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…
Zevin, Michael; Astrobites
Astrobites is a graduate-student organization that publishes an online astrophysical literature blog (astrobites.com). The purpose of the site is to make current astrophysical research accessible to and exciting for undergraduate physical science majors and astronomy enthusiasts, and the site now hosts an archive of over 1300 posts summarizing recent astrophysical research. In addition, Astrobites presents posts on career guidance, practical 'how-to' articles, conference summaries, and astronomy news. Astrobites has an average of more than 1000 pageviews per day and reaches not only its target audience of undergraduates, but also graduate students and professionals within astronomy, astronomy enthusiasts, and educators. As we enter our seventh year of successful blogging, we share here the most up-to-date summary of our organization, readership, and growth.
Gayles, Joy Gaston; Ampaw, Frim
This study examined factors that influenced undergraduates' decision to enter, leave, or stay within science majors. In addition, we sought to understand if such decisions differed by gender and type of science major. Using Beginning Postsecondary Students (BPS) longitudinal survey data, we found that women were less likely to select a science…
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'…
Lord, Thomas R.
Contemporary investigations indicate that men generally perform significantly better in tasks involving visuo-spatial awareness than do women. Researchers have attempted to explain this difference through several hypotheses but as yet the reason for the dimorphism has not been established. Further, contemporary studies have indicated that enhancement of mental image formation and manipulation is possible when students are subjected to carefully designed spatial interventions. Present research was conducted to see if women in the sciences were as spatial perceptively accurate as their male counterparts. The researcher also was interested to find if the women that received the intervention excercises improved in their visuo-spatial awareness as rapidly as their male counterparts.The study was conducted on science majors at a suburban two year college. The population was randomly divided into groups (experimental, placebo, and control) each containing approximately the same number of men and women. All groups were given a battery of spatial perception tests (Ekstrom et al, 1976) at the onset of the winter semester and a second version of the battery at the conclusion of the semester. An analysis of variance followed by Scheffe contrasts were run on the results. The statistics revealed that the experimental group significantly outperformed the nonexperimental groups on the tests. When the differences between the mean scores for the women in the experimental group were statistically compared to those of the men in the experimental group the women were improving at a more rapid rate. Many women have the capacity to develop visuo-spatial aptitude and although they may start out behind men in spatial ability, they learn quickly and often catch up to the men's level when given meaningful visuo-spatial interventions.
O'Brien, James; Rueckert, Franz; Sirokman, Greg
Undergraduate research has become more and more integral to the functioning of higher educational institutions. At many institutions undergraduate research is conducted as capstone projects in the pure sciences, however, science faculty at some schools (including that of the authors) face the challenge of not having science majors. Even at these institutions, a select population of high achieving engineering students will often express a keen interest in conducting pure science research. Since a foray into science research provides the student the full exposure to the scientific method and scientific collaboration, the experience can be quite rewarding and beneficial to the development of the student as a professional. To this end, the authors have been working to find new contexts in which to offer research experiences to non- science majors, including a new undergraduate research class conducted by physics and chemistry faculty. An added benefit is that these courses are inherently interdisciplinary. Students in the engineering and computer science fields step into physics and chemistry labs to solve science problems, often invoking their own relevant expertise. In this paper we start by discussing the common themes and outcomes of the course. We then discuss three particular projects that were conducted with engineering students and focus on how the undergraduate research experience enhanced their already rigorous engineering curriculum.
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.
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…
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).
Cade, W. B., III
Undergraduate Space Weather education is an important component of creating a society that is knowledgeable about space weather and its societal impacts. The space physics community has made great strides in providing academic education for students, typically physics and engineering majors, who are interested in pursuing a career in the space sciences or space weather. What is rarely addressed, however, is providing a broader space weather education to undergraduate students as a whole. To help address this gap, I have created an introductory space weather course for non-science majors, with the idea of expanding exposure to space weather beyond the typical physics and engineering students. The philosophy and methodologies used in this course will be presented, as well as the results of the first attempts to teach it. Using an approach more tailored to the non-scientist, courses such as this can be an effective means of broadening space weather education and outreach.
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.
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…
Plummer, Julia; Palma, Christopher
For the next generation of students to learn astronomy as both a body of knowledge and a process of continually extending, refining, and revising that knowledge, teachers at all levels must learn how to engage their students in the practices of astronomy. This begins by designing science coursework for undergraduate education majors in ways that reflect how we hope they will teach their own future students. We have designed an undergraduate astronomy course for elementary education majors around a coherent science content storyline (CSCS) framework in order to investigate methods that support education majors’ uptake of astronomy practices. CSCS instruction purposefully sequences lessons in ways that make explicit the connections between science ideas in order to move students towards increasingly sophisticated explanations for a single big idea in science. We used this framework to organize our course around a series of astronomical investigations that build towards a big idea in astronomy: how the formation model explains current patterns observed in the Solar System. Each investigation helps students begin to explain observations of the Solar System from a coherent, systems-based perspective as they make choices on how to design their own data collection and analysis strategies. Through these investigations, future teachers begin to view astronomy as a process of answering scientific questions using evidence-based explanations and model-based reasoning. The course design builds on our prior research into students’ ideas about Solar System phenomena and its formation as well as students’ ideas about how astronomers carry out investigations. Preliminary results, based on analysis of student conversations during in-class investigations, science notebook entries, and scientific reports, suggest that the course helps students learn to construct evidence-based explanations while also increasing the accuracy of the explanations for astronomical phenomena. We will
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).
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
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
Taylor, Alana Presley
In prior research focusing on teaching and learning science, a definitive trend toward a new approach for undergraduate non-major science courses has emerged. Instruction should be refocused from information-transfer to giving students experiences that allow them to explore and engage in their new knowledge and find ways to integrate it into their everyday lives. One technique is to focus class material on real issues of interest and relevance. Course development that allows for civic engagement and self discovery connects learning to the lives of students and their communities. This study used a quasi-- experimental design to see if students who engaged in their learning had improved learning gains, increased motivation, and ability to relate it to their lives. The results showed that students were more motivated to connect the subject to their lives when they engaged through civic engagement projects. Techniques used in this research can be used in the future to develop science courses that focus on the needs of 21st century learners.
Ramirez, Jasmine; Pinedo, Catalina Arango; Forster, Brian M
Today's science classrooms are addressing the need for non-scientists to become scientifically literate. A key aspect includes the recognition of science as a process for discovery. This process relies upon interdisciplinary collaboration. We designed a semester-long collaborative exercise that allows science majors taking a general microbiology course and non-science majors taking an introductory environmental science course to experience collaboration in science by combining their differing skill sets to identify microorganisms enriched in Winogradsky columns. These columns are self-sufficient ecosystems that allow researchers to study bacterial populations under specified environmental conditions. Non-science majors identified phototrophic bacteria enriched in the column by analyzing the signature chlorophyll absorption spectra whereas science majors used 16S rRNA gene sequencing to identify the general bacterial diversity. Students then compiled their results and worked together to generate lab reports with their final conclusions identifying the microorganisms present in their column. Surveys and lab reports were utilized to evaluate the learning objectives of this activity. In pre-surveys, nonmajors' and majors' answers diverged considerably, with majors providing responses that were more accurate and more in line with the working definition of collaboration. In post-surveys, the answers between majors and nonmajors converged, with both groups providing accurate responses. Lab reports showed that students were able to successfully identify bacteria present in the columns. These results demonstrate that laboratory exercises designed to group students across disciplinary lines can be an important tool in promoting science education across disciplines.
Lyon, Louise Ann
Computer science not only displays the pattern of underrepresentation of many other science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, but has actually experienced a decline in the number of women choosing the field over the past two decades. Broken out by gender and race, the picture becomes more nuanced, with the ratio of females to males receiving bachelor's degrees in computer science higher for non-White ethnic groups than for Whites. This dissertation explores the experiences of university women differing along the axis of race, class, and culture who are considering majoring in computer science in order to highlight how well-prepared women are persuaded that they belong (or not) in the field and how the confluence of social categories plays out in their decision. This study focuses on a university seminar entitled "Women in Computer Science and Engineering" open to women concurrently enrolled in introductory programming and uses an ethnographic approach including classroom participant observation, interviews with seminar students and instructors, observations of students in other classes, and interviews with parents of students. Three stand-alone but related articles explore various aspects of the experiences of women who participated in the study using Rom Harre's positioning theory as a theoretical framework. The first article uses data from twenty-two interviews to uncover how interactions with others and patterns in society position women in relation to a computer science major, and how these women have arrived at the point of considering the major despite messages that they do not belong. The second article more deeply explores the cases of three women who vary greatly along the axes of race, class, and culture in order to uncover pattern and interaction differences for women based on their ethnic background. The final article focuses on the attitudes and expectations of the mothers of three students of contrasting ethnicities and how reported
Full Text Available Today’s science classrooms are addressing the need for non-scientists to become scientifically literate. A key aspect includes the recognition of science as a process for discovery. This process relies upon interdisciplinary collaboration. We designed a semester-long collaborative exercise that allows science majors taking a general microbiology course and non-science majors taking an introductory environmental science course to experience collaboration in science by combining their differing skill sets to identify microorganisms enriched in Winogradsky columns. These columns are self-sufficient ecosystems that allow researchers to study bacterial populations under specified environmental conditions. Non-science majors identified phototrophic bacteria enriched in the column by analyzing the signature chlorophyll absorption spectra whereas science majors used 16S rRNA gene sequencing to identify the general bacterial diversity. Students then compiled their results and worked together to generate lab reports with their final conclusions identifying the microorganisms present in their column. Surveys and lab reports were utilized to evaluate the learning objectives of this activity. In pre-surveys, nonmajors’ and majors’ answers diverged considerably, with majors providing responses that were more accurate and more in line with the working definition of collaboration. In post-surveys, the answers between majors and nonmajors converged, with both groups providing accurate responses. Lab reports showed that students were able to successfully identify bacteria present in the columns. These results demonstrate that laboratory exercises designed to group students across disciplinary lines can be an important tool in promoting science education across disciplines. Editor's Note:The ASM advocates that students must successfully demonstrate the ability to explain and practice safe laboratory techniques. For more information, read the laboratory
Taggart, Austin Dale, II
An assessment of the introductory chemistry program for science and engineering majors at the University of Houston has been carried out. The goal of the study was to assess the program in light of its history and from the viewpoints of both the introductory chemistry students and their faculty members. Archival data for the program were reviewed over the time period 1998--2003. Included were the ethnographic data, the academic performance data of students as measured by their class grades, and the student satisfaction data as measured by their end-of-class student survey responses. Over 10,000 archival student records were reviewed. The existing end of class survey was expanded to cover a wider range of categories, including curriculum, instruction, student academic background, learning style, attitude, motivation, evaluation, and levels of effort. A survey pilot study and two research surveys were carried out; about one thousand students were surveyed in 2007--2008. By correlating the survey item responses given by students to their predicted student grades, student identified success factors were identified. Benchmarking insights from other successful programs and significant trends were provided to further benefit the program. Long interviews with four of the introductory chemistry instructors served to assess the nature of the program from the perspective of the teaching faculty. A set of 15 interview questions were posed to each faculty member, and the views of faculty embers were captured and summarized. The unintended consequences of maintaining high academic standards of success with evaluation based upon on-line problem solving for a student body with a great diversity of backgrounds in large lecture classes were high rates of failure and attrition. About half of the introductory chemistry students failed to complete their first semester course with a passing grade. Employing lecture styles that support greater student engagement, counseling underprepared
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…
O'Bryan, C A; Dittmar, R S; Chalova, V I; Kundinger, M M; Crandall, P G; Ricke, S C
Distance education courses have become popular due to the increased number of commuter students as well as people already in the workforce who need further education for advancement within their careers. A graduate-level Web-based course entitled Special Topics-Poultry Food Safety Microbiology was developed from an existing senior undergraduate advanced food microbiology course in the Poultry Science Department at Texas A&M University. Conversion of standard lecture material into a distance education course can provide unique challenges to maintain comparable course content in an asynchronous manner. The overall objective for this course was to examine bacterial activities including ecology in food, animals, raw and processed meat, eggs, and human pathogenesis. Students were surveyed at the end of the class and the majority agreed that they would be willing to take the course as an online course, although they were not willing to pay an extra fee for an online course. The majority of students used the online version of the course as a supplement to the classroom rather than as a substitute.
George-Jackson, Casey E.
This study uses longitudinal data of undergraduate students from five public land-grant universities to better understand undergraduate students' persistence in and switching of majors, with particular attention given to women's participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Specifically, the study examines…
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…
Miller, Marilyn Tebbs
Undergraduate forensic science programs are experiencing unprecedented growth in numbers of programs offered and, as a result, student enrollments are increasing. Currently, however, these programs are not subject to professional specialized accreditation. This study sought to identify desirable student outcome measures for undergraduate forensic science programs that should be incorporated into such an accreditation process. To determine desirable student outcomes, three types of data were collected and analyzed. All the existing undergraduate forensic science programs in the United States were examined with regard to the input measures of degree requirements and curriculum content, and for the output measures of mission statements and student competencies. Accreditation procedures and guidelines for three other science-based disciplines, computer science, dietetics, and nursing, were examined to provide guidance on accreditation processes for forensic science education programs. Expert opinion on outcomes for program graduates was solicited from the major stakeholders of undergraduate forensic science programs-forensic science educators, crime laboratory directors, and recent graduates. Opinions were gathered by using a structured Internet-based survey; the total response rate was 48%. Examination of the existing undergraduate forensic science programs revealed that these programs do not use outcome measures. Of the accreditation processes for other science-based programs, nursing education provided the best model for forensic science education, due primarily to the balance between the generality and the specificity of the outcome measures. From the analysis of the questionnaire data, preliminary student outcomes, both general and discipline-specific, suitable for use in the accreditation of undergraduate forensic science programs were determined. The preliminary results were reviewed by a panel of experts and, based on their recommendations, the outcomes
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 the framework to better understand their opportunities to engage in free-choice science learning. The article demonstrates that African American women have access to cultural capital and informal sci...
Lyons, Daniel J.
This study explored the impact of a novel inquiry-based astronomy laboratory curriculum designed using the Backwards Faded Scaffolding inquiry teaching framework on non-science majoring undergraduate students' views of the nature of scientific inquiry (NOSI). The study focused on two aspects of NOSI: The Distinction between Data and Evidence (DvE), and The Multiple Methods of Science (MMS). Participants were 220 predominately non-science majoring undergraduate students at a small, doctoral granting, research-extensive university in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. The student participants were enrolled in an introductory astronomy survey course with an associated laboratory section and were selected in two samples over consecutive fall and spring semesters. The participants also included four of the graduate student instructors who taught the laboratory courses using the intervention curriculum. In the first stage, student participant views of NOSI were measured using the VOSI-4 research instrument before and after the intervention curriculum was administered. The responses were quantified, and the distributions of pre and posttest scores of both samples were separately analyzed to determine if there was a significant improvement in understanding of either of the two aspects of NOSI. The results from both samples were compared to evaluate the consistency of the results. In the second stage, the quantitative results were used to strategically design a qualitative investigation, in which the four lab instructors were interviewed about their observations of how the student participants interacted with the intervention curriculum as compared to traditional lab activities, as well as their suggestions as to how the curriculum may or may not have contributed to the results of the first stage. These interviews were summarized and analyzed for common themes as to how the intervention curriculum influenced the students' understandings of the two aspect of
This report describes a project to create an interdisciplinary specialization in international business for undergraduate business majors and to internationalize the existing business program at Mercy College (New York). Objectives were to help students acquire a working knowledge of the international dimension of business, appreciate…
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…
Marsh, Tamara L; Guenther, Merrilee F; Raimondi, Stacey L
In response to the publication of Vision and Change, the biology department at Elmhurst College revised our curriculum to better prepare students for a career in science with the addition of various writing assignments in every course. One commonality among all of the assignments is the ability to comprehend and critically evaluate scientific literature to determine relevancy and possible future research. Several previous reports have analyzed specific methodologies to improve student comprehension of scientific writing and critical thinking skills, yet none of these examined student growth over an undergraduate career. In this study, we hypothesized upper-level students would be better able to comprehend and critically analyze scientific literature than introductory biology majors. Biology students enrolled in an introductory (200-level), mid- (300-level), or late-career (400-level) course were tasked with reading and responding to questions regarding a common scientific article and rating their comfort and confidence in reading published literature. As predicted, upper-level (mid- and late-career) students showed increases in comprehension and critical analysis relative to their first-year peers. Interestingly, we observed that upper-level students read articles differently than introductory students, leading to significant gains in understanding and confidence. However, the observed gains were modest overall, indicating that further pedagogical change is necessary to improve student skills and confidence in reading scientific articles while fulfilling the Vision and Change recommendations.
