachers enrich their curricula, enhanced student learning, encouraged additional high school students to consider applying to college, and encouraged college students to consider teaching science.
Thakur, N.L.; Jain, R.; Natalio, F.; Hamer, B.; Thakur, A.N.; Muller, W.E.G.
An appreciation of the potential applications of molecular biology is of growing importance in many areas of life sciences, including marine biology. During the past two decades, the development of sophisticated molecular technologies...
Fatemi, F. R.; Stockwell, J.; Pinheiro, V.; White, B.
Student creation of well-designed and engaging visuals in science communication can enhance their deep learning while streamlining the transmission of information to their audience. However, undergraduate research training does not frequently emphasize the design aspect of science communication. We devised and implemented a new curricular component to the Lake Champlain NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program in Vermont. We took a holistic approach to communication training, with a targeted module in "art and science". Components to the module included: 1) an introduction to environmental themes in fine art, 2) a photography assignment in research documentation, 3) an overview of elements of design (e.g., color, typography, hierarchy), 4) a graphic design workshop using tools in Powerpoint, and 5) an introduction to scientific illustration. As part of the REU program, students were asked to document their work through photographs, and develop an infographic or scientific illustration complementary to their research. The "art and science" training culminated with a display and critique of their visual work. We report on student responses to the "art and science" training from exit interviews and survey questions. Based on our program, we identify a set of tools that mentors can use to enhance their student's ability to engage with a broad audience.
Donovan, D A; Atkins, L J; Salter, I Y; Gallagher, D J; Kratz, R F; Rousseau, J V; Nelson, G D
We report on the development of a life sciences curriculum, targeted to undergraduate students, which was modeled after a commercially available physics curriculum and based on aspects of how people learn. Our paper describes the collaborative development process and necessary modifications required to apply a physics pedagogical model in a life sciences context. While some approaches were easily adapted, others provided significant challenges. Among these challenges were: representations of energy, introducing definitions, the placement of Scientists' Ideas, and the replicability of data. In modifying the curriculum to address these challenges, we have come to see them as speaking to deeper differences between the disciplines, namely that introductory physics--for example, Newton's laws, magnetism, light--is a science of pairwise interaction, while introductory biology--for example, photosynthesis, evolution, cycling of matter in ecosystems--is a science of linked processes, and we suggest that this is how the two disciplines are presented in introductory classes. We illustrate this tension through an analysis of our adaptations of the physics curriculum for instruction on the cycling of matter and energy; we show that modifications of the physics curriculum to address the biological framework promotes strong gains in student understanding of these topics, as evidenced by analysis of student work.
Mercer-Mapstone, Lucy; Kuchel, Louise
Science communication is a diverse and transdisciplinary field and is taught most effectively when the skills involved are tailored to specific educational contexts. Few academic resources exist to guide the teaching of communication with non-scientific audiences for an undergraduate science context. This mixed methods study aimed to explore what…
Mapp, Kim J.
There is an ever-increasing number of issues that face our world today; from climate change, water and food scarcity, to pollution and resource extraction. Science and ecology play fundamental roles in these problems, and yet the understanding of these fields is limited in our society (Miller, 2002; McBride, Brewer, Berkowitz, and Borrie, 2013). Across the nation students are finishing their undergraduate degrees and are expected to enter the workforce and society with the skills needed to succeed. The deficit of science and ecological literacy in these students has been recognized and a call for reform begun (D'Avanzo, 2003 and NRC, 2009). This mixed-methods study looked at how a field studies course could fill the gap of science and ecological literacy in undergraduates. Using grounded theory, five key themes were data-derived; definitions, systems thinking, human's role in the environment, impetus for change and transference. These themes where then triangulated for validity and reliability through qualitative and quantitative assessments. A sixth theme was also identified, the learning environment. Due to limited data to support this themes' development and reliability it is discussed in Chapter 5 to provide recommendations for further research. Key findings show that this field studies program influenced students' science and ecological literacy through educational theory and practice.
Arnquist, Isaac J.; Beussman, Douglas J.
Mass spectrometry has become a routine analytical tool in the undergraduate curriculum in the form of GC-MS. While relatively few undergraduate programs have incorporated biological mass spectrometry into their programs, the importance of these techniques, as demonstrated by their recognition with the 2002 Nobel Prize, will hopefully lead to…
Carpenter, Stacey L.
This study examined what undergraduate students gain and the ideas about science teaching and learning they develop from participating in K-12 science education outreach programs. Eleven undergraduates from seven outreach programs were interviewed individually about their experiences with outreach and what they learned about science teaching and…
Southard, Katelyn; Wince, Tyler; Meddleton, Shanice; Bolger, Molly S
Research has suggested that teaching and learning in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) is difficult. We used a new lens to understand undergraduate reasoning about molecular mechanisms: the knowledge-integration approach to conceptual change. Knowledge integration is the dynamic process by which learners acquire new ideas, develop connections between ideas, and reorganize and restructure prior knowledge. Semistructured, clinical think-aloud interviews were conducted with introductory and upper-division MCB students. Interviews included a written conceptual assessment, a concept-mapping activity, and an opportunity to explain the biomechanisms of DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Student reasoning patterns were explored through mixed-method analyses. Results suggested that students must sort mechanistic entities into appropriate mental categories that reflect the nature of MCB mechanisms and that conflation between these categories is common. We also showed how connections between molecular mechanisms and their biological roles are part of building an integrated knowledge network as students develop expertise. We observed differences in the nature of connections between ideas related to different forms of reasoning. Finally, we provide a tentative model for MCB knowledge integration and suggest its implications for undergraduate learning. © 2016 K. Southard et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Schade, J. D.; Holmes, R. M.; Natali, S.; Mann, P. J.; Bunn, A. G.; Frey, K. E.
With guidance and sufficient resources, undergraduates can drive the exploration of new research directions, lead high impact scientific products, and effectively communicate the value of science to the public. As mentors, we must recognize the strong contribution undergraduates make to the advancement of scientific understanding and their unique ability and desire to be transdisciplinary and to translate ideas into action. Our job is to be sure students have the resources and tools to successfully explore questions that they care about, not to provide or lead them towards answers we already have. The central goal of the Polaris Project is to advance understanding of climate change in the Arctic through an integrated research, training, and outreach program that has at its heart a research expedition for undergraduates to a remote field station in the Arctic. Our integrative approach to training provides undergraduates with strong intellectual development and they bring fresh perspectives, creativity, and a unique willingness to take risks on new ideas that have an energizing effect on research and outreach. Since the projects inception in summer 2008, we have had >90 undergraduates participate in high-impact field expeditions and outreach activities. Over the years, we have also been fortunate enough to attract an ethnically, racially, and culturally diverse group of students, including students from Puerto Rico, Hispanic-, African- and Native-Americans, members of the LGBT community, and first-generation college students. Most of these students have since pursued graduate degrees in ecology, and many have received NSF fellowships and Fulbright scholarships. One of our major goals is to increase the diversity of the scientific community, and we have been successful in our short-term goal of recruiting and retaining a diverse group of students. The goal of this presentation is to provide a description of the mentoring model at the heart of the Polaris Project
Varty, Alison K.
I aimed to document the online undergraduate course supply in biology to evaluate how well biology educators are serving the diverse and growing population of online students. I documented online biology course offerings in the 2015-2016 academic year at 96 American colleges and universities. I quantified differences in variety, extent, and…
Kalinowski, Steven T.; Leonard, Mary J.; Andrews, Tessa M.; Litt, Andrea R.
Students in introductory biology courses frequently have misconceptions regarding natural selection. In this paper, we describe six activities that biology instructors can use to teach undergraduate students in introductory biology courses how natural selection causes evolution. These activities begin with a lesson introducing students to natural…
Schen, Melissa S.
Scientific reasoning is a skill of critical importance to those students who seek to become professional scientists. Yet, there is little research on the development of such reasoning in science majors. In addition, scientific reasoning is often investigated as two separate entities: hypothetico-deductive reasoning and argumentation, even though these skills may be linked. With regard to argumentation, most investigations look at its use in discussing socioscientific issues, not in analyzing scientific data. As scientists often use the same argumentation skills to develop and support conclusions, this avenue needs to be investigated. This study seeks to address these issues and establish a baseline of both hypothetico-deductive reasoning and argumentation of scientific data of biology majors through their engagement in introductory biology coursework. This descriptive study investigated the development of undergraduates' scientific reasoning skills by assessing them multiple times throughout a two-quarter introductory biology course sequence for majors. Participants were assessed at the beginning of the first quarter, end of the first quarter, and end of the second quarter. A split-half version of the revised Lawson Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning (LCTSR) and a paper and pencil argumentation instrument developed for this study were utilized to assess student hypothetico-deductive reasoning and argumentation skills, respectively. To identify factors that may influence scientific reasoning development, demographic information regarding age, gender, science coursework completed, and future plans was collected. Evidence for course emphasis on scientific reasoning was found in lecture notes, assignments, and laboratory exercises. This study did not find any trends of improvement in the students' hypothetico-deductive reasoning or argumentation skills either during the first quarter or over both quarters. Specific difficulties in the control of variables and
Quan, T. K.; Yuh, P.; Black, F.
The Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) and Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) are programs at the University of California at Santa Cruz designed to support minority undergraduate students majoring in the sciences. Each summer MARC/MBRS sponsors a Summer Institute that involves week long "rotations" with different faculty mentors. In 2008, the Center for Adaptive Optics (CfAO) Professional Development Program (PDP) was responsible for overseeing one week of the Summer Institute, and designed it to be a Biomedical Short Course. As part of this short course, we designed a four-hour activity in which students collected their own data and explored relationships between the basic biomolecules DNA, RNA, and protein. The goal was to have the students use experimental data to support their explanation of the "Central Dogma" of molecular biology. Here we describe details of our activity and provide a post-teaching reflection on its success.
Letchford, Julie; Corradi, Hazel; Day, Trevor
An important aim of undergraduate science education is to develop student skills in reading and evaluating research papers. We have designed, developed, and implemented an on-line interactive resource entitled "Evaluating Scientific Research literature" (ESRL) aimed at students from the first 2 years of the undergraduate program. In this article, we describe the resource, then use student data collected from questionnaire surveys to evaluate the resource within 2 years of its launch. Our results add to those reported previously and indicate that ESRL can enable students to start evaluating research articles when used during their undergraduate program. We conclude maximal learning is likely to occur when the resource can be embedded in the curriculum such that students have a clearly articulated context for the resource's activities, can see their relevance in relation to assessed assignments and can be encouraged to think deeply about the activities in conversation with one another and/or with staff. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(6):483-490, 2017. © 2017 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Morris, Neil P; Ramsay, Luke; Chauhan, Vikesh
This article reports findings from a study investigating undergraduate biological sciences students' use of technology and computer devices for learning and the effect of providing students with a tablet device. A controlled study was conducted to collect quantitative and qualitative data on the impact of a tablet device on students' use of devices and technology for learning. Overall, we found that students made extensive use of the tablet device for learning, using it in preference to laptop computers to retrieve information, record lectures, and access learning resources. In line with other studies, we found that undergraduate students only use familiar Web 2.0 technologies and that the tablet device did not alter this behavior for the majority of tools. We conclude that undergraduate science students can make extensive use of a tablet device to enhance their learning opportunities without institutions changing their teaching methods or computer systems, but that institutional intervention may be needed to drive changes in student behavior toward the use of novel Web 2.0 technologies.
Lysne, Steven John
The practice of science education in American colleges and universities is changing and the role of faculty is changing as well. There is momentum in higher education to transform our instruction and do a better job at supporting more students' success in science and engineering programs. New teaching approaches are transforming undergraduate science instruction and new research demonstrates that these new approaches are more engaging for students, result in greater achievement, and create more positive attitudes toward science careers. Additionally, teaching scholars have described a paradigm shift toward placing the burden of content coverage on students which allows more time for in-class activities such as discussion and problem solving. Teaching faculty have been asked to redesign their courses and rebrand themselves as facilitators of student learning, rather than purveyors of information, to improve student engagement, achievement, and attitudes. This dissertation is a critical evaluation of both the assumption that active learning improves student achievement and knowledge retention and my own assumptions regarding science education research and my students' resiliency. This dissertation is a collection of research articles, published or in preparation, presenting the chronological development (Chapters 2 and 3) and evaluation (Chapters 4 and 5) of an active instructional model for undergraduate biology instruction. Chapters 1 and 6.provide a broad introduction and summary, respectively. Chapter 2 is an exploration of student engagement through interviews with a variety of students. From these interviews I identified several themes that students felt were important, and science instructors need to address, including the place where learning happens and strategies for better engaging students. Chapter 3 presents a review of the science education literature broadly and more focused review on the how students learn and how faculty teach. Consistent with what
García Castillo, Zoraida; Graue Wiechers, Enrique; Durante Montiel, Irene; Herrera Saint Leu, Patricia
The challenge in achieving an ideal state of justice is that each "proof" has the highest degree of reliability. This is the main responsibility of the forensic scientist. Up to now, criminal investigations in Mexico have been supported by forensic work from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds that give testimony in a particular area, even though they may have become forensic witnesses in a complementary and experiential manner. In January 2013, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) approved the "Forensic Science" undergraduate program that, in collaboration with various academic entities and government institutions, will develop forensic scientists trained in science, law, and criminology. This is focused on contributing to the national demand that the justice system has more elements to procure and administer justice in dealing with crime.
Oliveira, Alandeom W.; Bretzlaff, Tiffany; Brown, Adam O.
The present study examines the exemplification practices of a university biology instructor during a semester-long course. Attention is given specifically to how the instructor approaches memorable exemplification—classroom episodes identified by students as a source of memorable learning experiences. A mixed-method research approach is adopted wherein descriptive statistics is combined with qualitative multimodal analysis of video recordings and survey data. Our findings show that memorable experiencing of examples may depend on a multiplicity of factors, including whether students can relate to the example, how unique and extreme the example is, how much detail is provided, whether the example is enacted rather than told, and whether the example makes students feel sad, surprised, shocked, and/or amused. It is argued that, rather than simply assuming that all examples are equally effective, careful consideration needs be given to how exemplification can serve as an important source of memorable science learning experiences.
Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 13; Issue 3. Biology as an Integrating Natural Science Domain: A Proposal for BSc (Hons) in Integrated Biology. Kambadur Muralidhar. Classroom Volume 13 Issue 3 March 2008 pp 272-276 ...
Gardner, Grant E.; Forrester, Jennifer H.; Jeffrey, Penny Shumaker; Ferzli, Miriam; Shea, Damian
The goal of the study described was to understand the process and degree to which an undergraduate science research program for rising college freshmen achieved its stated objectives to integrate participants into a community of practice and to develop students' research identities.
Thakur, Narsinh L; Jain, Roopesh; Natalio, Filipe; Hamer, Bojan; Thakur, Archana N; Müller, Werner E G
An appreciation of the potential applications of molecular biology is of growing importance in many areas of life sciences, including marine biology. During the past two decades, the development of sophisticated molecular technologies and instruments for biomedical research has resulted in significant advances in the biological sciences. However, the value of molecular techniques for addressing problems in marine biology has only recently begun to be cherished. It has been proven that the exploitation of molecular biological techniques will allow difficult research questions about marine organisms and ocean processes to be addressed. Marine molecular biology is a discipline, which strives to define and solve the problems regarding the sustainable exploration of marine life for human health and welfare, through the cooperation between scientists working in marine biology, molecular biology, microbiology and chemistry disciplines. Several success stories of the applications of molecular techniques in the field of marine biology are guiding further research in this area. In this review different molecular techniques are discussed, which have application in marine microbiology, marine invertebrate biology, marine ecology, marine natural products, material sciences, fisheries, conservation and bio-invasion etc. In summary, if marine biologists and molecular biologists continue to work towards strong partnership during the next decade and recognize intellectual and technological advantages and benefits of such partnership, an exciting new frontier of marine molecular biology will emerge in the future.
Carpenter, Deborah Mcintyre
The purpose of this study was to determine how student attitudes toward science are influenced by field experiences in undergraduate biology courses. The study was conducted using two institutions of higher education including a 2-year lower-level and a 2-year upper-level institution. Data were collected through interviews with student participants, focus group discussions, students' journal entries, and field notes recorded by the researcher during the field activities. Photographs and video recordings were also used as documentation sources. Data were collected over a period of 34 weeks. Themes that emerged from the qualitative data included students' beliefs that field experiences (a) positively influence student motivation to learn, (b) increase student ability to learn the concepts being taught, and (c) provide opportunities for building relationships and for personal growth. The findings of the study reinforce the importance of offering field-study programs at the undergraduate level to allow undergraduate students the opportunity to experience science activities in a field setting. The research study was framed by the behavioral and developmental theories of attitude and experience including the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, 1991) and the Theory of Experiential Learning (Kolb, 1984).
Although student involvement in research and inquiry can advance undergraduate learning, there are limited opportunities for undergraduate students to be directly involved in social science research. Social science faculty members typically work outside of laboratory settings, with the limited research assistance work being completed by graduate…
Kortsarts, Yana; Fischbach, Adam; Rufinus, Jeff; Utell, Janine M.; Yoon, Suk-Chung
Developing and applying oral and written communication skills in the undergraduate computer science and computer information systems curriculum--one of the ABET accreditation requirements - is a very challenging and, at the same time, a rewarding task that provides various opportunities to enrich the undergraduate computer science and computer…
Shaw, Lawton; Kennepohl, Dietmar
Senior undergraduate research projects are important components of most undergraduate science degrees. The delivery of such projects in a distance education format is challenging. Athabasca University (AU) science project courses allow distance education students to complete research project courses by working with research supervisors in their…
Freilich, M.; Aluthge, D.; Bryant, R. M.; Knox, B.; McAdams, J.; Plummer, A.; Schlottman, N.; Stanley, Z.; Suglia, E.; Watson-Daniels, J.
Recognizing that racial, ethnic, and gender underrepresentation in science classrooms persists despite intervention programs and institutional commitments to diversity, a group of undergraduates from a variety of backgrounds and academic disciplines came together for a group independent study to (a) study the theoretical foundations of the current practice of science and of programs meant to increase diversity, (b) utilize the experiences of course participants and our peers to better understand the drivers of underrepresentation, and (c) design and implement interventions at Brown University. We will present on individual and small group projects designed by course members in collaboration with faculty. The projects emerged from an exploration of literature in history, philosophy, and sociology of science, as well as an examination of anthropological and psychological studies. We also evaluated the effectiveness of top-down and bottom-up approaches that have already been attempted in developing our projects. They focus on the specific problems faced by underrepresented minorities, women, LGBTQ+ people, and well-represented minorities. We will share experiences of faculty-student collaboration and engaged scholarship focused on representation in science and discuss student-designed interventions.
Mitchell, Rudolph; Dori, Yehudit Judy; Kuldell, Natalie H.
Unlike students in other engineering disciplines, undergraduates in biological engineering typically have limited opportunity to develop design competencies, and even fewer chances to implement their designed projects. The international Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition is a student Synthetic Biology competition that, in 2009,…
Tsaushu, Masha; Tal, Tali; Sagy, Ornit; Kali, Yael; Gepstein, Shimon; Zilberstein, Dan
This study offers an innovative and sustainable instructional model for an introductory undergraduate course. The model was gradually implemented during 3 yr in a research university in a large-lecture biology course that enrolled biology majors and nonmajors. It gives priority to sources not used enough to enhance active learning in higher…
Boes, Katie E.
Outdoor areas within or near college campuses offer an opportunity for biology students to observe the natural world and apply concepts from class. Here, I describe an engaging and integrative project where undergraduate non-major biology students work in teams to develop and present professional "eco tours." This project takes place over multiple…
Rylands, Leanne; Simbag, Vilma; Matthews, Kelly E.; Coady, Carmel; Belward, Shaun
There is general agreement in Australia and beyond that quantitative skills (QS) in science, the ability to use mathematics and statistics in context, are important for science. QS in the life sciences are becoming ever more important as these sciences become more quantitative. Consequently, undergraduates studying the life sciences require better…
Kumar, David Devraj; Sherwood, Robert D.
A study of the effect of science teaching with a multimedia simulation on water quality, the "River of Life," on the science conceptual understanding of students (N = 83) in an undergraduate science education (K-9) course is reported. Teaching reality-based meaningful science is strongly recommended by the National Science Education Standards…
Full Text Available Scientific undergraduate research in higher education often yields positive outcomes for student and faculty member participants alike, with underrepresented students often showing even more substantial gains (academic, professional, and personal as a result of the experience. Significant success can be realized when involving deaf and hard-of-hearing (d/hh undergraduate students, who are also vastly underrepresented in the sciences, in interdisciplinary research projects. Even d/hh Associate degree level students and those in the first two years of their postsecondary careers can contribute to, and benefit from, the research process when faculty mentors properly plan/design projects. We discuss strategies, including the dissemination/communication of research results, for involving these students in research groups with different communication dynamics and share both findings of our research program and examples of successful chemical and biological research projects that have involved d/hh undergraduate students. We hope to stimulate a renewed interest in encouraging diversity and involving students with disabilities into higher education research experiences globally and across multiple scientific disciplines, thus strengthening the education and career pipeline of these students.
Weber, Carolyn F.
Western science has grown increasingly reductionistic and, in parallel, the undergraduate life sciences curriculum has become disciplinarily fragmented. While reductionistic approaches have led to landmark discoveries, many of the most exciting scientific advances in the late 20th century have occurred at disciplinary interfaces; work at these…
I'll describe an intermediate-level course on ``Physical Models of Living Systems.'' The only prerequisite is first-year university physics and calculus. The course is a response to rapidly growing interest among undergraduates in a broad range of science and engineering majors. Students acquire several research skills that are often not addressed in traditional courses: Basic modeling skills Probabilistic modeling skills Data analysis methods Computer programming using a general-purpose platform like MATLAB or Python Dynamical systems, particularly feedback control. These basic skills, which are relevant to nearly any field of science or engineering, are presented in the context of case studies from living systems, including: Virus dynamics Bacterial genetics and evolution of drug resistance Statistical inference Superresolution microscopy Synthetic biology Naturally evolved cellular circuits. Work supported by NSF Grants EF-0928048 and DMR-0832802.
Articles from the primary scientific literature can be a valuable teaching tool in undergraduate classrooms. At Colgate University, I emphasize selected research articles in an upper-level undergraduate course in planetary sciences. In addition to their value for conveying specific scientific content, I find that they also impart larger lessons which are especially apt in planetary sciences and allied fields. First, because of the interdisciplinary nature of planetary sciences, students discover that contributions to outstanding problems may arrive from unexpected directions, so they need to be aware of the multi-faceted nature of scientific problems. For instance, after millennia of astrometric attempts, the scale of the Solar System was determined with extraordinary precision with emerging radar technology in the 1960's. Second, students learn the importance of careful work, with due attention to detail. After all, the timescales of planetary formation are encoded in systematic isotopic variations of a few parts in 10,000; in students' own experiences with laboratory data they might well overlook such a small effect. Third, students identify the often-tortuous connections between measured and inferred quantities, which corrects a common student misconception that all quantities of interest (e.g., the age of a meteorite) can be measured directly. Fourth, research articles provide opportunities for students to practice the interpretation of graphical data, since figures often represent a large volume of data in succinct form. Fifth, and perhaps of greatest importance, by considering the uncertainties inherent in reported data, students come to recognize the limits of scientific understanding, the extent to which scientific conclusions are justified (or not), and the lengths to which working scientists go to mitigate their uncertainties. These larger lessons are best mediated by students' own encounters with the articles they read, but require instructors to make
Dowd, Jason E; Thompson, Robert J; Schiff, Leslie A; Reynolds, Julie A
Developing critical-thinking and scientific reasoning skills are core learning objectives of science education, but little empirical evidence exists regarding the interrelationships between these constructs. Writing effectively fosters students' development of these constructs, and it offers a unique window into studying how they relate. In this study of undergraduate thesis writing in biology at two universities, we examine how scientific reasoning exhibited in writing (assessed using the Biology Thesis Assessment Protocol) relates to general and specific critical-thinking skills (assessed using the California Critical Thinking Skills Test), and we consider implications for instruction. We find that scientific reasoning in writing is strongly related to inference , while other aspects of science reasoning that emerge in writing (epistemological considerations, writing conventions, etc.) are not significantly related to critical-thinking skills. Science reasoning in writing is not merely a proxy for critical thinking. In linking features of students' writing to their critical-thinking skills, this study 1) provides a bridge to prior work suggesting that engagement in science writing enhances critical thinking and 2) serves as a foundational step for subsequently determining whether instruction focused explicitly on developing critical-thinking skills (particularly inference ) can actually improve students' scientific reasoning in their writing. © 2018 J. E. Dowd et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2018 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
The International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences (IJBCS) is a journal ... c) Short Communication (maximum: 10 pages, 20 references). d) Case ... Abstract: All articles should be provided with an abstract not exceeding 200 words.
Beach, Dale L.; Alvarez, Consuelo J.
Synthetic biology offers an ideal opportunity to promote undergraduate laboratory courses with research-style projects, immersing students in an inquiry-based program that enhances the experience of the scientific process. We designed a semester-long, project-based laboratory curriculum using synthetic biology principles to develop a novel sensory device. Students develop subject matter knowledge of molecular genetics and practical skills relevant to molecular biology, recombinant DNA techniq...
Key, Brian; Nurcombe, Victor
This report describes the road map we followed at our university to accommodate three main factors: financial pressure within the university system; desire to enhance the learning experience of undergraduates; and motivation to increase the prominence of the discipline of developmental biology in our university. We engineered a novel, multi-year undergraduate developmental biology program which was "student-oriented," ensuring that students were continually exposed to the underlying principles and philosophy of this discipline throughout their undergraduate career. Among its key features are introductory lectures in core courses in the first year, which emphasize the relevance of developmental biology to tissue engineering, reproductive medicine, therapeutic approaches in medicine, agriculture and aquaculture. State-of-the-art animated computer graphics and images of high visual impact are also used. In addition, students are streamed into the developmental biology track in the second year, using courses like human embryology and courses shared with cell biology, which include practicals based on modern experimental approaches. Finally, fully dedicated third-year courses in developmental biology are undertaken in conjunction with stand-alone practical courses where students experiencefirst-hand work in a research laboratory. Our philosophy is a "cradle-to-grave" approach to the education of undergraduates so as to prepare highly motivated, enthusiastic and well-educated developmental biologists for entry into graduate programs and ultimately post-doctoral research.
... NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Biological Sciences Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L., 92- 463, as amended), the National Science Foundation announces the following meeting: Name: Biological Sciences Advisory Committee ( 1110). Date and...
Kulhavy, David L.; Unger, Daniel R.; Hung, I-Kuai; Douglass, David
A senior within a spatial science Ecological Planning capstone course designed an undergraduate research project to increase his spatial science expertise and to assess the hands-on instruction methodology employed within the Bachelor of Science in Spatial Science program at Stephen F Austin State University. The height of 30 building features…
Train, Tonya Laakko; Miyamoto, Yuko J.
The ability to effectively communicate science is a skill sought after by graduate and professional schools as well as by employers in science-related fields. Are content-heavy undergraduate science curricula able to incorporate opportunities to develop science communication skills, and is promoting these skills worth the time and effort? The…
Wu, M. S.
During summers 2011 and 12 Montclair State University hosted a Research Experience for Undergraduates Program (REU) in transdisciplinary, hands-on, field-oriented research in environmental sciences. Participants were housed at the Montclair State University's field station situated in the middle of 30,000 acres of mature forest, mountain ridges and freshwater streams and lakes within the Kittatinny Mountains of Northwest New Jersey, Program emphases were placed on development of project planning skills, analytical skills, creativity, critical thinking and scientific report preparation. Ten students were recruited in spring with special focus on recruiting students from underrepresented groups and community colleges. Students were matched with their individual research interests including hydrology, erosion and sedimentation, environmental chemistry, and ecology. In addition to research activities, lectures, educational and recreational field trips, and discussion on environmental ethics and social justice played an important part of the program. The ultimate goal of the program is to facilitate participants' professional growth and to stimulate the participants' interests in pursuing Earth Science as the future career of the participants.
Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 20; Issue 8. Science Academies' Refresher Course in Developmental Biology. Information and Announcements Volume 20 Issue 8 August 2015 pp 756-756. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:
Kowalski, Jennifer R.; Hoops, Geoffrey C.; Johnson, R. Jeremy
Classroom undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) provide students access to the measurable benefits of undergraduate research experiences (UREs). Herein, we describe the implementation and assessment of a novel model for cohesive CUREs focused on central research themes involving faculty research collaboration across departments. Specifically, we implemented three collaborative CUREs spanning chemical biology, biochemistry, and neurobiology that incorporated faculty members’ research interests and revolved around the central theme of visualizing biological processes like Mycobacterium tuberculosis enzyme activity and neural signaling using fluorescent molecules. Each CURE laboratory involved multiple experimental phases and culminated in novel, open-ended, and reiterative student-driven research projects. Course assessments showed CURE participation increased students’ experimental design skills, attitudes and confidence about research, perceived understanding of the scientific process, and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. More than 75% of CURE students also engaged in independent scientific research projects, and faculty CURE contributors saw substantial increases in research productivity, including increased undergraduate student involvement and academic outputs. Our collaborative CUREs demonstrate the advantages of multicourse CUREs for achieving increased faculty research productivity and traditional CURE-associated student learning and attitude gains. Our collaborative CURE design represents a novel CURE model for ongoing laboratory reform that benefits both faculty and students. PMID:27810870
Arion, Douglas; OConnell, Christine; Lowenthal, James; Hickox, Ryan C.; Lyons, Daniel
The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University is working with Carthage College, Dartmouth College, and Smith College, in partnership with the Appalachian Mountain Club, to develop and disseminate curriculum to incorporate science communication education into undergraduate science programs. The public science education and outreach program operating since 2012 as a partnership between Carthage and the Appalachian Mountain Club is being used as the testbed for evaluating the training methods. This talk will review the processes that have been developed and the results from the first cohort of students trained in these methods and tested during the summer 2017 education and outreach efforts, which reached some 12,000 members of the public. A variety of evaluation and assessment tools were utilized, including surveys of public participants and video recording of the interactions of the students with the public. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number 1625316.
Toven-Lindsey, Brit; Levis-Fitzgerald, Marc; Barber, Paul H; Hasson, Tama
The 6-yr degree-completion rate of undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors at U.S. colleges and universities is less than 40%. Persistence among women and underrepresented minorities (URMs), including African-American, Latino/a, Native American, and Pacific Islander students, is even more troubling, as these students leave STEM majors at significantly higher rates than their non-URM peers. This study utilizes a matched comparison group design to examine the academic achievement and persistence of students enrolled in the Program for Excellence in Education and Research in the Sciences (PEERS), an academic support program at the University of California, Los Angeles, for first- and second-year science majors from underrepresented backgrounds. Results indicate that PEERS students, on average, earned higher grades in most "gatekeeper" chemistry and math courses, had a higher cumulative grade point average, completed more science courses, and persisted in a science major at significantly higher rates than the comparison group. With its holistic approach focused on academics, counseling, creating a supportive community, and exposure to research, the PEERS program serves as an excellent model for universities interested in and committed to improving persistence of underrepresented science majors and closing the achievement gap. © 2015 B. Toven-Lindsey et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2015 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Silvana do Nascimento Silva
Full Text Available Nowadays, environmental issues have been addressed in a way that goes beyond the natural impacts, embracing socio-economic, political and cultural aspects. This paper makes a description of the types of environmental conceptions, giving special emphasis to the interactions that permeate it, and develops an empirical work by analyzing the conceptions about the environmental knowledge of students majoring in a teacher preparation course on biological sciences of a university in the State of Bahia, Brazil. In a qualitative research, data were collected by application of a questionnaire with open questions with answers in text and drawings. The results revealed a predominance of naturalistic conceptions, while socio-environmental conceptions of systemic or socio-metabolic characteristics were not found. These findings lead to the need for the integration of these critical approaches about the environmental issue in Sciences and Biology teachers’ training, emphasizing the interactions between work, nature and society. Finally, some suggestions also emerge for future research, among which to analyze the biological sciences university teachers’ environmental conceptions and an action-research with these investigated undergraduates concerning environmental critical approaches.
Full Text Available Science magazines have an important role in disseminating scientific knowledge into the public sphere and in discussing the broader scope affected by scientific research such as technology, ethics and politics. Student-run science magazines afford opportunities for future scientists, communicators, politicians and others to practice communicating science. The ability to translate ‘scientese’ into a jargon-free discussion is rarely easy: it requires practice, and student magazines may provide good practice ground for undergraduate and graduate science students wishing to improve their communication skills.
Zhao, Tianxin; Zhong, Chao
Materials are the basis for human being survival and social development. To keep abreast with the increasing needs from all aspects of human society, there are huge needs in the development of advanced materials as well as high-efficiency but low-cost manufacturing strategies that are both sustainable and tunable. Synthetic biology, a new engineering principle taking gene regulation and engineering design as the core, greatly promotes the development of life sciences. This discipline has also contributed to the development of material sciences and will continuously bring new ideas to future new material design. In this paper, we review recent advances in applications of synthetic biology in material sciences, with the focus on how synthetic biology could enable synthesis of new polymeric biomaterials and inorganic materials, phage display and directed evolution of proteins relevant to materials development, living functional materials, engineered bacteria-regulated artificial photosynthesis system as well as applications of gene circuits for material sciences.
Colbert-White, Erin; Simpson, Elizabeth
Research mentors strive to ensure that undergraduates gain research skills and develop professionally during mentored research experiences in the sciences. We created the SURE (Specialized Undergraduate Research Experience) Workbook, a freely-available, interactive guide to scaffold student learning during this process. The Workbook: (1)…
Letchford, Julie; Corradi, Hazel; Day, Trevor
An important aim of undergraduate science education is to develop student skills in reading and evaluating research papers. We have designed, developed, and implemented an on-line interactive resource entitled "Evaluating Scientific Research literature" (ESRL) aimed at students from the first 2 years of the undergraduate program. In this…
Ing, Marsha; Fung, Wenson W.; Kisailus, David
Communicating research findings with others is a skill essential to the success of future STEM professionals. However, little is known about how this skill can be nurtured through participating in undergraduate research. The purpose of this study is to quantify undergraduate participation in research in a materials science and engineering…
McEwen, Laura April; Harris, dik; Schmid, Richard F.; Vogel, Jackie; Western, Tamara; Harrison, Paul
This article offers a case study of the evaluation of a redesigned and redeveloped laboratory-based cell biology course. The course was a compulsory element of the biology program, but the laboratory had become outdated and was inadequately equipped. With the support of a faculty-based teaching improvement project, the teaching team redesigned the…
Long, David E.
In an ethnographic study set within a biology department of a public university in the United States, incongruity between the ideals and practice of science education are investigated. Against the background of religious conservative students' complaints about evolution in the curriculum, biology faculty describe their political intents for…
Recent developments in digital technologies and the rise of the Internet have created new opportunities for citizen science. One of these has been the development of online citizen science games where complex research problems have been re-imagined as online multiplayer computer games. Some of the most successful examples of these can be found within the biological sciences, for example, Foldit, Phylo and EteRNA. These games offer scientists the opportunity to crowdsource research problems, and to engage with those outside the research community. Games also enable those without a background in science to make a valid contribution to research, and may also offer opportunities for informal science learning.
Flanagan, K M; Einarson, J
In a world filled with big data, mathematical models, and statistics, the development of strong quantitative skills is becoming increasingly critical for modern biologists. Teachers in this field must understand how students acquire quantitative skills and explore barriers experienced by students when developing these skills. In this study, we examine the interrelationships among gender, grit, and math confidence for student performance on a pre-post quantitative skills assessment and overall performance in an undergraduate biology course. Here, we show that females significantly underperformed relative to males on a quantitative skills assessment at the start of term. However, females showed significantly higher gains over the semester, such that the gender gap in performance was nearly eliminated by the end of the semester. Math confidence plays an important role in the performance on both the pre and post quantitative skills assessments and overall performance in the course. The effect of grit on student performance, however, is mediated by a student's math confidence; as math confidence increases, the positive effect of grit decreases. Consequently, the positive impact of a student's grittiness is observed most strongly for those students with low math confidence. We also found grit to be positively associated with the midterm score and the final grade in the course. Given the relationships established in this study among gender, grit, and math confidence, we provide "instructor actions" from the literature that can be applied in the classroom to promote the development of quantitative skills in light of our findings. © 2017 K. M. Flanagan and J. Einarson. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2017 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http
Full Text Available As a unique and versatile undergraduate degree program, a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS is offered by a number of colleges/schools of pharmacy. These provide a bachelor's degree concentrated in pharmaceutical sciences, and can be a non-Doctor of Pharmacy option, possibly before progressing to graduate degree studies. Recently implemented at the University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (UTCPPS, one such BSPS major is Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design. This new undergraduate major was created to serve the needs of the cosmetic and personal care industry, with a great need identified for well-trained new professionals with basic knowledge in the sciences and business. This Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design major was added to four other BSPS majors at UTCPPS. Introduced in 2013, this major is the only functioning undergraduate degree in Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design in the United States. Preliminary job placement data provides promising evidence that this undergraduate major has helped graduates launch a career in the cosmetic and personal care, or pharmaceutical industries. Based on our experience from the past three years, we believe that this cosmetic science major has been worth its resource investment. We hope others designing new undergraduate pharmaceutical sciences programs might integrate advice from this experience into their impending programs. Type: Idea Paper
Ledbetter, Mary Lee S.; Lippert, Malcolm J.