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.
Okumura, Mitchio; Beauchamp, Jesse L.; Dickert, Jeffrey M.; Essy, Blair R.; Claypool, Christopher L.
Surface science has developed into a multidisciplinary field of research with applications ranging from heterogeneous catalysis to semiconductor etching (1). Aspects of surface chemistry are now included in physical chemistry textbooks (2) and undergraduate curricula (3), but the perceived cost and complexity of equipment has deterred the introduction of surface science methods in undergraduate laboratories (4). Efforts to expose chemistry undergraduates to state-of-the-art surface instrumentation have just begun (5). To provide our undergraduates with hands-on experience in using standard techniques for characterizing surface morphology, adsorbates, kinetics, and reaction mechanisms, we have developed a set of surface science experiments for our physical chemistry laboratory sequence. The centerpiece of the laboratory is an ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) chamber for studies of single crystal surfaces. This instrument, shown in the figure, has surface analysis capabilities including low energy electron diffraction (LEED), Auger spectroscopy, and temperature-programmed desorption (TPD). The laboratory exercises involve experiments on the well-studied Pt(111) surface. Students prepare a previously mounted single crystal sample by sputtering it with an argon ion gun and heating it under O2. Electron diffraction patterns from the cleaned surface are then obtained with a reverse view LEED apparatus (Princeton Instruments). Images are captured by a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera interfaced to a personal computer for easy downloading and subsequent analysis. Although the LEED images from a Pt(111) surface can be readily interpreted using simple diffraction arguments, this lab provides an excellent context for introducing Miller indices and reciprocal lattices (6). The surface chemical composition can be investigated by Auger spectroscopy, using the LEED apparatus as a simple energy analyzer. The temperature programmed desorption experiment, which is nearly complete, will be
Michaluk, Lynnette; Stoiko, Rachel; Stewart, Gay; Stewart, John
Elementary teachers often hold inaccurate beliefs about the Nature of Science (NoS) and have negative attitudes toward science and mathematics. Using a pre-post design, the current study examined beliefs about the NoS, attitudes toward science and mathematics, and beliefs about the teaching of mathematics and science in a large sample study (N = 343) of pre-service teachers receiving a curriculum-wide intervention to improve these factors in comparison with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and non-STEM majors in other physics courses (N = 6697) who did not receive the intervention, over a 10-year period. Pre-service teachers evidenced initially more negative attitudes about mathematics and science than STEM majors and slightly more positive attitudes than non-STEM majors. Their attitudes toward mathematics and science and beliefs about the NoS were more similar to non-STEM than STEM majors. Pre-service teachers initially evidenced more positive beliefs about the teaching of mathematics and science, and their beliefs even increased slightly over the course of the semester, while these beliefs in other groups remained the same. Beliefs about the NoS and the teaching of mathematics and science were significantly negatively correlated for STEM and non-STEM majors, but were not significantly correlated for pre-service teachers. Beliefs about the NoS and attitudes toward mathematics and science were significantly positively correlated for both pre-service teachers and STEM students pursing the most mathematically demanding STEM majors. Attitudes toward science and mathematics were significantly positively correlated with accurate beliefs about the teaching of mathematics and science for all student groups.
Michaluk, Lynnette; Stoiko, Rachel; Stewart, Gay; Stewart, John
Elementary teachers often hold inaccurate beliefs about the Nature of Science (NoS) and have negative attitudes toward science and mathematics. Using a pre-post design, the current study examined beliefs about the NoS, attitudes toward science and mathematics, and beliefs about the teaching of mathematics and science in a large sample study ( N = 343) of pre-service teachers receiving a curriculum-wide intervention to improve these factors in comparison with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and non-STEM majors in other physics courses ( N = 6697) who did not receive the intervention, over a 10-year period. Pre-service teachers evidenced initially more negative attitudes about mathematics and science than STEM majors and slightly more positive attitudes than non-STEM majors. Their attitudes toward mathematics and science and beliefs about the NoS were more similar to non-STEM than STEM majors. Pre-service teachers initially evidenced more positive beliefs about the teaching of mathematics and science, and their beliefs even increased slightly over the course of the semester, while these beliefs in other groups remained the same. Beliefs about the NoS and the teaching of mathematics and science were significantly negatively correlated for STEM and non-STEM majors, but were not significantly correlated for pre-service teachers. Beliefs about the NoS and attitudes toward mathematics and science were significantly positively correlated for both pre-service teachers and STEM students pursing the most mathematically demanding STEM majors. Attitudes toward science and mathematics were significantly positively correlated with accurate beliefs about the teaching of mathematics and science for all student groups.
Full Text Available 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 the framework to better understand their opportunities to engage in free-choice science learning. The article demonstrates that African American women have access to cultural capital and informal science learning inside and outside of home and school environments in P-16 settings. In primary and secondary schools, African American girls acquire cultural capital and access to free-choice science learning in the home environment, museums, science fairs, student organizations and clubs. However, in high school African American female teenagers have fewer informal science learning opportunities like those such as those provided in primary school settings. In college, cultural capital is transmitted through informal science learning that consisted of involvement in student organizations, research projects, seminars, and conferences. These experiences contributed to their engagement and persistence in SME fields in K-16 settings. This research adds to cultural capital and informal science learning research by allowing scholars to better understand how African American women have opportunities to learn about the hidden curriculum of science through informal science settings throughout the educational pipeline.
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.
We currently offer three advanced laboratory courses for undergraduate majors: optical, IR, and radio. These courses contain both intellectual and practical content; in this talk we focus on the radio lab as a representative example. The first half of the semester concentrates on fundamentals of microwave electronics and radio astronomy techniques in four formal laboratory exercises which emphasize hands-on use of microwave devices, laboratory instruments, and computer-controlled data taking. The second half of the course emphasizes astronomy, using a horn with ~ 1 m(2) aperture to map the HI in the Galaxy and a two-element interferometer composed of ~ 1 m diameter dishes on a ~ 10 m baseline to measure accurate positions of radio sources and accurate diameters for the Sun and Moon. These experiments and observations offer ideal opportunities for teaching coordinates, time, rotation matrices, data reduction techniques, least squares, signal processing, image processing, Fourier transforms, and laboratory and astronomical instrumentation. The students can't get along without using computers as actually used by astronomers. We stay away from packaged software such as IRAF, which are ``black boxes''; rather, students learn far more by writing their own software, usually for the first time. They use the IDL language to take and reduce data and prepare them for the lab reports. We insist on quality reports---including tables, postscript graphs and images, correct grammar, spelling, and all the rest---and we strongly urge (successfully!) the students to use LATEX. The other two lab courses have the same emphasis: the guiding spirit is to place the students in a real-life research-like situation. There is too much to do, so students perform the work in small groups of 3 or 4 and groups are encouraged to share their knowledge. Lab reports are written individually. These courses are very demanding, requiring an average of 20 hours per week from the students (and probably
Troischt, Parker; Koopmann, Rebecca A.; Haynes, Martha P.; Higdon, Sarah; Balonek, Thomas J.; Cannon, John M.; Coble, Kimberly A.; Craig, David; Durbala, Adriana; Finn, Rose; Hoffman, G. Lyle; Kornreich, David A.; Lebron, Mayra E.; Crone-Odekon, Mary; O'Donoghue, Aileen A.; Olowin, Ronald Paul; Pantoja, Carmen; Rosenberg, Jessica L.; Venkatesan, Aparna; Wilcots, Eric M.; Alfalfa Team
The NSF-sponsored Undergraduate ALFALFA (Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA) Team (UAT) is a consortium of 19 institutions founded to promote undergraduate research and faculty development within the extragalactic ALFALFA HI blind survey project and follow-up programs. The collaborative nature of the UAT allows faculty and students from a wide range of public and private colleges and especially those with small astronomy programs to develop scholarly collaborations. Components of the program include an annual undergraduate workshop at Arecibo Observatory, observing runs at Arecibo, computer infrastructure, summer and academic year research projects, and dissemination at national meetings (e.g., Alfvin et al., Martens et al., Sanders et al., this meeting). Through this model, faculty and students are learning how science is accomplished in a large collaboration while contributing to the scientific goals of a major legacy survey. In the 7 years of the program, 23 faculty and more than 220 undergraduate students have participated at a significant level. 40% of them have been women and members of underrepresented groups. Faculty, many of whom were new to the collaboration and had expertise in other fields, contribute their diverse sets of skills to ALFALFA related projects via observing, data reduction, collaborative research, and research with students. 142 undergraduate students have attended the annual workshops at Arecibo Observatory, interacting with faculty, graduate students, their peers, and Arecibo staff in lectures, group activities, tours, and observing runs. Team faculty have supervised 131 summer research projects and 94 academic year (e.g., senior thesis) projects. 62 students have traveled to Arecibo Observatory for observing runs and 46 have presented their results at national meetings. 93% of alumni are attending graduate school and/or pursuing a career in STEM. Half of those pursuing graduate degrees in Physics or Astronomy are women. This work has been
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.
Think about the first time you encountered nuclear science in your formal curriculum. For most nuclear scientists this experience occurred as an undergraduate in an upper-level course in a traditional four-year institution. Because of changing student demographics, an explosion of interest in the life sciences, the end of the cold war and a variety of other factors, fewer undergraduates are encountering a traditional nuclear science course at all. For the field to remain vital, we suggest that educators in nuclear science will have to adapt to the changes in student populations and interests. To this end we now offer a variety of experiences to our undergraduate students that incorporate fundamental nuclear science. One component to our approach is to create exciting opportunities in undergraduate research, and another component involves creation of nuclear science modules that can fit within other courses. In recent years both of these components have evolved with an interdisciplinary flavor, but continue to yield students that become interested in pursuing nuclear science careers. We will discuss research opportunities offered to undergraduates at Hope College, and our success with collaborative research opportunities at a variety of extramural laboratories, as well as with our in-house research program with a low-energy accelerator. An overview of several pedagogical approaches we have adopted will also be presented, and there is clearly opportunity to pursue this approach much further. Although the examples are specific to Hope College, both components can clearly be adopted at a variety of other institutions.
Briggs, George M.
Discusses need to establish minimum standards of training for nutrition educators,'' and standardized curricula at the undergraduate level. Gives attention to definitions, adequate training, and suggested guidelines as a starting point for further discussion. (LK)
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.
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…
The relationships of students' preadmission academic variables, sex, undergraduate major, and undergraduate institution to academic performance in medical school have not been thoroughly examined. To determine the ability of students' preadmission academic variables to predict osteopathic medical school performance and whether students' sex, undergraduate major, or undergraduate institution influence osteopathic medical school performance. The study followed students who graduated from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine of New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury between 2003 and 2006. Student preadmission data were Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores, undergraduate grade point averages (GPAs), sex, undergraduate major, and undergraduate institutional selectivity. Medical school performance variables were GPAs, clinical performance (ie, clinical subject examinations and clerkship evaluations), and scores on the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination-USA (COMLEX-USA) Level 1 and Level 2-Clinical Evaluation (CE). Data were analyzed with Pearson product moment correlation coefficients and multivariate linear regression analyses. Differences between student groups were compared with the independent-samples, 2-tailed t test. A total of 737 students were included. All preadmission academic variables, except nonscience undergraduate GPA, were statistically significant predictors of performance on COMLEX-USA Level 1, and all preadmission academic variables were statistically significant predictors of performance on COMLEX-USA Level 2-CE. The MCAT score for biological sciences had the highest correlation among all variables with COMLEX-USA Level 1 performance (Pearson r=0.304; Posteopathic medical school performance, including GPAs, clinical performance, and COMLEX-USA Level 1 and Level 2-CE results. Clinical performance was predictive of COMLEX-USA Level 2-CE performance.
The APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major: Version 2.0 (henceforth Guidelines 2.0; APA, 2013) represents a national effort to describe and develop high-quality undergraduate programs in psychology. The task force charged with the revision of the original guidelines for the undergraduate major examined the success of the document's implementation and made changes to reflect emerging best practices and to integrate psychology's work with benchmarking scholarship in higher education. Guidelines 2.0 abandoned the original distinction drawn between psychology-focused skills and psychology skills that enhance liberal arts development. Instead, Guidelines 2.0 describes five inclusive goals for the undergraduate psychology major and two developmental levels of student learning outcomes. Suggestions for assessment planning are provided for each of the five learning goals. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Henriksen, Erik J; Atwater, Anne E; Delamere, Nicholas A; Dantzler, William H
The American Physiological Society (APS) and APS Council encourage the teaching of physiology at the undergraduate, graduate, and medical school levels to support the continued prominence of this area of science. One area identified by the APS Council that is of particular importance for the development of future physiologists (the "physiology pipeline") is the teaching of physiology and physiology-related topics at the undergraduate level. In this article, we describe the historical development and implementation of an undergraduate program offered through the Department of Physiology, a basic science department in the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona, culminating in a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree with a major in Physiology. Moreover, we discuss the current Physiology curriculum offered at our institution and explain how this program prepares our students for successful entry into a variety of postbaccalaureate professional programs, including medical school and numerous other programs in health professions, and in graduate study in the Masters and Doctoral programs in biomedical sciences. Finally, we cover the considerable challenges that we have faced, and continue to face, in developing and sustaining a successful physiology undergraduate major in a college of medicine. We hope that the information provided on the Physiology major offered by the Department of Physiology in the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona will be helpful for individuals at other institutions who may be contemplating the development and implementation of an undergraduate program in Physiology.
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 ...
Egger, A. E.