Membrane transport is a fundamental concept that undergraduate students of cell biology understand better with laboratory experience. Formal teaching exercises commonly used to illustrate this concept are unbiological, qualitative, or intricate and time consuming to prepare. We have developed an exercise that uses uptake of radiolabeled nutrient…
This case study describes an information literacy lab for an undergraduate biology course that leads students through a range of resources to discover aspects of genetic information. The lab provides over 560 students per semester with the opportunity for hands-on exploration of resources in steps that simulate the pathways of higher-level…
Willey, Joan D.; Avery, G. Brooks, Jr.; Manock, John J.; Skrabal, Stephen A.; Stehman, Charles F.
Describes a laboratory exercise for undergraduate science students in which they evaluate soil samples for various parameters related to suitability for crop production and capability for retention of contaminants. (Contains 18 references.) (WRM)
Otfinowski, Rafael; Silva-Opps, Marina
Analytical writing enhances retention of science learning and is integral to student-centered classrooms. Despite this, scientific writing in undergraduate programs is often presented as a series of sentence-level conventions of grammar, syntax, and citation formats, reinforcing students' perceptions of its highly prescriptive nature. The authors…
Donovan, D. A.; Atkins, L. J.; Salter, I. Y.; Gallagher, D. J.; Kratz, R. F.; Rousseau, J. V.; Nelson, G. D.
We report on the development of a life sciences curriculum, targeted to undergraduate students, which was modeled after a commercially available physics curriculum and based on aspects of how people learn. Our paper describes the collaborative development process and necessary modifications required to apply a physics pedagogical model in a life…
Almeida, Maria Strecht; Quintanilha, Alexandre
We explore the integration of societal issues in undergraduate training within the life sciences. Skills in thinking about science, scientific knowledge production and the place of science in society are crucial in the context of the idea of responsible research and innovation. This idea became institutionalized and it is currently well-present in…
Orthia, Lindy A.; Dobos, Amy R.; Guy, Tristan; Kan, Shanan Z.; Keys, Siân E.; Nekvapil, Stefan; Ngu, Dalton H. Y.
In this study, students and staff involved in an undergraduate science communication course investigated people's responses to a science-rich episode of the animated sitcom "The Simpsons". Using focus groups, we sought to find out if and how the episode influenced our 34 participants' perceptions of science, but our results problematised…
This study explored college science students' and instructors' experiences with student-generated and performed analogies. The objectives of the study were to determine whether the use of student-generated analogies could provide students with opportunities to develop robust understanding of difficult science concepts, and to examine students' and instructors' perspectives on the utilization of these analogies. To address my objectives, I carried out a case study at a university-college in British Columbia. I examined the use of analogies in undergraduate biology and chemistry courses. Working with three instructors, I explored the use of student-generated analogies in five courses. I carried out in-depth analyses for one biology case and one chemistry case. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, researcher journal logs and students' responses to assessment questions. My findings suggest that involvement in the analogy exercise was associated with gains in students' conceptual understanding. Lower-achieving students who participated in the analogy activity exhibited significant gains in understanding of the science concept, but were unable to transfer their knowledge to novel situations. Higher-achieving students who participated in the activity were better able to transfer their knowledge of the analogy-related science topic to novel situations. This research revealed that students exhibited improved understanding when their analogies clearly represented important features of the target science concept. Students actively involved in the analogy activity exhibited gains in conceptual understanding. They perceived that embodied performative aspects of the activity promoted engagement, which motivated their learning. Participation in the analogy activity led to enhanced social interaction and a heightened sense of community within the classroom. The combination of social and performative elements provided motivational learning
Bowey-Dellinger, Kristen; Dixon, Luke; Ackerman, Kristin; Vigueira, Cynthia; Suh, Yewseok K; Lyda, Todd; Sapp, Kelli; Grider, Michael; Crater, Dinene; Russell, Travis; Elias, Michael; Coffield, V McNeil; Segarra, Verónica A
Undergraduate students learn about mammalian cell culture applications in introductory biology courses. However, laboratory modules are rarely designed to provide hands-on experience with mammalian cells or teach cell culture techniques, such as trypsinization and cell counting. Students are more likely to learn about cell culture using bacteria or yeast, as they are typically easier to grow, culture, and manipulate given the equipment, tools, and environment of most undergraduate biology laboratories. In contrast, the utilization of mammalian cells requires a dedicated biological safety cabinet and rigorous antiseptic techniques. For this reason, we have devised a laboratory module and method herein that familiarizes students with common cell culture procedures, without the use of a sterile hood or large cell culture facility. Students design and perform a time-efficient inquiry-based cell viability experiment using HeLa cells and tools that are readily available in an undergraduate biology laboratory. Students will become familiar with common techniques such as trypsinizing cells, cell counting with a hemocytometer, performing serial dilutions, and determining cell viability using trypan blue dye. Additionally, students will work with graphing software to analyze their data and think critically about the mechanism of death on a cellular level. Two different adaptations of this inquiry-based lab are presented-one for non-biology majors and one for biology majors. Overall, these laboratories aim to expose students to mammalian cell culture and basic techniques and help them to conceptualize their application in scientific research.
The study recommended that undergraduates should be trained to be ICT literate as well as be given increased access to internet facilities to enable them maximize the benefits of internet use. The study concluded that although there is a rise in the use of internet by undergraduates, they primarily use the internet for social ...
Schwingel, Johanna M
Scientific terminology presents an obstacle to effective communication with nonscientific audiences. To overcome this obstacle, biology majors in a general microbiology elective completed a project involving two different audiences: a scientific audience of their peers and a general, nonscientific audience. First, students presented an overview of a primary research paper and the significance of its findings to a general, nonscientific audience in an elevator-type talk. This was followed by a peer interview with a student in a journalism course, in which the biology students needed to comprehend the article to effectively communicate it to the journalism students, and the journalism students needed to ask questions about an unfamiliar, technical topic. Next, the biology students wrote a summary of their article for a scientific audience. Finally, the students presented a figure from the article to their peers in a scientific, Bio-Minute format. The biology-journalism partnership allowed biology students to develop their ability to communicate scientific information and journalism students their ability to ask appropriate questions and establish a base of knowledge from which to write.
Unlike other disciplines in the social sciences, there has been relatively little attention paid to the structure of the undergraduate political science curriculum. This article reports the results of a representative survey of 200 political science programs in the United States, examining requirements for quantitative methods, research methods,…
Oh, Phil Seok
The goal of this case study was to describe characteristic features of abductive inquiry learning activities in the domain of earth science. Participants were undergraduate junior and senior students who were enrolled in an earth science education course offered for preservice secondary science teachers at a university in Korea. The undergraduate…
Eshach, Haim; Hwang, Fu-Kwun; Wu, Hsin-Kai; Hsu, Ying-Shao
Although there is a broad agreement among scientists and science educators that students should not only learn science, but also acquire some sense of its nature, it has been reported that undergraduate students possess an inadequate grasp of the nature of science (NOS). The study presented here examined the potential and effectiveness of Nobel…
Primeaux, G.; Newkirk, K.; Miller, L.; Lewis, G.; Michaud, R.
The Life Sciences Space Biology (LSSB) research will explore the effect of microgravity on humans, including the physiological, clinical, and sociological implications of space flight and the readaptations upon return to earth. Physiological anomalies from past U.S. space flights will be used in planning the LSSB project.The planning effort integrates science and engineering. Other goals of the LSSB project include the provision of macroscopic view of the earth's biosphere, and the development of spinoff technology for application on earth.
Carlos Alberto Andrade Monerat
Full Text Available The Brazilian education has been changing over time, especially with the increased offer on the various levels of education. In undergraduate courses, in the health area, the cell biology becomes an essential discipline, because various sectors are directly influenced by their recent discoveries and research. This work aimed to analyze, with undergraduate students, perceptions about the themes at Cell Biology, revealing, with its results, pertinent aspects, as insufficient knowledge about the proposed theme. The definition of a concept of cell, considered a basic aspect, however relevant in this context, exemplifies this situation, because it showed a considerable rate of unsatisfactory answers. On the other hand, was verified the recognition of Cell Biology as an area that presents important contents in the training of these students, due the numerous scientific researches that show its constant evolution in association with themes of medicine and public health.
This paper summarizes my experiences teaching a 28-hour course on the bacterial world for undergraduate students in the humanities and the social sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This course was offered in the framework of a program in which students must obtain credit points for courses offered by other faculties to broaden their education. Most students had little biology in high school and had never been exposed to the basics of chemistry. Using a historical approach, highlighting the work of pioneers such as van Leeuwenhoek, Koch, Fleming, Pasteur, Winogradsky and Woese, I covered a broad area of general, medical, environmental and evolutionary microbiology. The lectures included basic concepts of organic and inorganic chemistry necessary to understand the principles of fermentations and chemoautotrophy, and basic molecular biology to explain biotechnology using transgenic microorganisms and molecular phylogeny. Teaching the basics of microbiology to intelligent students lacking any background in the natural sciences was a rewarding experience. Some students complained that, in spite of my efforts, basic concepts of chemistry remained beyond their understanding. But overall the students' evaluation showed that the course had achieved its goal. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kowalski, Jennifer R; Hoops, Geoffrey C; Johnson, R Jeremy
Classroom undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) provide students access to the measurable benefits of undergraduate research experiences (UREs). Herein, we describe the implementation and assessment of a novel model for cohesive CUREs focused on central research themes involving faculty research collaboration across departments. Specifically, we implemented three collaborative CUREs spanning chemical biology, biochemistry, and neurobiology that incorporated faculty members' research interests and revolved around the central theme of visualizing biological processes like Mycobacterium tuberculosis enzyme activity and neural signaling using fluorescent molecules. Each CURE laboratory involved multiple experimental phases and culminated in novel, open-ended, and reiterative student-driven research projects. Course assessments showed CURE participation increased students' experimental design skills, attitudes and confidence about research, perceived understanding of the scientific process, and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. More than 75% of CURE students also engaged in independent scientific research projects, and faculty CURE contributors saw substantial increases in research productivity, including increased undergraduate student involvement and academic outputs. Our collaborative CUREs demonstrate the advantages of multicourse CUREs for achieving increased faculty research productivity and traditional CURE-associated student learning and attitude gains. Our collaborative CURE design represents a novel CURE model for ongoing laboratory reform that benefits both faculty and students. © 2016 J. R. Kowalski et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Ward, Jennifer Rhode; Clarke, H David; Horton, Jonathan L
In response to the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education initiative, we infused authentic, plant-based research into majors' courses at a public liberal arts university. Faculty members designed a financially sustainable pedagogical approach, utilizing vertically integrated curricular modules based on undergraduate researchers' field and laboratory projects. Our goals were to 1) teach botanical concepts, from cells to ecosystems; 2) strengthen competencies in statistical analysis and scientific writing; 3) pique plant science interest; and 4) allow all undergraduates to contribute to genuine research. Our series of inquiry-centered exercises mitigated potential faculty barriers to adopting research-rich curricula, facilitating teaching/research balance by gathering publishable scholarly data during laboratory class periods. Student competencies were assessed with pre- and postcourse quizzes and rubric-graded papers, and attitudes were evaluated with pre- and postcourse surveys. Our revised curriculum increased students' knowledge and awareness of plant science topics, improved scientific writing, enhanced statistical knowledge, and boosted interest in conducting research. More than 300 classroom students have participated in our program, and data generated from these modules' assessment allowed faculty and students to present 28 contributed talks or posters and publish three papers in 4 yr. Future steps include analyzing the effects of repeated module exposure on student learning and creating a regional consortium to increase our project's pedagogical impact. © 2014 J. R. Ward et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2014 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http
Since the Human Genome Project mapped the gene sequence, new biological sciences have been generating a raft of new knowledges about the mechanisms and functions of the molecular body. One area of work that has particular potential to speak to sociology of education, is the emerging field of epigenetics. Epigenetics moves away from the mapped…
Momsen, Jennifer; Offerdahl, Erika; Kryjevskaia, Mila; Montplaisir, Lisa; Anderson, Elizabeth; Grosz, Nate
Assessments and student expectations can drive learning: students selectively study and learn the content and skills they believe critical to passing an exam in a given subject. Evaluating the nature of assessments in undergraduate science education can, therefore, provide substantial insight into student learning. We characterized and compared the cognitive skills routinely assessed by introductory biology and calculus-based physics sequences, using the cognitive domain of Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives. Our results indicate that both introductory sequences overwhelmingly assess lower-order cognitive skills (e.g., knowledge recall, algorithmic problem solving), but the distribution of items across cognitive skill levels differs between introductory biology and physics, which reflects and may even reinforce student perceptions typical of those courses: biology is memorization, and physics is solving problems. We also probed the relationship between level of difficulty of exam questions, as measured by student performance and cognitive skill level as measured by Bloom's taxonomy. Our analyses of both disciplines do not indicate the presence of a strong relationship. Thus, regardless of discipline, more cognitively demanding tasks do not necessarily equate to increased difficulty. We recognize the limitations associated with this approach; however, we believe this research underscores the utility of evaluating the nature of our assessments.
Goebel, Camille A.
This longitudinal investigation explores the change in four (3 female, 1 male) science undergraduates' beliefs expressed about low-income elementary school students' ability to learn science. The study sought to identify how the undergraduates in year-long public school science-teaching partnerships perceived the social, cultural, and economic factors affecting student learning. Previous service-learning research infrequently focused on science undergraduates relative to science and society or detailed expressions of their beliefs and field practices over the experience. Qualitative methodology was used to guide the implementation and analysis of this study. A sample of an additional 20 science undergraduates likewise involved in intensive reflection in the service learning in science teaching (SLST) course called Elementary Science Education Partners (ESEP) was used to examine the typicality of the case participants. The findings show two major changes in science undergraduates' belief expressions: (1) a reduction in statements of beliefs from a deficit thinking perspective about the elementary school students' ability to learn science, and (2) a shift in the attribution of students, underlying problems in science learning from individual-oriented to systemic-oriented influences. Additional findings reveal that the science undergraduates perceived they had personally and profoundly changed as a result of the SLST experience. Changes include: (1) the gain of a new understanding of others' situations different from their own; (2) the realization of and appreciation for their relative positions of privilege due to their educational background and family support; (3) the gain in ability to communicate, teach, and work with others; (4) the idea that they were more socially and culturally connected to their community outside the university and their college classrooms; and (5) a broadening of the way they understood or thought about science. Women participants stated
Chism, Grady W.; Vaughan, Martin A.; Muralidharan, Pooja; Marrs, Jim A.
Abstract A course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) spanning three semesters was introduced into freshman and sophomore biology classes, with the hypothesis that participation in a CURE affects skills in research, communication, and collaboration, which may help students persist in science. Student research projects were centered on the hypothesis that nicotine and caffeine exposure during early development affects gastrulation and heart development in zebrafish. First, freshmen generated original data showing distinct effects of embryonic nicotine and caffeine exposure on zebrafish heart development and function. Next, Cell Biology laboratory students continued the CURE studies and identified novel teratogenic effects of nicotine and caffeine during gastrulation. Finally, new freshmen continued the CURE research, examining additional toxicant effects on development. Students designed new protocols, made measurements, presented results, and generated high-quality preliminary data that were studied in successive semesters. By implementing this project, the CURE extended faculty research and provided a scalable model to address national goals to involve more undergraduates in authentic scientific research. In addition, student survey results support the hypothesis that CUREs provide significant gains in student ability to (1) design experiments, (2) analyze data, and (3) make scientific presentations, translating into high student satisfaction and enhanced learning. PMID:26829498
Hughes, W. Jay
Questionnaire data (n = 297) examined the relationship between gender attributions of science and academic attributes for undergraduate science, mathematics, and technology majors from the perspective of gender schema theory. Female and male respondents perceived that (a) the role of scientist was sex typed as masculine, (b) their majors were more valuable for members of their gender than for those of the opposite gender, (c) their majors were more valuable for themselves than for members of their gender in general. Androgynous attributions of scientists and the value of one's major for women predicted value for oneself, major confidence, and career confidence, and masculine attributions of scientists predicted class participation for female respondents. Feminine attributions of scientists predicted graduate school intent; value for women predicted major confidence and subjective achievement, and value for men predicted value for oneself, course confidence, and career confidence for male respondents.
Advancing Space Sciences through Undergraduate Research Experiences at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory - a novel approach to undergraduate internships for first generation community college students
Raftery, C. L.; Davis, H. B.; Peticolas, L. M.; Paglierani, R.
The Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley launched an NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in the summer of 2015. The "Advancing Space Sciences through Undergraduate Research Experiences" (ASSURE) program recruited heavily from local community colleges and universities, and provided a multi-tiered mentorship program for students in the fields of space science and engineering. The program was focussed on providing a supportive environment for 2nd and 3rd year undergraduates, many of whom were first generation and underrepresented students. This model provides three levels of mentorship support for the participating interns: 1) the primary research advisor provides academic and professional support. 2) The program coordinator, who meets with the interns multiple times per week, provides personal support and helps the interns to assimilate into the highly competitive environment of the research laboratory. 3) Returning undergraduate interns provided peer support and guidance to the new cohort of students. The impacts of this program on the first generation students and the research mentors, as well as the lessons learned will be discussed.
Jones, R. M.; Gill, T. E.; Quesada, D.; Hedquist, B. C.
Climate literacy and climate education are important topics in current socio-political debate. Despite numerous scientific findings supporting global climate changes and accelerated greenhouse warming, there is a social inertia resisting and slowing the rate at which many of our students understand and absorb these facts. A variety of reasons, including: socio-economic interests, political and ideological biases, misinformation from mass media, inappropriate preparation of science teachers, and lack of numancy have created serious challenges for public awareness of such an important issue. Different agencies and organizations (NASA, NOAA, EPA, AGU, APS, AMS and others) have created training programs for educators, not involved directly in climatology research, in order to learn climate science in a consistent way and then communicate it to the public and students. Different approaches on how to deliver such information to undergraduate students in diverse environments is discussed based on the author's experiences working in different minority-serving institutions across the nation and who have attended AMS Weather and Climate Studies training workshops, MSI-REACH, and the School of Ice. Different parameters are included in the analysis: demographics of students, size of the institutions, geographical locations, target audience, programs students are enrolled in, conceptual units covered, and availability of climate-related courses in the curricula. Additionally, the feasibility of incorporating a laboratory and quantitative analysis is analyzed. As a result of these comparisons it seems that downscaling of climate education experiences do not always work as expected in every institution regardless of the student body demographics. Different geographical areas, student body characteristics and type of institution determine the approach to be adopted as well as the feasibility to introduce different components for weather and climate studies. Some ideas are shared
This research investigates how eight undergraduate African American women in science, math, and engineering (SME) majors accessed cultural capital and informal science learning opportunities from preschool to college. It uses the multiple case study methodological approach and cultural capital as frameworks to better understand the participants'…
Fox, Mary Frank; Sonnert, Gerhard; Nikiforova, Irina
This article focuses upon programs for undergraduate women in science and engineering, which are a strategic research site in the study of gender, science, and higher education. The design involves both quantitative and qualitative approaches, linking theory, method, questions, and analyses in ways not undertaken previously. Using a comprehensive,…
Fredericks, Marcel; Miller, Steven I.
Argues that the behavioral or "human" sciences are fundamentally different in scope and intent from the natural sciences. Describes the use of controversial topics in undergraduate courses and provides a four-step process. Recommends using Karl Popper's falsification theory to help students think critically about issues. (CFR)
Mercer-Mapstone, Lucy; Kuchel, Louise
Communication skills are one of five nationally recognised learning outcomes for an Australian Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree. Previous evidence indicates that communication skills taught in Australian undergraduate science degrees are not developed sufficiently to meet the requirements of the modern-day workplace--a problem faced in the UK and…
Mercer-Mapstone, Lucy D.; Matthews, Kelly E.
Higher education institutions globally are acknowledging the need to teach communication skills. This study used the Science Student Skills Inventory to gain insight into how science students perceive the development of communication skills across the degree programme. Responses were obtained from 635 undergraduate students enrolled in a Bachelor…
Vlietstra, Lucy S.; Mrakovcich, Karina L.; Futch, Victoria C.; Stutzman, Brooke S.
To develop a context for program-level design decisions pertaining to anthropogenic climate change, the authors studied the prevalence of courses focused on human-induced climate change in undergraduate marine science and environmental science degree programs in the United States. Of the 86 institutions and 125 programs the authors examined, 37%…
Crompton, Helen; Burgin, Stephen R.; De Paor, Declan G.; Gregory, Kristen
Asking scientific questions is the first practice of science and engineering listed in the Next Generation Science Standards. However, getting students to ask unsolicited questions in a large class can be difficult. In this qualitative study, undergraduate students sent SMS text messages to the instructor who received them on his mobile phone and…
Chu, Kelvin; Laughney, A.; Williams, J.
We describe a set of case-study driven labs for an upper-division biological physics course. These labs are motivated by case-studies and consist of inquiry-driven investigations of Brownian motion and optical-trapping experiments. Each lab incorporates two innovative educational techniques to drive the process and application aspects of scientific learning. Case studies are used to encourage students to think independently and apply the scientific method to a novel lab situation. Student input from this case study is then used to decide how to best do the measurement, guide the project and ultimately evaluate the success of the program. Where appropriate, visualization and simulation using VPython is used. Direct visualization of Brownian motion allows students to directly calculate Avogadro's number or the Boltzmann constant. Following case-study driven discussion, students use video microscopy to measure the motion of latex spheres in different viscosity fluids arrive at a good approximation of NA or kB. Optical trapping (laser tweezer) experiments allow students to investigate the consequences of 100-pN forces on small particles. The case study consists of a discussion of the Boltzmann distribution and equipartition theorem followed by a consideration of the shape of the potential. Students can then use video capture to measure the distribution of bead positions to determine the shape and depth of the trap. This work supported by NSF DUE-0536773.
Takemura, Masaharu; Kurabayashi, Mario
For the study of biology in an undergraduate classroom, a classroom exercise was developed: an analogy role-play to learn mechanisms of gene transcription and protein translation (central dogma). To develop the central dogma role-play exercise, we made DNA and mRNA using paper sheets, tRNA using a wire dress hanger, and amino acids using Lego®…
Schellenberger, Lauren Brownback
Group processing is a key principle of cooperative learning in which small groups discuss their strengths and weaknesses and set group goals or norms. However, group processing has not been well-studied at the post-secondary level or from a qualitative or mixed methods perspective. This mixed methods study uses a phenomenological framework to examine the experience of group processing for students in an undergraduate biology course for preservice teachers. The effect of group processing on students' attitudes toward future group work and group processing is also examined. Additionally, this research investigated preservice teachers' plans for incorporating group processing into future lessons. Students primarily experienced group processing as a time to reflect on past performance. Also, students experienced group processing as a time to increase communication among group members and become motivated for future group assignments. Three factors directly influenced students' experiences with group processing: (1) previous experience with group work, (2) instructor interaction, and (3) gender. Survey data indicated that group processing had a slight positive effect on students' attitudes toward future group work and group processing. Participants who were interviewed felt that group processing was an important part of group work and that it had increased their group's effectiveness as well as their ability to work effectively with other people. Participants held positive views on group work prior to engaging in group processing, and group processing did not alter their atittude toward group work. Preservice teachers who were interviewed planned to use group work and a modified group processing protocol in their future classrooms. They also felt that group processing had prepared them for their future professions by modeling effective collaboration and group skills. Based on this research, a new model for group processing has been created which includes extensive
databases have also helped in development of novel data mining methods, prediction strategies and data driven application software or web servers. In this article, we give an overview of biological databases developed in India and their impact on data driven research in biology. We also provide some suggestions for planning training programs in biological data science for making transitions to big data revolution in biology by combining advanced techniques like Deep Learning with biological big data.
Discusses the importance of computer security and considers criminal, national security, and personal privacy threats posed by security breakdown. Several examples are given, including incidents involving computer viruses. Objectives, content, instructional strategies, resources, and a sample examination for an experimental undergraduate computer…
Lilliane Miranda Freitas
Full Text Available In this paper we report an educational experience based on the triad teaching-research-extension occurred in the supervised internship in licentiateship in Biological Sciences. In this experiment, the students made a transposition of the scientific knowledge produced in their course conclusion work to the knowledge of basic education curriculum. We analyze in this article the impressions of undergraduates after completion of pedagogical actions. We discuss, based on the reports, how the knowledge that is constructed and reconstructed in academic research can contribute directly to the improvement of the science education quality through science literacy and also in teacher training of undergraduates, through the reflection on their own practice. Therefore, we consider that, with the practice of the inseparability of teaching-research-extension, there will be more return for academic research and also for the school community, generating significant changes in educational practices in schools
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Deacon, Christopher; Hajek, Allyson; Schulz, Henry
Many post-secondary institutions provide training and resources to help GTAs fulfil their teaching roles. However, few programmes focus specifically on the teaching competencies required by GTAs who work with undergraduate students in laboratory settings where learning tends to be more active and inquiry based than in classroom settings. From a review of 8 GTA manuals, we identified 20 competencies and then surveyed faculty and lab coordinators (FIS) and GTAs from a Faculty of Science at a comprehensive Canadian university to identify which of those competencies are required of GTAs who work in undergraduate science labs. GTAs and FIS did not significantly differ in the competencies they view as required for GTAs to work effectively in undergraduate labs. But, when comparing the responses of GTAs and FIS to TA manuals, 'Clearly and effectively communicates ideas and information with students' was the only competency for which there was agreement on the level of requirement. We also examined GTAs' self-efficacy for each of the identified competencies and found no overall relationship between self-efficacy and demographic characteristics, including experience and training. Our results can be used to inform the design of training programmes specifically for GTAs who work in undergraduate science labs, for example, programmes should provide strategies for GTAs to obtain feedback which they can use to enhance their teaching skills. The goal of this study is to improve undergraduate lab instruction in faculties of science and to enhance the teaching experience of GTAs by better preparing them for their role.
Zornoza, Raúl; Lozano-García, Beatriz; Acosta, Jose A.; Martínez-Martínez, Silvia; Parras-Alcántara, Luis; Faz, Angel
Teaching soil science can be a challenge in those degrees where students are not familiar with the soil system and do not understand the importance of soil science for their future career. This is the case of students of Biology, Agronomy or Environmental Science, who normally consider soil as a mere substrate for vegetation development, with no interest about how soil determines productivity and quality of terrestrial ecosystems. Thus, students lack of initial motivation to study Soil Science, and just attend lectures and practical lessons as mandatory procedure to get the degree. To engage undergraduate students from Biology, Agronomy and Environmental Sciences in Soil Science, we developed a strategy to enhance their motivation by means of making them participants of the selection of the soils and analyses used for their training. By means of dichotomous keys, students, grouped in pairs, first select the main purpose of their study from different options (land productivity, soil biodiversity, soil fertility, effectiveness of restoration, effect of land use, effect of management, etc). Once objective is decided, we give them some information about sampling strategies, so that they select how soil sampling is going to be performed, and the number of samples to be taken. In terms of the initial objective, they also decide from a given list the properties they should measure. In a practical basis, from the list of selected properties to be measured, professors decide the ones they can really develop in terms of timing, resources and space demand. After that, they are aware about the fact that they have an experimental design developed by them to achieve the goal they meant. Under this perspective, their motivation is enhanced since students are the ones deciding what to study in terms of their personal and professional interests, so that learning is more effective. The negative aspect of this strategy is that it involves many hours of tutorials for the professor
Behavioral science and behavioral medicine have not been systematically taught to Japanese undergraduate medical students. A working group under the auspices of Japanese Society of Behavioral Medicine developed an outcome-oriented curriculum of behavioral science/behavioral medicine through three processes: identifying the curriculum contents, holding a joint symposium with related societies, and defining outcomes and proposing a learning module. The behavioral science/behavioral medicine cor...
Hope, W. W.; Johnson, L. P.; Obl, W.; Stewart, A.; Harris, W. C.; Craig, R. D.
Faculty in the Department of Physical, Environmental and Computer Sciences strongly believe in the concept that undergraduate research and research-related activities must be integrated into the fabric of our undergraduate Science and Technology curricula. High level skills, such as problem solving, reasoning, collaboration and the ability to engage in research, are learned for advanced study in graduate school or for competing for well paying positions in the scientific community. One goal of our academic programs is to have a pipeline of research activities from high school to four year college, to graduate school, based on the GISS Institute on Climate and Planets model.
Young, Virginia A.; Kiefer, Adam M.
Undergraduate microbiology courses offer a perfect opportunity to introduce students to historical food preservation processes that are still in use today. The fermentation of vegetables, as occurs in the preparation of sauerkraut and kimchi, uses an enrichment step to select for the growth of naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria (LAB). This is an active learning exercise in which students learn a food preparation skill and basic microbiological terms such as selection and enrichment. W...
Owolabi, Sola; Idowu, Oluwafemi A.; Okocha, Foluke; Ogundare, Atinuke Omotayo
The study evaluated utilization of electronic information resources by undergraduates in the Faculties of Education and the Social Sciences in University of Ibadan. The study adopted a descriptive survey design with a study population of 1872 undergraduates in the Faculties of Education and the Social Sciences in University of Ibadan, from which a…
Meyers, Marc A; Chen, Po-Yu; Lopez, Maria I; Seki, Yasuaki; Lin, Albert Y M
The approach used by Materials Science and Engineering is revealing new aspects in the structure and properties of biological materials. The integration of advanced characterization, mechanical testing, and modeling methods can rationalize heretofore unexplained aspects of these structures. As an illustration of the power of this methodology, we apply it to biomineralized shells, avian beaks and feathers, and fish scales. We also present a few selected bioinspired applications: Velcro, an Al2O3-PMMA composite inspired by the abalone shell, and synthetic attachment devices inspired by gecko. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Some years' experience in teaching Russian to working scientists who had already acquired the rudiments of the grammar convinced me of the need for a reader of the present type that would smooth the path of those wishing to study Russian scientific literature in the original. Although the subject matter comprises what I have described for convenience as chemistry, physics and biology, it could be read with equal profit by those engaged in any branch of pure or applied science. All the passages are taken from school textbooks, and acknowledgements are due to the authors of the works listed at the foot of the contents page.
Loike, John D.; Rush, Brittany S.; Schweber, Adam; Fischbach, Ruth L.
Columbia University offers two innovative undergraduate science-based bioethics courses for student majoring in biosciences and pre-health studies. The goals of these courses are to introduce future scientists and healthcare professionals to the ethical questions they will confront in their professional lives, thus enabling them to strategically…
Quan, Gina M.; Elby, Andrew
Undergraduate research can support students' more central participation in physics. We analyze markers of two coupled shifts in participation: changes in students' views about the nature of science coupled to shifts in self-efficacy toward physics research. Students in the study worked with faculty and graduate student mentors on research projects…
Palocsay, Susan W.; Markham, Ina S.
In 2003, accreditation standards were revised to require coverage of management science (MS) after previously removing it in 1991. Meanwhile, increasing awareness of the value of business analytics stimulated a renewed interest in MS. To examine its present status in undergraduate core business curricula, the authors conducted two studies to…
Schnoebelen, Carly; Towns, Marcy H.; Chmielewski, Jean; Hrycyna, Christine A.
The chemistry curriculum for undergraduate life science majors at Purdue University has been transformed to better meet the needs of this student population and prepare them for future success. The curriculum, called the 1-2-1 curriculum, includes four consecutive and integrated semesters of instruction in general chemistry, organic chemistry, and…
The goal of this analysis was to obtain local citation behavior data on undergraduates researching history, political science, and sociology papers. The study found that students cited books and journals even with the availability of web sources; however, usage varied by subject. References to specific websites' domains also varied across subject…
Sales, Jessica; Comeau, Dawn; Liddle, Kathleen; Khanna, Nikki; Perrone, Lisa; Palmer, Katrina; Lynn, David
A new program, On Recent Discoveries by Emory Researchers (ORDER), has been developed as a bridge across the ever-widening gap between graduate and undergraduate education in the sciences. This bridge is created by merging the needs of graduate/postdoctoral students to educate more interdisciplinary scholars about their research discoveries with…
Gross, Erin M.
An undergraduate lecture course in Green Chemistry and Sustainability has been developed and taught to a "multidisciplinary" group of science and nonscience majors. The course introduced students to the topics of green chemistry and sustainability and also immersed them in usage of the scientific literature. Through literature…
Undergraduate social science research methods courses tend to have higher than average rates of failure and withdrawal. Lack of success in these courses impedes students' progression through their degree programs and negatively impacts institutional retention and graduation rates. Grounded in adult learning theory, this mixed methods study…
Cirino, Lauren A; Emberts, Zachary; Joseph, Paul N; Allen, Pablo E; Lopatto, David; Miller, Christine W
Effective and accurate communication of scientific findings is essential. Unfortunately, scientists are not always well trained in how to best communicate their results with other scientists nor do all appreciate the importance of speaking with the public. Here, we provide an example of how the development of oral communication skills can be integrated with research experiences at the undergraduate level. We describe our experiences developing, running, and evaluating a course for undergraduates that complemented their existing undergraduate research experiences with instruction on the nature of science and intensive training on the development of science communication skills. Students delivered science talks, research monologues, and poster presentations about the ecological and evolutionary research in which they were involved. We evaluated the effectiveness of our approach using the CURE survey and a focus group. As expected, undergraduates reported strong benefits to communication skills and confidence. We provide guidance for college researchers, instructors, and administrators interested in motivating and equipping the next generation of scientists to be excellent science communicators.
Cogdell, Barbara; Torsney, Ben; Stewart, Katherine; Smith, Robert A.
In order to promote more active engagement of science undergraduates in histology practical classes some technology-based innovations were introduced. First, an interactive pre-lab tutorial was set up using an electronic handset voting system, where guidance on tissue analysis was given. Second, a web-based resource where students could access…
Zwartjes, G.J.; van de Voort, M.; Dil, B.J.; Havinga, Paul J.M.
Incorporating Embedded Systems courses in a general and broad Computer Science undergraduate curriculum can be a challenging task. The lack of experience with relevant tools and programming languages tends to limit the amount material that can be included in courses on this area. This, combined with
Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.
When undergraduate biology students learn to explain biological mechanisms, they face many challenges and may overestimate their understanding of living systems. Previously, we developed the MACH model of four components used by expert biologists to explain mechanisms: Methods, Analogies, Context, and How. This study explores the implementation of…
Ware, Elizabeth A.; Gelman, Susan A.
This set of seven experiments examines reasoning about the inheritance and acquisition of physical properties in preschoolers, undergraduates, and biology experts. Participants (N = 390) received adoption vignettes in which a baby animal was born to one parent but raised by a biologically unrelated parent, and they judged whether the offspring…
Welsh, Charles; Hannis, Marc
In October 2009 Skills for Justice published the social research paper 'Fit for purpose?: Research into the provision of Forensic Science degree programmes in UK Higher Education Institutions.' The research engaged employers representing 95% of UK Forensic Science providers and 79% of UK universities offering Forensic Science or Crime Scene degree programmes. In addition to this, the research collected the views of 430 students studying these degrees. In 2008 there were approximately 9000 people working in the Forensic Science sector in the UK. The research found that the numbers of students studying Forensic Science or Crime Scene degrees in the UK have more than doubled since 2002-03, from 2191 in to 5664 in 2007-08. Over the same period there were twice as many females as males studying for these degrees. The research concluded that Forensic Science degree programmes offered by UK universities were of a good quality and they provided the student with a positive learning experience but the content was not relevant for Forensic Science employers. This echoed similar research by the former Government Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills on graduates from wider science, technology, engineering and mathematics degree programmes. The research also found that 75% of students studying Forensic Science or Crime Scene degrees expected to have a career in the Forensic Science sector, meaning that ensuring these courses are relevant for employers is a key challenge for universities. This paper reflects on the original research and discusses the implications in light of recent government policy. Copyright © 2011 Forensic Science Society. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Straumanis, Joan, Ed.; Watson, Robert F., Ed.
Reported are activities carried out at colleges and universities during 1976-1980 with support from the National Science Foundation's Local Course Improvement (LOCI) and Instructional Scientific Equipment Program (ISEP). It is intended as a reference for persons interested in current course and laboratory developments in the sciences at the…
Virginia A. Young
Full Text Available Undergraduate microbiology courses offer a perfect opportunity to introduce students to historical food preservation processes that are still in use today. The fermentation of vegetables, as occurs in the preparation of sauerkraut and kimchi, uses an enrichment step to select for the growth of naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria (LAB. This is an active learning exercise in which students learn a food preparation skill and basic microbiological terms such as selection and enrichment. When performed in conjunction with cultured fermentations, such as yogurt making, students can see the difference between fermentations by naturally occurring microorganisms versus inoculated microorganisms. Additionally, this exercise introduces students to concepts of food safety, intrinsic factors influencing microbial growth such as pH, and cultural uses of fermentation to preserve locally available foods.