Several studies indicate a strong correlation between the number of college science courses and science literacy. It is not surprising, then, that the majority of participants in citizen science projects are college graduates who enrolled in at least two science courses. If one goal of citizen science projects is to increase civic science literacy, research suggests that most are preaching to the choir. Attracting a wider audience to citizen science is, therefore, a key challenge. One way to address this challenge is to attract students to enroll and succeed in science courses in college, even if they do not pursue a major in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. In fact, only 20% of students receive a degree in STEM, yet virtually all undergraduates are required to take at least one science course. Introductory science courses are therefore critical to cultivating citizen scientists, as they include a large proportion of non- STEM majors. Indeed, a major thrust of recent undergraduate STEM educational reform has been the promotion of 'science for all'. The science for all concept goes beyond recruiting students into the STEM disciplines to promoting a level of scientific literacy necessary to make informed decisions. A clear implication of this inclusive attitude is the need to redesign introductory science courses to make them accessible and explicitly related to scientific literacy. This does not mean dumbing down courses; on the contrary, it means engaging students in real scientific investigations and incorporating explicit teaching about the process of science, thus fostering a lifelong appreciation for (and, hopefully, participation in) science. Unfortunately, many students enter college with minimal understanding of the process of science. And when they arrive in their introductory classes, science is presented to them as a system of facts to be memorized - comparable to memorizing a poem in a foreign language without
In order for teachers to guide students in their preparation to be music majors, it would be useful to know those musical components that best predict overall collegiate success. The purpose of this study was to measure the relationship of predictor variables (Lessons, Music History, Music Theory, and Piano) to collegiate grade point average (GPA)…
Gender inequality in engineering persists in spite of women reaching parity in college enrollments and degrees granted. To date, no analyses of educational sex segregation have comprehensively examined segregation within one discipline. To move beyond traditional methods of studying the long-standing stratification by field of study in higher education, I explore gender stratification within one field: engineering. This dissertation investigates why some engineering disciplines have a greater representation of women than other engineering disciplines. I assess the individual and institutional factors and conditions associated with women's representation in certain engineering departments and compare the mechanisms affecting women's and men's choice of majors. I use national data from the Engineering Workforce Commission, survey data from 21 schools in the Project to Assess Climate in Engineering study, and Carnegie Foundation classification information to study sex segregation in engineering majors from multiple perspectives: the individual, major, institution, and country. I utilize correlations, t-tests, cross-tabulations, log-linear modeling, multilevel logistic regression and weighted least squares regression to test the relative utility of alternative explanations for women's disproportionate representation across engineering majors. As a whole, the analyses illustrate the importance of context and environment for women's representation in engineering majors. Hypotheses regarding hostile climate and discrimination find wide support across different analyses, suggesting that women's under-representation in certain engineering majors is not a question of choice or ability. However, individual level factors such as having engineering coursework prior to college show an especially strong association with student choice of major. Overall, the analyses indicate that institutions matter, albeit less for women, and women's under-representation in engineering is not
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.
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
Watkins, Jessica; Mazur, Eric
In this paper we present results relating undergraduate student retention in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors to the use of Peer Instruction (PI) in an introductory physics course at a highly selective research institution. We compare the percentages of students who switch out of a STEM major after taking a physics…
Hash, Phillip M.
The purpose of this study was to examine undergraduate non-music major (N = 95) preferences for Western art music. A survey of 15 musical examples was assembled consisting of five subtests, each with three excerpts from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, or Twentieth Century. The mean preference rating of all excerpts combined was 4.68…
Fung, C. Victor
Reports on a study of 50 undergraduate nonmusic majors to determine the relationship between world music preferences and multicultural attitudes. Finds support for the view that social/cultural attitudes play a role in world music preference. Discusses implications of the study for music teachers. (CFR)
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.
Ramos, Raddy L; Esposito, Anthony W; O'Malley, Shannon; Smith, Phoebe T; Grisham, William
The impact of undergraduate neuroscience programs on the broader landscape of life sciences education has not been described. Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics, we found that the number of undergraduate neuroscience programs in the U.S. continues to grow. Within any given institution, neuroscience programs exist alongside a small number of other life sciences undergraduate programs, suggesting that neuroscience is one of few major options from which students can choose from at many institutions. Neuroscience majors constitute a substantial proportion of all life sciences graduates at many institutions, and in several cases, neuroscience majors were the majority of life sciences graduates. Thus, neuroscience programs contribute substantially to life sciences education, and neuroscience is a highly attractive major among undergraduate students where these programs are available. These data have implications for institutions with existing neuroscience programs as well as for institutions seeking to establish a new program.
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…
Mollohan, Katherine N.
Non-cognitive factors such as students' attitudes and beliefs toward a subject and their proficiency in scientific reasoning are important aspects of learning within science disciplines. Both factors have been studied in relation to science education in various discplines. This dissertation presents three studies that investigate student epistemologies and scientific reasoning in the domain of biology education. The first study investigated students' epistemic viewpoints in two introductory biology courses, one for science majors and one for non-science majors. This quantitative investigation revealed that the majors exhibited a negative shift in their attitudes and beliefs about biology and learning biology during a semester of introductory instruction. However, the non-science majors did not exhibit a similar shift. If fact, the non-science majors improved in their attitudes and beliefs during a semester of instruction, though not significantly so. The second study expands epistemological research to a population that has often been left out of this work, that is, intermediate-level biology majors. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected to reveal that junior and senior ranked students for the most part were able to characterize their views about biology and learning biology, and were able to associate factors with their epistemic improvement. Finally, the third study expands epistemology research further to determine if scientific reasoning and student attitudes and beliefs about learning science (specifically biology) are related. After a description of how various science and engineering majors compare in their scientific reasoning skills, this study indicated that among intermediate level biology majors there is no relationship between scientific reasoning skills and epistemologies, nor is there a relationship with other educational factors, including the number of courses taken during an undergraduate career, cumulative GPA, and standardized test
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)…
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…
Henrich, Victor E.
To address the need for physics courses that stimulate non- STEM majors' interest in, and appreciation of, science, the Department of Applied Physics has developed a popular course for Yale College undergraduates, The Technological World, that explains the physics behind technologies that students use every day. The course provides an in-depth…
Goldenberg, Matthew N; Krystal, John H
This study sought to determine whether and to what extent medical students with an undergraduate college major in neuroscience, relative to other college majors, pursue psychiatry relative to other brain-based specialties (neurology and neurosurgery) and internal medicine. The authors analyzed data from AAMC matriculation and graduation surveys for all students who graduated from US medical schools in 2013 and 2014 (n = 29,714). Students who majored in neuroscience, psychology, and biology were compared to all other students in terms of their specialty choice at both time points. For each major, the authors determined rates of specialty choice of psychiatry, neurology, neurosurgery, and, for comparison, internal medicine. This study employed Chi-square statistic to compare odds of various specialty choices among different majors. Among medical students with an undergraduate neuroscience major (3.5% of all medical students), only 2.3% preferred psychiatry at matriculation, compared to 21.5% who chose neurology, 13.1% neurosurgery, and 11% internal medicine. By graduation, psychiatry specialty choice increased to 5.1% among neuroscience majors while choice of neurology and neurosurgery declined. Psychology majors (OR = 3.16, 95% CI 2.60-4.47) but not neuroscience majors (OR 1.28, 0.92-1.77) were more likely than their peers to choose psychiatry. Psychiatry struggles to attract neuroscience majors to the specialty. This missed opportunity is an obstacle to developing the neuroscience literacy of the workforce and jeopardizes the neuroscientific future of our field. Several potential strategies to address the recruitment challenges exist.
Miller, Marie C Desaulniers; Montplaisir, Lisa M; Offerdahl, Erika G; Cheng, Fu-Chih; Ketterling, Gerald L
Science educators have the common goal of helping students develop scientific literacy, including understanding of the nature of science (NOS). University faculties are challenged with the need to develop informed NOS views in several major student subpopulations, including science majors and nonscience majors. Research into NOS views of undergraduates, particularly science majors, has been limited. In this study, NOS views of undergraduates in introductory environmental science and upper-level animal behavior courses were measured using Likert items and open-ended prompts. Analysis revealed similarities in students' views between the two courses; both populations held a mix of naïve, transitional, and moderately informed views. Comparison of pre- and postcourse mean scores revealed significant changes in NOS views only in select aspects of NOS. Student scores on sections addressing six aspects of NOS were significantly different in most cases, showing notably uninformed views of the distinctions between scientific theories and laws. Evidence-based insight into student NOS views can aid in reforming undergraduate science courses and will add to faculty and researcher understanding of the impressions of science held by undergraduates, helping educators improve scientific literacy in future scientists and diverse college graduates.
Cui, Sheng; Zhang, Xinliang; Ke, Changjian
Based on the well-known simulation software VPI TransmissionMaker, a comprehensive training program for senior undergraduates majoring in optical communication and optical network technology was developed by the author after detailed study of the teaching difficult and key points in the discipline. Aiming at solving practical scientific and engineering problems, the program helped our students to develop the ability of acquiring and applying knowledge by designing optical devices, optical signal processing algorithms and optical fiber communication systems. Furthermore, innovation is inspired by introducing competition mechanism among project teams. The program was validated through four years of use and achieved good results.
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…
Lal, R.; Tan, A.; Lyatsky, W.
A new undergraduate Physics Program with Space Science as the major concentration area has been initiated at Alabama A&M University (AAMU) in 2001. This program is funded by NASAÆs OSS and OEOP Offices under the NRA 00-OSS-02 Minority University Education and Research Partnership Initiative in Space Science-2000. The partner institutions are NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). A primary objective of this Program is to train undergraduate and graduate minority (principally African-American) students in the extremely underrepresented areas of Space Science and to prepare them for eventual teaching and/or research careers in this increasingly important field. The best way to achieve this is to recruit students early from high school, and not wait until they have already selected their specialty in college. Also, a student with a BS degree in Physics with specialization in Space Science will have a decisive advantage in pursuing graduate studies in Space Science than the others. The BS degree requires a student to take 30 credit hours of Physics courses and an additional 18 hours in the chosen area of concentration. Several basic traditional courses in Lower Atmosphere, Aeronomy, the Solar System and Orbital Mechanics have been developed. Additional courses in Plasma Physics, Solar Physics and Astronomy will be taught by NASA-MSFC scientists and UAH faculty. A parallel objective is to expose the student to research experience early in their ca- reers. Each student is required to complete a one semester Undergraduate Research Opportunity Project (UROP) on a relevant topic from Space Science. The students will be guided in research by AAMU and UAH faculty and MSFC scientists. Each student will be required to write a term paper and make an oral presentation before a committee of advisors. This experience will enhance the Space
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
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
Weaver, A. Miles, III
Describes the objectives and content of an experience-oriented approach for 9th grade general science students. The emphasis is on the learning of science processes, through field studies and student investigations. Topic areas include measurement, landforms, weather, soil, plants and animals, population relationships, conservation, and pollution.…
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.
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…
Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 20; Issue 2. Indian Institute of Science - Undergraduate Programme: Admissions for 2015. Information and Announcements Volume 20 Issue 2 February 2015 pp 186-186. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:
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
Callier, Viviane; Singiser, Richard H; Vanderford, Nathan L
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.
Godin, Elizabeth A.; Wormington, Stephanie V.; Perez, Tony; Barger, Michael M.; Snyder, Kate E.; Richman, Laura Smart; Schwartz-Bloom, Rochelle; Linnenbrink-Garcia, Lisa
There is a strong need to increase the number of undergraduate students who pursue careers in science to provide the “fuel” that will power a science and technology–driven U.S. economy. Prior research suggests that both evidence-based teaching methods and early undergraduate research experiences may help to increase retention rates in the sciences. In this study, we examined the effect of a program that included 1) a Summer enrichment 2-wk minicourse and 2) an authentic Fall research course, both of which were designed specifically to support students' science motivation. Undergraduates who participated in the pharmacology-based enrichment program significantly improved their knowledge of basic biology and chemistry concepts; reported high levels of science motivation; and were likely to major in a biological, chemical, or biomedical field. Additionally, program participants who decided to major in biology or chemistry were significantly more likely to choose a pharmacology concentration than those majoring in biology or chemistry who did not participate in the enrichment program. Thus, by supporting students' science motivation, we can increase the number of students who are interested in science and science careers. PMID:26538389
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…
Pinard-Welyczko, Kira M.; Garrison, Anna C. S.; Ramos, Raddy L.; Carter, Bradley S.
Neuroscience is a rapidly expanding field, and many colleges and universities throughout the country are implementing new neuroscience degree programs. Despite the field’s growth and popularity, little data exists on the structural character of current undergraduate neuroscience programs. We collected and examined comprehensive data on existing undergraduate neuroscience programs, including academic major requirements and institution characteristics such as size, financial resources, and research opportunities. Thirty-one variables covering information about course requirements, department characteristics, financial resources, and institution characteristics were collected from 118 colleges and universities in the United States that offer a major titled “neuroscience” or “neural sciences.” Data was collected from publicly available sources (online databases, institutions’ neuroscience program websites) and then analyzed to define the average curriculum and identify associations between institution and program characteristics. Our results suggest that the average undergraduate neuroscience major requires 3 chemistry, 3 biology, 3 laboratory, 2–3 neuroscience, 1 physics, 1 math, and 2 psychology courses, suggesting that most neuroscience programs emphasize the natural sciences over the social sciences. Additionally, while 98% of institutions in our database offer research opportunities, only 31% required majors to perform research. Of note, 70% of institutions offering a neuroscience major do not have a neuroscience department, suggesting that most institutions offer neuroscience as an interdisciplinary major spanning several departments. Finally, smaller liberal arts colleges account for the majority of institutions offering a neuroscience major. Overall, these findings may be useful for informing groups interested in undergraduate neuroscience training, including institutions looking to improve or establish programs, students wanting to major in
Wuebbles, D. J.
Humanity faces great challenges in the 21st Century to understand and limit our impact on the Earth System. To address these challenges, it is essential to understand the nature and implications of environmental change, and the complexity of the Earth system. We need to educate citizens that have the background to make new developments in understanding technical aspects of the Earth System, and to develop an understanding the interactions between society and the Earth System sufficient to make informed policy choices. Traditional disciplinary departments and majors don't fully address this; teaching and research talent in the study of the Earth System is spread over many disciplinary-oriented departments. At the University of Illinois, we are currently developing a new cross-disciplinary undergraduate major being called The Earth system, environment and Society. This development is co-sponsored by a number of departments centered in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (but including other departments throughout the university). Our intention is that this major will be a catalyst for bringing together the many disciplines involved in Earth System Science education. The curriculum and course for study will focus on the science and human dimensions of the Earth system, with special emphasis on the processes and issues related to the environment across a range of spatial scales from local and regional to global. Along with meeting the requirements expected of all students in a liberal arts and sciences major, students in The Earth System, Environment and Society major will be required to complete a core set of courses designed to introduce students to all of the different components of the Earth System (students will choose from course options in both the sciences and the social sciences). After completing the core courses, students will then focus their studies on one of the two options within the major, Science of the Earth System (this option will emphasize the
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. © 2015 K. I. Danielson and K. D. Tanner. 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).
Geyfman, Victoria; Force, Christina M.; Davis, Laura M.
This study employs a survey of undergraduate business school freshmen to examine factors that influence their decision to study business and whether these factors differ by gender. Specifically, the study examines internal factors, such as students' perceived aptitudes and interests in the subject; external factors, such as compensation and job…
Jiahong, Wang; Xiang, Ping; Dazhi, Zhang; Liu, Weidong; Gao, Xiaofeng
Physical education (PE) undergraduate programs in higher education in China have evolved over the last 100 years. As a result, a comprehensive system of physical education undergraduate majors in higher education has been established in today's colleges/universities in China. The large number of students who have completed a physical education…
Henrich, Victor E.
To address the need for physics courses that stimulate non-STEM majors' interest in, and appreciation of, science, the Department of Applied Physics has developed a popular course for Yale College undergraduates, The Technological World, that explains the physics behind technologies that students use every day. The course provides an in-depth development of electromagnetic waves, applying them to technologies as diverse as LCD displays, GPS, fiber optics, CAT scans, LEDs, and stealth aircraft. It utilizes a conventional lecture format, with many in-class demonstrations.
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…
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…
Wiese, Candace; Newton, Genevieve
This study examined the use of lecture capture in students in a large 3rd year undergraduate biological science course at the University of Guelph. Data regarding viewing behaviour, academic performance, and attendance were analyzed in relation to student learning approach (as assessed by the R-SPQ-2F), gender, and year of post-secondary…
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
Bergbower, Matthew L.
For many political science programs, research methods courses are a fundamental component of the recommended undergraduate curriculum. However, instructors and students often see these courses as the most challenging. This study explores when it is most appropriate for political science majors to enroll and pass a research methods course. The…
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…
Glynn, Shawn M.; Brickman, Peggy; Armstrong, Norris; Taasoobshirazi, Gita
From the perspective of social cognitive theory, the motivation of students to learn science in college courses was examined. The students--367 science majors and 313 nonscience majors--responded to the Science Motivation Questionnaire II, which assessed five motivation components: intrinsic motivation, self-determination, self-efficacy, career…
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…
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…
Shachter, Amy M.; Edgerly, Janice S.
Project-based learning promotes students' understanding of the practice of science through planning, conducting, and presenting a research project. Engaging undergraduates in campus-based research has been the focus of an environmental resource assessment (ERA) at Santa Clara University. A cornerstone for the environmental research effort has been a non-science majors course, Chemistry and the Environment. Typically, 40-50 students are enrolled in the quarter-long course and work in groups of four to six on ERA research. Projects represent approximately 40% of the final course grade. A group project proposal, two preliminary/progress reports, a final report, and a poster presentation are required for each project. Students learn basic research methods and also gain leadership skills, learn professional presentation techniques, and promote informed environmental action on campus. Campus-based projects inspire students to view themselves as environmental stakeholders in the operations of the university and, ultimately, their daily lives.
The undergraduate computer science and engineering degree in India is a professional engineering degree and follows the general structure of other engineering degree programs. It aims to provide a good breadth in basic engineering and 50% of the curriculum in common with all engineering disciplines. The curriculum has a strong electrical engineering bias. At present there is no formal accreditation of engineering programs in India and each university is expected to maintain their own standard...
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.
McGraw, Allison M.; Hardegree-Ullman, K. K.; Turner, J. D.; Shirley, Y. L.; Walker-LaFollette, A. M.; Robertson, A. N.; Carleton, T. M.; Smart, B. M.; Towner, A. P. M.; Wallace, S. C.; Smith, C. W.; Small, L. C.; Daugherty, M. J.; Guvenen, B. C.; Crawford, B. E.; Austin, C. L.; Schlingman, W. M.
The University of Arizona Astronomy Club has been working on two large group research projects since 2009. One research project is a transiting extrasolar planet project that is fully student led and run. We observed the transiting exoplanets, TrES-3b and TrES-4b, with the 1.55 meter Kupier Telescope in near-UV and optical filters in order to detect any asymmetries between filters. The second project is a radio astronomy survey utilizing the Arizona Radio Observatory 12m telescope on Kitt Peak to study molecular gas in cold cores identified by the Planck all sky survey. This project provides a unique opportunity for a large group of students to get hands-on experience observing with a world-class radio observatory. These projects involve students in every single step of the process including: proposal writing to obtain telescope time on various Southern Arizona telescopes, observing at these telescopes, data reduction and analysis, managing large data sets, and presenting results at scientific meetings and in journal publications. The primary goal of these projects is to involve students in cutting-edge research early on in their undergraduate studies. The projects are designed to be continuous long term projects so that new students can easily join. As of January 2012 the extrasolar planet project became an official independent study class. New students learn from the more experienced students on the projects creating a learner-centered environment.
McGraw, A. M.; Hardegree-Ullman, K. K.; Turner, J. D.; Shirley, Y. L.; Walker-LaFollette, A. M.; Robertson, A. N.; Carleton, T. M.; Smart, B. M.; Towner, A. P. M.; Wallace, S. C.; Smith, C.-T. W.; Austin, C. L.; Small, L. C.; Daugherty, M. J.; Guvenen, B. C.; Crawford, B. E.; Schlingman, W. M.
The University of Arizona Astronomy Club has been working on two large group research projects since 2009. One research project is a transiting extrasolar project that is fully student led and run. We observed the transiting extrasolar planets, TrES-3b and TrES-4b, with the 1.55 meter Kuiper Telescope using different filters to test a proposed method of detecting extrasolar planet magnetic fields. The second project is a radio astronomy survey utilizing the Arizona Radio Observatory 12 meter telescope on Kitt Peak to study molecular gas in cold star-like cores identified by the Planck all sky survey. This project provides a unique opportunity for a large group of students to get hands-on experience observing with a world-class radio observatory. These projects involve students in every single step of the process including: proposal writing to obtain telescope time on various Southern Arizona telescopes, observing at these telescopes, data reduction and analysis, managing large data sets, and presenting results at scientific meetings and in journal publications. The primary goal of these projects is to involve students in cutting-edge research early on in their undergraduate studies. These projects are designed to be continuous long term projects so that new students can easily join. New students learn from the more experienced students on the projects, creating a learner-centered environment. Independent study credit is now an option for some students working on these projects.
As undergraduate laboratory research internships become more popular and universities devote considerable resources towards promoting them, it is important to clarify what students specifically gain through involvement in these experiences and it is important to understand their impact on the science pipeline. By examining recent findings describing the primary benefits of undergraduate research participation, along with self-efficacy theory, this study aims to provide more explanatory power to the anecdotal and descriptive accounts regarding the relationship between undergraduate research experiences and interest in continuing in science. Furthermore, this study characterizes practices that foster students' confidence in doing scientific work with detailed description and analysis of the interactions of researchers in a laboratory. Phase 1 of the study, a survey of undergraduate biology majors (n=71) at a major research university, investigates the relationships among participation in biology laboratory research internships, biology laboratory self-efficacy strength, and interest in persisting in science. Phase 2 of the study, a two-year investigation of a university biology research laboratory, investigates how scientific communities of practice develop self-efficacy beliefs. The findings suggest that participation in lab internships results in increased interest in continuing in life science/biology graduate school and careers. They also suggest that a significant proportion of that interest is related to the students' biology laboratory self-efficacy. The findings of this study point to two primary ways that undergraduate research participation might work to raise self-efficacy strength. First, university research laboratory communities can provide students with a variety of resources that scaffold them into biology laboratory mastery experiences. Second, university research laboratory communities can provide students with coping and mastery Discourse models
Landrum, R. Eric
Challenges abound in providing accurate and useful information to prospective and declared psychology majors about their career options and how to make decisions that will lead to satisfying and rewarding postgraduate lives. One component of this challenge is that by majoring in psychology, career affordances (i.e., the opportunities and…
Buxner, Sanlyn; Impey, Chris; Nieberding, Megan; Romine, James
College non-science major courses represent one of the last science courses many students will ever take. We report on a study of 400 undergraduate non-majors students enrolled in introductory astronomy courses at the University of Arizona to gain insight into where they get their information about science and their perception of that information. Students completed an online survey during the 2013-2014 school year. In addition to demographic information, students reported where they obtained information about science when they want to know something both for their own knowledge as well as information for a course assignment. They reported their interest in different science topics, rated the reliability of different sources of information, and reported how important science was to their life, including their future career choice.Overall, students reported getting information from a variety of online sources when looking up a topic for their own knowledge, including internet searches (71%), Wikipedia (46%), and online science sites (e.g. NASA) (45%). When asked where they got information for course assignments, most reported from assigned readings (82%) but a large percentage still reported getting information from online sources such as internet searches (60%), Wikipedia (30%) and online science sites (e.g. NASA) (20%). Overall, students rated professors/teachers and textbooks at the most reliable sources of scientific information and rated social media sites, blogs and Wikipedia as the least reliable sources of scientific information. Additionally, friends and family members were rated as less reliable sources of scientific information than similar information found on multiple websites. Students’ interest in science and self-reported knowledge in science was positively correlated. There was a significant positive correlation between those who reported that they liked science and felt that science was important to their future career. Overall, our results are
Ozgur, Ceyhun; Li, Yang; Rogers, Grace
The paper begins with a brief review of the literature and how business students choose their major in the U.S. and we list the most popular majors in the U.S. Universities. We also talk about the factors that influenced student's choice. In our next research project, we will not only use a larger sample size but also the sample will come from a…
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…
Marbach-Ad, Gili; McGinnis, J. Randy; Pease, Rebecca; Dai, Amy H.; Schalk, Kelly A.; Benson, Spencer
We investigated a pedagogical innovation in an undergraduate microbiology course (Microbes and Society) for non-majors and education majors. The goals of the curriculum and pedagogical transformation were to promote active learning and concentrate on clarity in teaching. This course was part of a longitudinal project (Project Nexus) which…
Bergman, Matthew E.; Fass-Holmes, Barry
The authors investigated whether undergraduates attending an American West Coast public university who were not U.S. citizens (nondomestic) maximized their grade point averages (GPA) through their choice of major field. Multiple regression hierarchical linear modeling analyses showed that major field's effect size was small for these…
Dom, Vannak; Yi, Gihong
The empirical study on 610 undergraduate students between the age of 16 to 25 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, was set to examine the relationship of gender and subject choice. The findings have revealed that women were overrepresented in non-science subjects and their gender identity has strong connection with subject choice (*** p < 0.001). The study…
Henriksen, Erik J.; Atwater, Anne E.; Delamere, Nicholas A.; Dantzler, William H.
The American Physiological Society (APS) and APS Council encourage the teaching of physiology at the undergraduate, graduate, and medical school levels to support the continued prominence of this area of science. One area identified by the APS Council that is of particular importance for the development of future physiologists (the…
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.
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/).
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…
Nathan, Stephen A.; Loxsom, Fred
Sustainable energy is growing in importance as the public becomes more aware of climate change and the need to satisfy our society's energy demands while minimizing environmental impacts. To further this awareness and to better prepare a workforce for "green careers," we developed a sustainable energy laboratory course that is suitable for high school and undergraduate students, especially non-science majors. Thirteen hands-on exercises provide an overview of sustainable energy by demonstrating the basic principles of wind power, photovoltaics, electric cars, lighting, heating/cooling, insulation, electric circuits, and solar collectors. The order of content presentation and instructional level (secondary education or college) can easily be modified to suit instructor needs and/or academic programs (e.g., engineering, physics, renewable and/or sustainable energy).
Igbinoba, Egheosa P.
Blacks are underrepresented amongst persons who earn college degrees in the United States and Black males attend and complete college at a lower rate than Black females (Toldson, Fry Brown, & Sutton, 2009). According to Toldson et al. (2009), this quandary may be attributed to Black males' apathy toward education in general, waning support and ideological challenges toward Pell Grants and affirmative action, cultural incompetency on the part of the 90% White, ethnic makeup of the U.S. teaching force, and the relatively high numbers of Black males who are held back in school. In spite of the dismal statistics regarding Black male academic achievement and matriculation, there are those Black males who do participate in postsecondary education. While many studies have highlighted reasons that Black males do not achieve success in attending and persisting through college, few have adopted the anti-deficit research framework suggested by Harper (2010), identifying reasons Black males do persist in higher education. Although science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers are identified as those most imperative to the economic competitiveness of the United States, few studies have concentrated solely on engineering majors and fewer, if any, solely on Black male engineering majors at an historically Black college and university. The aim of this study was to address an apparent gap in the literature and invoke theories for recruitment, retention, and success of Black males in engineering degree programs by employing an anti-deficit achievement framework for research of students of color in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Data garnered from the study included insight into participants' definitions of success, precollege experiences, factors contributing to the persistence during undergraduate study, and perceptions of attending a historically Black college and university versus a primarily White institution.
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…
Axmann, Waldemar Jay
The Advanced Visual Quantum Mechanics project was conceived to provide computer-centered, activities-based instructional materials to upper-level undergraduate physics majors. This study implements one curriculum development cycle of research, development, and classroom testing for a single unit, The Shape and Behavior of the Wave Function, of these materials. It is designed to be a proof of concept pilot study for the project. The cycle began with an extensive review of existing research drawing on results from the general fields of cognitive science and educational research as well as more specific research regarding the use of computers in instruction and the teaching and learning of quantum mechanics. It continued with the development of written materials, a computer program, and assessment instruments all extensively based on this research. It concluded with a field test garnering an outcome of positive student and instructor attitudes and perceptions of learning gains as well as actual gains similar or superior to traditional instruction---even in the face of usage that diverged widely from that intended. Based on these results, we recommend the continuation of the Advanced Visual Quantum Mechanics project. This work would include further testing and revision of these materials, similar development and classroom testing of further materials, and new research within the context of that testing. Consideration should also be given to similar projects that address other physics subject areas.
Silvey, Brian A.; Montemayor, Mark; Baumgartner, Christopher M.
The purpose of this study was to investigate undergraduate instrumental music education majors' score study practices as they related to the effectiveness of their simulated conducting. Participants (N = 30) were video recorded in two sessions in which they completed a 20-min score study session and a simulated conducting performance. In the first…
Austin, James R.; Isbell, Daniel S.; Russell, Joshua A.
Researchers are increasingly interested in the psychological and sociological processes by which college students develop competence and confidence as musicians. We surveyed 454 undergraduate music majors enrolled in one of three NASM-accredited music schools in the US. Participants completed a questionnaire that addressed beliefs about…
This mixed methods study examined the relationship between the motivations for attending college of undergraduate students with a focus on students with a public health major, and their desire to pursue graduate training in public health and subsequently, public health careers. The study highlighted the current public health workforce shortage and…
The purpose of this study was to determine relationships among social identity, value of music education, musician-teacher orientation, selected demographic factors, and self-concept as a music educator. Participants (N = 968) were volunteer undergraduate music education majors enrolled at four-year institutions granting a bachelor of music…
Haemmerlie, Frances Montgomery; Montgomery, Robert L.
This study examined the role of academic performance factors, and personality traits as measured by the "Hogan Personality Inventory" (Hogan & Hogan, 2007), in the academic success and retention of undergraduate engineering majors. With regard to academic performance, the academic measures of ACT score and high school GPA were…
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.
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.
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.
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…
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…
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…
Jaladanki, Vani Savithri
Females are disproportionately underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors. Further, the number of females who take physics in college has declined. While female students make up 61% of graduates in biological sciences and 50% in chemistry, the proportion of women completing physics degrees is only 21% (Sawtelle, 2011). In order to improve women's access to science and engineering education, research must focus on personal and environmental factors that motivate them to select these fields (AAUW, 2010). The purpose of this study was to explore how the educational experiences of three female undergraduate physics majors contribute to their current dispositions toward, interest in, and pursuit of physics as a major at a large southern research university. This qualitative study employs symbolic interactionism (Blumer, 1969) as its methodological framework and social cognitive career theory (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 2002) as its theoretical framework. Case study methods (Yin, 2006) were implemented to investigate the experiences of three participants. The primary sources of data included critical incident interviews (Flanagan, 1954), photographs, documents, object elicitations, and the researcher's reflections. Narrative and arts-based techniques were employed to analyze and represent data. Findings are presented as co-constructed narratives of the participants' journeys to becoming undergraduate physics majors. Three major themes emerged from the cross case analysis: carving new spaces, authoring an empowered self, and show me you care and so will I. The direct experiences of engaging with science at a young age and social persuasions of family members, teachers, and peers strongly influenced the participants' interest in and pursuit of physics. Their current dispositions to physics result from vicarious experiences with professors and peers in combination with the social persuasions of the latter. This study informs science
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.
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.
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.
Morgan, Lynn M; Knight, Sabina; Gubrium, Aline C
Since the 2003 call by the Institute of Medicine to educate undergraduates in public health, various models have emerged for incorporating public health into the liberal arts and sciences. One model is a professionalized public health major that uses core public health competencies to prepare a workforce of health professionals. A second model offers a broad-based public health major rooted in liberal arts principles, resisting the utilitarian trend toward human capital formation. A third model resists even the label of "public health," preferring instead to introduce undergraduates to many ways of analyzing human health and healing. The multidisciplinary Culture, Health, and Science Program, based on six key commitments for preparing liberal arts students to analyze health and respond to global health challenges, is offered as an alternative to the public health major. © The Author(s) 2016.