This study reports on the analysis of South African Life Sciences and Biology textbooks for the inclusion of the nature of science using a conceptual framework developed by Chiappetta, Fillman and Sethna (1991). In particular, we investigated the differences between the representation of the nature of science in Biology ...
Reis, Renata Karina; Gir, Elucir; Canini, Silvia Rita M S
During their academic activities, undergraduate nursing students are exposed to contamination by bloodborne pathogens, as well as by others found in body fluids, among which are the Human Immunodeficiency (HIV), Hepatitis B and C viruses. We developed a profile of victimized students, characterizing accidents with biological material occurring among undergraduate nursing students at a public university in São Paulo State, Brazil. We identified the main causes and evaluated the conduct adopted by students and their reactions and thoughts concerning the accidents. Seventy-two accidents were identified, of which 17% involved potentially contaminated biological material. Needles were the predominant cause of accidents. The most frequently involved topographic areas were the fingers. Only five students reported the accidents and sought medical care. Among these, two students were advised to begin prophylactic treatment against HIV infection by means of antiretroviral drugs. It was found that the risk of accidents is underestimated and that strategies such as formal teaching and continual training are necessary in order to make students aware of biosafety measures.
Renata Karina Reis
Full Text Available During their academic activities, undergraduate nursing students are exposed to contamination by bloodborne pathogens, as well as by others found in body fluids, among which are the Human Immunodeficiency (HIV, Hepatitis B and C viruses. We developed a profile of victimized students, characterizing accidents with biological material occurring among undergraduate nursing students at a public university in São Paulo State, Brazil. We identified the main causes and evaluated the conduct adopted by students and their reactions and thoughts concerning the accidents. Seventy-two accidents were identified, of which 17% involved potentially contaminated biological material. Needles were the predominant cause of accidents. The most frequently involved topographic areas were the fingers. Only five students reported the accidents and sought medical care. Among these, two students were advised to begin prophylactic treatment against HIV infection by means of antiretroviral drugs. It was found that the risk of accidents is underestimated and that strategies such as formal teaching and continual training are necessary in order to make students aware of biosafety measures.
Southard, Katelyn; Wince, Tyler; Meddleton, Shanice; Bolger, Molly S.
Research has suggested that teaching and learning in molecular and cellular biology (MCB) is difficult. We used a new lens to understand undergraduate reasoning about molecular mechanisms: the knowledge-integration approach to conceptual change. Knowledge integration is the dynamic process by which learners acquire new ideas, develop connections between ideas, and reorganize and restructure prior knowledge. Semistructured, clinical think-aloud interviews were conducted with introductory and upper-division MCB students. Interviews included a written conceptual assessment, a concept-mapping activity, and an opportunity to explain the biomechanisms of DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Student reasoning patterns were explored through mixed-method analyses. Results suggested that students must sort mechanistic entities into appropriate mental categories that reflect the nature of MCB mechanisms and that conflation between these categories is common. We also showed how connections between molecular mechanisms and their biological roles are part of building an integrated knowledge network as students develop expertise. We observed differences in the nature of connections between ideas related to different forms of reasoning. Finally, we provide a tentative model for MCB knowledge integration and suggest its implications for undergraduate learning. PMID:26931398
Curry, Kathy S.
This qualitative phenomenological study used a modified Groenewald's five steps method with semi-structured, recorded, and transcribed interviews to focus on the underrepresentation of females in science-related careers. The study explored the lived experiences of a purposive sample of 25 senior female college students attending a college in Macon, Georgia. Ten major themes emerged from the research study that included (a) journey to a science-related career; (b) realization of career interest; (c) family support (d) society's role; (e) professors' treatment of students; (f) lack of mentors and models; (g) gender and career success; (h) females and other disadvantages in science-related careers; (i) rewards of the journey; and (j) advice for the journey. The three minor themes identified were (a) decision-making; (b) career awareness; and (c) guidance. The key findings revealed that females pursuing a science degree or subsequent science-related career, shared their experience with other females interested in science as a career choice, dealt with barriers standing in the way of their personal goals, lack role models, and received little or no support from family and friends. The study findings may offer information to female college students interested in pursuing science-related careers and further foundational research on gender disparities in career choice.
Drinkwater, Michael J; Matthews, Kelly E; Seiler, Jacob
While there is a wealth of research evidencing the benefits of active-learning approaches, the extent to which these teaching practices are adopted in the sciences is not well known. The aim of this study is to establish an evidential baseline of teaching practices across a bachelor of science degree program at a large research-intensive Australian university. Our purpose is to contribute to knowledge on the adoption levels of evidence-based teaching practices by faculty within a science degree program and inform our science curriculum review in practical terms. We used the Teaching Practices Inventory (TPI) to measure the use of evidence-based teaching approaches in 129 courses (units of study) across 13 departments. We compared the results with those from a Canadian institution to identify areas in need of improvement at our institution. We applied a regression analysis to the data and found that the adoption of evidence-based teaching practices differs by discipline and is higher in first-year classes at our institution. The study demonstrates that the TPI can be used in different institutional contexts and provides data that can inform practice and policy. © 2017 M. J. Drinkwater et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2017 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Kumar, David Devraj; Dunn, Jessica
Analysis of self-reflections of undergraduate education students in a project involving web-supported counterintuitive science demonstrations is reported in this paper. Participating students (N = 19) taught science with counterintuitive demonstrations in local elementary school classrooms and used web-based resources accessed via wireless USB adapters. Student reflections to seven questions were analyzed qualitatively using four components of reflection (meeting objectives/perception of learning, dynamics of pedagogy, special needs accommodations, improving teaching) deriving 27 initial data categories and 12 emergent themes. Overall the undergraduates reported meeting objectives, engaging students in pedagogically relevant learning tasks including, providing accommodations to students with special needs, and gaining practice and insight to improve their own teaching. Additional research is needed to arrive at generalizable findings concerning teaching with web-supported counterintuitive science demonstrations in elementary classrooms.
Taylor, Gemma; Canessa, Stefano; Clarke, Rohan H; Ingwersen, Dean; Armstrong, Doug P; Seddon, Philip J; Ewen, John G
Reintroduction biology is a field of scientific research that aims to inform translocations of endangered species. We review two decades of published literature to evaluate whether reintroduction science is evolving in its decision-support role, as called for by advocates of evidence-based conservation. Reintroduction research increasingly addresses a priori hypotheses, but remains largely focused on short-term population establishment. Similarly, studies that directly assist decisions by explicitly comparing alternative management actions remain a minority. A small set of case studies demonstrate full integration of research in the reintroduction decision process. We encourage the use of tools that embed research in decision-making, particularly the explicit consideration of multiple management alternatives because this is the crux of any management decisions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Olivares-Donoso, Ruby; González, Carlos
Over the last 25 years, both research literature and practice-oriented reports have claimed the need for improving the quality of undergraduate science education through linking research and teaching. Two manners of doing this are reported: undergraduate research and research-based courses. Although there are studies reporting benefits of participating in these experiences, few synthesize their findings. In this article, we present a literature review aimed at synthesizing and comparing results of the impact of participating in these research experiences to establish which approach is most beneficial for students to develop as scientists. Twenty studies on student participation in undergraduate research and research-based courses were reviewed. Results show that both types of experiences have positive effects on students. These results have implications for both practice and research. Regarding practice, we propose ideas for designing and implementing experiences that combine both types of experiences. Concerning research, we identify some methodological limitations that should be addressed in further studies.
Winter, Charles A.
This book provides job descriptions and discusses career opportunities in various fields of the biological sciences. These fields include: (1) biotechnology, genetics, biomedical engineering, microbiology, mycology, systematic biology, marine and aquatic biology, botany, plant physiology, plant pathology, ecology, and wildlife biology; (2) the…
The International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences (IJBCS) is a journal ... IJBCS publishes original research papers, critical up-to-date and concise ... Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ohio ...
Salm, Ann E.
The quantitative Undergraduate Research Questionnaire (URQ) is used to assess the impact of undergraduate research mentorship affects, such as informal conversations, supportive faculty and/or peer interactions, on student confidence and motivation to continue working, learning or researching in the sciences (Taraban & Logue, 2012). Research…
Tsaushu, Masha; Tal, Tali; Sagy, Ornit; Kali, Yael; Gepstein, Shimon; Zilberstein, Dan
This study offers an innovative and sustainable instructional model for an introductory undergraduate course. The model was gradually implemented during 3 yr in a research university in a large-lecture biology course that enrolled biology majors and nonmajors. It gives priority to sources not used enough to enhance active learning in higher education: technology and the students themselves. Most of the lectures were replaced with continuous individual learning and 1-mo group learning of one topic, both supported by an interactive online tutorial. Assessment included open-ended complex questions requiring higher-order thinking skills that were added to the traditional multiple-choice (MC) exam. Analysis of students’ outcomes indicates no significant difference among the three intervention versions in the MC questions of the exam, while students who took part in active-learning groups at the advanced version of the model had significantly higher scores in the more demanding open-ended questions compared with their counterparts. We believe that social-constructivist learning of one topic during 1 mo has significantly contributed to student deep learning across topics. It developed a biological discourse, which is more typical to advanced stages of learning biology, and changed the image of instructors from “knowledge transmitters” to “role model scientists.” PMID:23222836
Tsaushu, Masha; Tal, Tali; Sagy, Ornit; Kali, Yael; Gepstein, Shimon; Zilberstein, Dan
This study offers an innovative and sustainable instructional model for an introductory undergraduate course. The model was gradually implemented during 3 yr in a research university in a large-lecture biology course that enrolled biology majors and nonmajors. It gives priority to sources not used enough to enhance active learning in higher education: technology and the students themselves. Most of the lectures were replaced with continuous individual learning and 1-mo group learning of one topic, both supported by an interactive online tutorial. Assessment included open-ended complex questions requiring higher-order thinking skills that were added to the traditional multiple-choice (MC) exam. Analysis of students' outcomes indicates no significant difference among the three intervention versions in the MC questions of the exam, while students who took part in active-learning groups at the advanced version of the model had significantly higher scores in the more demanding open-ended questions compared with their counterparts. We believe that social-constructivist learning of one topic during 1 mo has significantly contributed to student deep learning across topics. It developed a biological discourse, which is more typical to advanced stages of learning biology, and changed the image of instructors from "knowledge transmitters" to "role model scientists."
Charlton, Bruce G
It is plausible to assume that in the future science will form the compulsory core element both of school curricula and multi-disciplinary undergraduate degrees. But for this to happen entails a shift in the emphasis and methods of science teaching, away from the traditional concern with educating specialists and professionals. Traditional science teaching was essentially vocational, designed to provide precise and comprehensive scientific knowledge for practical application. By contrast, future science teaching will be a general education, hence primarily conceptual. Its aim should be to provide an education in flexible rationality. Vocational science teaching was focused on a single-discipline undergraduate degree, but a general education in abstract systematic thinking is best inculcated by studying several scientific disciplines. In this sense, 'science' is understood as mathematics and the natural sciences, but also the abstract and systematic aspects of disciplines such as economics, linguistics, music theory, history, sociology, political science and management science. Such a wide variety of science options in a multi-disciplinary degree will increase the possibility of student motivation and aptitude. Specialist vocational science education will progressively be shifted to post-graduate level, in Masters and Doctoral programs. A multi-disciplinary and conceptually-based science core curriculum should provide an appropriate preparation for dealing with the demands of modern societies; their complex and rapidly changing social systems; and the need for individual social and professional mobility. Training in rational conceptual thinking also has potential benefits to human health and happiness, since it allows people to over-ride inappropriate instincts, integrate conflicting desires and pursue long-term goals.
Marchut, Amber E.
Diversifying the student population and workforce under science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is a necessity if innovations and creativity are to expand. There has not been a lot of literature regarding Deaf students in STEM especially regarding understanding how they persist in STEM undergraduate programs to successfully become STEM Bachelor of Science degree recipients. This study addresses the literature gap by investigating six students' experiences as they navigate their STEM undergraduate programs. The investigation uses narrative inquiry methodology and grounded theory method through the lens of Critical Race Theory and Critical Deaf Theory. Using videotaped interviews and observations, their experiences are highlighted using narratives portraying them as individuals surviving in a society that tends to perceive being deaf as a deficit that needs to be treated or cured. The data analysis also resulted in a conceptual model providing a description of how they persist. The crucial aspect of the conceptual model is the participants learned how to manage being deaf in a hearing-dominated society so they can reach their aspirations. The essential blocks for the persistence and managing their identities as deaf undergraduate STEMs include working harder, relying on familial support, and affirming themselves. Through the narratives and conceptual model of the six Deaf STEM undergraduates, the goal is to contribute to literature to promote a better understanding of the persistence of Deaf students, members of a marginalized group, as they pursue their dreams.
Fischer, E. V.; Adams, A. S.; Barnes, R.; Bloodhart, B.; Burt, M. A.; Clinton, S. M.; Godfrey, E. S.; Pollack, I. B.; Hernandez, P. R.
Women are substantially underrepresented in the earth and environmental sciences, and that underrepresentation begins at the undergraduate level. In fall 2015, an interdisciplinary team including expertise in the broader geosciences as well as gender and quantitative educational psychology began a project focused on understanding whether mentoring can increase the interest, persistence, and achievement of undergraduate women in the geosciences. The program focuses on mentoring 1st and 2nd year female undergraduate students from five universities in Colorado and Wyoming and four universities in North and South Carolina. The mentoring program includes a weekend workshop, access to professional women across geoscience fields, and both in-person and virtual peer networks. We have found that undergraduate women with large mentoring networks, that include faculty mentors, are more likely to identify as scientists and are more committed to pursuing the geosciences. Our presentation will provide an overview of the major components of our effective and scalable program. We will include a discussion of our first published results in the context of larger social science research on how to foster effective mentoring relationships. We will offer a list of successes and challenges, and we will provide the audience with online links to the materials needed to adopt our model (https://geosciencewomen.org/materials/).
Köseoglu, Pinar; Köksal, Mustafa Serdar
The purpose of this study was to investigate epistemological predictors of nature of science understandings of 281 prospective biology teachers surveyed using the Epistemological Beliefs Scale Regarding Science and the Nature of Science Scale. The findings on multiple linear regression showed that understandings about definition of science and…
Thøgersen, Jacob; Airey, John
formal and condensed style as compared to the rhetorical style in L1. Finally, the potential consequences of these quantitative and qualitative differences for student learning are discussed. Research highlights ¿ We analyse five science lectures: three in Danish (L1) and two in English (L2). ¿ The same...
Alakpodia, Onome Norah
The purpose of this study was to examine social networking use among Library and Information Science students of the Delta State University, Abraka. In this study, students completed a questionnaire which assessed their familiarity with social networking sites, the purpose for which they use social networking site and their most preferred sites to…
compared Arts and Science students in these skills, there were significant ... central to occupational competence in all sectors and all levels, including project management, leadership, communication, working in teams and problem solving. ..... France has initiated various reforms, one of which established 'doctoral schools' ...
Howard, Z R; Donalson, L M; Kim, W K; Li, X; Zabala Díaz, I; Landers, K L; Maciorowski, K G; Ricke, S C
Because food and poultry industries are demanding an improvement in written communication skills among graduates, research paper writing should be an integral part of a senior undergraduate class. However, scientific writing assignments are often treated as secondary to developing the technical skills of the students. Scientific research paper writing has been emphasized in an undergraduate course on advanced food microbiology taught in the Poultry Science Department at Texas A& M University (College Station, TX). Students' opinions suggest that research paper writing as part of a senior course in Poultry Science provides students with scientific communication skills and useful training for their career, but more emphasis on reading and understanding scientific literature may be required.
Kordahl, Hilde Lund; Fougner, Marit
Professional health science education includes a common theoretical basis concerning the theory of science, ethics and communication. Former evaluations by first-year students of the bachelor physiotherapy program at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA) show that they find it hard to understand the relation between these particular topics and future professional practice. This challenge is the starting point for a pedagogical development project that aims to develop learning contexts that highlight the relevance of these theoretical concepts. The aim of the study is to explore and present findings on the value of using Sykegrep manual skills classes as an arena in which students can be encouraged to think about, reflect on and appreciate the role and value of the philosophical perspectives that inform their practice and contributes to practise knowledge. A qualitative study with data collection through focus groups was performed and analyzed using thematic content analysis. Eighteen first-year undergraduate students, who had completed the manual skills course, participated in the study. Analysis of the data yielded three categories of findings that can be associated with aspects of philosophy of science, ethics and communication. These are as follows: 1) preconceived understanding of physiotherapy; 2) body knowledge perspectives; and 3) relational aspects of interactions. Undergraduate students' understanding and experience of philosophy of science, ethics and communication may be facilitated by peer collaboration, reflection on intimacy and touch and the ethical aspects of interaction during manual skills training. Practical classes in Sykegrep provide a basis for students' discussions about the body as well as their experiences with the body in the collaborative learning context. The students' reflections on their expectations of manual skills in physiotherapy and experiences of touch and being touched can facilitate an awareness of
Stevens, Stacy Mckimm
There has been much research to suggest that a single-sex college experience for female undergraduate students can increase self-confidence and leadership ability during the college years and beyond. The results of previous studies also suggest that these students achieve in the workforce and enter graduate school at higher rates than their female peers graduating from coeducational institutions. However, some researchers have questioned these findings, suggesting that it is the selectivity level of the colleges rather than the comprised gender of the students that causes these differences. The purpose of this study was to justify the continuation of single-sex educational opportunities for females at the post-secondary level by examining the effects that college selectivity, college type, and time have on the rate of undergraduate females pursuing majors in non-traditional fields. The study examined the percentage of physical science, life science, math and computer science, and social science degrees conferred upon females graduating from women's colleges from 1985-2001, as compared to those at comparable coeducational colleges. Sampling for this study consisted of 42 liberal arts women's (n = 21) and coeducational (n = 21) colleges. Variables included the type of college, the selectivity level of the college, and the effect of time on the percentage of female graduates. Doubly multivariate repeated measures analysis of variance testing revealed significant main effects for college selectivity on social science graduates, and time on both life science and math and computer science graduates. Significant interaction was also found between the college type and time on social science graduates, as well as the college type, selectivity level, and time on math and computer science graduates. Implications of the results and suggestions for further research are discussed.
Sarmani, S.B.; Yahaya, R.B.; Yasir, M.S.; Majid, A.Ab.; Khoo, K.S.; Rahman, I.A.; Mohamed, F.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia offered an undergraduate degree program in Nuclear Science since 1980 and the programme has undergone several modifications due to changes in national policy and priority. The programme covers nuclear sub-disciplines such as nuclear physics, radiobiology, radiochemistry, radiation chemistry and radiation safety. The radiochemistry component consists of radiochemistry, chemistry in nuclear industry, radiochemical analysis laboratory, radiopharmaceutical chemistry subjects and mini research project in radiochemistry. (author)
Liddicoat, Joseph; Roberts, Godfrey; Liddicoat, Kendra; Porzecanski, Ana Luz; Mendez, Martin; McMullen, David
Online courses in the Natural Sciences are taught three ways at New York University to undergraduate students majoring in the liberal arts and professional programs - synchronous courses in which students communicate online with the instructor and classmates in real time, asynchronous courses when faculty present course material for students to access and learn at their leisure, and hybrid or blended courses when part is taught asynchronously and part is taught face-to-face in a classroom with all students present. We have done online courses each way - Global Ecology (synchronous); Stars, Planets, and Life (synchronous and asynchronous); Darwin to DNA: An Overview of Evolution (asynchronous); Biodiversity Conservation (asynchronous); and Biology of Hunger and Population (blended). We will present the advantages and challenges we experienced teaching courses online in this fashion. Besides the advantages listed in the description for this session, another can be programmed learning that allows a set of sequential steps or a more complex branching of steps that allows students to repeat lessons multiple times to master the material. And from an academic standpoint, course content and assessment can be standardized, making it possible for each student to learn the same material. Challenges include resistance to online learning by a host of stakeholders who might be educators, students, parents, and the community. Equally challenging might be the readiness of instructors and students to teach and learn online. Student integrity issues such as plagiarism and cheating are a concern in a course taught online (Thormann and Zimmerman, 2012), so we will discuss our strategies to mitigate them.
Shen, Kuan-Ming; Lee, Min-Hsien; Tsai, Chin-Chung; Chang, Chun-Yen
In the area of science education research, studies have attempted to investigate conceptions of learning, approaches to learning, and self-efficacy, mainly focusing on science in general or on specific subjects such as biology, physics, and chemistry. However, few empirical studies have probed students' earth science learning. This study aimed to…
Brownell, Sara E.; Kloser, Matthew J.; Fukami, Tadishi; Shavelson, Rich
Over the past decade, several reports have recommended a shift in undergraduate biology laboratory courses from traditionally structured, often described as "cookbook," to authentic research-based experiences. This study compares a cookbook-type laboratory course to a research-based undergraduate biology laboratory course at a Research 1…
Nevle, R. J.; Watson Nelson, T.; Harris, J. M.; Klemperer, S. L.
In 2012, the School of Earth Sciences (SES) at Stanford University sponsored two summer undergraduate research programs. Here we describe these programs and efforts to build a cohesive research cohort among the programs' diverse participants. The two programs, the Stanford School of Earth Sciences Undergraduate Research (SESUR) Program and Stanford School of Earth Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research in Geoscience and Engineering (SURGE) Program, serve different undergraduate populations and have somewhat different objectives, but both provide students with opportunities to work on strongly mentored yet individualized research projects. In addition to research, enrichment activities co-sponsored by both programs support the development of community within the combined SES summer undergraduate research cohort. Over the course of 6 to 9 months, the SESUR Program engages Stanford undergraduates, primarily rising sophomores and juniors, with opportunities to deeply explore Earth sciences research while learning about diverse areas of inquiry within SES. Now in its eleventh year, the SESUR experience incorporates the breadth of the scientific endeavor: finding an advisor, proposal writing, obtaining funding, conducting research, and presenting results. Goals of the SESUR program include (1) providing a challenging and rewarding research experience for undergraduates who wish to explore the Earth sciences; (2) fostering interdisciplinary study in the Earth sciences among the undergraduate population; and (3) encouraging students to major or minor in the Earth sciences and/or to complete advanced undergraduate research in one of the departments or programs within SES. The SURGE Program, now in its second year, draws high performing students, primarily rising juniors and seniors, from 14 colleges and universities nationwide, including Stanford. Seventy percent of SURGE students are from racial/ethnic backgrounds underrepresented in STEM fields, and approximately one
Beach, Dale L; Alvarez, Consuelo J
Synthetic biology offers an ideal opportunity to promote undergraduate laboratory courses with research-style projects, immersing students in an inquiry-based program that enhances the experience of the scientific process. We designed a semester-long, project-based laboratory curriculum using synthetic biology principles to develop a novel sensory device. Students develop subject matter knowledge of molecular genetics and practical skills relevant to molecular biology, recombinant DNA techniques, and information literacy. During the spring semesters of 2014 and 2015, the Synthetic Biology Laboratory Project was delivered to sophomore genetics courses. Using a cloning strategy based on standardized BioBrick genetic "parts," students construct a "reporter plasmid" expressing a reporter gene (GFP) controlled by a hybrid promoter regulated by the lac-repressor protein (lacI). In combination with a "sensor plasmid," the production of the reporter phenotype is inhibited in the presence of a target environmental agent, arabinose. When arabinose is absent, constitutive GFP expression makes cells glow green. But the presence of arabinose activates a second promoter (pBAD) to produce a lac-repressor protein that will inhibit GFP production. Student learning was assessed relative to five learning objectives, using a student survey administered at the beginning (pre-survey) and end (post-survey) of the course, and an additional 15 open-ended questions from five graded Progress Report assignments collected throughout the course. Students demonstrated significant learning gains (p Biology Laboratory Project enhanced their understanding of molecular genetics. The laboratory project is highly adaptable for both introductory and advanced courses.
P. Avila Jr.
Full Text Available Exponential growing of scientific and technological knowledge of nowadayssociety demands new abilities and competences of theirs citizens. In the otherhand, the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTsand the low cost of equipments provide a new teaching strategy, namely distanceeducation, through intranet or internet. The familiarity with of scientific methodstimulates autonomy in obtaining information, critical thinking and logical analysisof data. These are useful abilities for science students as well as for commoncitizens. Aiming the development of such abilities a distance course wasdeveloped in 45 hours, using mainly forum and chat in the Claroline platform withtechnical support of the Centro Nacional de Supercomputação da UFRGS. All thestudents attending the course were from Fundação Faculdade Federal deCiências Médicas de Porto Alegre. In this course the following topics wereexplored: (1 scientific knowledge x common sense, (2 different conceptions ofscience, (3 scientific method, (4 different categories of science publications, (5principles of Logic, (6 deduction x induction (7 paper analysis simulation.Scientific project writing was taught/learned through the following items: (1 choiceof a problem, (2 bibliography revision, (3 agencies for funding, (4 projectpresentation by videoconference and (5 analysis of results.The course was evaluated by Likert-type questionnaire and the results fromstudents and teachers indicate a very successful outcome.
Gosak, Marko; Markovič, Rene; Dolenšek, Jurij; Slak Rupnik, Marjan; Marhl, Marko; Stožer, Andraž; Perc, Matjaž
Network science is today established as a backbone for description of structure and function of various physical, chemical, biological, technological, and social systems. Here we review recent advances in the study of complex biological systems that were inspired and enabled by methods of network science. First, we present
An expanding ethnicity gap exists in the number of students pursuing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers in the United States. The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering revealed that the number of minorities pursuing STEM degrees and careers has declined over the past few years. The specific origins of this trend are not quite evident; one variable to consider is that undergraduate minority students are failing in STEM disciplines at various levels of education from elementary to postsecondary. The failure of female and minority students to enter STEM disciplines in higher education have led various initiatives to establish programs to promote STEM disciplines among these groups. Additional funding for minority STEM programs have led to a increase in undergraduate minority students entering STEM disciplines, but the minority students' graduation rate in STEM disciplines is approximately 7% lower than the graduation of nonminority students in STEM disciplines. This phenomenological qualitative research study explores the lived experiences of underrepresented minority undergraduate college students participating in an undergraduate minority-mentoring program. The following nine themes emerged from the study: (a) competitiveness, (b) public perception, (c) dedication, (d) self-perception, (e) program activities, (f) time management, (g) exposure to career and graduate opportunities, (h) rigor in the curriculum, and (i) peer mentoring. The themes provided answers and outcomes to better support a stronger minority representation in STEM disciplines.
Pearson, Regis C; Crandall, K Jason; Dispennette, Kathryn; Maples, Jill M
Applied research experiences can provide numerous benefits to undergraduate students, however few studies have assessed the perceptions of Exercise Science (EXS) students to an applied research experience. The purpose of this study was two-fold: 1) to describe the rationale and implementation of an applied research experience into an EXS curriculum and 2) to evaluate EXS undergraduate students' perceptions of an applied research experience. An EXS measurement course was chosen for implementation of an applied research experience. The applied research experience required groups of students to design, implement, and evaluate a student-led research project. Fourteen questions were constructed, tailored to EXS undergraduate students, to assess students' perceptions of the experience. Qualitative analysis was used for all applicable data, with repeated trends noted; quantitative data were collapsed to determine frequencies. There was an overall positive student perception of the experience and 85.7% of students agreed an applied research experience should be continued. 84.7% of students perceived the experience as educationally enriching, while 92.8% reported the experience was academically challenging. This experience allowed students to develop comprehensive solutions to problems that arose throughout the semester; while facilitating communication, collaboration, and problem solving. Students believed research experiences were beneficial, but could be time consuming when paired with other responsibilities. Results suggest an applied research experience has the potential to help further the development of EXS undergraduate students. Understanding student perceptions of an applied research experience may prove useful to faculty interested in engaging students in the research process.
Fulmer, Gavin W.
Attitudes toward science are an important aspect of students' persistence in school science and interest in pursuing future science careers, but students' attitudes typically decline over the course of formal schooling. This study examines relationships of students' attitudes toward science with their perceptions of science as inclusive or non-religious, and their epistemological beliefs about epistemic authority and certainty. Data were collected using an online survey system among undergraduates at a large, public US university (n = 582). Data were prepared using a Rasch rating scale model and then analyzed using multiple-regression analysis. Gender and number of science and mathematics courses were included as control variables, followed by perceptions of science, then epistemological beliefs. Findings show that respondents have more positive attitudes when they perceive science to be inclusive of women and minorities, and when they perceive science to be incompatible with religion. Respondents also have more positive attitudes toward science when they believe scientific knowledge is uncertain, and when they believe knowledge derives from authority. Interpretations of these findings and implications for future research are discussed.
Full Text Available Although there is a broad agreement among scientists and science educators that students should not only learn science, but also acquire some sense of its nature, it has been reported that undergraduate students possess an inadequate grasp of the nature of science (NOS. The study presented here examined the potential and effectiveness of Nobel Prize stories as a vehicle for teaching NOS. For this purpose, a 36-hour course, “Albert Einstein’s Nobel Prize and the Nature of Science,” was developed and conducted in Taiwan Normal University. Ten undergraduate physics students participated in the course. Analysis of the Views of Nature of Science questionnaires completed by the students before and after the course, as well as the students’ own presentations of Nobel Prize stories (with an emphasis on how NOS characteristics are reflected in the story, showed that the students who participated in the course enriched their views concerning all aspects of NOS. The paper concludes with some suggestions for applying the novel idea of using Nobel Prize stories in physics classrooms.
Havyer, Rachel D; Norby, Suzanne M; Leep Hunderfund, Andrea N; Starr, Stephanie R; Lang, Tara R; Wolanskyj, Alexandra P; Reed, Darcy A
The changing healthcare landscape requires physicians to develop new knowledge and skills such as high-value care, systems improvement, population health, and team-based care, which together may be referred to as the Science of Health Care Delivery (SHCD). To engender public trust and confidence, educators must be able to meaningfully assess physicians' abilities in SHCD. We aimed to develop a novel set of SHCD milestones based on published Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) milestones that can be used by medical schools to assess medical students' competence in SHCD. We reviewed all ACGME milestones for 25 specialties available in September 2013. We used an iterative, qualitative process to group the ACGME milestones into SHCD content domains, from which SHCD milestones were derived. The SHCD milestones were categorized within the current ACGME core competencies and were also mapped to Association of American Medical Colleges' Entrustable Professional Activities (AAMC EPAs). Fifteen SHCD sub-competencies and corresponding milestones are provided, grouped within ACGME core competencies and mapped to multiple AAMC EPAs. This novel set of milestones, grounded within the existing ACGME competencies, defines fundamental expectations within SHCD that can be used and adapted by medical schools in the assessment of medical students in this emerging curricular area. These milestones provide a blueprint for SHCD content and assessment as ongoing revisions to milestones and curricula occur.
Reed, D.; Garfield, N.; Locke, J.; Anglin, J.; Karl, H.; Edwards, B.
The WWW provides for new collaborations in distributed learning in higher education. The lead author has developed a highly successful online course at the undergraduate level with an enrollment of more than 300 non-science majors each year, We are currently initiating a new focus for the course by emphasizing sea-going research, primarily in the northeastern Pacific Ocean, through the development of a virtual oceanographic voyage over the WWW. The "virtual voyage" courseware combines elements of experiential learning with anytime, anywhere access of the WWW to stimulate inquiry-based learning in the ocean sciences. The first leg of the voyage is currently being synthesized from contemporary ocean research sponsored by a collaboration of U.S. government agencies, including NSF, NOAA, and the USGS. The initial portion of this effort involves transforming portions of USGS Circular 1198, Beyond the Golden Gate -- Oceanography, Geology, Biology, and Environmental Issues in the Gulf of the Farallones, into an interactive expedition by which students participate as scientists aboard a research vessel departing from San Francisco. Virtual experiments on the voyage are patterned after research cruises over the past decade in two national marine sanctuaries and include the technologies of data acquisition and data analysis, as well as providing insight into the methodologies of working marine scientists. Real-time data for monitoring the marine environment are embedded into several modules; for example, students will analyze data from offshore buoys and satellite imagery to assess ocean conditions prior to departing from port. Multibeam sonar is used to create seafloor maps near the Golden Gate Bridge and sediment cores provide evidence of sea-level change in the region. Environmental studies in the region include locating canisters of low-level radioactive waste and assessing potential sites for the disposal for dredged materials from the San Francisco Bay. Upon completion
Fernando Perpétuo Elias
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Simulation techniques are spreading rapidly in medicine. Suc h resources are increasingly concentrated in Simulation Laboratories. The MSRP-USP is structuring such a laboratory and is interested in the prevalence of individual initiatives that could be centralized there. The MSRP-USP currently has five full-curriculum courses in the health sciences: Medicine, Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Nutrition, and Occupational Therapy, all consisting of core disciplines. GOAL: To determine the prevalence of simulation techniques in the regular courses at MSRP-USP. METHODS: Coordinators of disciplines in the various courses were interviewed using a specifically designed semi-structured questionnaire, and all the collected data were stored in a dedicated database. The disciplines were grouped according to whether they used (GI or did not use (GII simulation resources. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: 256 disciplines were analyzed, of which only 18.3% used simulation techniques, varying according to course: Medicine (24.7.3%, Occupational Therapy (23.0%, Nutrition (15.9%, Physical Therapy (9.8%, and Speech Therapy (9.1%. Computer simulation programs predominated (42.5% in all five courses. The resources were provided mainly by MSRP-USP (56.3%, with additional funding coming from other sources based on individual initiatives. The same pattern was observed for maintenance. There was great interest in centralizing the resources in the new Simulation Laboratory in order to facilitate maintenance, but there was concern about training and access to the material. CONCLUSIONS: 1 The MSRP-USP simulation resources show low complexity and are mainly limited to computer programs; 2 Use of simulation varies according to course, and is most prevalent in Medicine; 3 Resources are scattered across several locations, and their acquisition and maintenance depend on individual initiatives rather than central coordination or curricular guidelines
Mighell, A J
The technical aspects of dentistry need to be practised with insight into the spectrum of human diseases and illnesses and how these impact upon individuals and society. Application of this insight is critical to decision-making related to the planning and delivery of safe and appropriate patient-centred healthcare tailored to the needs of the individual. Provision for the necessary training is included in undergraduate programmes, but in the United Kingdom and Ireland there is considerable variation between centres without common outcomes. In 2009 representatives from 17 undergraduate dental schools in the United Kingdom and Ireland agreed to move towards a common, shared approach to meet their own immediate needs and that might also be of value to others in keeping with the Bologna Process. To provide a clear identity the term \\'Clinical Medical Sciences in Dentistry\\' was agreed in preference to other names such as \\'Human Disease\\' or \\'Medicine and Surgery\\'. The group was challenged to define consensus outcomes. Contemporary dental education documents informed, but did not drive the process. The consensus curriculum for undergraduate Clinical Medical Sciences in Dentistry teaching agreed by the participating centres is reported. Many of the issues are generic and it includes elements that are likely to be applicable to others. This document will act as a focus for a more unified approach to the outcomes required by graduates of the participating centres and act as a catalyst for future developments that ultimately aim to enhance the quality of patient care.
Jones, B.; Patino, L. C.
Preparation of the future professional geoscience workforce includes increasing numbers as well as providing adequate education, exposure and training for undergraduates once they enter geoscience pathways. It is important to consider potential career trajectories for geoscience students, as these inform the types of education and skill-learning required. Recent reports have highlighted that critical thinking and problem-solving skills, spatial and temporal abilities, strong quantitative skills, and the ability to work in teams are among the priorities for many geoscience work environments. The increasing focus of geoscience work on societal issues (e.g., climate change impacts) opens the door to engaging a diverse population of students. In light of this, one challenge is to find effective strategies for "opening the world of possibilities" in the geosciences for these students and supporting them at the critical junctures where they might choose an alternative pathway to geosciences or otherwise leave altogether. To address these and related matters, The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) has supported two rounds of the IUSE: GEOPATHS Program, to create and support innovative and inclusive projects to build the future geoscience workforce. This program is one component in NSF's Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) initiative, which is a comprehensive, Foundation-wide effort to accelerate the quality and effectiveness of the education of undergraduates in all of the STEM fields. The two tracks of IUSE: GEOPATHS (EXTRA and IMPACT) seek to broaden and strengthen connections and activities that will engage and retain undergraduate students in geoscience education and career pathways, and help prepare them for a variety of careers. The long-term goal of this program is to dramatically increase the number and diversity of students earning undergraduate degrees or enrolling in graduate programs in geoscience fields, as well as
Andrews, Sarah E.; Runyon, Christopher; Aikens, Melissa L.