Grineski, Sara; Daniels, Heather; Collins, Timothy; Morales, Danielle X.; Frederick, Angela; Garcia, Marilyn
Research on the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) student development pipeline has largely ignored social class and instead examined inequalities based on gender and race. We investigate the role of social class in undergraduate student research publications. Data come from a sample of 213 undergraduate research participants…
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.
Graduate Placement Office and a Center for Undergraduate Research to facilitate students' pursuit of gradate studies. The results of these efforts indicate a 40 percent graduation rate in four years and increased to 90 percent in six years in the natural sciences and 50 percent of these graduates pursue graduate/professional careers.
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
Eagan, M. Kevin; Sharkness, Jessica; Hurtado, Sylvia; Mosqueda, Cynthia M.; Chang, Mitchell J.
Despite the many benefits of involving undergraduates in research and the growing number of undergraduate research programs, few scholars have investigated the factors that affect faculty members’ decisions to involve undergraduates in their research projects. We investigated the individual factors and institutional contexts that predict faculty members’ likelihood of engaging undergraduates in their research project(s). Using data from the Higher Education Research Institute’s 2007–2008 Facu...
Eagan, M. Kevin, Jr.; Sharkness, Jessica; Hurtado, Sylvia; Mosqueda, Cynthia M.; Chang, Mitchell J.
Despite the many benefits of involving undergraduates in research and the growing number of undergraduate research programs, few scholars have investigated the factors that affect faculty members' decisions to involve undergraduates in their research projects. We investigated the individual factors and institutional contexts that predict faculty…
Worsham, Heather M.; Friedrichsen, Patricia; Soucie, Marilyn; Barnett, Ellen; Akiba, Motoko
Despite the importance of recruiting highly qualified individuals into the science teaching profession, little is known about the effectiveness of particular recruitment strategies. Over 3 years, 34 college science majors and undecided students were recruited into paid internships in informal science settings to consider secondary science teaching…
Elder, Craig L; Pujol, Thomas J; Barnes, Jeremy T
Undergraduate exercise science programs develop curricula by referring to standards set by professional organizations. A web-based survey was administered to 235 institutions with exercise science undergraduate programs to evaluate their adherence to stated curricular guidelines. Results indicate that 29% of institutions considered American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs); 33% both ACSM and National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) guidelines; 6% ACSM, NASPE, and National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); 8% ACSM, NASPE, NSCA, and American Society of Exercise Physiologists, and 5% NASPE. The two largest subgroups had good compliance with the areas of exercise physiology, biomechanics, and human anatomy and physiology. However, neither subgroup adhered to the areas of exercise prescription, testing, and implementation; exercise and aging; or exercise with special populations. Regardless of the implemented guideline(s), most institutions placed minimal emphasis on areas related to health promotion and many curricula did not require any field experience.
Black, Alice A. (Jill)
Research has shown the presence of many Earth science misconceptions and conceptual difficulties that may impede concept understanding, and has also identified a number of categories of spatial ability. Although spatial ability has been linked to high performance in science, some researchers believe it has been overlooked in traditional education. Evidence exists that spatial ability can be improved. This correlational study investigated the relationship among Earth science conceptual understanding, three types of spatial ability, and psychological gender, a self-classification that reflects socially-accepted personality and gender traits. A test of Earth science concept understanding, the Earth Science Concepts (ESC) test, was developed and field tested from 2001 to 2003 in 15 sections of university classes. Criterion validity was .60, significant at the .01 level. Spearman/Brown reliability was .74 and Kuder/Richardson reliability was .63. The Purdue Visualization of Rotations (PVOR) (mental rotation), the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) (spatial perception), the Differential Aptitude Test: Space Relations (DAT) (spatial visualization), and the Bem Inventory (BI) (psychological gender) were administered to 97 non-major university students enrolled in undergraduate science classes. Spearman correlations revealed moderately significant correlations at the .01 level between ESC scores and each of the three spatial ability test scores. Stepwise regression analysis indicated that PVOR scores were the best predictor of ESC scores, and showed that spatial ability scores accounted for 27% of the total variation in ESC scores. Spatial test scores were moderately or weakly correlated with each other. No significant correlations were found among BI scores and other test scores. Scantron difficulty analysis of ESC items produced difficulty ratings ranging from 33.04 to 96.43, indicating the percentage of students who answered incorrectly. Mean score on the ESC was 34
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…
Full Text Available This study examined the use of lecture capture in students in a large 3rd year undergraduate biological science course at the University of Guelph. Data regarding viewing behaviour, academic performance, and attendance were analyzed in relation to student learning approach (as assessed by the R-SPQ-2F, gender, and year of post-secondary education. It was found that relative to historic controls, students provided lecture capture videos increased their final exam grade by approximately 5%. It was also found that learning approach was significantly related to video viewing behaviour, final exam performance, and attendance, with a deep learning approach being associated with more video views, better performance, and a greater tendency to watch videos to master and review material. A surface approach showed contrasting associations. Moreover, a higher deep approach score was related to fewer absences, while a higher surface approach score was related to more absences and increased the likelihood of a student missing a class. Gender also influenced viewing behaviour, with females being more likely than males to watch videos to generate notes and to review material. This research demonstrates that learning approach and gender are significant predictors of lecture capture behaviour, performance, and/or attendance in biological science education, and provides support for the use of lecture capture as a tool to improve academic performance.
Vassiliadis, D.; Christian, J. A.; Keesee, A. M.; Spencer, E. A.; Gross, J.; Lusk, G. D.
As part of its participation in NASA's Undergraduate Student Instrument Project (USIP), a team of engineering and physics students at West Virginia University (WVU) built a series of sounding rocket and balloon missions. The first rocket and balloon missions were flown near-simultaneously in a campaign on June 26, 2014 (image). The second sounding rocket mission is scheduled for October 5, 2015. Students took a course on space science in spring 2014, and followup courses in physics and aerospace engineering departments have been developed since then. Guest payloads were flown from students affiliated with WV Wesleyan College, NASA's IV&V Facility, and the University of South Alabama. Students specialized in electrical and aerospace engineering, and space physics topics. They interacted regularly with NASA engineers, presented at telecons, and prepared reports. A number of students decided to pursue internships and/or jobs related to space science and technology. Outreach to the campus and broader community included demos and flight projects. The physics payload includes plasma density and temperature measurements using a Langmuir and a triple probe; plasma frequency measurements using a radio sounder (WVU) and an impedance probe (U.S.A); and a magnetometer (WVWC). The aerospace payload includes an IMU swarm, a GPS experiment (with TEC capability); a cubesat communications module (NASA IV&V), and basic flight dynamics. Acknowledgments: staff members at NASA Wallops Flight Facility, and at the Orbital-ATK Rocket Center, WV.
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.
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.
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
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…
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.
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.
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.
The Joint Task Force on Undergraduate Physics Programs (JTUPP) was formed in response to growing awareness in the physics community that physics majors pursue a wide range of careers after graduation, with very few ending up in academia. The task force is charged with identifying the skills and knowledge that undergraduate physics degree holders should possess to be well prepared for a diverse set of careers, and providing guidance for physicists considering revising the undergraduate curriculum to improve the education of a diverse student population. Task force members represent large and small universities, professional societies, and industry, and have expertise in a broad range of areas including entrepreneurship, physics education research and systemic change in education. We reviewed employment data, surveys of employers, and reports generated by other disciplines. We also met with physicists in selected industries to get their views on the strengths and weaknesses of physics graduates, commissioned a series of interviews with recent physics graduates employed in the private sector, and identified exemplary programs that ensure that all of their students are well prepared to pursue a wide range of career paths. The findings and recommendations will be summarized.
Li, Ming; Shen, Xiaodong; Zhao, Yan; Hu, Xiaomei; Hu, Fuquan; Rao, Xiancai
Homologous recombination, a central concept in biology, is defined as the exchange of DNA strands between two similar or identical nucleotide sequences. Unfortunately, undergraduate students majoring in biotechnology often experience difficulties in understanding the molecular basis of homologous recombination. In this study, we developed and implemented a 12-week laboratory course for biotechnology undergraduates in which gene targeting in Streptococcus suis was used to facilitate their understanding of the basic concept and process of homologous recombination. Students worked in teams of two to select a gene of interest to create a knockout mutant using methods that relied on homologous recombination. By integrating abstract knowledge and practice in the process of scientific research, students gained hands-on experience in molecular biology techniques while learning about the principle and process of homologous recombination. The learning outcomes and survey-based assessment demonstrated that students substantially enhanced their understanding of how homologous recombination could be used to study gene function. Overall, the course was very effective for helping biotechnology undergraduates learn the theory and application of homologous recombination, while also yielding positive effects in developing confidence and scientific skills for future work in research. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(4):329-335, 2017. © 2017 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
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 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
To improve the research quality preparation for graduate study and looking for job competition ability of undergraduates students, the education orientation objective need to be explicit. Universities need develop undergraduates' cultivation plan according to students' classification. Based on analysis of students export characteristic, there will be corresponding cultivation plan. Keep tracking study during the cultivation plan implantation process, the Curriculum system and related manage documents are revised corresponding to exist problems. There are mainly three kinds of undergraduates' career direction plan for opto-electronic major undergraduates. In addition to the vast majority university graduates opting for direct employment, nearly one third of university students choose to take part in the postgraduate entrance exams and other further education abroad, and also one-tenth choose their own businesses, university chooses are diversified. The exports are further studying as graduates, working and study abroad. Because national defense students are also recruited, the cultivation plan will be diversified to four types. For students, who go to work directly after graduation, the "Excellence engineers plan" is implemented to enhance their practice ability. For students, who will study further as graduate student, the scientific innovation research ability cultivation is paid more attention to make good foundation for their subsequent development. For students, who want to study abroad after graduation, the bilingual teaching method is introduced, and the English environment is built. We asked foreign professionals to give lectures for students. The knowledge range is extending, and the exchange and cooperation chance is provided at the same time. And the cultivation plan is revised during docking with Universities abroad. For national defense students, combat training and other defense theory courses are added to make them familiar with force knowledge. And
Full Text Available Objective – This study investigated the information seeking behavior of undergraduate majors to gain a better understanding of where they find their research information (academic vs. non-academic sources and to determine if library instruction had any impact on the types of sources used.Methods – The study used a convenience sample of 200 students currently enrolled as undergraduates at the University of Central Florida’s College of Education. A chi square test of association was conducted to determine if the proportion of undergraduate Education majors who use academic sources as compared to non-academic sources varied depending on whether the students had attended at least one library instruction session.Results – The majority of students surveyed find their research information on the freely available Web, even though they admit that academic sources are more credible. At an alpha level of .05, types of sources used for research were not statistically significantly related to whether the student attended library instruction sessions (Pearson χ2 (1, N = 200 = 1.612, p = .447, Cramer’s V = .090.Conclusion – These results are supported by other studies that indicate that today’s college students are using freely available Internet sites much more than library resources. Little to no association appears to exist between “one-shot” library instruction sessions and the sources used by students in their research. Serious consideration needs to be given to multiple library instruction sessions and to for-credit library courses over one-shot classes.
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…
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…
A physics undergraduate degree major in optics and communication technology has been offered at King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL), Bangkok, Thailand. There are nine required three credit hour courses including two laboratory courses plus a number of selections in optics and communication based technology courses. For independent thinking and industrial working skills, nine credit hours of research project, practical training or overseas studies are included for selection in the final semester. Students are encouraged to participate in international conferences and professional organizations. Recently the program, with support from SPIE and OSA, has organized its first international conference on photonic solutions 2013 (ICPS 2013).
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.
Ali S Radeef; Ghasak G Faisal
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 stres...
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.
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…
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,…
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 ...
Riggs, E. M.; Sexton, J. M.; Pugh, K.; Bergstrom, C.; Parmley, R.; Phillips, M.
The proportion of women earning undergraduate geoscience degrees has remained about 40% for over a decade. Little research has investigated why women select and persist in a geoscience major. This study addresses why students major in the geosciences and why some programs are more successful at recruiting and retaining female students. We collected interview and survey data from faculty and students at six public US universities. Four sites had a low proportion of female degree recipients ( 48%). 408 students (64% female) completed surveys. Interviews were conducted with 49 faculty members and 151 students. Survey data analysis showed that interest/identity and transformative experiences were significant predictors of students' decision to major in geoscience. Institutional barriers and supports were significant predictors of confidence in the major while connection to instructor predicted students' intent to major. Analysis of pre- and post-course surveys show that students with a greater connection to instructors and students whose instructors expressed more passion for the content also reported higher levels of transformative experiences. This effect was especially pronounced for women and was a significant predictor of persistence in the major. Qualitative data show differences in departmental practices and climate between low and high female graduation sites. High sites used many student-centered approaches to teaching, had extensive opportunities for and a high number of undergraduate students involved in research, and had many opportunities for faculty-student interaction outside of class. Low sites had few of these practices. Qualitative data also showed differences in the gendered equity climate between high and low sites. High sites had more positive gender equity climates and low sites had more negative gender equity climates. At this time, we do not fully understand the causal relationships among all of these findings and higher female graduation rates
Byars-Winston, Angela; Rogers, Jenna; Branchaw, Janet; Pribbenow, Christine; Hanke, Ryan; Pfund, Christine
An important step in broadening participation of historically underrepresented (HU) racial/ethnic groups in the sciences is the creation of measures validated with these groups that will allow for greater confidence in the results of investigations into factors that predict their persistence. This study introduces new measures of theoretically derived factors emanating from social cognitive and social identity theories associated with persistence for HU racial/ethnic groups in science disciplines. The purpose of this study was to investigate: 1) the internal reliability and factor analyses for measures of research-related self-efficacy beliefs, sources of self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and science identity; and 2) potential group differences in responses to the measures, examining the main and interaction effects of gender and race/ethnicity. Survey data came from a national sample of 688 undergraduate students in science majors who were primarily black/African American and Hispanic/Latino/a with a 2:1 ratio of females to males. Analyses yielded acceptable validity statistics and race × gender group differences were observed in mean responses to several measures. Implications for broadening participation of HU groups in the sciences are discussed regarding future tests of predictive models of student persistence and training programs to consider cultural diversity factors in their design. PMID:27521235
Richardson, Noel; Hardegree-Ullman, Kevin; Bjorkman, Jon Eric; Bjorkman, Karen S.; Ritter Observing Team
With a 1-m telescope on the University of Toledo (OH) main campus, we have initiated a grad student-undergraduate partnership to help teach the undergraduates observational methods and introduce them to research through peer mentorship. For the last 3 years, we have trained up to 21 undergraduates (primarily physics/astronomy majors) in a given academic semester, ranging from freshman to seniors. Various projects are currently being conducted by undergraduate students with guidance from graduate student mentors, including constructing three-color images, observations of transiting exoplanets, and determination of binary star orbits from echelle spectra. This academic year we initiated a large group research project to help students learn about the databases, journal repositories, and online observing tools astronomers use for day-to-day research. We discuss early inclusion in observational astronomy and research of these students and the impact it has on departmental retention, undergraduate involvement, and academic success.