In response to calls to improve the quantitative training of undergraduate biology students, there have been increased efforts to better integrate math into biology curricula. One challenge of such efforts is negative student attitudes toward math, which are thought to be particularly prevalent among biology students. According to theory, students’ personal values toward using math in a biological context will influence their achievement and behavioral outcomes, but a validated instrument is needed to determine this empirically. We developed the Math–Biology Values Instrument (MBVI), an 11-item college-level self-report instrument grounded in expectancy-value theory, to measure life science students’ interest in using math to understand biology, the perceived usefulness of math to their life science career, and the cost of using math in biology courses. We used a process that integrates multiple forms of validity evidence to show that scores from the MBVI can be used as a valid measure of a student’s value of math in the context of biology. The MBVI can be used by instructors and researchers to help identify instructional strategies that influence math–biology values and understand how math–biology values are related to students’ achievement and decisions to pursue more advanced quantitative-based courses. PMID:28747355
Ali S Radeef
Full Text Available Background: This study aims to compare the prevalence of psychological distress between medical and science undergraduate students and to assess the sources of stressors that are attributing to it. Methods: A sample of 697 undergraduate students participated in this study, in which 501 were medical students and the remaining 196 were Science students. Psychological distress was assessed using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire. The students were given a list of possible sources of stress which were chosen depending on previous studies. Results: The overall prevalence of psychological distress was 32.6%. Science students showed a significantly higher rate and mean score of psychological distress than medical students, and the mean score was significantly higher during the clinical phase rather than the pre-clinical phase in medical students. Overall, female students had a significantly higher mean score than males, however although the mean score was higher in females it was only significant in the pre-clinical phase. In addition to academic and psychological stressors, factors such as reduced holidays, lack of time for relaxation, and limitation of leisure/entertainment time were among the top ten stressors reported by the students. Conclusions: Psychological distress is common among university students, and it is higher among science students than medical students. Academic and psychological factors can be considered as sources of stressors which may precipitate psychological distress among college students.
Ormand, C. J.; Shipley, T. F.; Dutrow, B. L.; Goodwin, L. B.; Hickson, T. A.; Tikoff, B.; Atit, K.; Gagnier, K. M.; Resnick, I.
Spatial visualization is an essential skill in the STEM disciplines, including the geological sciences. Undergraduate students, including geoscience majors in upper-level courses, bring a wide range of spatial skill levels to the classroom. Students with weak spatial skills may struggle to understand fundamental concepts and to solve geological problems with a spatial component. However, spatial thinking skills are malleable. Using strategies that have emerged from cognitive science research, we developed a set of curricular materials that improve undergraduate geology majors' abilities to reason about 3D concepts and to solve spatially complex geological problems. Cognitive science research on spatial thinking demonstrates that predictive sketching, making visual comparisons, gesturing, and the use of analogy can be used to develop students' spatial thinking skills. We conducted a three-year study of the efficacy of these strategies in strengthening the spatial skills of students in core geology courses at three universities. Our methodology is a quasi-experimental quantitative design, utilizing pre- and post-tests of spatial thinking skills, assessments of spatial problem-solving skills, and a control group comprised of students not exposed to our new curricular materials. Students taught using the new curricular materials show improvement in spatial thinking skills. Further analysis of our data, to be completed prior to AGU, will answer additional questions about the relationship between spatial skills and academic performance, spatial skills and gender, spatial skills and confidence, and the impact of our curricular materials on students who are struggling academically. Teaching spatial thinking in the context of discipline-based exercises has the potential to transform undergraduate education in the geological sciences by removing one significant barrier to success.
Gilligan, M. R.; Cox, T. M.; Hintz, C. J.
and contracts totaling 11.7 million. HBCUs are disproportionately more effective in training significant numbers of African American students in the sciences. Although they enrolled only 11.1% of African-American undergraduates and 9.4% of African American graduate students in fall 2007 in the U.S., they awarded 33.3% of undergraduate and 24% of master's degrees earned by African-Americans in Biological, biomedical and, physical sciences, and science technologies in 2006 and 2007. Commitments to the development of non-traditional academic and research programs at HBCUs and other minority serving institutions should be expanded to increase demographic diversity in the ocean sciences.
Skinner, Ellen; Saxton, Emily; Currie, Cailin; Shusterman, Gwen
As part of long-standing efforts to promote undergraduates' success in science, researchers have investigated the instructional strategies and motivational factors that promote student learning and persistence in science coursework and majors. This study aimed to create a set of brief measures that educators and researchers can use as tools to examine the undergraduate motivational experience in science classes. To identify key motivational processes, we drew on self-determination theory (SDT), which holds that students have fundamental needs - to feel competent, related, and autonomous - that fuel their intrinsic motivation. When educational experiences meet these needs, students engage more energetically and learn more, cumulatively contributing to a positive identity as a scientist. Based on information provided by 1013 students from 8 classes in biology, chemistry, and physics, we constructed conceptually focused and psychometrically sound survey measures of three sets of motivational factors: (1) students' appraisals of their own competence, autonomy, and relatedness; (2) the quality of students' behavioural and emotional engagement in academic work; and (3) students' emerging identities as scientists, including their science identity, purpose in science, and science career plans. Using an iterative confirmatory process, we tested short item sets for unidimensionality and internal consistency, and then cross-validated them. Tests of measurement invariance showed that scales were generally comparable across disciplines. Most importantly, scales and final course grades showed correlations consistent with predictions from SDT. These measures may provide a window on the student motivational experience for educators, researchers, and interventionists who aim to improve the quality of undergraduate science teaching and learning.
Pujana, I.; Stern, R. J.; Ledbetter, C. E.
With NSF-CCLI funding, we have developed, taught, and evaluated a new lower-division science course for non-majors, entitled "Geography, Resources, and Environment of Hispanic America" (GRELA). This is an adaptation of a similar course, "Geology and Development of Modern Africa" developed by Barbara Tewksbury (Hamilton College), to attract African American students to science by highlighting cultural ties with their ancestral lands. We think that a similar approach focusing on Latin America may attract Hispanic undergraduates, at the same time that it increases awareness among non-Hispanic students about challenges facing our neighbors to the south. GRELA is an interdisciplinary exploration of how the physical and biological environment of Mexico, Central America, and South America have influenced the people who live there. The course consists of 20 lectures and requires the student to present a report partnering with correspondents in Latin American universities. GRELA begins with an overview of Latin American physical and cultural geography and geologic evolution followed by a series of modules that relate the natural resources and environment of Latin America to the history, economy, and culture of the region. This is followed by an exploration of pre-Columbian cultures. The use of metals by pre-Columbian, colonial, and modern cultures is presented next. We then discuss hydrocarbon resources, geothermal energy, and natural hazards of volcanoes and earthquakes. The last half of the course focuses on Earth System Science themes, including El Nino, glaciers, the Amazon river and rainforest, and coral reefs. The final presentation concerns population growth and water resources along the US-Mexico border. Grades are based on two midterms, one final, and a project which requires that groups of students communicate with scientists in Latin America to explore some aspect of geography, natural resources, or the environment of a Latin American region of common interest
White, Harold B.; Benore, Marilee A.; Sumter, Takita F.; Caldwell, Benjamin D.; Bell, Ellis
Biochemistry and molecular biology (BMB) students should demonstrate proficiency in the foundational concepts of the discipline and possess the skills needed to practice as professionals. To ascertain the skills that should be required, groups of BMB educators met in several focused workshops to discuss the expectations with the ultimate goal of clearly articulating the skills required. The results of these discussions highlight the critical importance of experimental, mathematical, and interpersonal skills including collaboration, teamwork, safety, and ethics. The groups also found experimental design, data interpretation and analysiand the ability to communicate findings to diverse audience to be essential skills. To aid in the development of appropriate assessments these skills are grouped into three categories, 1) Process of Science, 2) Communication and Comprehension of Science, and 3) Community of Practice Aspects of Science. Finally, the groups worked to align these competencies with the best practices in both teaching and in skills assessment. PMID:24019246
Koran, J.J. Jr. [Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL (United States)
Twenty-four undergraduate science and mathematics majors who were juniors and seniors in the colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Engineering were recruited, and paid, to participate in an orientation seminar and act as teacher aides in regional schools and the Florida Museum of Natural History. Aides worked with teachers in the schools one semester and as docents in the natural history museum a second semester. Mentoring took place by the principal investigator and participating teachers and docents throughout the program. Success of the program was measured by a specially prepared attitude instrument which was administered to participants before the mentoring started and when it ended each semester. Written logs (field notes) were also prepared and submitted by participants at the end of each semester. Further, a tally was kept of the number of participants who decided to go into science or mathematics teaching as a result of the experience.
Pierret, Chris; Friedrichsen, Patricia
The intersection of science and our society has led to legal and ethical issues in which we all play a part. To support development of scientific literacy, college science courses need to engage students in difficult dialogues around ethical issues. We describe a new course, Stem Cells and Society, in which students explore the basic biology of…
Behavioral science and behavioral medicine have not been systematically taught to Japanese undergraduate medical students. A working group under the auspices of Japanese Society of Behavioral Medicine developed an outcome-oriented curriculum of behavioral science/behavioral medicine through three processes: identifying the curriculum contents, holding a joint symposium with related societies, and defining outcomes and proposing a learning module. The behavioral science/behavioral medicine core curriculum consists of 11 units of lectures and four units of practical study. The working group plans to improve the current core curriculum by devising formative assessment methods so that students can learn and acquire attitude as well as the skills and knowledge necessary for student-centered clinical practice.
Semsar, Katharine; Knight, Jennifer K.; Birol, Gülnur; Smith, Michelle K.
This paper describes a newly adapted instrument for measuring novice-to-expert-like perceptions about biology: the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey for Biology (CLASS-Bio). Consisting of 31 Likert-scale statements, CLASS-Bio probes a range of perceptions that vary between experts and novices, including enjoyment of the discipline, propensity to make connections to the real world, recognition of conceptual connections underlying knowledge, and problem-solving strategies. CLASS-Bio has been tested for response validity with both undergraduate students and experts (biology PhDs), allowing student responses to be directly compared with a consensus expert response. Use of CLASS-Bio to date suggests that introductory biology courses have the same challenges as introductory physics and chemistry courses: namely, students shift toward more novice-like perceptions following instruction. However, students in upper-division biology courses do not show the same novice-like shifts. CLASS-Bio can also be paired with other assessments to: 1) examine how student perceptions impact learning and conceptual understanding of biology, and 2) assess and evaluate how pedagogical techniques help students develop both expertise in problem solving and an expert-like appreciation of the nature of biology. PMID:21885823
Semsar, Katharine; Knight, Jennifer K; Birol, Gülnur; Smith, Michelle K
This paper describes a newly adapted instrument for measuring novice-to-expert-like perceptions about biology: the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey for Biology (CLASS-Bio). Consisting of 31 Likert-scale statements, CLASS-Bio probes a range of perceptions that vary between experts and novices, including enjoyment of the discipline, propensity to make connections to the real world, recognition of conceptual connections underlying knowledge, and problem-solving strategies. CLASS-Bio has been tested for response validity with both undergraduate students and experts (biology PhDs), allowing student responses to be directly compared with a consensus expert response. Use of CLASS-Bio to date suggests that introductory biology courses have the same challenges as introductory physics and chemistry courses: namely, students shift toward more novice-like perceptions following instruction. However, students in upper-division biology courses do not show the same novice-like shifts. CLASS-Bio can also be paired with other assessments to: 1) examine how student perceptions impact learning and conceptual understanding of biology, and 2) assess and evaluate how pedagogical techniques help students develop both expertise in problem solving and an expert-like appreciation of the nature of biology.
The following dissertation focuses on a case study that uses critical theory, social learning theory, identity theory, liberal feminine theory, and motivation theory to conduct a narrative describing the lived experience of females and their performance in two highly selective private university, where students can cross-register between school, while majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Through the use of narratives, the research attempts to shed additional light on the informal and formal science learning experiences that motivates young females to major in STEM in order to help increase the number of women entering STEM careers and retaining women in STEM majors. In the addition to the narratives, surveys were performed to encompass a larger audience while looking for themes and phenomena which explore what captivates and motivates young females' interests in science and continues to nurture and facilitate their growth throughout high school and college, and propel them into a major in STEM in college. The purpose of this study was to uncover the lived experiences of junior and senior undergraduate female science majors during their formal and informal education, their science motivation to learn science, their science identities, and any experiences in gender inequity they may have encountered. The findings have implications for young women deciding on future careers and majors through early exposure and guidance, understanding and recognizing what gender discrimination, and the positive effects of mentorships.
Abdelhafiz, Ahmed Samir; Fouda, Merhan Ahmed; El-Jaafary, Shaimaa Ibrahim; Farghly, Maysa Ibrahim; Salem, Mazen; Tammam, Ahmed; Gabr, Hala
Biobanking is a relatively new concept in the Arab region. Targeting different stakeholders to introduce the concept of biobanking and develop an acceptance of it among them is important for the growth of biobanking in the region. Undergraduate students of life sciences represent an important segment of stakeholders, since they constitute potential future biobank customers. Limited funding, lack of awareness of the existence of the term "biobanking" itself among these students, and questions regarding best marketing strategies presented challenges to planning for the most effective message delivery to this target group. A specific course was designed for undergraduate students of life sciences, which was conducted at the Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt. The course was conducted twice in 2016 and included lectures covering biobanking, quality, ethics, information technology, and translational research. Facebook and word-of-mouth were used for marketing and advertising. A total number of 125 participants attended both courses cumulatively. Facebook appeared to have been an effective marketing outlet, especially when paid advertisements were used. Evaluation of knowledge, measured using a pretest and posttest, demonstrated some improvement in knowledge of participants. Evaluation forms filled after the course showed positive attitude toward content and message delivery by a majority of participants. Facebook was also used as an evaluation method through analysis of engagement with posts created after course completion. Biobanking education can be carried out effectively with limited resources. Understanding the needs of the target group and using appropriate methods of communication are essential prerequisites to a well-tailored curriculum and effective message delivery. Using Facebook appears to be an effective and affordable method of communication and advertising. Targeting undergraduate students of life sciences interested in research is a good
Wagner, T.; Langley-Turnbaugh, S. J.; Sanford, R.
The Department of Environmental Science at the University of Southern Maine implemented a problem-based, cohort-learning curriculum for undergraduate environmental science majors. The curriculum was based on a five-course sequence patterned after the outline of a scientific paper. Under faculty guidance, students select local environmental…
Balcazar G, M.; Chavez B, A.
Nuclear technologies and their development have influenced many aspects of modern life. Besides used for electricity production nuclear technologies are applied in many other fields, especially in biological sciences. In genetics and molecular biology they enable research resulting in increased food production and better food preservation. Usage in material sciences lead to new varieties of plastics or improved characteristics. Nuclear applications are used in pe troleum industries and in forecasting geothermic power. Radiobiology and radiotherapy enable diagnosis and therapy of several diseases, e.g. cancer. Nuclear technologies also contribute to preserve the environment. They offer methods to analyse as well as decrease the environmental impacts. The 5. conference cyle entitled 'The Radiations and the Biological Sciences' aims to inform students of biological sciences about new nuclear technologies applied in their field of interest
Gravitational and space biology organizations and journals. American Institute of ... of Scientific Unions (now the International Council for. Science). COSPAR ... Greek Aerospace Medical Association & Space Research. (GASMA). Provides ...
theory as applied to biological systems. ... methods to follow the course of chemical reactions devised by. K Fukui and R .... optimize the structure of organic molecules using classical-em- pirical potential ..... science or engineering dis- ciplines.
Kaemingk, Mark A.; Dembkowski, Daniel J.; Meyer, Hilary A.; Gigliotti, Larry M.
In today's job market, having a successful career in the fisheries and wildlife sciences is becoming more dependent on obtaining an advanced degree. As a result, competition for getting accepted into a graduate program is fierce. Our objective for this study was to provide prospective graduate students some insights as to what qualifications or attributes would best prepare them for obtaining a graduate position (M.S.) and to excel once they are enrolled in a graduate program. A survey was sent to 50 universities within the National Association of University Fisheries and Wildlife Programs (NAUFWP) where both faculty and undergraduate students were asked questions relating to graduate school. Faculty rated the importance of various criteria and attributes of graduate school, and students answered the questions according to how they believed faculty members would respond. Overall, undergraduate students shared many of the same graduate school viewpoints as those held by faculty members. However, viewpoints differed on some topics related to admittance and the most important accomplishment of a graduate student while enrolled in a graduate program. These results indicate that undergraduate students may be better prepared for graduate school—and they may understand how to be successful once they are enrolled in a program—than was initially thought.
Balke, V.L.; McDowell, J.V.; Bennett, J.A.; Hayes, C.J.; Tansey, J.T.; Bernhard, A.E.; Boomer, S.M.; Baltzley, M.J.; Latham, K.L.; Morgan, S.K.; Briggs, A.G.; Choudhary, M.; Myagmarjav, B.; Trahan, C.; Bavishi, A.
Delaware Technical Community College (DTCC) is one of the pilot schools involved in the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI) which is responding to the call for reform of undergraduate science education. The major tenet of this initiative is to engage students early in their course of study by embedding undergraduate research into the curriculum. At DTCC this is accomplished by incorporating research-based laboratories, case studies, and problem-based learning activitie...
Marriott, F H C
Basic Mathematics for the Biological and Social Sciences deals with the applications of basic mathematics in the biological and social sciences. Mathematical concepts that are discussed in this book include graphical methods, differentiation, trigonometrical or circular functions, limits and convergence, integration, vectors, and differential equations. The exponential function and related functions are also considered. This monograph is comprised of 11 chapters and begins with an overview of basic algebra, followed by an introduction to infinitesimal calculus, scalar and vector quantities, co
Goodwin, Sarah S
The Internet hosts an abundance of science video resources aimed at communicating scientific knowledge, including webinars, massive open online courses, and TED talks. Although these videos are efficient at disseminating information for diverse types of users, they often do not demonstrate the process of doing science, the excitement of scientific discovery, or how new scientific knowledge is developed. iBiology (www.ibiology.org), a project that creates open-access science videos about biology research and science-related topics, seeks to fill this need by producing videos by science leaders that make their ideas, stories, and experiences available to anyone with an Internet connection. © 2014 Goodwin. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
AFRICAN JOURNALS ONLINE (AJOL) · Journals · Advanced Search · USING AJOL ... toxicology, biotechnology, biostatistics, bioinformatics, environmental biology, ... IJBCS publishes original research papers, critical up-to-date and concise ...
Items 1 - 50 of 71 ... Anatomy Journal of Africa is the Official Journal for the Association of Anatomical ... It publishes original articles pertaining to various aspects of renal ... in all fields of experimental biology including biochemistry, physiology, ...
Nesse, Randolph M.; Bergstrom, Carl T.; Ellison, Peter T.; Flier, Jeffrey S.; Gluckman, Peter; Govindaraju, Diddahally R.; Niethammer, Dietrich; Omenn, Gilbert S.; Perlman, Robert L.; Schwartz, Mark D.; Thomas, Mark G.; Stearns, Stephen C.; Valle, David
New applications of evolutionary biology in medicine are being discovered at an accelerating rate, but few physicians have sufficient educational background to use them fully. This article summarizes suggestions from several groups that have considered how evolutionary biology can be useful in medicine, what physicians should learn about it, and when and how they should learn it. Our general conclusion is that evolutionary biology is a crucial basic science for medicine. In addition to looking at established evolutionary methods and topics, such as population genetics and pathogen evolution, we highlight questions about why natural selection leaves bodies vulnerable to disease. Knowledge about evolution provides physicians with an integrative framework that links otherwise disparate bits of knowledge. It replaces the prevalent view of bodies as machines with a biological view of bodies shaped by evolutionary processes. Like other basic sciences, evolutionary biology needs to be taught both before and during medical school. Most introductory biology courses are insufficient to establish competency in evolutionary biology. Premedical students need evolution courses, possibly ones that emphasize medically relevant aspects. In medical school, evolutionary biology should be taught as one of the basic medical sciences. This will require a course that reviews basic principles and specific medical applications, followed by an integrated presentation of evolutionary aspects that apply to each disease and organ system. Evolutionary biology is not just another topic vying for inclusion in the curriculum; it is an essential foundation for a biological understanding of health and disease. PMID:19918069
O' Brien, Janese C. [Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)
Likedlessentid sciences, anal~cd chetis~continues toreinvent itself. Moving beyond its traditional roles of identification and quantification, analytical chemistry is now expanding its frontiers into areas previously reserved to other disciplines. This work describes several research efforts that lie at the new interfaces between analytical chemistry and two of these disciplines, namely materials science and biology. In the materials science realm, the search for new materials that may have useful or unique chromatographic properties motivated the synthesis and characterization of electrically conductive sol-gels. In the biology realm, the search for new surface fabrication schemes that would permit or even improve the detection of specific biological reactions motivated the design of miniaturized biological arrays. Collectively, this work represents some of analytical chemistry’s newest forays into these disciplines. The introduction section to this dissertation provides a literature review on several of the key aspects of this work. In advance of the materials science discussion, a brief introduction into electrochemically-modulated liquid chromatography (EMLC) and sol-gel chemistry is provided. In advance of the biological discussions, brief overviews of scanning force microscopy (SFM) and the oxidative chemistry used to construct our biological arrays are provided. This section is followed by four chapters, each of which is presented as a separate manuscript, and focuses on work that describes some of our cross-disciplinary efforts within materials science and biology. This dissertation concludes with a general summary and future prospectus.
Sparks-Thissen, Rebecca L
Biology education is undergoing a transformation toward a more student-centered, inquiry-driven classroom. Many educators have designed engaging assignments that are designed to help undergraduate students gain exposure to the scientific process and data analysis. One of these types of assignments is use of a grant proposal assignment. Many instructors have used these assignments in lecture-based courses to help students process information in the literature and apply that information to a novel problem such as design of an antiviral drug or a vaccine. These assignments have been helpful in engaging students in the scientific process in the absence of an inquiry-driven laboratory. This commentary discusses the application of these grant proposal writing assignments to undergraduate biology courses. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Mercer-Mapstone, Lucy; Kuchel, Louise
Communication skills are one of five nationally recognised learning outcomes for an Australian Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree. Previous evidence indicates that communication skills taught in Australian undergraduate science degrees are not developed sufficiently to meet the requirements of the modern-day workplace-a problem faced in the UK and USA also. Curriculum development in this area, however, hinges on first evaluating how communication skills are taught currently as a base from which to make effective changes. This study aimed to quantify the current standard of communication education within BSc degrees at Australian research-intensive universities. A detailed evidential baseline for not only what but also how communication skills are being taught was established. We quantified which communication skills were taught and assessed explicitly, implicitly, or were absent in a range of undergraduate science assessment tasks (n = 35) from four research-intensive Australian universities. Results indicate that 10 of the 12 core science communication skills used for evaluation were absent from more than 50% of assessment tasks and 77.14% of all assessment tasks taught less than 5 core communication skills explicitly. The design of assessment tasks significantly affected whether communication skills were taught explicitly. Prominent trends were that communication skills in tasks aimed at non-scientific audiences were taught more explicitly than in tasks aimed at scientific audiences, and the majority of group and multimedia tasks taught communication elements more explicitly than individual, or written and oral tasks. Implications for science communication in the BSc and further research are discussed.
Marbach-Ad, Gili; Rietschel, Carly; Thompson, Katerina V.
We present a novel assessment tool for measuring biology students' values and experiences across their undergraduate degree program. Our Survey of Teaching Beliefs and Practices for Undergraduates (STEP-U) assesses the extent to which students value skills needed for the workplace (e.g., ability to work in groups) and their experiences with…
Andrews, Sarah E; Runyon, Christopher; Aikens, Melissa L
In response to calls to improve the quantitative training of undergraduate biology students, there have been increased efforts to better integrate math into biology curricula. One challenge of such efforts is negative student attitudes toward math, which are thought to be particularly prevalent among biology students. According to theory, students' personal values toward using math in a biological context will influence their achievement and behavioral outcomes, but a validated instrument is needed to determine this empirically. We developed the Math-Biology Values Instrument (MBVI), an 11-item college-level self--report instrument grounded in expectancy-value theory, to measure life science students' interest in using math to understand biology, the perceived usefulness of math to their life science career, and the cost of using math in biology courses. We used a process that integrates multiple forms of validity evidence to show that scores from the MBVI can be used as a valid measure of a student's value of math in the context of biology. The MBVI can be used by instructors and researchers to help identify instructional strategies that influence math-biology values and understand how math-biology values are related to students' achievement and decisions to pursue more advanced quantitative-based courses. © 2017 S. E. Andrews et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2017 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Bryant, John; la Velle, Linda Baggott
Points out the importance of awareness among biologists and biology teachers of the ethical and social implications of their work. Describes the bioethics module established at the University of Exeter mainly targeting students majoring in biology and science education. (Contains 18 references.) (Author/YDS)
Boogerd, F.; Bruggeman, F.; Jonker, C.M.; Looren de Jong, H.; Tamminga, A.; Treur, J.; Westerhoff, H.V.; Wijngaards, W.C.A.
Investigations into inter-level relations in computer science, biology and psychology call for an empirical turn in the philosophy of mind. Rather than concentrate on a priori discussions of inter-level relations between 'completed' sciences, a case is made for the actual study of the way
Boogerd, F.C.; Bruggeman, F.J.; Jonker, C.M.; Looren De Jong, H.; Tamminga, A.M.; Treur, J.; Westerhoff, H.V.; Wijngaards, W.C.A.
Investigations into inter-level relations in computer science, biology and psychology call for an empirical turn in the philosophy of mind. Rather than concentrate on a priori discussions of inter-level relations between "completed" sciences, a case is made for the actual study of the way
Boogerd, Fred; Bruggeman, Frank; Jonker, Catholijn; Looren de Jong, Huib; Tamminga, Allard; Treur, Jan; Westerhoff, Hans; Wijngaards, Wouter
Investigations into inter-level relations in computer science, biology and psychology call for an *empirical* turn in the philosophy of mind. Rather than concentrate on *a priori* discussions of inter-level relations between “completed” sciences, a case is made for the actual study of the way
Susanti, R.; Anwar, Y.; Ermayanti
This study aims to obtain portrayal images of science process skills among preservice biology teacher. This research took place in Sriwijaya University and involved 41 participants. To collect the data, this study used multiple choice test comprising 40 items to measure the mastery of science process skills. The data were then analyzed in descriptive manner. The results showed that communication aspect outperfomed the other skills with that 81%; while the lowest one was identifying variables and predicting (59%). In addition, basic science process skills was 72%; whereas for integrated skills was a bit lower, 67%. In general, the capability of doing science process skills varies among preservice biology teachers.
Jamie L. Jensen
Full Text Available Recent recommendations for educational research encourage empirically tested, theory-based, completely transparent, and broadly applicable studies. In light of these recommendations, we call for a research standard and community of practice in the evaluation of technology use in the undergraduate life science classroom. We outline appropriate research methodology, review and critique the past research on technology usage and, lastly, suggest a new and improved focus for research on emerging technologies.
Jensen, Jamie L; Dario-Becker, Juville; Hughes, Lee E; Amburn, D Sue Katz; Shaw, Joyce A
Recent recommendations for educational research encourage empirically tested, theory-based, completely transparent, and broadly applicable studies. In light of these recommendations, we call for a research standard and community of practice in the evaluation of technology use in the undergraduate life science classroom. We outline appropriate research methodology, review and critique the past research on technology usage and, lastly, suggest a new and improved focus for research on emerging technologies.
Flohic, Hélène M. L. G.
A common challenge among university professors is how to best design undergraduate courses to successfully enhance students' attitudes. To compare which curriculum was more efficient at fostering a positive attitude towards science in general, I studied the impact of two different general education science courses on the attitudes of college…
Clarkston, B. E.; Garza, C.
The problem of improving diversity within the Ocean Sciences workforce—still underperforming relative to other scientific disciplines—can only be addressed by first recruiting and engaging a more diverse student population into the discipline, then retaining them in the workforce. California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) is home to the Monterey Bay Regional Ocean Science Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. As an HSI with strong ties to multiple regional community colleges and other Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs) in the CSU system, the Monterey Bay REU is uniquely positioned to address the crucial recruitment and engagement of a diverse student body. Eleven sophomore and junior-level undergraduate students are recruited per year from academic institutions where research opportunities in STEM are limited and from groups historically underrepresented in the Ocean Sciences, including women, underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans. During the program, students engage in a 10-week original research project guided by a faculty research mentor in one of four themes: Oceanography, Marine Biology and Ecology, Ocean Engineering, and Marine Geology. In addition to research, students develop scientific self-efficacy and literacy skills through rigorous weekly professional development workshops in which they practice critical thinking, ethical decision-making, peer review, writing and oral communication skills. These workshops include tangible products such as an NSF-style proposal paper, Statement of Purpose and CV modelled for the SACNAS Travel Award Application, research abstract, scientific report and oral presentation. To help retain students in Ocean Sciences, students build community during the REU by living together in the CSUMB dormitories; post-REU, students stay connected through an online facebook group, LinkedIn page and group webinars. To date, the REU has supported 22 students in two
Full Text Available Abstract Background The main challenge of higher education institutions throughout the world is to develop professionals capable of understanding and responding to the current social priorities of our countries. Given the utmost importance of addressing the complex needs of an increasingly elderly population in Mexico, the National Autonomous University of Mexico has systematically incorporated modules dealing with primary gerontological health care into several of its undergraduate programs in health sciences. The objective of this study was to analyze teacher's and student's perceptions about the current educational practices on gerontology. Methods A cross-sectional study was carried out with a sample of 26 teachers and 122 undergraduate students. Subjects were administered interviews and responded survey instrument. Results A vast proportion of the teachers (42% reported students' attitudes towards their academic training as the most important factor affecting learning in the field of gerontology, whereas students reported that the main problems of education in gerontology were theoretical (32% and methodological (28%. In addition, 41% of students considered education on ageing matters as an essential element for their professional development, as compared to 19% of teachers (p Conclusion Our findings suggest that the teachers' perceptions about the low importance of education on ageing matters for the professional practice of health sciences could be a negative factor for gerontology teaching.
Zubaran, Carlos; Lazzaretti, Rubia
To investigate the prevalence of appetite suppressant use among health sciences students in Southern Brazil. Undergraduate students (n=300) from seven health science undergraduate courses of the Universidade de Caxias do Sul completed a questionnaire about the use of substances to suppress appetite. A significant percentage (15%; n=45) of research participants used appetite suppressants at least once in their lives. The most commonly used substances were sympathomimetic stimulant drugs (5%), including amfepramone (3.3%) and fenproporex (1.7%). The lifetime use of appetite suppressants was more prevalent among Nursing (26.7%) and Nutrition (24.4%%) students. There was no reported use of appetite suppressants among medical students. The use of appetite suppressants was significantly more prevalent among women. The majority of those who used these substances did so under medical recommendation. Most of users took appetite suppressants for more than 3 months. Lifetime use of appetite suppressants was substantial, being sympathomimetic stimulant drugs the most commonly used agents. Students enrolled in Nursing and Nutrition courses presented a significantly higher prevalence of lifetime use of appetite suppressants.
Ali Sabri Radeef, Ghasak Ghazi Faisal, Syed Masroor Ali, MaungKoHajee Mohamed Ismail
Full Text Available Introduction: Higher education is considered as a stressful period in students’ life which they have to cope with since they are facing a variety of demands such as living away from their families, a heavily loaded curriculum, and inefficiency in both mentor- mentee and health education programs. This will make them more vulnerable to emotional disturbances such as stress, anxiety and depression. Methodology: A total of 194 undergraduate students from Kulliyyah (Faculty of Science, International Islamic University Malaysia participated in questionnaire-based study using the Depression Anxiety, Stress Scale (DASS-21 to assess the severity of emotional disturbances Results: The overall prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress was 64.4%, 84.5% and 56.7% respectively. Regarding the severity of the symptoms, it was found that 13.9%, 51.5 % and 12.9% of the students have clinically significant depression, anxiety and stress respectively. Young students aged 21 years and below had a statistically significant association with depression, anxiety and stress. While first year students had significant association with depression. Regarding the source of stressors, the top ten stressors decided by the students were mainly academic and personal factors. Conclusion: Emotional disturbances in the form of depression, anxiety and stress are existing in high rate among undergraduate science students that require early intervention. Factors including feeling of incompetence, lack of motivation to learn and difficulty of class work can be considered as source of stressors that may precipitate for depression anxiety and stress.
Full Text Available Senior undergraduate research projects are important components of most undergraduate science degrees. The delivery of such projects in a distance education format is challenging. Athabasca University (AU science project courses allow distance education students to complete research project courses by working with research supervisors in their local area, coordinated at a distance by AU faculty. This paper presents demographics and course performance for 155 students over five years. Pass rates were similar to other distance education courses. Research students were surveyed by questionnaire, and external supervisors and AU faculty were interviewed, to examine the outcomes of these project courses for each group. Students reported high levels of satisfaction with the course, local supervisors, and faculty coordinators. Students also reported that the experience increased their interest in research, and the probability that they would pursue graduate or additional certification. Local supervisors and faculty affirmed that the purposes of project courses are to introduce the student to research, provide opportunity for students to use their cumulative knowledge, develop cognitive abilities, and independent thinking. The advantages and challenges associated with this course model are discussed.
Malte C. Ebach
Full Text Available Saving our science from ourselves: the plight of biological classification. Biological classification ( nomenclature, taxonomy, and systematics is being sold short. The desire for new technologies, faster and cheaper taxonomic descriptions, identifications, and revisions is symptomatic of a lack of appreciation and understanding of classification. The problem of gadget-driven science, a lack of best practice and the inability to accept classification as a descriptive and empirical science are discussed. The worst cases scenario is a future in which classifications are purely artificial and uninformative.
Marbach-Ad, Gili; Rietschel, Carly; Thompson, Katerina V
We present a novel assessment tool for measuring biology students' values and experiences across their undergraduate degree program. Our Survey of Teaching Beliefs and Practices for Undergraduates (STEP-U) assesses the extent to which students value skills needed for the workplace (e.g., ability to work in groups) and their experiences with teaching practices purported to promote such skills (e.g., group work). The survey was validated through factor analyses in a large sample of biology seniors (n = 1389) and through response process analyses (five interviewees). The STEP-U skills items were characterized by two underlying factors: retention (e.g., memorization) and transfer (e.g., knowledge application). Multiple linear regression models were used to examine relationships between classroom experiences, values, and student characteristics (e.g., gender, cumulative grade point average [GPA], and research experience). Student demographic and experiential factors predicted the extent to which students valued particular skills. Students with lower GPAs valued retention skills more than those with higher GPAs. Students with research experience placed greater value on scientific writing and interdisciplinary understanding. Greater experience with specific teaching practices was associated with valuing the corresponding skills more highly. The STEP-U can provide feedback vital for designing curricula that better prepare students for their intended postgraduate careers. © 2016 G. Marbach-Ad et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
I enjoyed reading Gosak et al. review on analysing biological systems from network science perspective . Network science, first started within Physics community, is now a mature multidisciplinary field of science with many applications ranging from Ecology to biology, medicine, social sciences, engineering and computer science. Gosak et al. discussed how biological systems can be modelled and described by complex network theory which is an important application of network science. Although there has been considerable progress in network biology over the past two decades, this is just the beginning and network science has a great deal to offer to biology and medical sciences.
Carley, S.; Tuddenham, P.; Bishop, K. O.
In recent years several geoscience communities have been developing ocean, climate, atmosphere and earth science literacy frameworks as enhancements to the National Science Education Standards content standards. Like the older content standards these new geoscience literacy frameworks have focused on K-12 education although they are also intended for informal education and general public audiences. These geoscience literacy frameworks potentially provide a more integrated and less abstract approach to science literacy that may be more suitable for non-science major students that are not pursuing careers in science research or education. They provide a natural link to contemporary environmental issues - e.g., climate change, resource depletion, species and habitat loss, natural hazards, pollution, development of renewable energy, material recycling. The College of Exploration is an education research non-profit that has provided process and technical support for the development of most of these geoscience literacy frameworks. It has a unique perspective on their development. In the last ten years it has also gained considerable national and international expertise in facilitating web-based workshops that support in-depth conversations among educators and working scientists/researchers on important science topics. These workshops have been of enormous value to educators working in K-12, 4-year institutions and community colleges. How can these geoscience literacy frameworks promote more collaborative inquiry-based learning that enhances the appreciation of scientific thinking by non-majors? How can web- and mobile-based education technologies transform the undergraduate non-major survey course into a place where learners begin their passion for science literacy rather than end it? How do we assess science literacy in students and citizens?
Lin, Chen-Yung; Hu, Reping; Changlai, Miao-Li
The new 1-9 curriculum framework in Taiwan provides a remarkable change from previous frameworks in terms of the coverage of content and the powers of teachers. This study employs a modified repertory grid technique to investigate biology teachers' preferences with regard to six curriculum components. One hundred and eighty-five in-service and pre-service biology teachers were asked to determine which science curriculum components they liked and disliked most of all to include in their biology classes. The data show that the rank order of these science curriculum components, from top to bottom, was as follows: application of science, manipulation skills, scientific concepts, social/ethical issues, problem-solving skills, and the history of science. They also showed that pre-service biology teachers, as compared with in-service biology teachers, favored problem-solving skills significantly more than manipulative skills, while in-service biology teachers, as compared with pre-service biology teachers, favored manipulative skills significantly more than problem-solving skills. Some recommendations for ensuring the successful implementation of the Taiwanese 1-9 curriculum framework are also proposed.