Drain, Paul K; Mock, Charles; Toole, David; Rosenwald, Anne; Jehn, Megan; Csordas, Thomas; Ferguson, Laura; Waggett, Caryl; Obidoa, Chinekwu; Wasserheit, Judith N
Global health education has been expanding rapidly and several universities have created an undergraduate major degree (bachelor's degree) in global heath or global health studies. Because there are currently no national guidelines for undergraduate degrees in global health, each of these programs was developed along individual lines. To guide the development of future global health majors, we conducted a systematic review of undergraduate majors in global health. We identified eight programs and invited program directors or representatives to a symposium at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health 2016 conference to review their existing undergraduate major in global health and to discuss lessons learned and recommendations for other colleges and universities seeking to develop undergraduate degrees in global health. We noted significant diversity among the existing programs in terms of required courses, international field experiences, and thesis research projects. In this review, we describe these global health programs, their student characteristics, as well as the key educational competencies, program requirements, and core global health courses. Based on program reviews and discussions, we identify seven recommendations for the development and expansion of an undergraduate major in global health and discuss issues that have arisen in the curricular development of these programs that warrant further exploration. As the field of global health education continues to expand, following these students after graduation will be essential to ensure that the degree programs in global health both meet student needs and launch students on viable career pathways. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Mohamed, Moataz Ehab; Mohy, Nagla; Salah, Sarah
The survey aimed to capture the perceptions of undergraduate pharmacy students towards plagiarism in three major public universities in Cairo, Egypt: Helwan, Ain-Shams, and Cairo Universities. This was a paper-based self-administrated survey study. The questionnaire was validated by both content and face validation. The final survey form captured the knowledge of the students on plagiarism in terms of definitions, attitudes, and practices. Four hundred and fourteen students, 320 females and 94 males, participated in the study. There was a significant difference between the students who knew the definition of plagiarism among the three universities with p-value = .01. More than half of the participants (67%) claimed that they had no previous education or training on plagiarism. However, after being informed about plagiarism, most of them agreed that plagiarism should be regarded as stealing and a punishment. Additionally, poor study skills and the ease of copying and pasting from the Internet were identified by the majority of the students to be the leading causes of plagiarism. Pharmacy students need to be more educated on plagiarism and its consequences on research and educational ethics. Finally, more strict policies should be incorporated to monitor and control plagiarism in undergraduate sections.
Reported are the results of a survey of 60 professional soil scientists which was designed to rate and rank courses that should be required for a baccalaureate degree in soil science. Lists the rankings and ratings, along with the resulting core courses and a proposed year-by-year sequence. (TW)
Worsham, Heather M.; Friedrichsen, Patricia; Soucie, Marilyn; Barnett, Ellen; Akiba, Motoko
Despite the importance of recruiting highly qualified individuals into the science teaching profession, little is known about the effectiveness of particular recruitment strategies. Over 3 years, 34 college science majors and undecided students were recruited into paid internships in informal science settings to consider secondary science teaching as a career. Analysis of interns' subsequent career plans revealed the internships were not effective in recruiting the interns into the secondary science teacher education program, although many interns thought they might consider becoming teachers later in their lives. Reasons for not pursuing teaching included continued indecisiveness, inflexibility of required plans of study, and concerns about teachers' pay and classroom management.
Li, Wenjun; Meng, Xiangfei; Xu, Ziqi; Yu, Qiong; Shi, Jieping; Yu, Yaqin; D'Arcy, Carl; Huang, Yueqin; Kou, Changgui
This cross-sectional survey among Chinese university students aimed to estimate the prevalence and risk factors of major depressive disorder (MDD) among undergraduates, in order to provide basic information for the prevention and treatment of depression among the college-aged population. A total of 2,046 undergraduates were interviewed face to face using the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview Version 3.0 (WHO-CIDI, version 3.0). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV) criteria were used to diagnose MDD. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the associations between MDD and selected correlates. The survey response rate was 90.1% (N = 1,843). The prevalence rates of MDD were 3.9% (lifetime), 2.4% (12 months) and 0.4% (30 days). No significant gender or age differences were found in prevalence rates. No sociodemographic characteristics were related to the lifetime prevalence of MDD. In contrast, family structure and environment factors specifically being from a single-parent family (odds ratio [OR] = 2.513, confidence interval [CI] = 1.404-2.500), parents having mental problems (OR = 1.809, CI = 1.104-2.964), and physical punishment (OR = 1.789, CI = 1.077-3.001) were associated with higher lifetime prevalence of MDD. These findings showed a relatively lower prevalence of DSM-IV/CIDI MDD in this sample of Chinese undergraduates than that reported for students in other countries. However, the prevalence rate for university students was higher than that reported for general Chinese population. Family structure and socio-environmental factors in the student's family of origin significantly correlated with the lifetime prevalence of MDD. © 2015 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
Rector, Travis A.; Puckett, A. W.; Hinnah, K. D.
Research-Based Science Education (RBSE) is a method of instruction that models the processes of scientific inquiry and exploration used by scientists to discover new knowledge. It is "research-based" in the sense that students work together on a real astronomical research project. In other words, in order to learn science, students are given the opportunity to actually do science. We present "Photo Z," a new RBSE project wherein students search for distant galaxies using data from the NOAO Deep Wide Field Survey (NDWFS). Students download FITS data files from the NDWFS cutout server. They then complete photometry of galaxies in three bands (Bw, V and I) using Polaris, a custom-made plugin written for ImageJ. The photometric color of each galaxy allows an estimate of its redshift as well as its star-formation history. Many student projects are possible. An example is to search for galaxies clustered around high-redshift quasars. An advantage of this project is that the datasets are readily available online. This project is part of an NSF CCLI grant to develop and test RBSE curricula in an undergraduate course setting. The goals of RBSE are fourfold: (1) To teach that science is a process, not just a body of knowledge; (2) To improve retention of science content by using it in a research project; (3) to improve attitudes towards STEM careers, particularly among first-year students; and (4) to develop task-driven skills, such as critical thinking and teamwork skills, that are useful in any career path. These curricula are currently being developed and tested at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Indiana University Bloomington, and Pima Community College.
Rector, Travis A.; Puckett, A.; Pilachowski, C.; Young, M.
Research-Based Science Education (RBSE) is a method of instruction that models the processes of scientific inquiry and exploration used by scientists to discover new knowledge. It is "research-based" in the sense that students work together in self-guided, cooperative groups on a real astronomical research project. In other words, in order to learn science, students are given the opportunity to actually do science. We present new RBSE curricula that are part of an NSF-funded effort to develop and test such curricula in an undergraduate course setting. The goals of this curricula are fourfold: (1) To teach that science is a process, not just a body of knowledge; (2) To improve retention of science content by using it in a research project; (3) to improve attitudes towards STEM careers, particularly among first-year students; and (4) to develop task-driven skills, such as critical thinking and teamwork skills, that are useful in any career path. The research projects include projects that use astronomical imaging and spectroscopic data. The projects include: a spectroscopic study of semi-regular variable stars, a spectroscopic study of AGN, a photometric search for high-redshift galaxies in the NDWFS, a search for variable stars in open clusters, and a photometric and astrometric study of minor planets. In the projects using imaging data, students complete astrometric and photometric measurements. In the spectroscopy projects, students measure properties such continuum shape and the positions of emission and absorption lines. These curricula are currently being developed and tested at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Indiana University Bloomington, and Kenai Peninsula College.
Bililign, S.; Schimmel, K.; Lin, Y. L.; Germuth, A.
The recruitment of undergraduate students, especially minorities, into geoscience career paths continues to be a challenge. An REU program that focused on recruiting students majoring in physical sciences and engineering from HBCU's within North Carolina started in 2012. The program offers an academic year REU for North Carolina A&T State University (NCA&T) students (8 students), summer research for non-NCA&T students (18 students), and field experiences in national labs for selected students. In this REU, the design of projects involves several faculty members (at least two from different disciplines) that expose students to interdisciplinary research approaches. The outcomes of this program, challenges, opportunities and lessons learned will be presented.
McCall, Richard P.
Describes how one professor makes his physics course relevant to pharmacy majors. The course emphasizes the relation of basic physics concepts (like forces and thermodynamics) to the human body and uses problems drawn from the medical profession. Student course evaluations show a favorable view of content learned and its relevance. (DB)
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.
Kreitzer, Matthew A; Malchow, Robert P
This report describes a unique undergraduate research and teaching collaboration between investigators at two institutions, one a relatively small, primarily undergraduate institution and the other a large, urban research-intensive university. The program incorporates three major facets. First, undergraduates participate in a weekly collaborative lab meeting involving instructors from both institutions and held via remote video. Student-led discussions and presentations dominate these meetings, and the unique format promotes novel interactions between students and instructors. Second, students carry out investigative studies centered on understanding the role extracellular pH dynamics play in regulating neuronal processing. Students carry out studies on isolated neurons and glia throughout the fall and spring semesters, and primarily use a noninvasive electrophysiological technique, termed self-referencing, for extracellular pH measurements. The technique is relatively simple and readily learned and employed by undergraduates, while still being powerful enough to provide novel and meaningful research results. The research component is expanded for several students each summer who are selected to participate in summer research with both PIs and graduate students at the major research institution. Finally results gathered during the year and over the summer are disseminated at institutional symposia, undergraduate neuroscience symposia, national society meetings, and in submitted journal manuscripts. Preliminary observations and findings over three years support the aim of this research experience; to create a productive environment that facilitates deep-level understanding of neurophysiological concepts at the undergraduate level and promotes intellectual development while cultivating an excitement for scientific inquiry in the present and future.
Kreitzer, Matthew A.; Malchow, Robert P.
This report describes a unique undergraduate research and teaching collaboration between investigators at two institutions, one a relatively small, primarily undergraduate institution and the other a large, urban research-intensive university. The program incorporates three major facets. First, undergraduates participate in a weekly collaborative lab meeting involving instructors from both institutions and held via remote video. Student-led discussions and presentations dominate these meetings, and the unique format promotes novel interactions between students and instructors. Second, students carry out investigative studies centered on understanding the role extracellular pH dynamics play in regulating neuronal processing. Students carry out studies on isolated neurons and glia throughout the fall and spring semesters, and primarily use a noninvasive electrophysiological technique, termed self-referencing, for extracellular pH measurements. The technique is relatively simple and readily learned and employed by undergraduates, while still being powerful enough to provide novel and meaningful research results. The research component is expanded for several students each summer who are selected to participate in summer research with both PIs and graduate students at the major research institution. Finally results gathered during the year and over the summer are disseminated at institutional symposia, undergraduate neuroscience symposia, national society meetings, and in submitted journal manuscripts. Preliminary observations and findings over three years support the aim of this research experience; to create a productive environment that facilitates deep-level understanding of neurophysiological concepts at the undergraduate level and promotes intellectual development while cultivating an excitement for scientific inquiry in the present and future. PMID:24319396
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.
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…
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,…
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…
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…
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%…
Saad, M. S. M.; Zainab, A. N.
It is a common fallacy to assume that undergraduates are skilled in finding and evaluating resources for their various learning needs. Information professionals need to find out strategies and courses of action undertaken by undergraduate students in order to perhaps improve information literacy skills or user education programmes. This qualitative study uses the diary, emails interaction and in depth face to face interview approach involving 14 final year Computer Science and Information Tec...
this aspect of problem solving behavior, however there was a correlation between problem solving behavior and achievement. Our results indicate attitudes towards science and science learning may play a role in undergraduate students' learning achievement. However, we were not able to show that those effects were mediated through problem solving behavior, nor did we show that the flipped classroom by itself was sufficient to enhance these attitudes.
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.
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.
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…
Mills, Mark A.
The article provides details of the process of starting an actuarial science major at a small, liberal arts college. Some critique of the major is included, as well as some challenges that may be faced by others wanting to start such a major at their institution.
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).
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.
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.
Wilson, Christopher James
We describe specific curricular decisions employed at Butler University that have resulted in student achievement in the actuarial science major. The paper includes a discussion of how these decisions might be applied in the context of a new actuarial program.
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
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…
Parker, Ashley Dawn
This research seeks to understand the experiences of African American female undergraduates in STEM. It investigates how familial factors and science identity formation characteristics influence persistence in STEM while considering the duality of African American women's status in society. This phenomenological study was designed using critical race feminism as the theoretical framework to answer the following questions: 1) What role does family play in the experiences of African American women undergraduate STEM majors who attended two universities in the UNC system? 2) What factors impact the formation of science identity for African American women undergraduate STEM majors who attended two universities in the UNC system? Purposive sampling was used to select the participants for this study. The researcher conducted in-depth interviews with 10 African American female undergraduate STEM major from a predominantly White and a historically Black institution with the state of North Carolina public university system. Findings suggest that African American families and science identity formation influence the STEM experiences of the African American females interviewed in this study. The following five themes emerged from the findings: (1) independence, (2) support, (3) pressure to succeed, (4) adaptations, and (5) race and gender. This study contributes to the literature on African American female students in STEM higher education. The findings of this study produced knowledge regarding policies and practices that can lead to greater academic success and persistence of African American females in higher education in general, and STEM majors in particular. Colleges and universities may benefit from the findings of this study in a way that allows them to develop and sustain programs and policies that attend to the particular concerns and needs of African American women on their campuses. Finally, this research informs both current and future African American female
Rivers, Damian J.
Adopting mixed methods of data collection and analysis, the current study models the "perceived value of compulsory English language education" in a sample of 138 undergraduate non-language majors of Japanese nationality at a national university in Japan. During the orientation period of a compulsory 15-week English language programme,…
Edmonstone, Alastair Graham
This dissertation will deal with the issue of incorporating modern piano music into the repertoire of piano students at the undergraduate degree level. For the purposes of this paper, it is assumed the students will be pursuing a major in music at a conservatory or university with piano as their instrument. In no way does this paper serve as an…
Curtis, Michael J.; Hunley, Sawyer A.
The inadequate number of credentialed school psychologists in schools across the United States has concerned educational professionals for several years. One way that this problem was addressed was to mail information/recruitment posters to undergraduate psychology majors. Organizers mailed posters initially to psychology departments found in a…
Rinn, Anne N.; Miner, Kathi; Taylor, Aaron B.
The purpose of the current study was to examine four family context variables (socioeconomic status, mother's level of education, father's level of education, and perceived family social support) as predictors of math self-concept among undergraduate STEM majors to better understand the gender differential in math self-concept. Participants…
Huxster, Joanna K.; Uribe-Zarain, Ximena; Kempton, Willett
A survey covering the scientific and social aspects of climate change was administered to examine U.S. undergraduate student mental models, and compare knowledge between groups based on major and environmental group membership. A Knowledge Score (scale 0-35, mean score = 17.84) was generated for respondents at two, central East Coast, U.S.…
Bruno, B. C.; Gibson, B.
Hawaii residents make up 60% of the undergraduate student body at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM), but they are not studying ocean and earth science. The UHM School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology offers four undergraduate majors: Geology (22%), Geology & Geophysics (19%), Meteorology (16%), and Global Environmental Science (23%). The numbers in parentheses show the proportion of Hawaii residents in each major, based on 2006 data obtained from the UHM Institutional Research Office. The numbers of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI) are considerably smaller. The primary goal of the C-MORE Scholars Program, which will launch in Summer 2008, is to recruit and retain local Hawaii students (esp. NHPI) into earth and ocean science majors. To achieve this goal, the C-MORE Scholars Program will: 1. Actively recruit local students, partly by introducing them and their families to job opportunities in their community. Recruiting will be done in partnership with organizations that have successful track records in working with NHPI students; 2. Retain existing students through proactive counseling and course tutoring. Math and physics courses are stumbling blocks for many ocean and earth science majors, often delaying or even preventing graduation. By offering individual and group tutoring, we hope to help local students succeed in these courses; 3. Provide closely mentored, paid undergraduate research experiences at three different academic levels (trainee, intern, and fellow). This research is the cornerstone of the C-MORE Scholars Program. As students progress through the levels, they conduct higher level research with less supervision. Fellows (the highest level) may serve as peer advisors and tutors to underclassmen and assist with recruitment-related activities; and 4. Create a sense of community among the cohort of C-MORE scholars. A two-day summer residential experience will be instrumental in developing a strong cohort, emphasizing links
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.
Holmes, Kimberly Monique
The purpose of this dissertation study was to explore African-American women's perceptions of undergraduate STEM classroom experiences, and the ways in which those experiences have supported or hindered their persistence in physics majors. The major research question guiding this study was: How do African-American women perceive the climate and…
Dominguez, Casey B. K.; Smith, Keith W.; Williams, J. Michael
This study tests, and finds support, for the hypotheses that a student who majors in political science will have stronger feelings of political competence and will be more willing to engage in hypothetical political actions than two peer groups: (a) those who major in other fields and (b) those who show an interest in politics but have not studied…
Jing, Ling; Chang, Wing Chung; Rohrbaugh, Robert; Ouyang, Xuan; Chen, Eric; Liu, Zhening; Hu, Xinran
In China, a psychiatry major curriculum (PMC) has been implemented in select medical schools to improve the quality of undergraduate psychiatry education (UPE). Our aim was to describe this PMC and compare it with UPE in the standard Chinese clinical medicine curriculum (CMC). We also benchmarked PMC to UPE programs in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China and the United States of America (USA) to determine how well it met standards of well-established programs and to highlight areas for improvement. Based on archival information, relevant literature, and communication with key informants, we described PMC and CMC in a Chinese school with both curriculums. We then compared PMC to UPE curriculums in Hong Kong and the USA. PMC provides substantially more comprehensive exposure to psychiatry than CMC, with more preclinical experiences and psychiatry clerkship course hours, greater diversity of clinical sites, and exploration of subspecialties. PMC employs a variety of teaching methods and offers mentoring for students. PMC has similar UPE preclinical content and course hours as programs in Hong Kong and the USA. PMC also provides more clinical exposure than programs in Hong Kong or the USA, although there is less variety in clinical settings. We recommend implementation of concrete measures to improve UPE in Chinese medical schools, using the PMC curriculum as a model that has been successfully implemented in China. We also recommend improvements to PMC based on comparisons with existing programs outside Mainland China.
Matott, L. S.; Hymiak, B.; Reslink, C. F.; Baxter, C.; Aziz, S.
As part of the NSF-sponsored 'URGE (Undergraduate Research Group Experiences) to Compute' program, Dr. Matott has been collaborating with talented Math majors to explore the design of cost-effective systems to safeguard groundwater supplies from contaminated sites. Such activity is aided by a combination of groundwater modeling, simulation-based optimization, and high-performance computing - disciplines largely unfamiliar to the students at the outset of the program. To help train and engage the students, a number of interactive and graphical software packages were utilized. Examples include: (1) a tutorial for exploring the behavior of evolutionary algorithms and other heuristic optimizers commonly used in simulation-based optimization; (2) an interactive groundwater modeling package for exploring alternative pump-and-treat containment scenarios at a contaminated site in Billings, Montana; (3) the R software package for visualizing various concepts related to subsurface hydrology; and (4) a job visualization tool for exploring the behavior of numerical experiments run on a large distributed computing cluster. Further engagement and excitement in the program was fostered by entering (and winning) a computer art competition run by the Coalition for Academic Scientific Computation (CASC). The winning submission visualizes an exhaustively mapped optimization cost surface and dramatically illustrates the phenomena of artificial minima - valley locations that correspond to designs whose costs are only partially optimal.
Lin, Che-Li; Liang, Jyh-Chong; Su, Yi-Ching; Tsai, Chin-Chung
Teacher-centered instruction has been widely adopted in college computer science classrooms and has some benefits in training computer science undergraduates. Meanwhile, student-centered contexts have been advocated to promote computer science education. How computer science learners respond to or prefer the two types of teacher authority,…
Seven years ago, the Strategic Programs for Innovations in Undergraduate Physics (SPIN-UP) Report produced by the National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics identified several key characteristics of thriving undergraduate physics departments including steps these departments had taken to prepare students better for careers in industry. Today statistical data from AIP shows that almost 40% of students graduating with a degree in physics seek employment as soon as they graduate. Successful undergraduate physics programs have taken steps to adapt their rigorous physics programs to ensure that graduating seniors have the skills they need to enter the industrial workplace as well as to go on to graduate school in physics. Typical strategies noted during a series of SPIN-UP workshops funded by a grant from NSF to APS, AAPT, and AIP include flexible curricula, early introduction of undergraduates to research techniques, revised laboratory experiences that provide students with skills they need to move directly into jobs, and increased emphasis on ``soft'' skills such as communication and team work. Despite significant success, undergraduate programs face continuing challenges in preparing students to work in industry, most significantly the fact that there is no job called ``physicist'' at the undergraduate level. supported by grant NSF DUE-0741560.
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…
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.
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…
Brookshire, Robert G.; Palocsay, Susan W.
The introductory management science (MS) course has historically been recognized as one of the most difficult core courses in the business school curriculum. This study uses multiple regression to examine the factors that contribute to the success of undergraduate business students in an MS course, based on data gathered from the college…
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…
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…
Dark, Marta L.
Photovoltaic-cell-based projects have been used to train eight incoming undergraduate women who were part of a residential summer programme at a women's college. A module on renewable energy and photovoltaic cells was developed in the physics department. The module's objectives were to introduce women in science, technology, engineering and…
Welsh, Ashley J.
This paper examines students' mixed perceptions of the use of active learning techniques in undergraduate science lectures. Written comments from over 250 students offered an in-depth view of why students perceive these techniques as helping or hindering their learning and experience. Fourth- and fifth-year students were more likely to view…
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…
Foreman, Elizabeth A.; Retallick, Michael S.
The purpose of this study was to identify and describe experiences of undergraduate extracurricular involvement that result in increased leadership development. Senior students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University completed an online questionnaire about their extracurricular experiences. Leadership development…
Kopteva, Irina A.; Arkowski, Donna; Craft, Elaine L.
This article discusses the development, implementation, and evaluation of a tiered internship program for undergraduate students in geospatial science and technology (TIMSGeoTech). The internship program assists education programs in providing skill development that is relevant and useful, and it aligns graduates and their skills with industry…
Minear, Nancy Ann
This dissertation addresses patterns of retention of undergraduate science, engineering and mathematics (SEM) students, with special attention paid to female and under represented minority students. As such, the study is focused on issues related to academic discipline and institutional retention, rather than the retention of students in the overall system of higher education. While previous retention studies have little to say about rates of retention that are specific to the sciences (or any other specific area of study) or employ models that rely on students' performance at the college level, this work address both points by identifying the post secondary academic performance characteristics of persisters and non-persisters in the sciences by gender, ethnicity and matriculating major as well as identifying introductory SEM course requirements that prevent students from persisting in sciencegender, ethnicity and matriculating major as well as identifying introductory SEM course requirements that prevent students from persisting in science majors. A secondary goal of investigating the usefulness of institutional records for retention research is addressed. Models produced for the entire population and selected subpopulations consistently classified higher-performing (both SEM and non-SEM grade point averages) students into Bachelor of Science categories using the number of Introductory Chemistry courses attempted at the university. For lower performing students, those with more introductory chemistry courses were classified as changing majors out of the sciences, and in general as completing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Performance in gatekeeper courses as a predictor of terminal academic status was limited to Introductory Physics for a small number of cases. Performance in Introductory Calculus and Introductory Chemistry were not consistently utilized as predictor variables. The models produced for various subpopulations (women, ethnic groups and matriculation
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 explore the relationships among undergraduates' conceptions of, approaches to, and self-efficacy for learning earth science by adopting the structural equation modeling technique. A total of 268 Taiwanese undergraduates (144 females) participated in this study. Three instruments were modified to assess the students' conceptions of, approaches to, and self-efficacy for learning earth science. The results indicated that students' conceptions of learning made a significant contribution to their approaches to learning, which were consequently correlated with their learning self-efficacy. More specifically, students with stronger agreement that learning earth science involves applying the knowledge and skills learned to unknown problems were prone to possess higher confidence in learning earth science. Moreover, students viewing earth science learning as understanding earth science knowledge were more likely to adopt meaningful strategies to learn earth science, and hence expressed a higher sense of self-efficacy. Based on the results, practical implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.
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.
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
Forrester, Jennifer Harris
Understanding present barriers to choosing a STEM major is important for science educators so that we may better prepare and inspire future generations of scientists and engineers. This study examined the relationships between participation in competitive science events, gender, race, science self-efficacy, interest in science, and choosing a STEM discipline as a college major. The participants included 1,488 freshman students at a large southeastern public university. Students completed a survey of pre-college experiences with science events, science interests, and college major, as well as, an assessment of science self-efficacy. A subsample of sixty students (30 STEM; 30 non-STEM majors) were interviewed about their participation and academic major choice. Results showed that science, engineering, and non-STEM disciplines were the most frequently reported academic majors. Significant gender differences were found for science self-efficacy and academic major choice. There were significant race differences for participation in specific types of science competitions. Study participants also reported being motivated to participate in a competitive science event as a result of their teacher or parents' encouragement.
Hiller, Anna E; Cicero, Carla; Albe, Monica J; Barclay, Theresa L W; Spencer, Carol L; Koo, Michelle S; Bowie, Rauri C K; Lacey, Eileen A
Museums have an untapped potential to engage students in hands-on learning. Here, we describe the development of a tiered museum-based program at the University of California, Berkeley as a model for engaging undergraduates in biodiversity science. This decade-long effort to increase student participation in collections demonstrates the mutual benefits of undergraduate involvement. Museums benefit from critical help in collections care and an increased intellectual vitality, while students simultaneously gain essential research skills and an unparalleled exposure to biodiversity. Five first steps to creating a program are: dedicate a coordinator, offer credit, diversify participation, create a tiered structure, and build community.
Cicero, Carla; Albe, Monica J.; Barclay, Theresa L. W.; Spencer, Carol L.; Koo, Michelle S.; Bowie, Rauri C. K.; Lacey, Eileen A.
Museums have an untapped potential to engage students in hands-on learning. Here, we describe the development of a tiered museum-based program at the University of California, Berkeley as a model for engaging undergraduates in biodiversity science. This decade-long effort to increase student participation in collections demonstrates the mutual benefits of undergraduate involvement. Museums benefit from critical help in collections care and an increased intellectual vitality, while students simultaneously gain essential research skills and an unparalleled exposure to biodiversity. Five first steps to creating a program are: dedicate a coordinator, offer credit, diversify participation, create a tiered structure, and build community. PMID:29161253
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.
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.
Heavner, M. J.; Hood, E. W.; Connor, C. L.
The Environmental Science Program at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau, Alaska utilizes our unique outdoor field experience opportunities as part of both the classroom experience and our undergraduate research component. This presentation focuses on our successes in taking advantage of our surrounding environment in the maritime rainforest of the Alaska panhandle to enhance our undergraduate program. We will highlight some of our most successful undergraduate experiences, which include a snow pack monitoring site at our local ski area, glacier mass balance studies on the Mendenhall Glacier, glacial geology studies in Glacier Bay National Park, and the development of wireless networks to monitor bats. We will describe methods we have used to integrate the field opportunities into our program.
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.
Full Text Available To present a multiple-instructor, active-learning strategy in the undergraduate medical curriculum. This educational research is a descriptive one. Shared teaching sessions, were designed for undergraduate medical students in six organ-system based courses. Sessions that involved in-class discussions of integrated clinical cases were designed implemented and moderated by at least 3 faculties (clinicians and basic scientists. The participants in this study include the basic sciences medical students of The Tehran University of Medical Sciences. Students’ reactions were assessed using an immediate post-session evaluation form on a 5-point Likert scale. Six two-hour sessions for 2 cohorts of students, 2013 and 2014 medical students during their two first years of study were implemented from April 2014 to March 2015. 17 faculty members participated in the program, 21 cases were designed, and participation average was 60 % at 6 sessions. Students were highly appreciative of this strategy. The majority of students in each course strongly agreed that this learning practice positively contributed to their learning (78% and provided better understanding and application of the material learned in an integrated classroom course (74%. They believed that the sessions affected their view about medicine (73%, and should be continued in future courses (80%. The percentage demonstrates the average of all courses. The program helped the students learn how to apply basic sciences concepts to clinical medicine. Evaluation of the program indicated that students found the sessions beneficial to their learning.
Brevik, Eric C.; Vaughan, Karen L.; Parikh, Sanjai J.; Dolliver, Holly; Lindbo, David; Steffan, Joshua J.; Weindorf, David; McDaniel, Paul; Mbila, Monday; Edinger-Marshall, Susan
Many papers have been written in recent years discussing the interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary aspects of soil science. Therefore, it would make sense that soil science courses would be taken by students in a wide array of academic majors. To investigate this, we collected data from eight different American universities on the declared academic majors of students enrolled in soil science courses over a 10 year time period (2004-2005 to 2013-2014 academic years). Data was collected for seven different classes taught at the undergraduate level: introduction to soil science, soil fertility, soil management, pedology, soil biology/microbiology, soil chemistry, and soil physics. Overall trends and trends for each class were evaluated. Generally, environmental science and crop science/horticulture/agronomy students were enrolled in soil science courses in the greatest numbers. Environmental science and engineering students showed rapid increases in enrollment over the 10 years of the study, while the number of crop science/ horticulture/ agronomy students declined. In the introduction to soil science classes, environmental science and crop science/ horticulture/ agronomy students were enrolled in the greatest numbers, while declared soil science majors only made up 6.6% of the average enrollment. The highest enrollments in soil fertility were crop science/ horticulture/ agronomy students and other agricultural students (all agricultural majors except crop science, horticulture, agronomy, or soil science). In both the soil management and pedology classes, environmental science and other agricultural students were the largest groups enrolled. Other agricultural students and students from other majors (all majors not otherwise expressly investigated) were the largest enrolled groups in soil biology/microbiology courses, and environmental science and soil science students were the largest enrolled groups in soil chemistry classes. Soil physics was the only class
Jin, Guang; Bierma, Tom
This study evaluated a strategy using "clickers," POGIL (process oriented guided inquiry learning), and a focused science literacy orientation in an applied science course for non-STEM undergraduates taught in large classes. The effectiveness of these interventions in improving the science literacy of students was evaluated using a…
Gokhale, Anu A.; Rabe-Hemp, Cara; Woeste, Lori; Machina, Kenton
In the USA, women have consistently been proportionally underrepresented in science and technology (S&T). In these disciplines, as students move from high schools to colleges to graduate programs, qualified women drop out at higher rates than do men, resulting in a striking loss of talented students. Attitude toward a discipline is one of the major factors in students' choice of majors. As a result, attitudes toward S&T are issues with longstanding attention and interest in education research. Retention of female students in S&T majors remains a major concern. The purpose of the study was to investigate attitudes toward S&T including attitudes toward female participation in S&T, among S&T majors, and examine differences by gender and class standing. Such an investigation would provide deeper insights to help devise strategies to retain women in S&T majors.