Items 1 - 50 of 71 ... African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences ... in the promotion of scientific proceedings and publications in developing countries. ... and proteomics, food and agricultural technologies, and metabolic engineering. ... The African Journal of Chemical Education (AJCE) is a biannual online journal ...
This study aimed to describe academic impact of Philosophy of Science course in change of students’ conceptions on the Nature of science (NOS) before and after attending the course. This study followed one group pretest-posttest design. Treatment in this study was Philosophy of Science course for one semester. Misconception diagnostic tests of the NOS had been developed by Suyono et al. (2015) equipped with Certainty of Response Index (CRI). It consists of 15 concept questions about the NOS. The number of students who were tested on Chemistry Education Program (CEP) and Chemistry Program (CP) respectively 42 and 45 students. This study shows that after the learning of Philosophy of Science course happened: (1) the decrease of the number of misconception students on the NOS from 47.47 to 19.20% in CEP and from 47.47 to 18.18% in CP and (2) the decrease in the number of concepts that understood as misconception by the large number of students from 11 to 2 concepts on the CEP and from 10 to 2 concepts on CP. Therefore, the existence of Philosophy of Science course has a positive academic impact on students from both programs on undergraduate level.
Pacifici, Lara Brongo; Thomson, Norman
Most students participating in science undergraduate research (UR) plan to attend either medical school or graduate school. This study examines possible differences between premed and non–premed students in their influences to do research and expectations of research. Questionnaire responses from 55 premed students and 80 non–premed students were analyzed. No differences existed in the expectations of research between the two groups, but attitudes toward science and intrinsic motivation to learn more about science were significantly higher for non–premed students. Follow-up interviews with 11 of the students, including a case study with one premed student, provided explanation for the observed differences. Premed students, while not motivated to learn more about science, were motivated to help people, which is why most of them are pursuing medicine. They viewed research as a way to help them become doctors and to rule out the possibility of research as a career. Non–premed students participated in research to learn more about a specific science topic and gain experience that may be helpful in graduate school research. The difference in the reasons students want to do UR may be used to tailor UR experiences for students planning to go to graduate school or medical school. PMID:21633068
Pacifici, Lara Brongo; Thomson, Norman
Most students participating in science undergraduate research (UR) plan to attend either medical school or graduate school. This study examines possible differences between premed and non-premed students in their influences to do research and expectations of research. Questionnaire responses from 55 premed students and 80 non-premed students were analyzed. No differences existed in the expectations of research between the two groups, but attitudes toward science and intrinsic motivation to learn more about science were significantly higher for non-premed students. Follow-up interviews with 11 of the students, including a case study with one premed student, provided explanation for the observed differences. Premed students, while not motivated to learn more about science, were motivated to help people, which is why most of them are pursuing medicine. They viewed research as a way to help them become doctors and to rule out the possibility of research as a career. Non-premed students participated in research to learn more about a specific science topic and gain experience that may be helpful in graduate school research. The difference in the reasons students want to do UR may be used to tailor UR experiences for students planning to go to graduate school or medical school.
Within the coming decade, the demand for well-trained pharmacists is expected to only increase, especially with the aging of the United States (US) population. To help fill this growing demand, the University of California, Irvine (UCI) aims to offer a unique pre-pharmacy degree program and has developed a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences to help achieve this goal. In this commentary, we share our experience with our curriculum and highlight its features in an effort to encourage other institutions to enhance the learning experience of their pre-pharmacy students. The efforts of the UCI Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences has resulted in UCI being consistently ranked as one of the top feeder institutions by the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) in recent years. The UCI Pharmaceutical Sciences Bachelor of Science offers a unique pre-pharmacy educational experience in an effort to better prepare undergraduates for the rigors of the doctorate of pharmacy curriculum. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Maloney, Mark; Parker, Jeffrey; LeBlanc, Mark; Woodard, Craig T.; Glackin, Mary; Hanrahan, Michael
Recent advances involving high-throughput techniques for data generation and analysis have made familiarity with basic bioinformatics concepts and programs a necessity in the biological sciences. Undergraduate students increasingly need training in methods related to finding and retrieving information stored in vast databases. The rapid rise of…
Wallace, Michael L.
This exploratory study assessed the influence of an implicit, inquiry-oriented nature of science (NOS) instructional approach undertaken in an interdisciplinary college science course on undergraduate honor students' (UHS) understanding of the aspects of NOS for scientific work and scientific knowledge. In this study, the nature of scientific work concentrated upon the delineation of science from pseudoscience and the value scientists place on reproducibility. The nature of scientific knowledge concentrated upon how UHS view scientific theories and how they believe scientists utilize scientific theories in their research. The 39 UHS who participated in the study were non-science majors enrolled in a Honors College sponsored interdisciplinary science course where the instructors took an implicit NOS instructional approach. An open-ended assessment instrument, the UFO Scenario, was designed for the course and used to assess UHS' images of science at the beginning and end of the semester. The mixed-design study employed both qualitative and quantitative techniques to analyze the open-ended responses. The qualitative techniques of open and axial coding were utilized to find recurring themes within UHS' responses. McNemar's chi-square test for two dependent samples was used to identify whether any statistically significant changes occurred within responses from the beginning to the end of the semester. At the start of the study, the majority of UHS held mixed NOS views, but were able to accurately define what a scientific theory is and explicate how scientists utilize theories within scientific research. Postinstruction assessment indicated that UHS did not make significant gains in their understanding of the nature of scientific work or scientific knowledge and their overall images of science remained static. The results of the present study found implicit NOS instruction even with an extensive inquiry-oriented component was an ineffective approach for modifying UHS
Full Text Available For the implementation of the virtual cell, the fundamental question is how to model and simulate complex biological networks. Therefore, based on relevant molecular database and information systems, biological data integration is an essential step in constructing biological networks. In this paper, we will motivate the applications BioDWH - an integration toolkit for building life science data warehouses, CardioVINEdb - a information system for biological data in cardiovascular-disease and VANESA- a network editor for modeling and simulation of biological networks. Based on this integration process, the system supports the generation of biological network models. A case study of a cardiovascular-disease related gene-regulated biological network is also presented.
Kormeier, Benjamin; Hippe, Klaus; Arrigo, Patrizio; Töpel, Thoralf; Janowski, Sebastian; Hofestädt, Ralf
For the implementation of the virtual cell, the fundamental question is how to model and simulate complex biological networks. Therefore, based on relevant molecular database and information systems, biological data integration is an essential step in constructing biological networks. In this paper, we will motivate the applications BioDWH--an integration toolkit for building life science data warehouses, CardioVINEdb--a information system for biological data in cardiovascular-disease and VANESA--a network editor for modeling and simulation of biological networks. Based on this integration process, the system supports the generation of biological network models. A case study of a cardiovascular-disease related gene-regulated biological network is also presented.
Grunspan, Daniel Z; Eddy, Sarah L; Brownell, Sara E; Wiggins, Benjamin L; Crowe, Alison J; Goodreau, Steven M
Women who start college in one of the natural or physical sciences leave in greater proportions than their male peers. The reasons for this difference are complex, and one possible contributing factor is the social environment women experience in the classroom. Using social network analysis, we explore how gender influences the confidence that college-level biology students have in each other's mastery of biology. Results reveal that males are more likely than females to be named by peers as being knowledgeable about the course content. This effect increases as the term progresses, and persists even after controlling for class performance and outspokenness. The bias in nominations is specifically due to males over-nominating their male peers relative to their performance. The over-nomination of male peers is commensurate with an overestimation of male grades by 0.57 points on a 4 point grade scale, indicating a strong male bias among males when assessing their classmates. Females, in contrast, nominated equitably based on student performance rather than gender, suggesting they lacked gender biases in filling out these surveys. These trends persist across eleven surveys taken in three different iterations of the same Biology course. In every class, the most renowned students are always male. This favoring of males by peers could influence student self-confidence, and thus persistence in this STEM discipline.
Coetzee, Tanya; Hoffmann, Willem A; de Roubaix, Malcolm
The amended research ethics policy at a South African University required the ethics review of undergraduate research projects, prompting the need to explore the content and teaching approach of research ethics education in health science undergraduate programs. Two qualitative data collection strategies were used: document analysis (syllabi and study guides) and semi-structured interviews with research methodology coordinators. Five main themes emerged: (a) timing of research ethics courses, (b) research ethics course content, (c) sub-optimal use of creative classroom activities to facilitate research ethics lectures, (d) understanding the need for undergraduate project research ethics review, and (e) research ethics capacity training for research methodology lecturers and undergraduate project supervisors. © The Author(s) 2015.
Blockus, Linda Helen
The purpose of this study is to describe and explore some of the social and academic experiences of successful African American undergraduate science majors at predominately White universities with the expectation of conceptualizing emerging patterns for future study. The study surveyed 80 upperclass African Americans at 11 public research universities about their perceptions of the influences that affect their educational experiences and career interests in science. The mailed survey included the Persistence/ voluntary Dropout Decision Scale, the Cultural Congruity Scale and the University Environment Scale. A variety of potential influences were considered including family background, career goals, psychosocial development, academic and social connections with the university, faculty relationships, environmental fit, retention factors, validation, participation in mentored research projects and other experiences. The students' sources of influences, opportunities for connection, and cultural values were considered in the context of a research university environment and investigated for emerging themes and direction for future research. Results indicate that performance in coursework appears to be the most salient factor in African American students' experience as science majors. The mean college gpa was 3.01 for students in this study. Challenging content, time demands, study habits and concern with poor grades all serve to discourage students; however, for most of the students in this study, it has not dissuaded them from their educational and career plans. Positive course performance provided encouragement. Science faculty provide less influence than family members, and more students find faculty members discouraging than supportive. Measures of faculty relations were not associated with academic success. No evidence was provided to confirm the disadvantages of being female in a scientific discipline. Students were concerned with lack of minority role models
Prevost, Luanna B; Lemons, Paula P
This study uses the theoretical framework of domain-specific problem solving to explore the procedures students use to solve multiple-choice problems about biology concepts. We designed several multiple-choice problems and administered them on four exams. We trained students to produce written descriptions of how they solved the problem, and this allowed us to systematically investigate their problem-solving procedures. We identified a range of procedures and organized them as domain general, domain specific, or hybrid. We also identified domain-general and domain-specific errors made by students during problem solving. We found that students use domain-general and hybrid procedures more frequently when solving lower-order problems than higher-order problems, while they use domain-specific procedures more frequently when solving higher-order problems. Additionally, the more domain-specific procedures students used, the higher the likelihood that they would answer the problem correctly, up to five procedures. However, if students used just one domain-general procedure, they were as likely to answer the problem correctly as if they had used two to five domain-general procedures. Our findings provide a categorization scheme and framework for additional research on biology problem solving and suggest several important implications for researchers and instructors. © 2016 L. B. Prevost and P. P. Lemons. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Liddicoat, Joseph; Bower, Peter
Brownfield Action (BA) is a web-based, interactive, three dimensional digital space and learning simulation in which students form geotechnical consulting companies and work collectively to explore problems in environmental forensics. Created at Barnard College (BC) in conjunction with the Center for New Media Teaching and Learning at Columbia University, BA has a 12-year history at BC of use in one semester of a two-semester Introduction to Environmental Science course that is taken by more than 100 female undergraduate non-science majors to satisfy their science requirement. The pedagogical methods and design of the BA model are grounded in a substantial research literature focused on the design, use, and effectiveness of games and simulation in education. The successful use of the BA simulation at BC and 14 other institutions in the U.S. is described in Bower et al. (2011 and 2014). Soon to be taught online to non-traditional undergraduate students, BA has 15 modules that include a reconnaissance survey; scale; topographic, bedrock, and water table maps; oral and written reports from residents and the municipal government; porosity and permeability measurements of the regolith (sand) in the area of interest; hydrocarbon chemistry; direction and velocity of groundwater flow; and methods of geophysical exploration (soil gas, ground penetrating radar, magnetic metal detection, excavation, and drilling). Student performance is assessed by weekly exercises and a semester ending Environmental Site Assessment Phase I Report that summarizes the individual and collective discoveries about a contaminated subsurface plume that emanates from a leaking underground storage tank at a gasoline station upgrade from the water well that serves the surrounding community. Texts for the course are Jonathan Harr's A Civil Action and Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, which are accompanied by questions that direct the reading.
Linshiz, Gregory; Goldberg, Alex; Konry, Tania; Hillson, Nathan J
Synthetic biology is a nascent field that emerged in earnest only around the turn of the millennium. It aims to engineer new biological systems and impart new biological functionality, often through genetic modifications. The design and construction of new biological systems is a complex, multistep process, requiring multidisciplinary collaborative efforts from "fusion" scientists who have formal training in computer science or engineering, as well as hands-on biological expertise. The public has high expectations for synthetic biology and eagerly anticipates the development of solutions to the major challenges facing humanity. This article discusses laboratory practices and the conduct of research in synthetic biology. It argues that the fusion science approach, which integrates biology with computer science and engineering best practices, including standardization, process optimization, computer-aided design and laboratory automation, miniaturization, and systematic management, will increase the predictability and reproducibility of experiments and lead to breakthroughs in the construction of new biological systems. The article also discusses several successful fusion projects, including the development of software tools for DNA construction design automation, recursive DNA construction, and the development of integrated microfluidics systems.
Hypolite, Karen L.
Much of the nature of science research has been focused on high school students. High school students are primarily the target of such research to aid and to guide them in making informed decisions about possible career choices in the sciences (Bell, Blair, Crawford, & Lederman, 2002). Moreover, during review of the literature, little to no…
Stiner, K. S.; Graham, S.; Khan, M.; Dilks, J.; Mayer, D.
Each year more than 600 undergraduate students are awarded paid internships at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Laboratories. Th ese interns are paired with research scientists who serve as mentors in authentic research projects. All participants write a research abstract and present at a poster session and/or complete a fulllength research paper. Abstracts and selected papers from our 2007–2008 interns that represent the breadth and depth of undergraduate research performed each year at our National Laboratories are published here in the Journal of Undergraduate Research. The fields in which these students worked included: Biology; Chemistry; Computer Science; Engineering; Environmental Science; General Science; Materials Science; Medical and Health Sciences; Nuclear Science; Physics; Science Policy; and Waste Management.
Kerrison, Dorothy Adair
The primary objective of this pilot study is to provide evidence that a budget-tailored culinary nutrition program is both appropriate and applicable to undergraduate food science students both in everyday life as well as their future health careers. Two validated programs were combined into one program in order to evaluate their combined effects: Cooking With a Chef and Cooking Matters at the Store. The secondary objective of this pilot study is to evaluate the components and reliability of a questionnaire created specifically for this pilot study. A review of past literature was written, which included culinary nutrition as a source of primary prevention, the importance of incorporating cost with culinary nutrition, and the importance of incorporating cost with culinary nutrition. Based on the literature review, it was determined that a budget-tailored culinary nutrition program was appropriate and applicable to undergraduate food science students interested in pursuing health-related careers. The pilot study design was a semi-crossover study: all four groups received the program, however, two groups were first treated as the control groups. All fifty-four participants received 5 sessions of culinary nutrition information from Cooking With a Chef, collaboratively delivered by a nutrition educator and a chef, and one session of information about shopping healthy on a budget from Cooking Matters at the Store in the form of a grocery store tour led by the nutrition educator. Three questionnaires were administered to the participants that evaluated culinary nutrition and price knowledge, cooking attitudes, and opinions of the programs' relevance to participants' everyday lives and careers. Two of the questionnaires, including a questionnaire developed specifically for the pilot study, were delivered as a pre- and post-test while the third questionnaire was delivered as a post-test. Eight random participants also partook in a focus group session led by the nutrition
Brown, Ted; Williams, Brett; McKenna, Lisa; Palermo, Claire; McCall, Louise; Roller, Louis; Hewitt, Lesley; Molloy, Liz; Baird, Marilyn; Aldabah, Ligal
Practical hands-on learning opportunities are viewed as a vital component of the education of health science students, but there is a critical shortage of fieldwork placement experiences. It is therefore important that these clinical learning environments are well suited to students' perceptions and expectations. To investigate how undergraduate students enrolled in health-related education programs view their clinical learning environments and specifically to compare students' perception of their 'actual' clinical learning environment to that of their 'preferred/ideal' clinical learning environment. The Clinical Learning Environment Inventory (CLEI) was used to collect data from 548 undergraduate students (55% response rate) enrolled in all year levels of paramedics, midwifery, radiography and medical imaging, occupational therapy, pharmacy, nutrition and dietetics, physiotherapy and social work at Monash University via convenience sampling. Students were asked to rate their perception of the clinical learning environment at the completion of their placements using the CLEI. Satisfaction of the students enrolled in the health-related disciplines was closely linked with the five constructs measured by the CLEI: Personalization, Student Involvement, Task Orientation, Innovation, and Individualization. Significant differences were found between the student's perception of their 'actual' clinical learning environment and their 'ideal' clinical learning environment. The study highlights the importance of a supportive clinical learning environment that places emphasis on effective two-way communication. A thorough understanding of students' perceptions of their clinical learning environments is essential. Copyright Â© 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Hoskinson, A.-M.; Caballero, M. D.; Knight, J. K.
If students are to successfully grapple with authentic, complex biological problems as scientists and citizens, they need practice solving such problems during their undergraduate years. Physics education researchers have investigated student problem solving for the past three decades. Although physics and biology problems differ in structure and content, the instructional purposes align closely: explaining patterns and processes in the natural world and making predictions about physical and biological systems. In this paper, we discuss how research-supported approaches developed by physics education researchers can be adopted by biologists to enhance student problem-solving skills. First, we compare the problems that biology students are typically asked to solve with authentic, complex problems. We then describe the development of research-validated physics curricula emphasizing process skills in problem solving. We show that solving authentic, complex biology problems requires many of the same skills that practicing physicists and biologists use in representing problems, seeking relationships, making predictions, and verifying or checking solutions. We assert that acquiring these skills can help biology students become competent problem solvers. Finally, we propose how biology scholars can apply lessons from physics education in their classrooms and inspire new studies in biology education research. PMID:23737623
Hoskinson, A-M; Caballero, M D; Knight, J K
If students are to successfully grapple with authentic, complex biological problems as scientists and citizens, they need practice solving such problems during their undergraduate years. Physics education researchers have investigated student problem solving for the past three decades. Although physics and biology problems differ in structure and content, the instructional purposes align closely: explaining patterns and processes in the natural world and making predictions about physical and biological systems. In this paper, we discuss how research-supported approaches developed by physics education researchers can be adopted by biologists to enhance student problem-solving skills. First, we compare the problems that biology students are typically asked to solve with authentic, complex problems. We then describe the development of research-validated physics curricula emphasizing process skills in problem solving. We show that solving authentic, complex biology problems requires many of the same skills that practicing physicists and biologists use in representing problems, seeking relationships, making predictions, and verifying or checking solutions. We assert that acquiring these skills can help biology students become competent problem solvers. Finally, we propose how biology scholars can apply lessons from physics education in their classrooms and inspire new studies in biology education research.
Sutcliffe, Iain C.; Cummings, Stephen P.
Bioinformatics has emerged as an important discipline within the biological sciences that allows scientists to decipher and manage the vast quantities of data (such as genome sequences) that are now available. Consequently, there is an obvious need to provide graduates in biosciences with generic, transferable skills in bioinformatics. We present…
Kim, Younghye; Lee, Jun Ho; Ha, Heonjin; Im, Sang Won; Nam, Ki Tae
Inspired by photosynthesis, artificial systems for a sustainable energy supply are being designed. Each sequential energy conversion process from light to biomass in natural photosynthesis is a valuable model for an energy collection, transport and conversion system. Notwithstanding the numerous lessons of nature that provide inspiration for new developments, the features of natural photosynthesis need to be reengineered to meet man's demands. This review describes recent strategies toward adapting key lessons from natural photosynthesis to artificial systems. We focus on the underlying material science in photosynthesis that combines photosystems as pivotal functional materials and a range of materials into an integrated system. Finally, a perspective on the future development of photosynthesis mimetic energy systems is proposed.
History Teacher, 2013
The author of this essay argues that historians should join their colleagues in the sciences in creating supportive environments for undergraduate research. Despite the apparent hurdles to overcome, historians can devise effective undergraduate research experiences that mimic those occurring in the chemistry, biology, and psychology labs across…
Curreri, P. A. (Editor); Robinson, M. B. (Editor); Murphy, K. L. (Editor)
With the International Space Station Program approaching core complete, our NASA Headquarters sponsor, the new Code U Enterprise, Biological and Physical Research, is shifting its research emphasis from purely fundamental microgravity and biological sciences to strategic research aimed at enabling human missions beyond Earth orbit. Although we anticipate supporting microgravity research on the ISS for some time to come, our laboratory has been vigorously engaged in developing these new strategic research areas.This Technical Memorandum documents the internal science research at our laboratory as presented in a review to Dr. Ann Whitaker, MSFC Science Director, in July 2002. These presentations have been revised and updated as appropriate for this report. It provides a snapshot of the internal science capability of our laboratory as an aid to other NASA organizations and the external scientific community.
Bilgin, Ibrahim; Karakuyu, Yunus; Ay, Yusuf
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of the Project-Based Learning (PBL) method on undergraduate students' achievement and its association with these students' self-efficacy beliefs about science teaching and pinions about PBL. The sample of the study consisted of two randomly chosen classes from a set of seven classes enrolled…
Rolando Quintana Aput
Full Text Available The present paper encloses the analysis of some troubles related to the development of theoretical design concerning the undergraduate thesis at the Cuban University of Informatics Sciences (UIS. This analysis proves to be decisive due to the existing demand for improving professionals training in the fields of investigation related to computing world.
Magjarevic, R [University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Zagreb (Croatia)
All aspects of biomedical engineering and science, from research and development, education and training, implementation in health care systems, internationalisation and globalisation, and other, new issues are present in the strategy and in action plans of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE) which, with help of a large number of highly motivated volunteers, will stay in leading position in biomedical engineering and science.
All aspects of biomedical engineering and science, from research and development, education and training, implementation in health care systems, internationalisation and globalisation, and other, new issues are present in the strategy and in action plans of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE) which, with help of a large number of highly motivated volunteers, will stay in leading position in biomedical engineering and science
Pedrosa-de-Jesus, Helena; Moreira, Aurora; Lopes, Betina; Watts, Mike
Background: Critical thinking is one of the very highest orders of cognitive abilities and a key competency in higher education. Asking questions is an important component of rich learning experiences, structurally embedded in the operations of critical thinking. Our clear sense is that critical thinking and, within that, critical questioning, is heavily context dependent, in the sense that is applied, used by critical learners in a contextualised way. Purpose: Our research deals with enhancing science undergraduates' critical questioning. We are interested in understanding and describing the nature and development of students' critical questioning. The purpose is to conceptualise critical questioning as a competency, into three domains - knowledge, skills and attitudes/dispositions. We have no interest in a taxonomic category of context-free question-types called 'critical questions'. In contrast, our view is that 'being a critical questioner' trades heavily on context. Sources of evidence: Four cases are considered as illuminative of the dimensions of science undergraduates' critical questioning. Data were collected in natural learning environments through non-participant observation, audio-taping teacher-students interactions and semi-structured interviews. Students' written material resulting from diverse learning tasks was also collected. Main argument: Our supposition is that one vehicle for achieving university students as critical thinkers is to enable them not just to ask critical questions, but to be critical questioners. We relate critical questioning to three domains: (1) context, (2) competency and (3) delivery, and propose a model based on illuminating examples of the in-classroom action. Conclusions: The dimensions of the competency-context-delivery model provide a framework for describing successful student critical questioning, showing that students' capacity to be critical can be developed. It is possible, in our view, to generate critical
Desalegn, Anteneh Assefa; Berhan, Asres; Berhan, Yifru
Student absenteeism is a major concern for university education worldwide. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and causes of absenteeism among undergraduate medical and health sciences students at Hawassa University. We conducted a cross-sectional study using a pretested self-administered structured questionnaire from May-June 2013. The primary outcome indicator was self-reported absenteeism from lectures in the semester preceding the study period. The study included all regular undergraduate students who were enrolled in the University for at least one semester. The data was entered and analyzed using SPSS version 20. The association between class absenteeism and socio-demographic and behavioral correlates of absenteeism was determined by bivariate and multivariate analyses. Results were reported as crude odds ratios (COR), adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). 1200 students consented and filled the questionnaire. Of these students, 43.7% had missed three or more lectures and 14.1% (95% CI = 12.2-16.2) missed more than 8 lectures in the preceding semester. There was a significant association between missing more than 8 lectures and age of students, chosen discipline (medicine), and social drug use. The main reasons reported for missing lectures were preparing for another examination, lack of interest, lecturer's teaching style, and availability of lecture material. At Hawassa University College of Medicine and Health Science student habits and teacher performance play a role in absenteeism from lectures. A university culture that promotes discipline and integrity especially among medical and older students discourages social drug use will likely improve motivation and attendance. Training in teaching methodologies to improve the quality and delivery of lectures should also help increase attendance.
In thirty years of teaching a capstone ``Science, Technology, and Society'' course to undergraduate students of all majors, I have found that, upon entering STS, to most of them the Manhattan Project seems about as remote as the Civil War; few can describe the difference between nuclear and large non-nuclear weapons. With similar lack of awareness, many students seem to think the Big Bang was dreamed up by science sorcerers. One might suppose that a basic mental picture of weapons that held entire populations hostage should be part of informed citizenship. One might also suppose that questions about origins, as they are put to nature through evidence-based reasoning, should be integral to a culture's identity. Over the years I have found the history of physics to be an effective tool for bringing such subjects to life for STS students. Upon hearing some of the history behind (for example) nuclear weapons and big bang cosmology, these students can better imagine themselves called upon to help in a Manhattan Project, or see themselves sleuthing about in a forensic science like cosmology. In this talk I share sample student responses to our class discussions on nuclear weapons, and on cosmology. The history of physics is too engaging to be appreciated only by physicists.
Full Text Available KIST Medical College follows the curriculum of the Institute ofMedicine, Tribhuvan University. The programme aims toproduce socially responsible and competent physicians whoare willing and able to meet the existing and emergingchallenges of the national and international healthcaresystem. The first cohort of undergraduate medical students(MBBS students was admitted in November 2008 and threecohorts including the one admitted in 2008 have beenadmitted at the time of writing. The basic science subjects aretaught in an integrated, organ-system-based manner withcommunity medicine during the first two years. I wasappointed as the MBBS Phase I programme coordinator inSeptember 2008 and in this article I share my experiences ofrunning the basic sciences programme and also offersuggestions for running an efficient academic programme. Themanuscript will be of special interest to readers runningundergraduate medical programmes. The reader canunderstand our experiences in running the programme inadverse circumstances, learning to achieve greater integrationamong basic science, community medicine and clinicaldepartments, obtain information about a communitydiagnosis programme and know about running specialmodules on the medical humanities and pharmaceuticalpromotion.
Arino de la Rubia, Leigh S.; Lin, Tzung-Jin; Tsai, Chin-Chung
Past studies investigating university level students' views of nature of science (NOS) were relatively few and most of them were conducted in Western countries. This paper focuses upon comparing the quantitative patterns in Western (US Caucasian and African-American) and non-Western (Taiwanese) students' views of NOS (VNOS) by adopting a survey instrument. This analysis combined with qualitative data begin to uncover details of potential cultural differences in patterns specifically in the US educational context by comparing Caucasian and African-American student responses to a question from a commonly used assessment of VNOS. Results show different patterns of views along the four dimensions of NOS (social negotiation, invented/creative NOS, cultural impacts, and changing/tentative feature of science) according to student major, student gender, and student ethnicity. These differences and similarities have the potential to impact undergraduate education and underrepresentation of cultural minorities in science careers and call for further research into NOS views in the context of diverse student groups.
Quan, Gina M.; Elby, Andrew
Undergraduate research can support students' more central participation in physics. We analyze markers of two coupled shifts in participation: changes in students' views about the nature of science coupled to shifts in self-efficacy toward physics research. Students in the study worked with faculty and graduate student mentors on research projects while also participating in a seminar where they learned about research and reflected on their experiences. In classroom discussions and in clinical interviews, students described gaining more nuanced views about the nature of science, specifically related to who can participate in research and what participation in research looks like. This shift was coupled to gains in self-efficacy toward their ability to contribute to research; they felt like their contributions as novices mattered. We present two case studies of students who experienced coupled shifts in self-efficacy and views about nature-of-science shifts, and a case study of a student for whom we did not see either shift, to illustrate both the existence of the coupling and the different ways it can play out. After making the case that this coupling occurs, we discuss some potential underlying mechanisms. Finally, we use these results to argue for more nuanced interpretations of self-efficacy measurements.
di, L.; Deng, M.
Earth system science (ESS) research often requires integrating, analyzing, and modeling with large amount of multi-disciplinary, multi-source geospatial data. Satellite remote sensing is one of the major sources of such data. Currently, NASA EOSDIS has archived more than three petabytes of Earth remote sensing data. Those data are essential for conducting ESS research. Therefore, training students on how to effectively use large amount of remote sensing data in ESS research is the essential part of their ESS education. However, currently most of undergraduate students have never been trained to handle the huge volume of available data because of lack of resources and suitable teaching technology at ESS colleges. In order to reduce this problem, we are developing a web-based geospatial information system, called GeoBrain, for providing a data-enhanced on-line learning and research environment for ESS education and research. The system makes petabytes of NASA EOS data and information easily accessible to higher-education users. The system allows users to dynamically and collaboratively develop interoperable, web-executable geospatial process and analysis modules and models, and run them on-line against any part of the peta-byte archives for getting back the customized information products rather than raw data. The system makes a data-enhanced ESS learning and research environment, backed by petabytes of NASA EOS data and unavailable to students and professors before, available to them at their desktops. In order to integrate this new learning environment into the undergraduate ESS teaching and research, a NASA EOS Higher Education Alliance (NEHEA), consisting of the GeoBrain development team led by GMU and a group of Earth science educators selected from an open RFP process, has been formed. NEHEA members are incorporating the data enhanced learning environment into their teaching and on-going research and will develop new courses for taking advantages of the
Gunn, John S; Ledford, Cynthia H; Mousetes, Steven J; Grever, Michael R
Many students entering professional degree programs, particularly M.D., Ph.D., and M.D./Ph.D., are not well prepared regarding the breadth of scientific knowledge required, communication skills, research experience, reading and understanding the scientific literature, and significant shadowing (for M.D.-related professions). In addition, physician scientists are a needed and necessary part of the academic research environment but are dwindling in numbers. In response to predictions of critical shortages of clinician investigators and the lack of proper preparation as undergraduates for these professions, the Biomedical Science (BMS) undergraduate major was created at The Ohio State University to attract incoming college freshmen with interests in scientific research and the healthcare professions. The intent of this major was to graduate an elite cohort of highly talented individuals who would pursue careers in the healthcare professions, biomedical research, or both. Students were admitted to the BMS major through an application and interview process. Admitted cohorts were small, comprising 22 to 26 students, and received a high degree of individualized professional academic advising and mentoring. The curriculum included a minimum of 4 semesters (or 2 years) of supervised research experience designed to enable students to gain skills in clinical and basic science investigation. In addition to covering the prerequisites for medicine and advanced degrees in health professions, the integrated BMS coursework emphasized research literacy as well as skills related to work as a healthcare professional, with additional emphasis on independent learning, teamwork to solve complex problems, and both oral and written communication skills. Supported by Ohio State's Department of Internal Medicine, a unique clinical internship provided selected students with insights into potential careers as physician scientists. In this educational case report, we describe the BMS
Robinson, Douglas N; Iglesias, Pablo A
Historically, much of biology was studied by physicists and mathematicians. With the advent of modern molecular biology, a wave of researchers became trained in a new scientific discipline filled with the language of genes, mutants, and the central dogma. These new molecular approaches have provided volumes of information on biomolecules and molecular pathways from the cellular to the organismal level. The challenge now is to determine how this seemingly endless list of components works together to promote the healthy function of complex living systems. This effort requires an interdisciplinary approach by investigators from both the biological and the physical sciences.
Caudill, Lester; Hill, April; Hoke, Kathy; Lipan, Ovidiu
Funded by innovative programs at the National Science Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Richmond faculty in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and computer science teamed up to offer first- and second-year students the opportunity to contribute to vibrant, interdisciplinary research projects. The result was…
Recent advances in theoretical physics such as the discovery of the Higgs boson or the BICEP2 data supporting inflation can be part of the general science curriculum of non-science majors in a cosmology course designed as part of the General Education component. Yet to be a truly interdisciplinary experience one must deal with the religious background and faith of most of our students. Religious faith seems to be important in their lives, but the philosophical outlook of sciences like cosmology or evolutionary biology is one in which God is an unnecessary component in explaining the nature and origin of the universe. We will review recent advances in cosmology and suggestions on how to establish a respectful and intelligent science vs. religion debate in a transdisciplinary general education setting.
Drinkwater, Michael J.; Matthews, Kelly E.; Seiler, Jacob
While there is a wealth of research evidencing the benefits of active-learning approaches, the extent to which these teaching practices are adopted in the sciences is not well known. The aim of this study is to establish an evidential baseline of teaching practices across a bachelor of science degree program at a large research-intensive Australian university. Our purpose is to contribute to knowledge on the adoption levels of evidence-based teaching practices by faculty within a science degree program and inform our science curriculum review in practical terms. We used the Teaching Practices Inventory (TPI) to measure the use of evidence-based teaching approaches in 129 courses (units of study) across 13 departments. We compared the results with those from a Canadian institution to identify areas in need of improvement at our institution. We applied a regression analysis to the data and found that the adoption of evidence-based teaching practices differs by discipline and is higher in first-year classes at our institution. The study demonstrates that the TPI can be used in different institutional contexts and provides data that can inform practice and policy. PMID:28232589
Bartlett, Rebecca S.; Jette, Marie E.; King, Suzanne N.; Schaser, Allison; Thibeault, Susan L.
Purpose: This contemporary tutorial will introduce general principles of molecular biology, common deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ribonucleic acid (RNA), and protein assays and their relevance in the field of communication sciences and disorders. Method: Over the past 2 decades, knowledge of the molecular pathophysiology of human disease has…
Bonham, Kevin S; Stefan, Melanie I
While women are generally underrepresented in STEM fields, there are noticeable differences between fields. For instance, the gender ratio in biology is more balanced than in computer science. We were interested in how this difference is reflected in the interdisciplinary field of computational/quantitative biology. To this end, we examined the proportion of female authors in publications from the PubMed and arXiv databases. There are fewer female authors on research papers in computational biology, as compared to biology in general. This is true across authorship position, year, and journal impact factor. A comparison with arXiv shows that quantitative biology papers have a higher ratio of female authors than computer science papers, placing computational biology in between its two parent fields in terms of gender representation. Both in biology and in computational biology, a female last author increases the probability of other authors on the paper being female, pointing to a potential role of female PIs in influencing the gender balance.
Kevin S Bonham
Full Text Available While women are generally underrepresented in STEM fields, there are noticeable differences between fields. For instance, the gender ratio in biology is more balanced than in computer science. We were interested in how this difference is reflected in the interdisciplinary field of computational/quantitative biology. To this end, we examined the proportion of female authors in publications from the PubMed and arXiv databases. There are fewer female authors on research papers in computational biology, as compared to biology in general. This is true across authorship position, year, and journal impact factor. A comparison with arXiv shows that quantitative biology papers have a higher ratio of female authors than computer science papers, placing computational biology in between its two parent fields in terms of gender representation. Both in biology and in computational biology, a female last author increases the probability of other authors on the paper being female, pointing to a potential role of female PIs in influencing the gender balance.
Walker, Joi Phelps; Sampson, Victor
This paper presents preliminary evidence supporting the use of peer review in undergraduate science as a means to improve student writing and to alleviate barriers, such as lost class time, by incorporation of the peer-review process into the laboratory component of the course. The study was conducted in a single section of an undergraduate…
Undergraduate students struggle to read the scientific literature and educators have suggested that this may reflect deficiencies in their science literacy skills. In this two-year study we develop and test a strategy for using the scientific literature to teach science literacy skills to novice life science majors. The first year of the project served as a preliminary investigation in which we evaluated student science literacy skills, created a set of science literacy learning objectives al...
Lopez, Ramon E.
Science education in this country is in its greatest period of ferment since the post-Sputnik frenzy a generation ago. In that earlier time, however, educators' emphasis was on producing more scientists and engineers. Today we recognize that all Americans need a good science background. The ability to observe, measure, think quantitatively, and reach logical conclusions based on available evidence is a set of skills that everyone entering the workforce needs to acquire if our country is to be competitive in a global economy. Moreover, as public policy increasingly crystallizes around scientific issues, it is critical that citizens be educated in science so that they may provide informed debate and on these issues. In order to develop this idea more fully, I proposed to teach a historically based course about space physics as an honors course at the University of Maryland-College Park (UMCP). The honors program at UMCP was established to foster broad-based undergraduate courses that utilize innovative teaching techniques to provide exemplary education to a select group of students. I designed an introductory course that would have four basic goals: to acquaint students with geomagnetic and auroral phenomena and their relationship to the space environment; to examine issues related to the history of science using the evolution of the field as an example; to develop familiarity with basic skills such as describing and interpreting observations, analyzing scientific papers, and communicating the results of their own research; and to provide some understanding of basic physics, especially those aspect that play a role in the near-earth space environment.
Goff, Peter; Boesdorfer, Sarah B.; Hunter, William
This research documents the creation, implementation, and evaluation of a novel chemistry curriculum. The curriculum allowed students to create theories situated in a variety of cultures while they investigated chemical phenomena central to all civilizations; it was a way of synthesizing chemistry, the history and nature of science, inquiry, and multicultural education. Achieving both chemistry content and nature of science objectives were the main goals of the curriculum. A small sample of undergraduate students participated in the curriculum instead of attending a large lecture course. The novel curriculum covered the same chemistry topics as the large lecture course. Program efficacy was evaluated using a combination of grades, survey data, and interviews with the participating undergraduates. The results suggest that this curriculum was a successful start at engaging students and teaching them chemistry as well as nature of science concepts.
Barron, Darcy; Peticolas, Laura; Multiverse Team at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Lab
The Advancing Space Science through Undergraduate Research Experience (ASSURE) summer REU program is an NSF-funded REU site at the Space Sciences Lab at UC Berkeley that first started in summer 2014. The program recruits students from all STEM majors, targeting underserved students including community college students and first-generation college students. The students have little or no research experience and a wide variety of academic backgrounds, but have a shared passion for space sciences and astronomy. We will describe our program's structure and the components we have found successful in preparing and supporting both the students and their research advisors for their summer research projects. This includes an intensive first week of introductory lectures and tutorials at the start of the program, preparing students for working in an academic research environment. The program also employs a multi-tiered mentoring system, with layers of support for the undergraduate student cohort, as well as graduate student and postdoctoral research advisors.
Kelsey, Ryan Daniel
Brownfield Action is a computer simulation experience used by undergraduates in an Introduction to Environmental Science course for non-science majors at Barnard College. Students play the role of environmental consultants given the semester-long task of investigating a potentially contaminated landsite in a simulated town. The simulation serves as the integration mechanism for the entire course. The project is a collaboration between Professor Bower and the Columbia University Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL). This study chronicles the discovery, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of this project over its four-year history from prototype to full-fledged semester-long integrated lecture and lab experience. The complete project history serves as a model for the development of best practices in contributing to the field of educational technology in higher education through the study of fully designed and implemented projects in real classrooms. Recommendations from the project focus on linking the laboratory and lecture portions of a course, the use of simulations (especially for novice students), instructor adaptation to the use of technology, general educational technology project development, and design research, among others. Findings from the study also emphasize the uniqueness of individual student's growth through the experience, and the depth of understanding that can be gained from embracing the complexity of studying sophisticated learning environments in real classrooms.
Full Text Available Peer advising is an integral part of our undergraduate advising system in the Public Health Sciences major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The program was developed in 2009 to address the advising needs of a rapidly growing major that went from 25 to over 530 majors between 2007 and 2014. Each year, 9-12 top performing upper-level students are chosen through an intensive application process. A major goal of the program is to provide curriculum and career guidance to students in the major and empower students in their academic and professional pursuits. The year-long program involves several components, including: staffing the drop-in advising center, attending training seminars, developing and presenting workshops for students, meeting prospective students and families, evaluating ways to improve the program, and collaborating on self-directed projects. The peer advisors also provide program staff insight into the needs and perspectives of students in the major. In turn, peer advisors gain valuable leadership and communication skills, and learn strategies for improving student success. The Peer Advising Program builds community and fosters personal and professional development for the peer advisors. In this paper, we will discuss the undergraduate peer advising model, the benefits and challenges of the program, and lessons learned. Several methods were used to understand the perceived benefits and challenges of the program and experiences of students who utilized the Peer Advising Center. The data for this evaluation were drawn from three sources: 1 archival records from the Peer Advising Center; 2 feedback from peer advisors who completed the year-long internship; and 3 a survey of students who utilized the Peer Advising Center. Results of this preliminary evaluation indicate that peer advisors gain valuable skills that they can carry into their professional world. The program is also a way to engage students in building community
Campbell, A. Malcolm; Eckdahl, Todd; Cronk, Brian; Andresen, Corinne; Frederick, Paul; Huckuntod, Samantha; Shinneman, Claire; Wacker, Annie; Yuan, Jason
The "Vision and Change" report recommended genuine research experiences for undergraduate biology students. Authentic research improves science education, increases the number of scientifically literate citizens, and encourages students to pursue research. Synthetic biology is well suited for undergraduate research and is a growing area…
Olimpo, Jeffrey T; Fisher, Ginger R; DeChenne-Peters, Sue Ellen
Within the past decade, course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have emerged as a viable mechanism to enhance novices' development of scientific reasoning and process skills in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. Recent evidence within the bioeducation literature suggests that student engagement in such experiences not only increases their appreciation for and interest in scientific research but also enhances their ability to "think like a scientist." Despite these critical outcomes, few studies have objectively explored CURE versus non-CURE students' development of content knowledge, attitudes, and motivation in the discipline, particularly among nonvolunteer samples. To address these concerns, we adopted a mixed-methods approach to evaluate the aforementioned outcomes following implementation of a novel CURE in an introductory cell/molecular biology course. Results indicate that CURE participants exhibited more expert-like outcomes on these constructs relative to their non-CURE counterparts, including in those areas related to self-efficacy, self-determination, and problem-solving strategies. Furthermore, analysis of end-of-term survey data suggests that select features of the CURE, such as increased student autonomy and collaboration, mediate student learning and enjoyment. Collectively, this research provides novel insights into the benefits achieved as a result of CURE participation and can be used to guide future development and evaluation of authentic research opportunities. © 2016 J. T. Olimpo et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Ballen, Cissy J; Wieman, Carl; Salehi, Shima; Searle, Jeremy B; Zamudio, Kelly R
Efforts to retain underrepresented minority (URM) students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have shown only limited success in higher education, due in part to a persistent achievement gap between students from historically underrepresented and well-represented backgrounds. To test the hypothesis that active learning disproportionately benefits URM students, we quantified the effects of traditional versus active learning on student academic performance, science self-efficacy, and sense of social belonging in a large (more than 250 students) introductory STEM course. A transition to active learning closed the gap in learning gains between non-URM and URM students and led to an increase in science self-efficacy for all students. Sense of social belonging also increased significantly with active learning, but only for non-URM students. Through structural equation modeling, we demonstrate that, for URM students, the increase in self-efficacy mediated the positive effect of active-learning pedagogy on two metrics of student performance. Our results add to a growing body of research that supports varied and inclusive teaching as one pathway to a diversified STEM workforce. © 2017 C. J. Ballen et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2017 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Tavares, Gustavo Medina; Bobrowski, Vera Lucia
The integrative role that Evolutionary theory plays within Biology is recognised by most scientific authors, as well as in governmental education policies, including Brazilian policies. However, teaching and learning evolution seems problematic in many countries, and Brazil is among those. Many factors may affect teachers' and students' perceptions towards evolution, and studies can help to reveal those factors. We used a conceptual questionnaire, the Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE) instrument, and a Knowledge test to assess (1) the level of acceptance and understanding of 23 undergraduate Biology students nearing the end of their course, (2) other factors that could affect these levels, including course structure, and (3) the most difficult topics regarding evolutionary biology. The results of this study showed that the students, on average, had a 'Very High Acceptance' (89.91) and a 'Very Low Knowledge' (59.42%) of Evolutionary theory, and also indicated a moderate positive correlation between the two (r = 0.66, p = .001). The most difficult topics were related to the definition of evolution and dating techniques. We believe that the present study provides evidence for policymakers to reformulate current school and university curricula in order to improve the teachers' acceptance and understanding of evolution and other biological concepts, consequently, helping students reduce their misconceptions related to evolutionary biology.
Quirk, Thomas J; Horton, Howard F
This is the first book to show the capabilities of Microsoft Excel to teach biological and life sciences statistics effectively. It is a step-by-step exercise-driven guide for students and practitioners who need to master Excel to solve practical science problems. If understanding statistics isn’t your strongest suit, you are not especially mathematically-inclined, or if you are wary of computers, this is the right book for you. Each chapter explains statistical formulas and directs the reader to use Excel commands to solve specific, easy-to-understand science problems. Practice problems are provided at the end of each chapter with their solutions in an appendix. Separately, there is a full Practice Test (with answers in an Appendix) that allows readers to test what they have learned. Includes 164 illustrations in color Suitable for undergraduates or graduate student Prof. Tom Quirk is currently a Professor of Marketing at The Walker School of Business and Technology at Webster University in St....
MacFarland, Thomas W
This book contains a rich set of tools for nonparametric analyses, and the purpose of this supplemental text is to provide guidance to students and professional researchers on how R is used for nonparametric data analysis in the biological sciences: To introduce when nonparametric approaches to data analysis are appropriate To introduce the leading nonparametric tests commonly used in biostatistics and how R is used to generate appropriate statistics for each test To introduce common figures typically associated with nonparametric data analysis and how R is used to generate appropriate figures in support of each data set The book focuses on how R is used to distinguish between data that could be classified as nonparametric as opposed to data that could be classified as parametric, with both approaches to data classification covered extensively. Following an introductory lesson on nonparametric statistics for the biological sciences, the book is organized into eight self-contained lessons on various analyses a...
Full Text Available Abstract Physiological anthropology presently covers a very broad range of human knowledge and engineering technologies. This study reviews scientific inconsistencies within a variety of areas: sitting posture; negative air ions; oxygen inhalation; alpha brain waves induced by music and ultrasound; 1/f fluctuations; the evaluation of feelings using surface electroencephalography; Kansei; universal design; and anti-stress issues. We found that the inconsistencies within these areas indicate the importance of integrative thinking and the need to maintain the perspective on the biological benefit to humanity. Analytical science divides human physiological functions into discrete details, although individuals comprise a unified collection of whole-body functions. Such disparate considerations contribute to the misunderstanding of physiological functions and the misevaluation of positive and negative values for humankind. Research related to human health will, in future, depend on the concept of maintaining physiological functions based on consistent science and on sustaining human health to maintain biological welfare in future generations.
Vd Flier-Keller, E.; Carolsfeld, C.; Bullard, T.
To increase teaching of Earth science in schools, and to reflect the interdisciplinary nature and interrelatedness of science disciplines in today's world, we are exploring opportunities for linking Earth science and Biology through engaging and innovative hands-on science activities for the classroom. Through the NSERC-funded Pacific CRYSTAL project based at the University of Victoria, scientists, science educators, and teachers at all levels in the school system are collaborating to research ways of enriching the preparation of students in math and science, and improving the quality of science education from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Our primary foci are building authentic, engaging science experiences for students, and fostering teacher leadership through teacher professional development and training. Interdisciplinary science activities represent an important way of making student science experiences real, engaging and relevant, and provide opportunities to highlight Earth science related topics within other disciplines, and to expand the Earth science taught in schools. The Earth science and Biology interdisciplinary project builds on results and experiences of existing Earth science education activities, and the Seaquaria project. We are developing curriculum-linked activities and resource materials, and hosting teacher workshops, around two initial areas; soils, and marine life and the fossil record. An example activity for the latter is the hands-on examination of organisms occupying the nearshore marine environment using a saltwater aquarium and touch tank or beach fieldtrip, and relating this to a suite of marine fossils to facilitate student thinking about representation of life in the fossil record e.g. which life forms are typically preserved, and how are they preserved? Literacy activities such as fossil obituaries encourage exploration of paleoenvironments and life habits of fossil organisms. Activities and resources are being tested with teachers
Gourlay, Barbara Elas
This research project investigates communication between international teaching assistants and their undergraduate students in university-level chemistry labs. During the fall semester, introductory-level chemistry lab sections of three experienced non-native speaking teaching assistants and their undergraduate students were observed. Digital audio and video recordings documented fifteen hours of lab communication, focusing on the activities and interactions in the first hour of the chemistry laboratory sessions. In follow-up one-on-one semi-structured interviews, the participants (undergraduates, teaching assistants, and faculty member) reviewed interactions and responded to a 10-item, 7-point Likert-scaled interview. Interactions were classified into success categories based on participants' opinions. Quantitative and qualitative data from the observations and interviews guided the analysis of the laboratory interactions, which examined patterns of conversational listening. Analysis of laboratory communication reveals that undergraduates initiated nearly two-thirds of laboratory communication, with three-fourths of interactions less than 30 seconds in duration. Issues of gender and topics of interaction activity were also explored. Interview data identified that successful undergraduate-teaching assistant communication in interactive science labs depends on teaching assistant listening comprehension skills to interpret and respond successfully to undergraduate questions. Successful communication in the chemistry lab depended on the coordination of visual and verbal sources of information. Teaching assistant responses that included explanations and elaborations were also seen as positive features in the communicative exchanges. Interaction analysis focusing on the listening comprehension demands placed on international teaching assistants revealed that undergraduate-initiated questions often employ deixis (exophoric reference), requiring teaching assistants to
Schedlbauer, Jessica L.; Nadolny, Larysa; Woolfrey, Joan
The interdisciplinary science of conservation biology provides undergraduate biology students with the opportunity to connect the biological sciences with disciplines including economics, social science and philosophy to address challenging conservation issues. Because of its complexity, students do not often have the opportunity to practise…
Cricenti, A; Colonna, S; Girasole, M; Gori, P; Ronci, F; Longo, G; Dinarelli, S; Luce, M; Rinaldi, M; Ortenzi, M
A review of the activity of scanning probe microscopy at our Institute is presented, going from instrumentation to software development of scanning tunnelling microscopy, atomic force microscopy and scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM). Some of the most important experiments in material science and biology performed by our group through the years with these SPM techniques will be presented. Finally, infrared applications by coupling a SNOM with a free electron laser will also be presented.
Hood, Leroy; Rowen, Lee
The Human Genome Project has transformed biology through its integrated big science approach to deciphering a reference human genome sequence along with the complete sequences of key model organisms. The project exemplifies the power, necessity and success of large, integrated, cross-disciplinary efforts - so-called ‘big science’ - directed towards complex major objectives. In this article, we discuss the ways in which this ambitious endeavor led to the development of novel technologies and a...
King, Wayne E.; Campbell, Geoffrey H.; Frank, Alan; Reed, Bryan; Schmerge, John F.; Siwick, Bradley J.; Stuart, Brent C.; Weber, Peter M.
The use of pump-probe experiments to study complex transient events has been an area of significant interest in materials science, biology, and chemistry. While the emphasis has been on laser pump with laser probe and laser pump with x-ray probe experiments, there is a significant and growing interest in using electrons as probes. Early experiments used electrons for gas-phase diffraction of photostimulated chemical reactions. More recently, scientists are beginning to explore phenomena in the solid state such as phase transformations, twinning, solid-state chemical reactions, radiation damage, and shock propagation. This review focuses on the emerging area of ultrafast electron microscopy (UEM), which comprises ultrafast electron diffraction (UED) and dynamic transmission electron microscopy (DTEM). The topics that are treated include the following: (1) The physics of electrons as an ultrafast probe. This encompasses the propagation dynamics of the electrons (space-charge effect, Child's law, Boersch effect) and extends to relativistic effects. (2) The anatomy of UED and DTEM instruments. This includes discussions of the photoactivated electron gun (also known as photogun or photoelectron gun) at conventional energies (60-200 keV) and extends to MeV beams generated by rf guns. Another critical aspect of the systems is the electron detector. Charge-coupled device cameras and microchannel-plate-based cameras are compared and contrasted. The effect of various physical phenomena on detective quantum efficiency is discussed. (3) Practical aspects of operation. This includes determination of time zero, measurement of pulse-length, and strategies for pulse compression. (4) Current and potential applications in materials science, biology, and chemistry. UEM has the potential to make a significant impact in future science and technology. Understanding of reaction pathways of complex transient phenomena in materials science, biology, and chemistry will provide fundamental
Aikens, Melissa L.; Sadselia, Sona; Watkins, Keiana; Evans, Mara; Eby, Lillian T.; Dolan, Erin L.
Undergraduate researchers at research universities are often mentored by graduate students or postdoctoral researchers (referred to collectively as “postgraduates”) and faculty, creating a mentoring triad structure. Triads differ based on whether the undergraduate, postgraduate, and faculty member interact with one another about the undergraduate’s research. Using a social capital theory framework, we hypothesized that different triad structures provide undergraduates with varying resources (e.g., information, advice, psychosocial support) from the postgraduates and/or faculty, which would affect the undergraduates’ research outcomes. To test this, we collected data from a national sample of undergraduate life science researchers about their mentoring triad structure and a range of outcomes associated with research experiences, such as perceived gains in their abilities to think and work like scientists, science identity, and intentions to enroll in a PhD program. Undergraduates mentored by postgraduates alone reported positive outcomes, indicating that postgraduates can be effective mentors. However, undergraduates who interacted directly with faculty realized greater outcomes, suggesting that faculty interaction is important for undergraduates to realize the full benefits of research. The “closed triad,” in which undergraduates, postgraduates, and faculty all interact directly, appeared to be uniquely beneficial; these undergraduates reported the highest gains in thinking and working like a scientist. PMID:27174583
Patanella, Daniel Francis
The utility of traditional predictors of both science grades and career goals (SAT and GPA) was compared to psychological predictors such as Piagetian stage (as measured by the Group Assessment of Logical Thinking), sex-role schema (as measured by the Bem Sex-Role Inventory, and self-schema in students enrolled in either psychology classes (n = 123) or biology classes (n = 56). While the overall predictive ability of the model was high (R = .73), the strongest predictors of grade in science class were traditional variables and not psychological ones as predicted. Prediction of career goal, while more modest (R = .19), was best served by the psychological variable of self-schema. Subsequent analyses indicated that Piagetian stage was best conceptualized as a mediating variable and that sex-role schema as measured played almost no role in either grade or career goal, as well as verifying the internal validity of the self-schema measure used. Biology students were more likely to possess a science self-schema than psychology students (chi2 (1,179) = 7.34, p < .01) and outperformed psychology students on the Piagetian questions (t(177) = 3.01, p < .01). Response latency was recorded for all participants' answer to the Piagetian questions; contrary to prediction however, the inclusion of response latency did not add to the predictive ability of the Piagetian measure used.
Brame, Cynthia J; Biel, Rachel
Testing within the science classroom is commonly used for both formative and summative assessment purposes to let the student and the instructor gauge progress toward learning goals. Research within cognitive science suggests, however, that testing can also be a learning event. We present summaries of studies that suggest that repeated retrieval can enhance long-term learning in a laboratory setting; various testing formats can promote learning; feedback enhances the benefits of testing; testing can potentiate further study; and benefits of testing are not limited to rote memory. Most of these studies were performed in a laboratory environment, so we also present summaries of experiments suggesting that the benefits of testing can extend to the classroom. Finally, we suggest opportunities that these observations raise for the classroom and for further research. © 2015 C. J. Brame and R. Biel. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2015 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Nelma Camêlo Araujo
Full Text Available The present article is part of a research conducted at universities of the south of Brazil that offers disciplines of Information Technology in Archival Sciences undergraduate courses. The research objective to identify through the educational project of these courses the subjects which have emphasis in the Information Technology, as well as to identify the teachers’ perception about the condition of these subjects in enabling the student for the challenges of the work market
Bugdayci, Ilkay; Zahit Selvi, H.
One of the most important aim of the geography and social science courses is to gain the ability of reading, analysing and understanding maps. There are a lot of themes related with maps and map concepts in social studies education. Geographical location is one of the most important theme. Geographical location is specified by geographical coordinates called latitude and longitude. The geographical coordinate system is the primary spatial reference system of the earth. It is always used in cartography, in geography, in basic location calculations such as navigation and surveying. It’s important to support teacher candidates, to teach maps and related concepts. Cartographers also have important missions and responsibilities in this context. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the knowledge of undergraduate students, about the geographical location. For this purpose, a research has been carried out on questions and activities related to geographical location and related concepts. The details and results of the research conducted by the students in the study are explained.
Lucas, Ana Cyra dos Santos; Parente, Rosana Cristina Pereira; Picanço, Neila Soares; Conceição, Denis Alvaci; Costa, Karen Regina Carim da; Magalhães, Igor Rafael dos Santos; Siqueira, João Cladirson Alves
A survey was conducted with 521 undergraduate health sciences students from the Federal University in Amazonas, Manaus, Brazil. Lifetime alcohol consumption was reported by 87.7% students, as compared to 30.7% for tobacco, with the latter reported more frequently by males (39.7%). The most common illicit drugs were solvents (11.9%), marijuana (9.4%), amphetamines and anxiolytics (9.2% each), cocaine (2.1%), and hallucinogens (1.2%). The main reason for illicit drug use was curiosity. Lifetime use of anabolic steroids was reported by 2.1% of the students. Alcohol abuse in the previous 30 days was reported by 12.4% of the students. Events following drinking included: fights (4.7%), accidents (2.4%), classroom absenteeism (33.7%), and job absenteeism (11.8%). Another important finding was that 47.3% of students drove after drinking. Opinions on drug abuse and patterns agree with those from similar studies in other regions of Brazil.
The Fort Collins Science Center's Policy Analysis and Science Assistance (PASA) Branch is a team of approximately 22 scientists, technicians, and graduate student researchers. PASA provides unique capabilities in the U.S. Geological Survey by leading projects that integrate social, behavioral, economic, and biological analyses in the context of human-natural resource interactions. Resource planners, managers, and policymakers in the U.S. Departments of the Interior (DOI) and Agriculture (USDA), State and local agencies, as well as international agencies use information from PASA studies to make informed natural resource management and policy decisions. PASA scientists' primary functions are to conduct both theoretical and applied social science research, provide technical assistance, and offer training to advance performance in policy relevant research areas. Management and research issues associated with human-resource interactions typically occur in a unique context, involve difficult to access populations, require knowledge of both natural/biological science in addition to social science, and require the skill to integrate multiple science disciplines. In response to these difficult contexts, PASA researchers apply traditional and state-of-the-art social science methods drawing from the fields of sociology, demography, economics, political science, communications, social-psychology, and applied industrial organization psychology. Social science methods work in concert with our rangeland/agricultural management, wildlife, ecology, and biology capabilities. The goal of PASA's research is to enhance natural resource management, agency functions, policies, and decision-making. Our research is organized into four broad areas of study.
Holt, William V; Brown, Janine L; Comizzoli, Pierre
In this chapter we argue that reproductive science in its broadest sense has never been more important in terms of its value to conservation biology, which itself is a synthetic and multidisciplinary topic. Over recent years the place of reproductive science in wildlife conservation has developed massively across a wide and integrated range of cutting edge topics. We now have unprecedented insight into the way that environmental change affects basic reproductive functions such as ovulation, sperm production, pregnancy and embryo development through previously unsuspected influences such as epigenetic modulation of the genome. Environmental change in its broadest sense alters the quality of foodstuffs that all animals need for reproductive success, changes the synchrony between breeding seasons and reproductive events, perturbs gonadal and embryo development through the presence of pollutants in the environment and drives species to adapt their behaviour and phenotype. In this book we explore many aspects of reproductive science and present wide ranging and up to date accounts of the scientific and technological advances that are currently enabling reproductive science to support conservation biology.
The first 9 weeks of the dental undergraduate education at the Karolinska Institutet comprises a transition course, designed to introduce students to university studies leading to professional qualifications in patient-related health sciences. 1 week has been set aside for the theme Man and Society, highlighting the importance of the human sciences for the development of behavioural skills necessary for achieving professionalism and a holistic patient concept. Some essential ethical questions are addressed: intercultural communication, empathy, professional demeanour and the development of professional competence, and group dynamics. In this context, more specific subjects are considered, such as the emergence of the multicultural society and its implications for health services, interpersonal skills and patient communication in the health and medical fields. There are several reasons for including this theme, which forms the basis for the ethical and communicative strands throughout the entire curriculum. As 30-40% of freshmen dental students are of non-Swedish origin, it is essential to include cultural awareness seminars. Another reason is that within the EU, cultural and communicative skills are recognised proficiencies for health professionals; it is also acknowledged that effective delivery of health care may be impeded by misunderstandings in communication and conflict in ethical beliefs. Group discussions are scheduled during the week in order to allow the students to discuss their own experiences related to the theme. The students are also given a written assignment in relation to one of the seminars; the report is assessed as a part of the examination. The week is concluded by a plenum discussion summarising the group discussions. To date, 4 course evaluations, with a response rate of 92.5%, show that 97.3% of the students were positive to the theme as a whole or to specific seminars held during the week, especially intercultural communication, ethics and
McArthur, Laura H; Valentino, Antonette; Holbert, Donald
This cross-sectional survey study compared the on- and off-campus snack choices and related correlates of convenience samples of exercise science (ES) ( n = 165, M = 45%, F = 55%) and non-exercise science (NES) ( n =160, M = 43%, F = 57%) undergraduates. The hypothesis posed was that knowledge of healthy foods will not translate to healthier snack consumption by the ES students, and that the snack choices and related correlates of ES and NES students will be similar. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaires completed in classrooms (ES sample) and at high-traffic locations on-campus (NES sample). Chi-square and t-test analyses compared ES and NES students on snack correlates. Snacks consumed most often by the ES and NES students on-campus were health bars/squares ( n = 56 vs. n = 48) and savory snacks ( n = 55 vs. n = 71), and off-campus were savory snacks ( n = 60 vs. n = 71) and fruits ( n = 41 vs. n = 34). Over half of both samples believed their snack choices were a mix of unhealthy and healthy. Fruits were considered healthier snacks and chips less healthy by both samples, and fruits were the most often recommended snack. About 20% believed these choices would impact their health unfavorably, and about two thirds self-classified in the action stages for healthy snacking. Since knowledge about healthy food choices did not translate to healthy snack selection, these students would benefit from interventions that teach selection and preparation of healthy snacks on a restricted budget.
Goldey, Ellen S; Abercrombie, Clarence L; Ivy, Tracie M; Kusher, Dave I; Moeller, John F; Rayner, Doug A; Smith, Charles F; Spivey, Natalie W
We transformed our first-year curriculum in biology with a new course, Biological Inquiry, in which >50% of all incoming, first-year students enroll. The course replaced a traditional, content-driven course that relied on outdated approaches to teaching and learning. We diversified pedagogical practices by adopting guided inquiry in class and in labs, which are devoted to building authentic research skills through open-ended experiments. Students develop core biological knowledge, from the ecosystem to molecular level, and core skills through regular practice in hypothesis testing, reading primary literature, analyzing data, interpreting results, writing in disciplinary style, and working in teams. Assignments and exams require higher-order cognitive processes, and students build new knowledge and skills through investigation of real-world problems (e.g., malaria), which engages students' interest. Evidence from direct and indirect assessment has guided continuous course revision and has revealed that compared with the course it replaced, Biological Inquiry produces significant learning gains in all targeted areas. It also retains 94% of students (both BA and BS track) compared with 79% in the majors-only course it replaced. The project has had broad impact across the entire college and reflects the input of numerous constituencies and close collaboration among biology professors and students.
Van der Rijst, Roeland M.; Visser-Wijnveen, Gerda J.; Verloop, Nico; Van Driel, Jan H.
Understanding the relation between teachers' goal statements and students' experiences about the position of research in undergraduate coursework can give use insight into ways to integrate research and teaching and foster undergraduate research. In this study, we examined to what extent teachers' goal statements agreed with students' experiences…
Berzonsky, William A.; Richardson, Katherine D.
Accessibility of online scientific literature continues to expand due to the advent of scholarly databases and search engines. Studies have shown that undergraduates favor using online scientific literature to address research questions, but they often do not have the skills to assess the validity of research articles. Undergraduates generally are…
Peachey, Andrew A.; Baller, Stephanie L.
Training in research methodology is becoming more commonly expected within undergraduate curricula designed to prepare students for entry into graduate allied health programs. Little information is currently available about pedagogical strategies to promote undergraduate students' learning of research methods, and less yet is available discussing…
Perera, Viranga; Mead, Chris; Buxner, Sanlyn; Horodyskyj, Lev; Semken, Steven; Lopatto, David; Anbar, Ariel
General-education Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses are accepted as essential to a college education. An often cited reason is to train a scientifically literate populace who can think critically and make informed decisions about complex issues such as climate change, health care, and atomic energy. Goals of these STEM courses, therefore, go beyond content knowledge to include generating positive attitudes towards science, developing competence in evaluating scientific information in everyday life and understanding the nature of science. To gauge if such non-content learning outcomes are being met in our course, an online astrobiology course called Habitable Worlds, we administered the Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) survey to students. The survey was administered before and after completion of the course for three semesters starting with the Fall 2014 semester and ending with the Fall 2015 semester (N = 774). A factor analysis indicated three factors on attitudes: toward science education, toward the interconnectedness of science with non-science fields, and toward the nature of science. Here we present some differences between students enrolled in online degree programs (o-course) and those enrolled in traditional undergraduate programs (i-course). While mean course grades were similar, changes in attitudes toward science differ significantly between o-course and i-course students. The o-course students began the course with more positive attitudes across all three factors than the i-course students. Their attitudes toward science education improved during the course, while the i-course students showed no change. Attitudes toward the other two factors declined in both populations during the course, but declines were smaller among o-course students. These differences may indicate lesser intrinsic motivation among the i-course students. The CURE survey has not been used before in an online course; therefore, we will
Nehm, Ross H.; Kim, Sun Young; Sheppard, Keith
Despite considerable focus on evolution knowledge-belief relationships, little research has targeted populations with strong content backgrounds, such as undergraduate degrees in biology. This study (1) measured precertified biology and non-biology teachers' (n = 167) knowledge of evolution and the nature of science; (2) quantified teacher…
Varner, R. K.
For the first time in their undergraduate experience, students in the University of New Hampshire's Techniques in Environmental Science course are immersed in learning approaches to scientific investigation that they can implement as part of their senior capstone research experience or other REU type programs. The course begins with an understanding of the value of note taking in the field and working collaboratively in groups. The students then embark upon a series of field experiences that include using both simple and complex tools for mapping elevation, species composition and above ground biomass estimates in a forest and wetland, carbon cycling through measurement of greenhouse gas exchange at both a wetland and at an organic dairy farm, assessing hydrology and water quality through both ground and surface water measurements at locations on campus, and finally analysis of atmospheric chemistry data collected locally. Over the course of a semester the students learn how to describe their methodology and the importance of their work concisely. Eventually the students are given instrumentation and a field site and learn to ask their own research question and develop their approach to answering it. This course model provides a foundation for students to pursue their capstone research experiences but also for understanding complex environmental questions such as the impact of land use change on water and air quality and carbon cycling and its role in our climate system. Students are provided a unique opportunity to address questions at field sites that are local and are part of larger research programs which allows for a larger context to place their work. This course has also been a framework for the NSF funded REU program- Northern Ecosystems Research for Undergraduates (EAR#1063037). Sallie's Fen, a wetland research site, is used as an initial field setting for students to learn techniques, build their ability to ask research questions and to plan research
Puddey, Ian B; Mercer, Annette
Entry from secondary school to Australian and New Zealand undergraduate medical schools has since the late 1990's increasingly relied on the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) as one of the selection factors. The UMAT consists of 3 sections - logical reasoning and problem solving (UMAT-1), understanding people (UMAT-2) and non-verbal reasoning (UMAT-3). One of the goals of using this test has been to enhance equity in the selection of students with the anticipation of an increase in the socioeconomic diversity in student cohorts. However there has been limited assessment as to whether UMAT performance itself might be influenced by socioeconomic background. Between 2000 and 2012, 158,909 UMAT assessments were completed. From these, 118,085 cases have been identified where an Australian candidate was sitting for the first time during that period. Predictors of the total UMAT score, UMAT-1, UMAT-2 and UMAT-3 scores were entered into regression models and included gender, age, school type, language used at home, deciles for the Index of Relative Socioeconomic Advantage and Disadvantage score, the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA), self-identification as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin (ATSI) and current Australian state or territory of abode. A lower UMAT score was predicted by living in an area of relatively higher social disadvantage and lower social advantage. Other socioeconomic indicators were consistent with this observation with lower scores in those who self-identified as being of ATSI origin and higher scores evident in those from fee-paying independent school backgrounds compared to government schools. Lower scores were seen with increasing age, female gender and speaking any language other than English at home. Divergent effects of rurality were observed, with increased scores for UMAT-1 and UMAT-2, but decreasing UMAT-3 scores with increasing ARIA score. Significant state-based differences
Haeger, Heather; Fresquez, Carla
Increasing inclusion of underrepresented minority and first-generation students in mentored research experiences both increases diversity in the life sciences research community and prepares students for successful careers in these fields. However, analyses of the impact of mentoring approaches on specific student gains are limited. This study addresses the impact of mentoring strategies within research experiences on broadening access to the life sciences by examining both how these experiences impacted student success and how the quality of mentorship affected the development of research and academic skills for a diverse population of students at a public, minority-serving institution. Institutional data on student grades and graduation rates (n = 348) along with postresearch experience surveys (n = 138) found that students mentored in research had significantly higher cumulative grade point averages and similar graduation rates as a matched set of peers. Examination of the relationships between student-reported gains and mentoring strategies demonstrated that socioemotional and culturally relevant mentoring impacted student development during mentored research experiences. Additionally, extended engagement in research yielded significantly higher development of research-related skills and level of independence in research. Recommendations are provided for using mentoring to support traditionally underrepresented students in the sciences. © 2016 H. Haeger and C. Fresquez. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Njeng'ere, James Gicheha
This research study investigated how undergraduate college biology students' level of understanding of the role of the seed plant root system relates to their level of understanding of photosynthesis. This research was conducted with 65 undergraduate non-majors biology who had completed 1 year of biology at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. A root probe instrument was developed from some scientifically acceptable propositional statements about the root system, the process of photosynthesis, as well as the holistic nature of the tree. These were derived from research reviews of the science education and the arboriculture literature. This was administered to 65 students selected randomly from class lists of the two institutions. Most of the root probe's items were based on the Live Oak tree. An in-depth, clinical interview-based analysis was conducted with 12 of those tested students. A team of root experts participated by designing, validating and answering the same questions that the students were asked. A "systems" lens as defined by a team of college instructors, root experts (Shigo, 1991), and this researcher was used to interpret the results. A correlational coefficient determining students' level of understanding of the root system and their level of understanding of the process of photosynthesis was established by means of Pearson's r correlation (r = 0.328) using the SAS statistical analysis (SAS, 1987). From this a coefficient of determination (r2 = 0.104) was determined. Students' level of understanding of the Live Oak root system (mean score 5.94) was not statistically different from their level of understanding of the process of photosynthesis (mean score 5.54) as assessed by the root probe, t (129) = 0.137, p > 0.05 one tailed-test. This suggests that, to some degree, level of the root system limits level of understanding of photosynthesis and vice versa. Analysis of quantitative and qualitative
Mosto, Patricia; Savelski, Mariano; Farrell, Stephanie H.; Hecht, Gregory B.
Integrating biology in the chemical engineering curriculum seems to be the future for chemical engineering programs nation and worldwide. Rowan University's efforts to address this need include a unique chemical engineering curriculum with an intensive biology component integrated throughout from freshman to senior years. Freshman and Sophomore…
Momsen, Jennifer L.; Long, Tammy M.; Wyse, Sara A.; Ebert-May, Diane
Introductory biology courses are widely criticized for overemphasizing details and rote memorization of facts. Data to support such claims, however, are surprisingly scarce. We sought to determine whether this claim was evidence-based. To do so we quantified the cognitive level of learning targeted by faculty in introductory-level biology courses.…
Vanderlinden, David Winston
This study reports the use of historically accurate narratives (short stories) to simultaneously teach geology content and the nature of science in an introductory, undergraduate geology course. The stories describe key events involved in the development of geologists' ideas about continental drift/plate tectonics and deep time/the age of the Earth. The design of the stories provides a highly contextualized setting which is designed to promote NOS and geology understanding by explicitly attending students to fundamental concepts and requiring students to reflect on the short story content. Evidence is reported to support the conclusion that students using these short stories constructed a better understanding of (1) the variety of processes involved in the construction of scientific knowledge, (2) the subjective nature of data that allows it to be interpreted differently by different scientists, and (3) the roles that culture and society play in determining the way in which scientific work is conducted and scientific ideas are constructed, while maintaining equal levels of understanding of geology content when compared to students who did not use the short stories. In some cases, students' preconceptions about objectivity in science, the degree to which scientific ideas can be considered as "proven" or "true," and the role of discovery in science appear to have adversely affected their ability to interpret the short story content in the ways intended. In addition, students' misconceptions about differences in how oceanic and continental plates were formed and geologists' use of relative and absolute dating techniques, especially the appropriate uses of radio-isotopic dating, are described. This study has implications for science instructors as they make efforts to efficiently use class time and curriculum resources to teach about the both the content and context of science and for geology instructors as they consider students' misconceptions about plate tectonics
Hekmat-Scafe, Daria S.; Brownell, Sara E.; Seawell, Patricia Chandler; Malladi, Shyamala; Imam, Jamie F. Conklin; Singla, Veena; Bradon, Nicole; Cyert, Martha S.; Stearns, Tim
The opportunity to engage in scientific research is an important, but often neglected, component of undergraduate training in biology. We describe the curriculum for an innovative, course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) appropriate for a large, introductory cell and molecular biology laboratory class that leverages students' high…
Villareal, T. A.; Jarmon, L.; Triggs, R.
Shipboard research is a fundamental part of oceanography, but has numerous legal and practical constraints virtually eliminate it as a regular part of large-enrollment programs in marine science. The cost of a properly equipped research vessel alone can prevent student access. While much can be learned by active exploration of archived data by students, the limitations placed on real oceanographic programs by distance, vessel speed, and time are difficult to reproduce in exercises. Pre-cruise planning and collaboration between investigators are likewise a challenge to incorporate. We have used design students in the College of Liberal Arts to construct a oceanographic expedition in Second Life for use in a marine science course (Fall 2009). Second Life is a highly collaborative environment with a variety of tools that allow users to create their own environment and interact with it. Second LIfe is free, highly portable, and inherently amenable to distance or remote teaching. In our application, the research vessel exists as an moving platform with sampling abilities. Software code queries an external MySQL database that contains information from the World Ocean Atlas for the entire ocean, and returns strings of data from standard depths. Students must plan the cruise track to test hypothesis about the ocean, collaborate with other teams to develop the big picture and use standard oceanographic software (Ocean Data Viewer; ODV) to analyze the data. Access to the entire database in ODV then allows comparison to the actual properties and distributions. The effectiveness of this approach is being evaluated by a pre- and post-class surveys and post semester focus group interviews. Similar surveys of the design students that created the environment noted that use of Second Life created a learning experience that was both more immersive and process oriented than traditional college courses. Initial impressions in the marine science class indicate that the strong social
Full Text Available Background. Community-based education research and service (COBERS is a platform for embedding progressive transformative leadership andresearch-related medical education in Uganda. The leadership development programme (LDP developed at Mbarara University of Science andÂ Technology (MUST, Uganda is a key component of COBERS. Health science students at MUST are equipped by means of the LDP with leadershipÂ knowledge and skills, and a positive attitude towards leadership and rural communities. The programme involves employing interactive learner-centredÂ education techniques, with the opportunity to implement these skills in a community setting immediately after the training.Objective. To assess the studentsâ€™ self-reported perception and effectiveness of the precommunity placement LDP at MUST and its impact duringÂ the community clinical placement, and to measure the self-reported improvement of studentsâ€™ knowledge and their application of leadership skills inÂ the community. The results of the evaluation will improve and build on this educational programme. The study also evaluated the effectiveness of theÂ preplacement leadership training course for undergraduates at MUST, as reported by students.Methods. The programme evaluation of the LDP used quantitative pretest and post-test measures and qualitative data from focus group discussionsto enrich the evaluation. Data were collected from students before and after the 1-week leadership training course using the same self-administeredquestionnaire. Variables were then compared to evaluate the impact of the LDP.Results. Prior to the intervention, only 14% of the participants had ever attended a leadership training session. There was significant self-reportedchange in the task accomplishment skills, interpersonal relationship skills and quality of leadership.Conclusion. The results suggest that the LDP may increase leadership skills among health science students to improve
Ramnarain, Umesh; Padayachee, Keshni
This study reports on the analysis of South African Life Sciences and Biology textbooks for the inclusion of the nature of science using a conceptual framework developed by Chiappetta, Fillman and Sethna (1991). In particular, we investigated the differences between the representation of the nature of science in Biology textbooks that were written…
Hart, Kathy, Ed.
A series of science experiments and activities designed for secondary school students taking biology, chemistry, physics, physical science or marine science courses are outlined. Each of the three major sections--chemistry, biology, and physics--addresses concepts that are generally covered in those courses but incorporates aspects of marine…
Hood, Leroy; Rowen, Lee
The Human Genome Project has transformed biology through its integrated big science approach to deciphering a reference human genome sequence along with the complete sequences of key model organisms. The project exemplifies the power, necessity and success of large, integrated, cross-disciplinary efforts - so-called 'big science' - directed towards complex major objectives. In this article, we discuss the ways in which this ambitious endeavor led to the development of novel technologies and analytical tools, and how it brought the expertise of engineers, computer scientists and mathematicians together with biologists. It established an open approach to data sharing and open-source software, thereby making the data resulting from the project accessible to all. The genome sequences of microbes, plants and animals have revolutionized many fields of science, including microbiology, virology, infectious disease and plant biology. Moreover, deeper knowledge of human sequence variation has begun to alter the practice of medicine. The Human Genome Project has inspired subsequent large-scale data acquisition initiatives such as the International HapMap Project, 1000 Genomes, and The Cancer Genome Atlas, as well as the recently announced Human Brain Project and the emerging Human Proteome Project.
Hood-DeGrenier, Jennifer K.
The movement of newly synthesized proteins through the endomembrane system of eukaryotic cells, often referred to generally as the secretory pathway, is a topic covered in most intermediate-level undergraduate cell biology courses. An article previously published in this journal described a laboratory exercise in which yeast mutants defective in…
The purpose of this study is to examine motivation of science high school students towards learning biology and their attitude towards biology lessons. The sample of the study consists of 564 high school students (308 females, 256 males) studying at two science high schools in Aksaray, Turkey. In the study, the relational scanning method, which is…
Finch, L.; Horii, C. V.; Phillips, R.; Bois, J. S.
We developed an introductory laboratory course to provide a visceral experience that aims at getting students truly excited about scientific study of the living world. Our vehicle to do that was to focus on what Paul Nurse dubbed “the great ideas of biology” rather than an approach to biology that celebrates specific factual knowledge. To that end, we developed eight diverse experimental modules, each of which highlights a key biological concept and gives an opportunity to use theory to g...
Nthathakane, Malefu Christina
This study investigated how Basotho high school biology students responded to a multicultural science education (MCSE) approach. Students' home language---Sesotho---and cultural experiences were integrated into the teaching of a unit on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) abuse. The focus was on students whose cultural background is African and who are English second language users. The study was conducted in three high school biology classrooms in Lesotho where the ATOD unit was taught using MCSE. A fourth biology classroom was observed for comparison purposes. In this classroom the regular biology teacher taught ATOD using typical instructional strategies. The study was framed by the general question: How does a multicultural science education approach affect Basotho high school biology students? More specifically: How does the use of Sesotho (or code-switching between Sesotho and English) and integration of Basotho students' cultural knowledge and experiences with respect to ATOD affect students' learning? In particular how does the approach affect students' participation and academic performance? A qualitative research method was used in this study. Data were drawn from a number of different sources and analyzed inductively. The data sources included field-notes, transcripts of ATOD lessons, research assistant lesson observation notes and interviews, regular biology teachers' interviews and notes from observing a few of their lessons, students' interviews and pre and posttest scripts, and other school documents that recorded students' performance throughout the year. Using the students' home language---Sesotho---was beneficial in that it enabled them to share ideas, communicate better and understand each other, the teacher and the material that was taught. Integrating students' cultural and everyday experiences was beneficial because it enabled students to anchor the new ATOD ideas in what was familiar and helped them find the relevance of the unit by
Mulligan, Gregory; Taylor, Nichole; Glen, Mary; Tomlin, Dona; Gaul, Catherine A
Cross-disciplinary (CD) learning experiences benefit student understanding of concepts and curriculum by offering opportunities to explore topics from the perspectives of alternate fields of study. This report involves a qualitative evaluation of CD health sciences undergraduate laboratory experiences in which concepts and students from two distinct disciplines [chemistry (CHEM) and exercise physiology (EPHE)] combined to study exercise thermoregulation and sweat analysis. Twenty-eight senior BSc Kinesiology (EPHE) students and 42 senior BSc CHEM students participated as part of their mutually exclusive, respective courses. The effectiveness of this laboratory environment was evaluated qualitatively using written comments collected from all students as well as from formal focus groups conducted after the CD laboratory with a representative cohort from each class (n = 16 CHEM students and 9 EPHE students). An open coding strategy was used to analyze the data from written feedback and focus group transcripts. Coding topics were generated and used to develop five themes found to be consistent for both groups of students. These themes reflected the common student perceptions that the CD experience was valuable and that students enjoyed being able to apply academic concepts to practical situations as well as the opportunity to interact with students from another discipline of study. However, students also reported some challenges throughout this experience that stemmed from the combination of laboratory groups from different disciplines with limited modification to the design of the original, pre-CD, learning environments. The results indicate that this laboratory created an effective learning opportunity that fostered student interest and enthusiasm for learning. The findings also provide information that could inform subsequent design and implementation of similar CD experiences to enhance engagement of all students and improve instructor efficacy.
Stamos, David N
The primary purpose of this paper is to argue that biologists should stop citing Karl Popper on what a genuinely scientific theory is. Various ways in which biologists cite Popper on this matter are surveyed, including the use of Popper to settle debates on methodology in phylogenetic systematics. It is then argued that the received view on Popper--namely, that a genuinely scientific theory is an empirically falsifiable one--is seriously mistaken, that Popper's real view was that genuinely scientific theories have the form of statements of laws of nature. It is then argued that biology arguably has no genuine laws of its own. In place of Popperian falsifiability, it is suggested that a cluster class epistemic values approach (which subsumes empirical falsifiability) is the best solution to the demarcation problem between genuine science and pseudo- or non-science.
Andrews, Sarah E.; Runyon, Christopher; Aikens, Melissa L.
In response to calls to improve the quantitative training of undergraduate biology students, there have been increased efforts to better integrate math into biology curricula. One challenge of such efforts is negative student attitudes toward math, which are thought to be particularly prevalent among biology students. According to theory,…
Santandrea, Jeffrey; Kairouz, Vanessa; Collins, Shawn K.
An undergraduate teaching laboratory experiment involving a continuous flow, photocatalytic thiol-ene reaction using visible-light irradiation is described that allows students to explore concepts of green chemistry, photochemistry, photocatalysis, and continuous flow chemistry.
Olimpo, Jeffrey T.; Fisher, Ginger R.; DeChenne-Peters, Sue Ellen
Within the past decade, course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have emerged as a viable mechanism to enhance novices’ development of scientific reasoning and process skills in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. Recent evidence within the bioeducation literature suggests that student engagement in such experiences not only increases their appreciation for and interest in scientific research but also enhances their ability to “think like a scientist.” Despite these critical outcomes, few studies have objectively explored CURE versus non-CURE students’ development of content knowledge, attitudes, and motivation in the discipline, particularly among nonvolunteer samples. To address these concerns, we adopted a mixed-methods approach to evaluate the aforementioned outcomes following implementation of a novel CURE in an introductory cell/molecular biology course. Results indicate that CURE participants exhibited more expert-like outcomes on these constructs relative to their non-CURE counterparts, including in those areas related to self-efficacy, self-determination, and problem-solving strategies. Furthermore, analysis of end-of-term survey data suggests that select features of the CURE, such as increased student autonomy and collaboration, mediate student learning and enjoyment. Collectively, this research provides novel insights into the benefits achieved as a result of CURE participation and can be used to guide future development and evaluation of authentic research opportunities. PMID:27909022
DiBartolomeis, Susan M.
Several reports on science education suggest that students at all levels learn better if they are immersed in a project that is long term, yielding results that require analysis and interpretation. I describe a 12-wk laboratory project suitable for upper-level undergraduates and first-year graduate students, in which the students molecularly locate and map a gene from Drosophila melanogaster called dusky and one of dusky's mutant alleles. The mapping strategy uses restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis; hence, students perform most of the basic techniques of molecular biology (DNA isolation, restriction enzyme digestion and mapping, plasmid vector subcloning, agarose and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, DNA labeling, and Southern hybridization) toward the single goal of characterizing dusky and the mutant allele dusky73. Students work as individuals, pairs, or in groups of up to four students. Some exercises require multitasking and collaboration between groups. Finally, results from everyone in the class are required for the final analysis. Results of pre- and postquizzes and surveys indicate that student knowledge of appropriate topics and skills increased significantly, students felt more confident in the laboratory, and students found the laboratory project interesting and challenging. Former students report that the lab was useful in their careers. PMID:21364104
Based on undergraduate teaching to students in computer science, economics and mathematics at Aarhus University, this is an elementary introduction to convex sets and convex functions with emphasis on concrete computations and examples. Starting from linear inequalities and Fourier-Motzkin elimin...
Durham, Mary F; Knight, Jennifer K; Couch, Brian A
The Scientific Teaching (ST) pedagogical framework provides various approaches for science instructors to teach in a way that more closely emulates how science is practiced by actively and inclusively engaging students in their own learning and by making instructional decisions based on student performance data. Fully understanding the impact of ST requires having mechanisms to quantify its implementation. While many useful instruments exist to document teaching practices, these instruments only partially align with the range of practices specified by ST, as described in a recently published taxonomy. Here, we describe the development, validation, and implementation of the Measurement Instrument for Scientific Teaching (MIST), a survey derived from the ST taxonomy and designed to gauge the frequencies of ST practices in undergraduate science courses. MIST showed acceptable validity and reliability based on results from 7767 students in 87 courses at nine institutions. We used factor analyses to identify eight subcategories of ST practices and used these categories to develop a short version of the instrument amenable to joint administration with other research instruments. We further discuss how MIST can be used by instructors, departments, researchers, and professional development programs to quantify and track changes in ST practices. © 2017 M. F. Durham et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2017 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Momsen, Jennifer L; Long, Tammy M; Wyse, Sara A; Ebert-May, Diane
Introductory biology courses are widely criticized for overemphasizing details and rote memorization of facts. Data to support such claims, however, are surprisingly scarce. We sought to determine whether this claim was evidence-based. To do so we quantified the cognitive level of learning targeted by faculty in introductory-level biology courses. We used Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives to assign cognitive learning levels to course goals as articulated on syllabi and individual items on high-stakes assessments (i.e., exams and quizzes). Our investigation revealed the following: 1) assessment items overwhelmingly targeted lower cognitive levels, 2) the cognitive level of articulated course goals was not predictive of the cognitive level of assessment items, and 3) there was no influence of course size or institution type on the cognitive levels of assessments. These results support the claim that introductory biology courses emphasize facts more than higher-order thinking.
McClusky, Leon Mendel
The traditional presentation of the Reproductive Physiology component in an Anatomy and Physiology course to nursing undergraduates focuses on the broad aspects of hormonal regulation of reproduction and gonadal anatomy, with the role of the higher centres of the brain omitted. An introductory discussion is proposed which could precede the lectures on the reproductive organs. The discussion gives an overview of the biological significance of human pleasure, the involvement of the neurotransmitter dopamine, and the role of pleasure in the survival of the individual and even species. Pleasure stimuli (positive and negative) and the biological significance of naturally-induced pleasurable experiences are briefly discussed in the context of reproduction and the preservation of genetic material with an aim to foster relevancy between subject material and human behaviour in any type of society. The tenderness of this aspect of the human existence is well-understood because of its invariable association with soul-revealing human expressions such as love, infatuation, sexual flirtations, all of which are underpinned by arousal, desire and/or pleasure. Assuming that increased knowledge correlates with increased confidence, the proposed approach may provide the nurse with an adequate knowledge base to overcome well-known barriers in communicating with their patients about matters of sexual health and intimacy. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Birnbaum, Mark J.; Picco, Jenna; Clements, Meghan; Witwicka, Hanna; Yang, Meiheng; Hoey, Margaret T.; Odgren, Paul R.
A key goal of molecular/cell biology/biotechnology is to identify essential genes in virtually every physiological process to uncover basic mechanisms of cell function and to establish potential targets of drug therapy combating human disease. This article describes a semester-long, project-oriented molecular/cellular/biotechnology laboratory…
Harackiewicz, Judith M.; Canning, Elizabeth A.; Tibbetts, Yoi; Giffen, Cynthia J.; Blair, Seth S.; Rouse, Douglas I.; Hyde, Janet S.
Many students start college intending to pursue a career in the biosciences, but too many abandon this goal because they struggle in introductory biology. Interventions have been developed to close achievement gaps for underrepresented minority students and women, but no prior research has attempted to close the gap for first-generation students,…
Smith, James J.; Cheruvelil, Kendra Spence; Auvenshine, Stacie
Phylogenetic trees provide visual representations of ancestor-descendant relationships, a core concept of evolutionary theory. We introduced "tree thinking" into our introductory organismal biology course (freshman/sophomore majors) to help teach organismal diversity within an evolutionary framework. Our instructional strategy consisted…
White, Harold B.; Benore, Marilee A.; Sumter, Takita F.; Caldwell, Benjamin D.; Bell, Ellis
Biochemistry and molecular biology (BMB) students should demonstrate proficiency in the foundational concepts of the discipline and possess the skills needed to practice as professionals. To ascertain the skills that should be required, groups of BMB educators met in several focused workshops to discuss the expectations with the ultimate goal of…
Whitworth, David E.
We provide a prepackaged molecular biology course, which has a broad context and is scalable to large numbers of students. It is provided complete with technical setup guidance, a reliable assessment regime, and can be readily implemented without any development necessary. Framed as a forensic examination of blue/white cloning plasmids, the course…
Full Text Available Students of science traditionally make 3x5 flash cards to assist learning nomenclature, structures, and reactions. Advances in educational technology have enabled flashcards viewed on computers, offering an endless array of drilling and feedback opportunities for students. The current generation of students is less inclined to use computers, but they use their cell phones 24 hours a day. This report outlines these trends and an even more recent educational technology initiative, that of using cell phone flash cards to help students learn biology and chemistry nomenclature, structures, and reactions. Students responded positively to cell phone flash cards in a pilot study and a more detailed study is planned for the coming year.
Hendrickson, Tamara L.
Recently, a requirement for directed responsible conduct in research (RCR) education has become a priority in the United States and elsewhere. In the US, both the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation require RCR education for all students who are financially supported by federal awards. The guidelines produced by these…
Reddy, S. R.; Tuluri, F.; Fadavi, M.
JSU Meteorology Program will be offering AMS Climate Studies undergraduate course under MET 210: Climatology in spring 2013. AMS Climate Studies is offered as a 3 credit hour laboratory course with 2 lectures and 1 lab sessions per week. Although this course places strong intellectual demands upon each student, the instructors' objective is to help each student to pass the course with an adequate understanding of the fundamentals and advanced and advanced courses. AMS Climate Studies is an introductory college-level course developed by the American Meteorological Society for implementation at undergraduate institutions nationwide. The course places students in a dynamic and highly motivational educational environment where they investigate Earth's climate system using real-world environmental data. The AMS Climate Studies course package consists of a textbook, investigations manual, course website, and course management system-compatible files. Instructors can use these resources in combinations that make for an exciting learning experience for their students. This is a content course in Earth Science. It introduces a new concept that views Earth as a synergistic physical system applied concepts of climatology, for him/her to understand basic atmospheric/climate processes, physical and dynamical climatology, regional climatology, past and future climates and statistical analysis using climate data and to be prepared to profit from studying more of interrelated phenomenon governed by complex processes involving the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the biosphere, and the solid Earth. The course emphasizes that the events that shape the physical, chemical, and biological processes of the Earth do not occur in isolation. Rather, there is a delicate relationship between the events that occur in the ocean, atmosphere, and the solid Earth. The course provides a multidimensional approach in solving scientific issues related to Earth-related sciences,
Essien-Wood, Idara R.
Given the lack of literature on Undergraduate African American females in the sciences (UAAFS), this study sought to explicate their experiences at one large, predominantly White, Research I institution in the southwestern United States. In particular, the purpose of this study was to identify factors that affect the academic success and persistence of Black females in the natural and physical sciences. Data was collected via in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 15 Black female science majors. Findings from this study identified several supportive mechanisms for academic success: family, religion, teaching assistants and friends. Also identified were seven barriers to academic success: employment, lack of diversity, cultural dissonance, unwelcoming Research I environment, faculty, advisors, classmates, and lab groups. Further, an analysis of students' responses revealed numerous instances of racial and gender micro-aggressions. Recommendations are provided to address factors identified as affecting student academic success and persistence as well as a culture of micro-aggressive behavior.
Thompson, Jennifer Jo; Conaway, Evan; Dolan, Erin L.
Recent calls for reform in undergraduate biology education have emphasized integrating research experiences into the learning experiences of all undergraduates. Contemporary science research increasingly demands collaboration across disciplines and institutions to investigate complex research questions, providing new contexts and models for…
Cojocaru, Radu Ionut
There is a close relation between physics and mathematics and the exchange of ideas between these two sciences are well established. However until few years ago there was no such a close relation between physics and computer science. Even more, only recently biologists started to use methods and tools from statistical physics in order to study the behavior of complex system. In this thesis we concentrate on applying and analyzing several methods borrowed from computer science to biology and also we use methods from statistical physics in solving hard problems from computer science. In recent years physicists have been interested in studying the behavior of complex networks. Physics is an experimental science in which theoretical predictions are compared to experiments. In this definition, the term prediction plays a very important role: although the system is complex, it is still possible to get predictions for its behavior, but these predictions are of a probabilistic nature. Spin glasses, lattice gases or the Potts model are a few examples of complex systems in physics. Spin glasses and many frustrated antiferromagnets map exactly to computer science problems in the NP-hard class defined in Chapter 1. In Chapter 1 we discuss a common result from artificial intelligence (AI) which shows that there are some problems which are NP-complete, with the implication that these problems are difficult to solve. We introduce a few well known hard problems from computer science (Satisfiability, Coloring, Vertex Cover together with Maximum Independent Set and Number Partitioning) and then discuss their mapping to problems from physics. In Chapter 2 we provide a short review of combinatorial optimization algorithms and their applications to ground state problems in disordered systems. We discuss the cavity method initially developed for studying the Sherrington-Kirkpatrick model of spin glasses. We extend this model to the study of a specific case of spin glass on the Bethe
Kirk, K. B.; Bruckner, M. Z.; Manduca, C. A.; Buhr, S. M.
To prepare students to understand a changing climate, it is imperative that we equip educators with the best possible tools and methods for reaching their audience. As part of the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) professional development efforts, two workshops for undergraduate faculty were held in 2012. These workshops used a variety of activities to help faculty learn about recent climate research, take part in demonstrations of successful activities for teaching climate topics, and collaborate to create new teaching materials. The workshops also facilitated professional networking among participants. Both workshops were held online, eliminating the need for travel, encouraging participants without travel funds to attend, and allowing international collaborations and presentations. To create an authentic experience, the workshop used several technologies such as the Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing platform, SERC's web-based collaboration tools and online discussion threads, and conference calls. The workshop Communicating Climate Science in the Classroom, held in April 2012, explored practices for communicating climate science and policy in the classroom and provided strategies to improve student understanding of this complex and sensitive topic. Workshop presentations featured public opinion research on Americans' perceptions of climate change, tactics for identifying and resolving student misconceptions, and methods to address various "backfire effects" that can result from attempts to correct misinformation. Demonstrations of teaching approaches included a role-playing simulation of emissions negotiations, Princeton's climate stabilization wedges game, and an activity that allows students to use scientific principles to tackle misinformation. The workshop Teaching Climate Complexity was held in May 2012. Teaching the complexities of climate science requires an understanding of many facets of the Earth system and a robust pedagogic
Benbow, Ross J.; Vivyan, Erika
Building from findings showing that undergraduate computer science continues to have the highest attrition rates proportionally for women within postsecondary science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines--a phenomenon that defies basic social equity goals in a high status field--this paper seeks to better understand how student…
State Univ. of New York, Potsdam. Coll. at Potsdam.
Proceedings of the North Country Workshop on Science, Technology, and the Undergraduate Curriculum are presented. The Sloan Foundation's call for reform of the liberal arts and coverage of mathematics, science, and technology is noted in welcoming remarks by State University of New York, Potsdam, President Humphrey Tonkin. Stephen H. Cutcliffe…
LeGrand, Karen; Yamashita, Lina; Trexler, Cary J.; Vu, Thi Lam An; Young, Glenn M.
Although many educators now recognize the value of problem-based learning and experiential learning, undergraduate-level food science courses that reflect these pedagogical approaches are still relatively novel, especially in East and Southeast Asia. Leveraging existing partnerships with farmers in Vietnam, a food science course for students at…
Kozeracki, Carol A; Carey, Michael F; Colicelli, John; Levis-Fitzgerald, Marc; Grossel, Martha
UCLA's Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research Program (HHURP), a collaboration between the College of Letters and Science and the School of Medicine, trains a group of highly motivated undergraduates through mentored research enhanced by a rigorous seminar course. The course is centered on the presentation and critical analysis of scientific journal articles as well as the students' own research. This article describes the components and objectives of the HHURP and discusses the results of three program assessments: annual student evaluations, interviews with UCLA professors who served as research advisors for HHURP scholars, and a survey of program alumni. Students indicate that the program increased their ability to read and present primary scientific research and to present their own research and enhanced their research experience at UCLA. After graduating, they find their involvement in the HHURP helped them in securing admission to the graduate program of their choice and provided them with an advantage over their peers in the interactive seminars that are the foundation of graduate education. On the basis of the assessment of the program from 1998-1999 to 2004-2005, we conclude that an intensive literature-based training program increases student confidence and scientific literacy during their undergraduate years and facilitates their transition to postgraduate study.
Snodgrass, Meagan A.; Lux, Nicholas; Metz, Anneke M.
There is a continuing need for engaging inquiry-based laboratory experiences for advanced high school and undergraduate biology courses. The authors describe a guided-inquiry exercise investigating the pH-dependence of lactase enzyme that uses an inexpensive, wide-range buffering system, lactase dietary supplement, over-the-counter glucose test…
Chiar, J.; Phillips, C. B.; Rudolph, A.; Bonaccorsi, R.; Tarter, J.; Harp, G.; Caldwell, D. A.; DeVore, E. K.
The SETI Institute hosts an Astrobiology Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Beginning in 2013, we partnered with the Physics and Astronomy Dept. at Cal Poly Pomona, a Hispanic-serving university, to recruit underserved students. Over 11 years, we have served 155 students. We focus on Astrobiology since the Institute's mission is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. Our REU students work with mentors at the Institute - a non-profit organization located in California's Silicon Valley-and at the nearby NASA Ames Research Center. Projects span research on survival of microbes under extreme conditions, planetary geology, astronomy, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), extrasolar planets and more. The REU program begins with an introductory lectures by Institute scientists covering the diverse astrobiology subfields. A week-long field trip to the SETI Institute's Allen Telescope Array (Hat Creek Radio Astronomy Observatory in Northern California) and field experiences at hydrothermal systems at nearby Lassen Volcanic National Park immerses students in radio astronomy and SETI, and extremophile environments that are research sites for astrobiologists. Field trips expose students to diverse environments and allow them to investigate planetary analogs as our scientists do. Students also participate in local trips to the California Academy of Sciences and other nearby locations of scientific interest, and attend the weekly scientific colloquium hosted by the SETI Institute at Microsoft, other seminars and lectures at SETI Institute and NASA Ames. The students meet and present at a weekly journal club where they hone their presentation skills, as well as share their research progress. At the end of the summer, the REU interns present their research projects at a session of the Institute's colloquium. As a final project, students prepare a 2-page formal abstract and 15-minute
Hall, Alfred L., II
Previous research studies indicated that African Americans remain severely underrepresented in the field of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET), making up only 3% of that workforce, while representing 11.1% of all professional and related workers and 12.6% of the general population. As this country moves towards a more culturally diverse population, then representation of African Americans in SMET-related fields must be addressed in order to ensure our nation's competitiveness in a global market. This research study analyzed characteristics of African American undergraduate SMET majors participating in the Alliance for Minority Participation (AMP) program in six different states located in the Southeast region of the United States. These states consisted of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina. AMP program participants completed a survey questionnaire, which collected information about potential factors that could affect their matriculation in SMET programs of studies at their respective institutions. Follow-up interviews and focus group sessions were also conducted with AMP participants to provide supplemental information to the survey data. The results of student responses were analyzed according to the type of institution the students attended (Historically Black College or University and Majority White Institution) as well as by the statewide Alliance program in which the students were involved. The students responded to survey questions that asked for their reasons for majoring in their field of study, their level of satisfaction with their institution, their impressions of student support programs and persons, their impressions of faculty and advisors, their reasons for thinking of switching majors, and their level of high school preparation. Statistical analyses of the student responses found that African American AMP students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities differed from those
Kremer, Kerstin; Specht, Christiane; Urhahne, Detlef; Mayer, Jürgen
Informed understandings of nature of science and scientific inquiry are generally accepted goals of biology education. This article points out central features of scientific inquiry with relation to biology and the nature of science in general terms and focuses on the relationship of students' inquiry skills in biology and their beliefs on the…
Buxner, S.; Perera, V.; Mead, C.; Horodyskyj, L.; Semken, S. C.; Lopatto, D.; Anbar, A. D.
General-education Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses are considered essential to a college education, in part, to train students to think critically and to make informed decisions about complex scientific issues such as climate change and public health. Therefore, the goals of these STEM courses go beyond content knowledge to include generating positive attitudes towards science, developing competence in evaluating scientific information in everyday life, and understanding the nature of science. The Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) survey is frequently used to measure these attitudes, but it has not previously been used in an online, general education course. In this work, we administered the CURE survey for three semesters (N = 774) before and after completion of an online astrobiology course called Habitable Worlds. We compare students taking this course as part of fully-online degree programs (o-course) with those taking it as part of traditional undergraduate programs (i-course). More females and older students were among the o-course group, while overall the course had more white students than the Arizona State University average. Mean course grades were similar between the two groups but attitudes toward science differred significantly. O-course students began the course with more positive attitudes than i-course students, and o-course students also showed more positive changes at the end of the course. These differences suggest lesser intrinsic motivation among the i-course students. Additionally, pre-course attitudes correlated with final course grade for o-course students, but not for i-course students, which implies that success among o-course students is influenced by different factors than i-course students. Thus, effective student support strategies may differ for online-only students. Future work will include student interviews to better calibrate the CURE survey to online science courses.
Kyriacos, Una; Jordan, Sue; van den Heever, Jean
This paper reports a study to inform curriculum development by exploring the contribution of bioscience education programmes to nurses' clinical practice, their understanding of the rationale for practice, and their perceptions of their continuing professional development needs. The future of the health services worldwide depends on nurse education programmes equipping practitioners to deliver safe and effective patient care. In the developed world, the structure and indicative content of nursing curricula have been debated extensively. However, despite the rapid expansion in nursing roles brought about by social change, there is little information on the educational needs of nurses in developing countries. This study was undertaken in government teaching hospitals in Cape Town, South Africa in 2003. A purposive sample of 54 nurses from a range of clinical settings completed questionnaires and described critical incidents where bioscience knowledge had directed practice. Questionnaires were analysed descriptively, in the main. Analysis of critical incident reports was based on Akinsanya's bionursing model. Most nurses felt that their understanding of the biological, but not the physical sciences, was adequate or better: all felt confident with their knowledge of anatomy, compared with 57.4% (31/54) for microbiology. Respondents attributed the successes and failures of their education programmes to their teachers' delivery of content, ability to relate to practice and management of the process of learning. The biological, but not the physical, sciences were universally (96-100%) regarded as relevant to nursing. However, the critical incidents and nurses' own reports indicated a need for further education in pharmacology (40/54, 74.1%) and microbiology (29/54, 53.7%). To meet the needs of nurses in developing countries, and empower them to meet the increasingly complex demands of their expanding roles, nurse educators need to consider increasing the curriculum
Chopik, William J.; Bremner, Ryan H.; Defever, Andrew M.; Keller, Victor N.
Over the past 10 years, crises surrounding replication, fraud, and best practices in research methods have dominated discussions in the field of psychology. However, no research exists examining how to communicate these issues to undergraduates and what effect this has on their attitudes toward the field. We developed and validated a 1-hr lecture…
Newton, Genevieve; Martin, Elizabeth
Three alternative approaches to assessment of exam responses were applied in an undergraduate biochemistry course. First, phenomenography was used to categorize written exam responses into an inclusive hierarchy. Second, responses to the same question were similarly categorized according to the Structure of Observed Learning Outcome (SOLO)…
Hopper, Larry J., Jr.; Schumacher, Courtney; Stachnik, Justin P.
The Student Operational Aggie Doppler Radar Project (SOAP) involved 95 undergraduates in a research and education program to better understand the climatology of storms in southeast Texas from 2006-2010. This paper describes the structure, components, and implementation of the 1-credit-hour research course, comparing first-year participants'…
Lee, Gerhard B.
Offers suggestions to advisers of undergraduate students in agriculture. Recommends that advisers be competent, concerned, compassionate, and provide an open-door attitude toward their advisees. Suggests that students be guided toward good study habits and participation in intern programs. (TW)
Phoebus, Patrick E.
Increasing individual ecological literacy levels may help citizens make informed choices about the environmental challenges facing society. The purpose of this study was to explore the impacts of an arboretum curriculum incorporating mobile technology and an urban greenspace on the ecological knowledge, environmental attitudes and beliefs, and environmental behaviors of undergraduate biology students and pre-service K-8 teachers during a summer course. Using a convergent parallel mixed-methods design, both quantitative and qualitative data were collected, analyzed, and later merged to create an enhanced understanding of the impact of the curriculum on the environmental attitudes and beliefs of the participants. Quantitative results revealed a significant difference between pre- and post-survey scores for ecological knowledge, with no significant differences between pre- and post-scores for the other variables measured. However, no significant difference in scores was found between experimental and comparison groups for any of the three variables. When the two data sets were compared, results from the quantitative and qualitative components were found to converge and diverge. Quantitative data indicated the environmental attitudes and beliefs of participants were unaffected by the arboretum curriculum. Similarly, qualitative data indicated participants' perceived environmental attitudes and beliefs about the importance of nature remained unchanged throughout the course of the study. However, qualitative data supporting the theme connecting with the curriculum suggested experiences with the arboretum curriculum helped participants develop an appreciation for trees and nature and led them to believe they increased their knowledge about trees.
Aikens, Melissa L.; Sadselia, Sona; Watkins, Keiana; Evans, Mara; Eby, Lillian T.; Dolan, Erin L.
Undergraduate researchers at research universities are often mentored by graduate students or postdoctoral researchers (referred to collectively as "postgraduates") and faculty, creating a mentoring triad structure. Triads differ based on whether the undergraduate, postgraduate, and faculty member interact with one another about the…
Scalzo, F.; Johnson, L.; Marchese, P.
The New York City Research Initiative (NYCRI) is a research and academic program that involves high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, and high school teachers in research teams that are led by college/university principal investigators of NASA funded projects and/or NASA scientists. The principal investigators are at 12 colleges/universities within a 50-mile radius of New York City (NYC and surrounding counties, Southern Connecticut and Northern New Jersey), as well as the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS). This program has a summer research institute component in Earth Science and Space Science, and an academic year component that includes the formulation and implementation NASA research based learning units in existing STEM courses by high school and college faculty. NYCRI is a revision and expansion of the Institute on Climate and Planets at GISS and is funded by NASA MURED and the Goddard Space Flight Center's Education Office.
Soluk, Lauren; Buddle, Christopher M.
Twitter is a cold medium that allows users to deliver content-rich but small packets of information to other users, and provides an opportunity for active and collaborative communication. In an education setting, this social media tool has potential to increase active learning opportunities, and increase student engagement with course content. The effects of Twitter on learning dynamics was tested in a field biology course offered by a large Canadian University: 29 students agreed to take part in the Twitter project and quantitative and qualitative data were collected, including survey data from 18 students. Students published 200% more public Tweets than what was required, and interacted frequently with the instructor and teaching assistant, their peers, and users external to the course. Almost 80% of students stated that Twitter increased opportunities for among-group communication, and 94% of students felt this kind of collaborative communication was beneficial to their learning. Although students did not think they would use Twitter after the course was over, 77% of the students still felt it was a good learning tool, and 67% of students felt Twitter had a positive impact on how they engaged with course content. These results suggest social media tools such as Twitter can help achieve active and collaborative learning in higher education. PMID:26594328
Machart, J M; Silverthorn, D U
Effective communication between instructors and students is a challenge regardless of the instructor-to-student ratio. Instructors of large classes, in particular, have resorted to various forms of Internet communication, such as mailing lists and newsgroups, to supplement class time and office hours. Mailing lists are closed discussions among subscribers who receive and send messages via an electronic mail program (e.g., Eudora). Newsgroups are public discussions to which anyone can gain access and respond via a newsreader program (e.g., Nuntius). Newsgroup messages are posted to a bulletin board that the subscriber must visit to read. Mailing lists and newsgroups share many advantages (convenience, greater anonymity, and speed of communication) and disadvantages (computer access required, impersonal nature, junk mail, and lack of graphics in older programs). However, surveys of both faculty and students in biology indicate that mailing lists are generally favored over newsgroups. Reasons given for mailing list popularity included greater familiarity with the E-mail format and ease of access.
Soluk, Lauren; Buddle, Christopher M
Twitter is a cold medium that allows users to deliver content-rich but small packets of information to other users, and provides an opportunity for active and collaborative communication. In an education setting, this social media tool has potential to increase active learning opportunities, and increase student engagement with course content. The effects of Twitter on learning dynamics was tested in a field biology course offered by a large Canadian University: 29 students agreed to take part in the Twitter project and quantitative and qualitative data were collected, including survey data from 18 students. Students published 200% more public Tweets than what was required, and interacted frequently with the instructor and teaching assistant, their peers, and users external to the course. Almost 80% of students stated that Twitter increased opportunities for among-group communication, and 94% of students felt this kind of collaborative communication was beneficial to their learning. Although students did not think they would use Twitter after the course was over, 77% of the students still felt it was a good learning tool, and 67% of students felt Twitter had a positive impact on how they engaged with course content. These results suggest social media tools such as Twitter can help achieve active and collaborative learning in higher education.
Wefer, Stephen H.; Sheppard, Keith
The proliferation of bioinformatics in modern biology marks a modern revolution in science that promises to influence science education at all levels. This study analyzed secondary school science standards of 49 U.S. states (Iowa has no science framework) and the District of Columbia for content related to bioinformatics. The bioinformatics…
Thomas, Julie; Ivey, Toni; Puckette, Jim
The Earth sciences are newly marginalized in K-12 classrooms. With few high schools offering Earth science courses, students' exposure to the Earth sciences relies on the teacher's ability to incorporate Earth science material into a biology, chemistry, or physics course. ''G.E.T. (Geoscience Experiences for Teachers) in the Field'' is an…
Jandciu, Eric; Stewart, Jaclyn J.; Stoodley, Robin; Birol, Gülnur; Han, Andrea; Fox, Joanne A.
The authors describe a model for embedding science communication into the science curriculum without displacing science content. They describe the rationale, development, design, and implementation of two courses taught by science faculty addressing these criteria. They also outline the evaluation plan for these courses, which emphasize broad…
Based on undergraduate teaching to students in computer science, economics and mathematics at Aarhus University, this is an elementary introduction to convex sets and convex functions with emphasis on concrete computations and examples. Starting from linear inequalities and Fourier-Motzkin elimin......Based on undergraduate teaching to students in computer science, economics and mathematics at Aarhus University, this is an elementary introduction to convex sets and convex functions with emphasis on concrete computations and examples. Starting from linear inequalities and Fourier......-Motzkin elimination, the theory is developed by introducing polyhedra, the double description method and the simplex algorithm, closed convex subsets, convex functions of one and several variables ending with a chapter on convex optimization with the Karush-Kuhn-Tucker conditions, duality and an interior point...... algorithm....
Ryan, J. G.; Singer, J.
The NSF offers funding programs that support geoscience education spanning atmospheric, oceans, and Earth sciences, as well as environmental science, climate change and sustainability, and research on learning. The 'Resources to Transform Undergraduate Geoscience Education' (RTUGeoEd) is an NSF Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM (TUES) Type 2 special project aimed at supporting college-level geoscience faculty at all types of institutions. The project's goals are to carry out activities and create digital resources that encourage the geoscience community to submit proposals that impact their courses and classroom infrastructure through innovative changes in instructional practice, and contribute to making transformative changes that impact student learning outcomes and lead to other educational benefits. In the past year information sessions were held during several national and regional professional meetings, including the GSA Southeastern and South-Central Section meetings. A three-day proposal-writing workshop for faculty planning to apply to the TUES program was held at the University of South Florida - Tampa. During the workshop, faculty learned about the program and key elements of a proposal, including: the need to demonstrate awareness of prior efforts within and outside the geosciences and how the proposed project builds upon this knowledge base; need to fully justify budget and role of members of the project team; project evaluation and what matters in selecting a project evaluator; and effective dissemination practices. Participants also spent time developing their proposal benefitting from advice and feedback from workshop facilitators. Survey data gathered from workshop participants point to a consistent set of challenges in seeking grant support for a desired educational innovation, including poor understanding of the educational literature, of available funding programs, and of learning assessment and project evaluation. Many also noted
Pimenta, Rui; Nascimento, Ana; Vieira, Margarida; Costa, Elísio
In previous works, we evaluated the statistical reasoning ability acquired by health sciences’ students carrying out their final undergraduate project. We found that these students achieved a good level of statistical literacy and reasoning in descriptive statistics. However, concerning inferential statistics the students did not reach a similar level. Statistics educators therefore claim for more effective ways to learn statistics such as project based investigations. These can be simulat...
Ransdorf, Angela; Satzinger, Viktoria
The "Wiedner Gymnasium" is an academic high school with two branches: one focusses on languages and the other one on science. In the language branch the students learn at least three languages; one of which is Latin, whereas the students of the scientific branch can learn geometrical drawing and have to attend a scientific laboratory throughout the last four upper classes. As incentive highlights the language classes have a one week's school trip to France, Italy or Spain at the beginning of their 7th form in order to attend a language school and to practice their language skills. As a counterbalance, there was introduced the "marine biological week" several years ago, in which the students of the scientific branch take part whilst their colleagues have their language trips. The marine biological week takes place in Rovinj, Croatia. A team of biologists and divers leads through a programme, by which the students get an overview of different habitats, their conditions and the different ways of adaptation organisms find. Thus, they also become acquainted with several species of animals and plants which are characteristic for this area. They become familiar with some methods of scientific work and also get to know some of the problems marine ecosystems are confronted with. They also learn a little bit if the Mediterranean history and culture. Back in school all the findings are reviewed and brought into an ecological context. The insights can be used for many other topics, too, such as e.g. evolution. This week has proved to be a good start as well for the topic of ecology as for learning to think scientifically in general. So, you can call it a pivot for the scientific branch of our school.
This book is a step by step illustrated guide to planning and writing dissertations and theses for undergraduate and graduate science students. Topics covered include advice on writing each section of a thesis as well as general discussions on collecting and organizing references, keeping records, presenting data, interacting with a supervisor and avoiding academic misconduct. Recommendations about how to use word processors and other software packages effectively are included, as well as advice on the use of other resources. A concise summary of important points of English grammar is given, along with appendices listing frequently confused words and wordy phrases to avoid. Further appendices are provided, including one on Si units. The aim is to provide an easy-to-read guide that gives students practical advice about all aspects of writing a science thesis or dissertation, starting from writing a thesis plan and finishing with the viva and corrections to the thesis.
Trujillo, Caleb M.; Anderson, Trevor R.; Pelaez, Nancy J.
When undergraduate biology students learn to explain biological mechanisms, they face many challenges and may overestimate their understanding of living systems. Previously, we developed the MACH model of four components used by expert biologists to explain mechanisms: Methods, Analogies, Context, and How. This study explores the implementation of the model in an undergraduate biology classroom as an educational tool to address some of the known challenges. To find out how well students’ written explanations represent components of the MACH model before and after they were taught about it and why students think the MACH model was useful, we conducted an exploratory multiple case study with four interview participants. We characterize how two students explained biological mechanisms before and after a teaching intervention that used the MACH components. Inductive analysis of written explanations and interviews showed that MACH acted as an effective metacognitive tool for all four students by helping them to monitor their understanding, communicate explanations, and identify explanatory gaps. Further research, though, is needed to more fully substantiate the general usefulness of MACH for promoting students’ metacognition about their understanding of biological mechanisms. PMID:27252295
Attitude, Skills, Knowledge (ASK) - In this order, these are fundamental characteristics of scientific innovators. Through first-hand practice in using science to unpack and solve complex real-world problems, students can become self-motivated scientific leaders. This presentation describes the pedagogy of a recently developed interdisciplinary undergraduate science education program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst focused on addressing global challenges with scientific solutions. Integrated Concentration in Science (iCons) is an overarching concentration program that supplements the curricula provided within each student's chosen major. iCons is a platform for students to perform student-led research in interdisciplinary collaborative teams. With a schedule of one course per year over four years, the cohort of students move through case studies, analysis of real-world problems, development of potential solutions, integrative communication, laboratory practice, and capstone research projects. In this presentation, a track emphasizing renewable energy science is used to illustrate the iCons pedagogical methods. This includes discussion of a third-year laboratory course in renewable energy that is educationally scaffolded: beginning with a boot camp in laboratory techniques and culminating with student-designed research projects. Among other objectives, this course emphasizes the practice of using reflection and redesign, as a means of generating better solutions and embedding learning for the long term. This work is supported in part by NSF grant DUE-1140805.
Lee, Young H.
Although helping students to achieve an adequate understanding of the nature of science has been a consistent goal for science education for over half a century, current research reveals that the majority of students and teachers have naive views of the nature of science (Abd-El-khalick & Akerson, 2004; Bianchini & Colburn, 2000). This problem could be attributed not only to the complex nature of science, but also to the way the nature of science is presented to students during instruction. Thus, research must be conducted to examine how the science is taught, especially in science textbooks, which are a major instructional resource for teaching science. The aim of this study was to conduct a content analysis of the first chapter of four high school biology textbooks, which typically discusses "What is science?" and "What is biology?" This research used a content analysis technique to analyze the four high school biology textbooks, using a conceptual framework that has been used often for science textbook analysis. This conceptual framework consists of four themes of the nature of science: (a) science as a body of knowledge, (b) science as a way of thinking, (c) science as a way of investigating, and (d) the interaction of science, technology, and society. For this study, the four-theme-framework was modified to incorporate descriptors from national-level documents, such as Science for All Americans (AAAS, 1990) Benchmarks for Science Literacy (AAAS, 1993) and the National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1996), as well as science education research reports. A scoring procedure was used that resulted in good to excellent intercoder agreement with Cohen's kappa (k) ranging from .63 to .96. The findings show that the patterns of presentation of the four themes of the nature of science in the four high school biology textbooks are similar across the different locations of data, text, figures, and assessments. On the other hand, the pattern of presentation of the four
For the past 15 years Kansas State University has offered a course in modern physics for students who are not majoring in physics. This course carries a prerequisite of one physics course so that the students have a basic introduction in classical topics. The majors of students range from liberal arts to engineering. Future secondary science teachers whose first area of teaching is not physics can use the course as part of their study of science. The course has evolved from a lecture format to one which is highly interactive and uses a combination of hands-on activities, tutorials and visualizations, particularly the Visual Quantum Mechanics materials. Another course encourages biology students to continue their physics learning beyond the introductory course. Modern Miracle Medical Machines introduces the basic physics which underlie diagnosis techniques such as MRI and PET and laser surgical techniques. Additional information is available at http://www.phys.ksu.edu/perg/
Full Text Available „Biosemiotics“ is an integrative and interdisciplinary research effort that investigates living systems with concepts borrowed from linguistics and the communication sciences. Life is seen as an entanglement of communicative processes relating entities with each other by defined rules. Those “rules” are the very heart of (biosemiotic analysis. A hallmark of life is the existence of rules that are very different from natural laws. We can find such rules embedded in the genetic code, for example, where a transfer RNA relates a codon in mRNA to an amino acid. Nevertheless, it could have evolved in another way as well as genetic code engineering shows. Apparently arbitrary relationships are inherent to all levels of biological organization: from cells to organisms. Parts are connected in ways that can hardly be inferred from physical (thermodynamic principles and still await reconciliation in a reasonable manner. Essential Readings in Biosemiotics Anthology and Commentary Series: Biosemiotics, Vol. 3 Favareau, Donald (editor 1st Edition., 2010, 880 p., 219,94 €, Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4020-9649-5
Özarslan, Murat; Çetin, Gülcan
The aim of the study was to determine gifted and talented students' views about biology activities in a science and art center. The study was conducted with 26 gifted and talented students who studied at a science and art center in southwestern Turkey. Students studied animal and plant genus and species in biology activities. Data were collected…
Alva, Javier; Verastegui, George; Velasquez, Edgar; Pastor, Reyna; Moscoso, Betsy
To describe the supply and demand of clinical fields for undergraduate students of Peru. A descriptive study was considering as supply of clinical fields the total number of existing hospital beds in Peru. The demand was calculated using the total number of alumni registered in health science carrers following the clinical years or the internship. We calculated the number of beds per student and the coverage of clinical fields nationally and in some selected regions (Lima, Arequipa, La Libertad and Lambayeque). In 2009, Peru had 34,539 hospital beds, 78.5% of which pertained to the public sector and 48.4% are from Lima. We estimated that in 2008 44,032 alumni needed clinical fields, 70% from private universities, which grew 65% since 2005. The coverage of clinical fields, considering only interns from four carreers (medicine, nursery, obstetrics and dentistry) was only 31.5% at the national level. The number of beds per student oscillated between 0.5 in La Libertad to 0.82 in Lima with a national mean of 0.45. The supply of clinical fields for teaching undergraduates is insufficient to satisfy the demand, which continues to grow because of private universities, and hence requires urgent regulation.
Judith S. Rabacal
Full Text Available This is a descriptive study aimed to determine the academic achievement on science process skills of the BS Biology Students of Northern Negros State College of Science and Technology, Philippines with the end view of developing learning exercises which will enhance their academic achievement on basic and integrated science process skills. The data in this study were obtained using a validated questionnaire. Mean was the statistical tool used to determine the academic achievement on the above mentioned science process skills; t-test for independent means was used to determine significant difference on the academic achievement of science process skills of BS Biology students while Pearson Product Moment of Correlation Coefficient was used to determine the significant relationship between basic and integrated science process skills of the BS Biology students. A 0.05 level of significance was used to determine whether the hypothesis set in the study will be rejected or accepted. Findings revealed that the academic achievement on basic and integrated science process skills of the BS Biology students was average. Findings revealed that there are no significant differences on the academic performance of the BS Biology students when grouped according to year level and gender. Findings also revealed that there is a significant difference on the academic achievement between basic and integrated science process skills of the BS Biology students. Findings revealed that there is a significant relationship between academic achievement on the basic and integrated science process skills of the BS Biology students.
Mabrouk, Patricia Ann
High school and undergraduate research students were surveyed over the 10-week period of their summer research programs to investigate their understanding of key concepts in science ethics and whether their understanding changed over the course of their summer research experiences. Most of the students appeared to understand the issues relevant to…
Henry, Holly R.; Tawfik, Andrew A.; Jonassen, David H.; Winholtz, Robert A.; Khanna, Sanjeev
This qualitative case study examines the initial implementation of a problem-based version of an undergraduate course in materials science for the purpose of identifying areas of improvement to the curriculum prior to a planned second implementation. The course was designed around problems that students work in small teams to solve under the…
Nelson, E.; L'Ecuyer, T. S.; Douglas, A.; Hansen, Z.
In the modern computing age, scientists must utilize a wide variety of skills to carry out scientific research. Programming, including a focus on collaborative development, has become more prevalent in both academic and professional career paths. Faculty in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Wisconsin—Madison recognized this need and recently approved a new course offering for undergraduates and postgraduates in computational methods that was first held in Spring 2017. Three programming languages were covered in the inaugural course semester and development themes such as modularization, data wrangling, and conceptual code models were woven into all of the sections. In this presentation, we will share successes and challenges in developing a research project-focused computational course that leverages hands-on computer laboratory learning and open-sourced course content. Improvements and changes in future iterations of the course based on the first offering will also be discussed.
Bakar Hasan, Abu; Fatah Abdul, Abdul; Selamat, Zalilah
Critical claims by certain quarters that our local undergraduates are not performing well in Mathematics, Statistics and Numerical Methods needs a serious thinking and actions. Yearly examinations results from the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM equivalent to A-Level) and Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM equivalent to O-Level) levels have been splendid whereby it is either increasing or decreasing in a very tight range. A good foundation in mathematics and additional mathematics will tremendously benefit these students when they enter their university education especially in engineering and science courses. This paper uses SPM results as the primary data, questionnaires as secondary, and apply the Fish Bones technique for analysis. The outcome shows that there is a clear correlation between the causes and effect.
Full Text Available This editorial provides insights into how informatics can attract highly trained students by involving them in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM training at the high school level and continuing to provide mentorship and research opportunities through the formative years of their education. Our central premise is that the trajectory necessary to be expert in the emergent fields in front of them requires acceleration at an early time point. Both pathology (and biomedical informatics are new disciplines which would benefit from involvement by students at an early stage of their education. In 2009, Michael T Lotze MD, Kirsten Livesey (then a medical student, now a medical resident at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC, Richard Hersheberger, PhD (Currently, Dean at Roswell Park, and Megan Seippel, MS (the administrator launched the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI Summer Academy to bring high school students for an 8 week summer academy focused on Cancer Biology. Initially, pathology and biomedical informatics were involved only in the classroom component of the UPCI Summer Academy. In 2011, due to popular interest, an informatics track called Computer Science, Biology and Biomedical Informatics (CoSBBI was launched. CoSBBI currently acts as a feeder program for the undergraduate degree program in bioinformatics at the University of Pittsburgh, which is a joint degree offered by the Departments of Biology and Computer Science. We believe training in bioinformatics is the best foundation for students interested in future careers in pathology informatics or biomedical informatics. We describe our approach to the recruitment, training and research mentoring of high school students to create a pipeline of exceptionally well-trained applicants for both the disciplines of pathology informatics and biomedical informatics. We emphasize here how mentoring of high school students in pathology informatics and biomedical
Dutta-Moscato, Joyeeta; Gopalakrishnan, Vanathi; Lotze, Michael T; Becich, Michael J
This editorial provides insights into how informatics can attract highly trained students by involving them in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) training at the high school level and continuing to provide mentorship and research opportunities through the formative years of their education. Our central premise is that the trajectory necessary to be expert in the emergent fields in front of them requires acceleration at an early time point. Both pathology (and biomedical) informatics are new disciplines which would benefit from involvement by students at an early stage of their education. In 2009, Michael T Lotze MD, Kirsten Livesey (then a medical student, now a medical resident at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)), Richard Hersheberger, PhD (Currently, Dean at Roswell Park), and Megan Seippel, MS (the administrator) launched the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) Summer Academy to bring high school students for an 8 week summer academy focused on Cancer Biology. Initially, pathology and biomedical informatics were involved only in the classroom component of the UPCI Summer Academy. In 2011, due to popular interest, an informatics track called Computer Science, Biology and Biomedical Informatics (CoSBBI) was launched. CoSBBI currently acts as a feeder program for the undergraduate degree program in bioinformatics at the University of Pittsburgh, which is a joint degree offered by the Departments of Biology and Computer Science. We believe training in bioinformatics is the best foundation for students interested in future careers in pathology informatics or biomedical informatics. We describe our approach to the recruitment, training and research mentoring of high school students to create a pipeline of exceptionally well-trained applicants for both the disciplines of pathology informatics and biomedical informatics. We emphasize here how mentoring of high school students in pathology informatics and biomedical informatics
Simon, Molly; Impey, Chris David; Buxner, Sanlyn
A first order understanding of planet formation and the scientific concepts therein is critical in order for undergraduate students to understand our place in the Universe. Furthermore, planet formation integrates the topics of gravity, angular momentum, migration, and condensation in a “story-book” fashion where students can apply these concepts to a specific event. We collected syllabi and course topics from over 30 undergraduate general-education astrobiology courses from around the globe in order to determine the extent to which professors address planet formation. Additionally, we were looking to see if faculty had developed specific or original pedagogy to teach this topic. We find on average, instructors spend ½ of a lecture discussing planet formation or they leave it out all together. In the classes where planet formation is taught more extensively, instructors use PowerPoint slides or occasional videos to teach the topic. We aim to develop new pedagogy that will allow us to better determine learning gains and student understanding of this critical topic. If students in an astrobiology class are unable to understand how our own Solar System forms, it is significantly more challenging to make parallels (or find differences) between our home in the Universe and extrasolar planetary systems.
Web-based technology has revolutionized the way education is delivered. Although the advantages of online learning appeal to large numbers of students, some concerns arise. One major concern in online science education is the value that participation in labs has on student performance. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationships between lab completion and student academic success as measured by test grades, scientific self-confidence, scientific skills, and concept mastery. A random sample of 114 volunteer undergraduate students, from an online Environmental Science program at the American Public University System, was tested. The study followed a quantitative, non-experimental research design. Paired sample t-tests were used for statistical comparison between pre-lab and post-lab test grades, two scientific skills quizzes, and two scientific self-confidence surveys administered at the beginning and at the end of the course. The results of the paired sample t-tests revealed statistically significant improvements on all post-lab test scores: Air Pollution lab, t(112) = 6.759, p virtual reality platforms and digital animations. Future research is encouraged to investigate possible correlations between socio-demographic attributes and academic success of students enrolled in online science programs in reference to lab completion.
Bruce-Low, S S; Burnet, S; Arber, K; Price, D; Webster, L; Stopforth, M
Mobile learning has increasingly become interwoven into the fabric of learning and teaching in the United Kingdom higher education sector, and as technological issues become addressed, this phenomena has accelerated. The aim of the study was to examine whether learning using a mobile learning device (Samsung NC10 Netbook) loaded with interactive exercises promoted learning compared with a traditional library exercise. Using a randomized trial, 55 students from an undergraduate sports science course (n = 28) and medical course (n = 27) volunteered to participate in this study. A mixed-model design ANOVA was used to examine the percent change in test score after a 3-wk intervention. Results showed that there was a significant difference between the two courses (P science and medical students. The sports science group demonstrated proportionally greater increases in test performance when exposed to the mobile interactive intervention compared with the traditional library approach. Qualitative data suggest an increased level of engagement with the Netbooks due to the stimulating interactive content. In conclusion, the Netbooks were an effective additional learning tool, significantly enhancing knowledge and understanding in students. Further research should ensure that participants are assessed for preferred learning styles, the subjective task value of expectancy value, and readiness for mobile learning to ascertain if this has an effect on the potential for using mobile learning and interactivity.
Balaji Bhaskar, M. S.; Rosenzweig, J.; Shishodia, S.
The objective of our activity is to improve the students understanding and interpretation of geospatial science and climate change concepts and its applications in the field of Environmental and Biological Sciences in the College of Science Engineering and Technology (COEST) at Texas Southern University (TSU) in Houston, TX. The courses of GIS for Environment, Ecology and Microbiology were selected for the curriculum infusion. A total of ten GIS hands-on lab modules, along with two NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) lab modules on climate change were implemented in the "GIS for Environment" course. GIS and Google Earth Labs along with climate change lectures were infused into Microbiology and Ecology courses. Critical thinking and empirical skills of the students were assessed in all the courses. The student learning outcomes of these courses includes the ability of students to interpret the geospatial maps and the student demonstration of knowledge of the basic principles and concepts of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and climate change. At the end of the courses, students developed a comprehensive understanding of the geospatial data, its applications in understanding climate change and its interpretation at the local and regional scales during multiple years.
Scheuch, Martin; Panhuber, Tanja; Winter, Silvia; Kelemen-Finan, Julia; Bardy-Durchhalter, Manfred; Kapelari, Suzanne
Citizen science is a rapidly growing emerging field in science and it is gaining importance in education. Therefore, this study was conducted to document the pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) of biology teachers who participated in a citizen science project involving observation of wild bees and identification of butterflies. In this paper,…
Ridgway, Judith Sulkes
This study describes undergraduate science faculty in terms of their feelings of preparedness for and their use of standards-based teaching methods, their stages of concern related to Educational Digital Libraries (EDLs), and their adoption and diffusion of both innovations. These innovations may have a synergistic relationship that may result in enhanced adoption of both. The investigation began with a series of group meetings with life science, chemistry, physics, and geology faculty from a 2-year and a 4-year institution. Faculty were introduced to dimensions of standards-based teaching and examples of EDLs. Faculty completed the Demographics and Experience Questionnaire, the Standards-Based Teaching Instrument, and the Stages of Concern Questionnaire (SoCQ). Semi-structured interviews containing literature-based questions were conducted with one faculty member from each discipline from the 2-year and 4-year institutions. Document analyses were performed on mission/goal web-based statements for the institutions and their science departments. Triangulated data were used to construct individual faculty case studies based on four facets: background, standards-based teaching profile, EDLs profile, and rate of innovation diffusion. The individual case studies were used to perform cross-case analyses by type of institution, discipline, and locus of control. Individual case studies and cross-case analyses suggest the following conclusions: (a) faculty felt prepared to use and frequently used textbooks as a reference, (b) feelings of preparedness and frequency of use of standards-based teaching categories may be related to discipline, (c) all faculty had relatively high awareness and informational EDL concerns, and (d) faculty central to the locus of control were more likely to use methods to develop student conceptual understanding, use inquiry methods, and be agents of change. A grounded theoretical model connects study results with literature related to educational
Yet mathematics, science, and high technology—the building blocks of informatics—are not typically consid- ... rior scientific skills but also highly ana- lytic modeling and computer science skills? The answer is twofold: ... Training, and Mentoring of Science. Communities.” Pennington, the pri- mary investigator for this project, ...
van Dijk, Esther M.
The development of an understanding of the nature of science is generally assumed to be an important aspect of science communication with respect to the enhancement of scientific literacy. At present, a general characterization of the nature of science is still lacking and probably such a characterization will not be achievable. The overall aim of…
Bybee, Rodger W.
The release of A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (NRC, 2012) provides the basis for the next generation of science standards. This article first describes that foundation for the life sciences; it then presents a draft standard for natural selection and evolution. Finally, there is a…
Ratliff, Michael I.; Williams, Raymond E.
Recently there has been increased interest related to the Actuarial Science field. An actuary is a business professional who uses mathematical skills to define, analyze, and solve financial and social problems. This paper examines: (1) the interface between Statistical and Actuarial Science training; (2) statistical courses corresponding to…
Leddy, Mark H.
Americans with disabilities are underemployed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at higher rates than their nondisabled peers. This article provides an overview of the National science Foundation's Research in Disabilities Education (RDE) program, of technology use by students with disabilities (SWD) in STEM, and of…
Reed, Carole-Rae; Garcia, Luis Ivan; Slusser, Margaret M.; Konowitz, Sharon; Yep, Jewelry
Assessing student learning outcomes and determining achievement of the Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (IPCEP) Core Competency of Values/Ethics in a generic pre-professional Bachelor of Science in Health Science (BSHS) program is challenging. A course level Student Learning Outcome (SLO) is: "….articulate the impact of personal…
Becnel, Kim; Moeller, Robin A.; Pope, Jon C.
While experiential learning is recognized as an important pedagogical approach in Library and Information Science education, logistical hurdles can make implementing meaningful experiential projects challenging, especially in online courses. This paper will describe a project in which Library Science instructors were able to overcome common…
Full Text Available Undergraduate science programs are not providing graduates with the knowledgebase and skills they need to be successful on today’s job market. Curricular changes relevant to today’s marketplace and more opportunities for internships and work experience during students’ secondary education would facilitate a smoother transition to the working world and help employers find graduates that possess both the hard and soft skills needed in the workplace. In this article, we discuss these issues and offer solutions that would generate more marketplace-ready undergraduates.
Bernard M. Garrett
Full Text Available Paranormal beliefs and magical thinking exist in the public, and amongst university students. Researchers have found that media can influence such beliefs. A 2012 study suggested pseudoscientific rationales can influence acceptance of reported paranormal phenomena. Using a paranormal belief survey and controlled experiment this work explores the paranormal beliefs and test the effects of three versions of a supernatural news story on undergraduate professional students. One version of the story presented a simple news article, another the same with a pseudoscientific rationale, and another gave a discrediting scientific critique. Results confirmed that many students do hold magical beliefs but discriminated between scientific and pseudoscientific narratives. However, pre-existing paranormal beliefs were associated with an increased likelihood of students finding paranormal reports scientific, believable and credible. Keywords: Education, Psychology
Garrett, Bernard M; Cutting, Roger L
Paranormal beliefs and magical thinking exist in the public, and amongst university students. Researchers have found that media can influence such beliefs. A 2012 study suggested pseudoscientific rationales can influence acceptance of reported paranormal phenomena. Using a paranormal belief survey and controlled experiment this work explores the paranormal beliefs and test the effects of three versions of a supernatural news story on undergraduate professional students. One version of the story presented a simple news article, another the same with a pseudoscientific rationale, and another gave a discrediting scientific critique. Results confirmed that many students do hold magical beliefs but discriminated between scientific and pseudoscientific narratives. However, pre-existing paranormal beliefs were associated with an increased likelihood of students finding paranormal reports scientific, believable and credible.
Dam, Marie Inger; Kjær Jensen, Jon; Jónsson, Jóhann Gunnar
Aalborg University applies a problem-based learning model. Each semester all students form groups. Group members formulate and agree upon a problem they want to address, within their course of study, and write a long report on their findings (length depends on the year of study, the number of group...... members etc.). Key principles for the choice problem is praxis-orientation, interdisciplinarity, and contextualisation. To facilitate inter-disciplinarity two supervisors – a disciplinary and a contextual – might be associated with student groups. A team of seven undergraduate students of Chemistry...... and a contextual part. In the technical part we investigated the theoretical foundation of methane production in landfills and we measured the concentration of methane at different places at the landfill Skrænten in Hjørring. In the contextual part a NUSAP analysis was done on the risk assessment of the gas...
Steane, Andrew M
This is an undergraduate textbook in thermodynamics—the science of heat, work, temperature, and entropy. The text presents thermodynamics in and of itself, as an elegant and powerful set of ideas and methods. These methods open the way to understanding a very wide range of phenomena in physics, chemistry, engineering, and biology. Starting out from an introduction of concepts at first year undergraduate level, the roles of temperature, internal energy, and entropy are explained via the laws of thermodynamics. The text employs a combination of examples, exercises, and careful discussion, with a view to conveying the feel of the subject as well as avoiding common misunderstandings. The Feynman–Smuluchowski ratchet, Szilard’s engine, and Maxwell’s daemon are used to elucidate entropy and the second law. Free energy and thermodynamic potentials are discussed at length, with applications to solids as well as fluids and flow processes. Thermal radiation is discussed, and the main ideas significant to global...
Srisawat, Akkarawat; Aiemsum-ang, Napapan; Yuenyong, Chokchai
This study was conducted on the effect of understanding and instruction of the nature of science of Ms. Wanida, a pre-service student under science education program in biology, Faculty of Education, Khon Kaen University. Wanida was a teaching practicum student majoring in biology at Khon Kaen University Demonstration School (Modindaeng). She was teaching biology for 38 Grade 10 students. Methodology regarded interpretive paradigm. The study aimed to examine 1) Wanida's understanding of the nature of science, 2) Wanida's instruction of the nature of science, 3 students' understanding of the nature of science from Wanida's instruction, and 4) the effects of Wanida's understanding and instruction of the nature of science on students' understanding of the nature of science from Wanida's instruction. Tools of interpretation included teaching observation, a semi-structured interview, open-ended questionnaire, and an observation record form for the instruction of the nature of science. The data obtained was interpreted, encoded, and classified, using the descriptive statistics. The findings indicated that Wanida held good understanding of the nature of science. She could apply the deficient nature of science approach mostly, followed by the implicit nature of science approach. Unfortunately, she could not show her teaching as explicit nature of science. However, her students' the understanding of the nature of science was good.
Chapman, Barbara S.; Christmann, James L.; Thatcher, Eileen F.
We describe an innovative bioinformatics course developed under grants from the National Science Foundation and the California State University Program in Research and Education in Biotechnology for undergraduate biology students. The project has been part of a continuing effort to offer students classroom experiences focused on principles and…
Carmichael, Mary C.; St. Clair, Candace; Edwards, Andrea M.; Barrett, Peter; McFerrin, Harris; Davenport, Ian; Awad, Mohamed; Kundu, Anup; Ireland, Shubha Kale
Xavier University of Louisiana leads the nation in awarding BS degrees in the biological sciences to African-American students. In this multiyear study with ~5500 participants, data-driven interventions were adopted to improve student academic performance in a freshman-level general biology course. The three hour-long exams were common and…
Guertin, L. A.
Environmental monitoring projects on the grounds of a campus can serve as data collection sites for undergraduate research. Penn State Brandywine has utilized students in independent study projects to establish two citizen science programs and to begin collecting data, with the data sets serving as a foundation for authentic inquiry-based exercises in introductory-level Earth science courses. The first citizen science program is The Smithsonian Institution's Global Tree Banding Project, which contributes to research about tree biomass by tracking how trees respond to climate. We are going beyond the requirements of the Smithsonian project. Instead of only taking two measurements each in the spring and fall, undergraduate researchers are taking measurements every two weeks throughout the year. We started taking measurements of ten trees on campus in 2012 will continue until each tree outgrows its tree band. The data is available for download in Google Spreadsheets for students to examine changes in tree diameter within one or between growing seasons, supplemented with temperature and precipitation data (see http://sites.psu.edu/treebanding/). A second citizen science program we have begun on campus is the NASA-funded Digital Earth Watch (DEW) Picture Post Project, allowing students to monitor the environment and share observations through digital photography. We established four Picture Post sites on campus, with students taking weekly photos to establish an environmental baseline of the campus landscape and to document future environmental changes pre- and post-construction. We started taking digital photos on campus in 2014 will continue well past the completion of construction to continue to look for changes. The image database is less than a year old, but the images provide enough information for some early analyses, such as the variations in "greenness" over the seasons. We have created a website that shares the purpose of our participation in the Picture Post
Development, Evaluation and Use of a Student Experience Survey in Undergraduate Science Laboratories: The Advancing Science by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory Student Laboratory Learning Experience Survey
Barrie, Simon C.; Bucat, Robert B.; Buntine, Mark A.; Burke da Silva, Karen; Crisp, Geoffrey T.; George, Adrian V.; Jamie, Ian M.; Kable, Scott H.; Lim, Kieran F.; Pyke, Simon M.; Read, Justin R.; Sharma, Manjula D.; Yeung, Alexandra
Student experience surveys have become increasingly popular to probe various aspects of processes and outcomes in higher education, such as measuring student perceptions of the learning environment and identifying aspects that could be improved. This paper reports on a particular survey for evaluating individual experiments that has been developed over some 15 years as part of a large national Australian study pertaining to the area of undergraduate laboratories-Advancing Science by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory. This paper reports on the development of the survey instrument and the evaluation of the survey using student responses to experiments from different institutions in Australia, New Zealand and the USA. A total of 3153 student responses have been analysed using factor analysis. Three factors, motivation, assessment and resources, have been identified as contributing to improved student attitudes to laboratory activities. A central focus of the survey is to provide feedback to practitioners to iteratively improve experiments. Implications for practitioners and researchers are also discussed.
Jeffery, Erica; Nomme, Kathy; Deane, Thomas; Pollock, Carol; Birol, Gülnur
Students' academic experiences can influence their conceptualization of science. In contrast experts hold particular beliefs, perceptions, opinions, and attitudes about science that are often absent in first-year undergraduate students. Shifts toward more expert-like attitudes and views have been linked to improved student engagement,…
Green, Lisa Anne
In this historical dissertation, I examined the process of curriculum development in the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) in the United States during the period 1959-1963. The presentation of evolution in the high school texts was based on a more robust form of Darwinian evolution which developed during the 1930s and 1940s called "the modern synthesis of evolution." Building primarily on the work of historians Vassiliki Smocovitis and John L. Rudolph, I used the archival papers and published writings of the four architects of the modern synthesis and the four most influential leaders of the BSCS in regards to evolution to investigate how the modern synthetic theory of evolution shaped the BSCS curriculum. The central question was "Why was evolution so important to the BSCS to make it the central theme of the texts?" Important answers to this question had already been offered in the historiography, but it was still not clear why every citizen in the world needed to understand evolution. I found that the emphasis on natural selection in the modern synthesis shifted the focus away from humans as passive participants to the recognition that humans are active agents in their own cultural and biological evolution. This required re-education of the world citizenry, which was accomplished in part by the BSCS textbooks. I also found that BSCS leaders Grobman, Glass, and Muller had serious concerns regarding the effects of nuclear radiation on the human gene pool, and were actively involved in informing th public. Lastly, I found that concerns of 1950s reform eugenicists were addressed in the BSCS textbooks, without mentioning eugenics by name. I suggest that the leaders of the BSCS, especially Bentley Glass and Hermann J. Muller, thought that students needed to understand genetics and evolution to be able to make some of the tough choices they might be called on to make as the dominant species on earth and the next reproductive generation in the nuclear age. This
Ballen, Cissy J.; Wieman, Carl; Salehi, Shima; Searle, Jeremy B.; Zamudio, Kelly R.
Efforts to retain underrepresented minority (URM) students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have shown only limited success in higher education, due in part to a persistent achievement gap between students from historically underrepresented and well-represented backgrounds. To test the hypothesis that active learning disproportionately benefits URM students, we quantified the effects of traditional versus active learning on student academic performance, science self...
In South Africa, Stellenbosch University (SU) is the designated provider of Bachelor, Master and Doctorate level qualifications in Forestry and Wood Products Science. SU provides educational programs to both mechanical (sawmilling, preservation, composite products, furniture, etc.) and the chemical (pulp & paper) processing sectors. To ensure academic quality, SU regularly has her academic programs assessed externally. In 2000, several changes to the then existing 4 year B.Sc. Wood Scienc...