Wuhib, Frehiwot Wondimu
This study is an exploratory case study which explored the residential environment of an Ethiopian public university on its role for the social and academic integration of undergraduate women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. It also explained how the social and academic integration of the women contributed for their overall college success. There were three groups of participants; undergraduate women in STEM, female resident proctors, and relevant officials from the university and the Ministry of Education of the Ethiopian government. Each of the participants were interviewed on a one-on-one basis and the interviews were transcribed and coded for the analysis. Supportive quantitative data about the enrollment, performance and retention of students were also gathered from the university's registrar office and analyzed quantitatively to support the qualitative data obtained through interviews. The study was framed by Tinto's Integration Model and data were interpreted using Third World feminist theory. The findings showed that due to the fact that all same-sex, same-major women living in the same rooms, and all who live in one dorm take similar courses throughout their program, and dormitories serving multiple roles, including being collaboration spaces, played a big role for better social and academic integration of the women. It is also found that their social and academic integration helped them to better perform in their majors by enhancing their sense of belonging in the male-dominated STEM majors, enhancing their commitment, and promoting peer encouragement. On the other hand, the findings also showed that there were some factors which have negative influence in the integration process such as negative stereotypes against the presence and good performance of women in STEM, lack of support system, and limited interaction with faculty. So, the study recommends that working on improving the negatively influencing factors will
Miles, Deon T.; Bachman, Jennifer K.
Recent emphasis on the science of food and cooking has been observed in our popular literature and media. As a result of this, a new non-science majors course, The Science of Food and Cooking, is being taught at our institution. We cover basic scientific concepts, which would normally be discussed in a typical introductory chemistry course, in the…
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.
CDM, for computational discrete mathematics, is a course that attempts to teach a number of topics in discrete mathematics to computer science majors. The course abandons the classical definition-theorem-proof model, and instead relies heavily on computation as a source of motivation and also for experimentation and illustration. The emphasis on…
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
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…
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.
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…
Brumagim, Alan L.; Cann, Cynthia W.
The authors outline an undergraduate exercise to help students more fully understand the environmental and social justice aspects of business sustainability activities. A simple hierarchical framework, based on Maslow's (1943) work, was utilized to help the students understand, analyze, and judge the vast amount of corporate sustainability…
Blau, Gary; Pred, Robert; Drennan, Rob B., Jr.; Kapanjie, Darin
An online survey tested the association among background, technological, and course-related variables with perceived favorability of online courses for two independent samples of fall 2015 and spring 2016 business undergraduates taking at least one online or hybrid course. Results showed that perceived learning was a consistent positive correlate…
Lipson, Sarah Ketchen; Zhou, Sasha; Wagner, Blake, III; Beck, Katie; Eisenberg, Daniel
This article explores variations in mental health and service utilization across academic disciplines using a random sample of undergraduate and graduate students (N = 64,519) at 81 colleges and universities. We report prevalence of depression, anxiety, suicidality, and self-injury, and rates of help-seeking across disciplines, including results…
Li, Lei; Zhang, Chi; Zheng, Guangzhi
Weak enrollment growth has been a concern for many Information Systems (IS) programs in recent years although the IT/IS job market remains strong. Stimulating undergraduate students' interest to IS programs have been a challenge. In this paper, the researchers took a comprehensive approach to study how to effectively promote a Management…
White, Stephen Wilson
The number of college students choosing to major in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in the United States affects the size and quality of the American workforce (Winters, 2009). The number of graduates in these academic fields has been on the decline in the United States since the 1960s, which, according to Lips and McNeil (2009), has resulted in a diminished ability of the United States to compete in science and engineering on the world stage. The purpose of this research was to learn why students chose a STEM major and determine what decision criteria influenced this decision. According to Ajzen's (1991) theory of planned behavior (TPB), the key components of decision-making can be quantified and used as predictors of behavior. In this study the STEM majors' decision criteria were compared between different institution types (two-year, public four-year, and private four-year), and between demographic groups (age and sex). Career, grade, intrinsic, self-efficacy, and self-determination were reported as motivational factors by a majority of science majors participating in this study. Few students reported being influenced by friends and family when deciding to major in science. Science students overwhelmingly attributed the desire to solve meaningful problems as central to their decision to major in science. A majority of students surveyed credited a teacher for influencing their desire to pursue science as a college major. This new information about the motivational construct of the studied group of science majors can be applied to the previously stated problem of not enough STEM majors in the American higher education system to provide workers required to fill the demand of a globally STEM-competitive United States (National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, & Institute of Medicine, 2010).
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
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
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.
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.
This study examined change in conceptual knowledge of scientific concepts at the undergraduate level by using concept mapping to assess student understanding. Recent reports from science educators and researchers indicate an acute need to enhance student conceptual understanding in science. This suggests that faculty need to investigate whether actual student learning matches their goals for enhancing conceptual understanding. The study design incorporated the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze change in student conceptual understanding. The sample population consisted of a total of 61 students, 47 science majors and 14 non-majors from ten different classrooms at seven separate institutions of higher education across the United States. Student concept maps were constructed, by the researcher, from the transcripts of structured interviews with the student participants. Analysis of the concept maps was correlated with other quantitative data, such as course grades and the Learning and Studying Questionnaire (LSQ). The LSQ is a well-established survey instrument that measures student learning based on the use of rote and/or conceptual learning techniques. Results indicate that concept maps provide more information than grades alone because they represented individual understanding, in terms of depth of understanding, relationships between concepts, quality of knowledge organization and identification of misconceptions. Thus, differences in student comprehension of course material, with respect to critical concepts, could be analyzed. The greatest determinant of increased conceptual understanding over the course of a semester was the student's self-report of approaches to learning and studying. The quality of the student maps, in turn, was reflective of differences in student approaches to learning. Concomitantly, the concept maps reflected student gains in content and depth over a semester with respect to an expert map. The results also
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)
This purpose of this study is to investigate the different social and cultural factors related to Japanese university students’ motivation and attitudes towards speaking English outside the formal classroom environment. A self-constructed questionnaire was administrated to a group of third- and fourth-year undergraduate students in June 2012. These Japanese students were learning English as a foreign language, and they were all majoring in library and information science at the University of ...
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.
Inyama, Davis; Williams, Allison; McCauley, Kay
While efforts have been made to understand the experiences of African students in predominantly white environments, the experiences of African students in clinical placement areas have rarely been explored. This paper is a report on a study designed to address the gap in educational research on the experiences of African health sciences students in clinical placements in predominantly white environments. Interviews adopting an open approach to conversations were conducted with nine African students from three health disciplines at one metropolitan university in Australia between 2012 and 2013. Interview transcripts were analyzed using philosophical hermeneutics, where shared meanings were arrived at by employing key Gadamerian hermeneutic components. Findings revealed a number of factors that had a direct effect on the meaning students derived from their clinical placement experiences. These, as revealed in the interlinked domains of body, space, relationships, and time included difference, acceptance, resilience, and cultural sensitivity. Insights from this study may lead to the adoption of strategies designed to improve the experiences of African students studying health sciences in predominantly white environments. © 2014 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
Khan, Naeem Ullah
This study investigated the difference in the short-term memory span of students of three major groups, namely Social Sciences, Science and Engineering, and Business. This study was designed to answer the following two questions: (1) Is there a difference between short-term memory span, measured by digit span, among the students in or intended for Social Sciences, Science and Engineering, and Business majors? (2) Is there a difference of short-term memory span, measured by word span, among students in or intended for Social Sciences, Science and Engineering, and Business majors? For answering these two questions, inferential and descriptive statistics were used. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to compare the means of the scores of digit span and word span among the three major groups. The means of digit span and word span among the three groups were compared to find out if a statistically significant difference existed among them or not. The observations were recorded at the level of significance at alpha = .05, and highly significant at alpha = .01. The answer to the first question is yes. The results of this study showed a statistically significant difference in the means of the digit span of the three major groups of students in or intended for Social Sciences, Science and Engineering, and Business. The mean scaled score for digit span was 12.88 for Social Sciences, 14.27 for Science and Engineering, and 15.33 for Business majors, respectively. The means of the free recalls word span of the three groups was 7.23 for Social Sciences, 7.89 for Science and Engineering, and 7.12 for Business majors, respectively. No significant difference was observed in the means of the word span of the three groups. In general observations, it is noted that students want to stay in the subjects or majors in which they can perform well or feel comfortable. In addition to this, students are screened in the school system due to levels of performance or selection pressure
Madsen, J. A.; Allen, D. E.; Donham, R. S.; Fifield, S. J.; Shipman, H. L.; Ford, D. J.; Dagher, Z. R.
With funding from the National Science Foundation, we have designed an integrated science content and methods course for sophomore-level elementary teacher education (ETE) majors. This course, the Science Semester, is a 15-credit sequence that consists of three science content courses (Earth, Life, and Physical Science) and a science teaching methods course. The goal of this integrated science and education methods curriculum is to foster holistic understandings of science and pedagogy that future elementary teachers need to effectively use inquiry-based approaches in teaching science in their classrooms. During the Science Semester, traditional subject matter boundaries are crossed to stress shared themes that teachers must understand to teach standards-based elementary science. Exemplary approaches that support both learning science and learning how to teach science are used. In the science courses, students work collaboratively on multidisciplinary problem-based learning (PBL) activities that place science concepts in authentic contexts and build learning skills. In the methods course, students critically explore the theory and practice of elementary science teaching, drawing on their shared experiences of inquiry learning in the science courses. An earth system science approach is ideally adapted for the integrated, inquiry-based learning that takes place during the Science Semester. The PBL investigations that are the hallmark of the Science Semester provide the backdrop through which fundamental earth system interactions can be studied. For example in the PBL investigation that focuses on energy, the carbon cycle is examined as it relates to fossil fuels. In another PBL investigation centered on kids, cancer, and the environment, the hydrologic cycle with emphasis on surface runoff and ground water contamination is studied. In a PBL investigation that has students learning about the Delaware Bay ecosystem through the story of the horseshoe crab and the biome
Xie, Yu; Zhang, Chunni; Lai, Qing
In the past three decades, China has become a major contributor to science and technology. China now employs an increasingly large labor force of scientists and engineers at relatively high earnings and produces more science and engineering degrees than the United States at all levels, particularly bachelor's. China's research and development expenditure has been rising. Research output in China has been sharply increasing since 2002, making China the second largest producer of scientific papers after the United States. The quality of research by Chinese scientists has also been improving steadily. However, China's rise in science also faces serious difficulties, partly attributable to its rigid, top-down administrative system, with allegations of scientific misconduct trending upward.
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.
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.
Machlis, Gary; Ludwig, Kris; Manfredo, Michael J.; Vaske, Jerry J.; Rechkemmer, Andreas; Duke, Esther
Historical and contemporary experience suggests that science plays an increasingly critical role in governmental and institutional responses to major environmental crises. Recent examples include major western wildfires (2009), the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (2010), the Fukushima nuclear accident (2011), and Hurricane Sandy (2012). The application of science during such crises has several distinctive characteristics, as well as essential requirements if it is to be useful to decision makers. these include scope conditions that include coupled natural/human systems, clear statement of uncertainties and limitations, description of cascading consequences, accurate sense of place, estimates of magnitude of impacts, identification of beneficiaries and those adversely affected, clarity and conciseness, compelling visualization and presentation, capacity to speak "truth to power", and direct access to decision makers. In this chapter, we explore the role and significance of science – including all relevant disciplines and focusing attention on the social sciences – in responding to major environmental crises. We explore several important questions: How is science during crisis distinctive? What social science is most useful during crises? What distinctive characteristics are necessary for social science to make meaningful contributions to emergency response and recovery? How might the social sciences be integrated into the strategic science needed to respond to future crises? The authors, both members of the Department of the Interior's innovative Strategic Sciences Group, describe broad principles of engagement as well as specific examples drawn from history, contemporary efforts (such as during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill), and predictions of environmental crises still to be confronted.
Thøgersen, Jacob; Airey, John
, and that the lecturer speaks 23% more slowly in L2 than in L1. In the second part of the paper these differences are investigated through a qualitative analysis of parallel extracts from the same data set. Here it is found that when teaching in English the lecturer uses a higher degree of repetition and adopts a more......This paper investigates the consequences of L2 use in university lectures. Data in the study stem from parallel lectures held by the same experienced lecturer in Danish (L1) and English (L2). It is found that the lecturer takes 22% longer to present the same content in L2 compared to L1...... 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...
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......This paper investigates the consequences of L2 use in university lectures. Data in the study stem from parallel lectures held by the same experienced lecturer in Danish (L1) and English (L2). It is found that the lecturer takes 22% longer to present the same content in L2 compared to L1......, and that the lecturer speaks 23% more slowly in L2 than in L1. In the second part of the paper these differences are investigated through a qualitative analysis of parallel extracts from the same data set. Here it is found that when teaching in English the lecturer uses a higher degree of repetition and adopts a more...
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.
Labianca, Dominick A.
This article describes an approach to minimizing the "fear factor" in a chemistry course for the nonscience major, and also addresses relevant applications to other science courses, including biology, geology, and physics. The approach emphasizes forensic science and affords students the opportunity to hone their analytical skills in an…
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.
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.
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
Kappler, Ulrike; Rowland, Susan L; Pedwell, Rhianna K
Systems biology is frequently taught with an emphasis on mathematical modeling approaches. This focus effectively excludes most biology, biochemistry, and molecular biology students, who are not mathematics majors. The mathematical focus can also present a misleading picture of systems biology, which is a multi-disciplinary pursuit requiring collaboration between biochemists, bioinformaticians, and mathematicians. This article describes an authentic large-scale undergraduate research experience (ALURE) in systems biology that incorporates proteomics, bacterial genomics, and bioinformatics in the one exercise. This project is designed to engage students who have a basic grounding in protein chemistry and metabolism and no mathematical modeling skills. The pedagogy around the research experience is designed to help students attack complex datasets and use their emergent metabolic knowledge to make meaning from large amounts of raw data. On completing the ALURE, participants reported a significant increase in their confidence around analyzing large datasets, while the majority of the cohort reported good or great gains in a variety of skills including "analysing data for patterns" and "conducting database or internet searches." An environmental scan shows that this ALURE is the only undergraduate-level system-biology research project offered on a large-scale in Australia; this speaks to the perceived difficulty of implementing such an opportunity for students. We argue however, that based on the student feedback, allowing undergraduate students to complete a systems-biology project is both feasible and desirable, even if the students are not maths and computing majors. © 2016 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(3):235-248, 2017. © 2016 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Bililign, S.; Schimmel, K.; Lin, Y. L.; Germuth, A.
The recruitment of undergraduate students, especially minorities, into geoscience career paths continues to be a challenge. One approach for addressing this issue involves providing geoscience research experiences. Therefore, the outcomes of an undergraduate research program (REU) focused on recruiting science (physics, mathematics, chemistry) and engineering (electrical) students for an interdisciplinary research experience in geosciences will be presented. The program design has several unique features that include: (1) projects with clear societal implications, (2) projects involve multiple faculty members (at least two) and expose students to interdisciplinary approaches and thinking, (3) partnerships between national labs and universities to provide cutting-edge research, educational, and professional development opportunities for students, (4) student engagement in the creation of personalized professional development plans, (5) combined summer and academic year research experiences. Pre- and post-assessment results, successes, and challenges will be presented.
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.
Gilligan, M. R.; Cox, T. M.; Hintz, C. J.
Formal support for undergraduates to participate in marine/ocean science research at Savannah State University (SSU), a historically-Black unit of the University System of Georgia, began in 1989 with funding from the National Science Foundation for an unsolicited proposal (OCE-8919102, 34,935). Today SSU, which has offered B.S degrees since 1979 and M.S. degrees since 2001 in Marine Sciences, is making major contributions nationally to demographic diversity in ocean sciences. 33% of Master's degrees in marine/ocean sciences earned by African Americans in the U.S. from 2004-2007 were earned at SSU. 10% of African American Master's and Doctoral students in marine/ ocean sciences in 2007 were either enrolled in the Master's program at SSU or were former SSU students enrolled in Doctoral programs elsewhere. Collaborative REU programs that focus on early (freshman and sophomore) undergraduate students have been a consistent and vital part of that success. In the most recent iteration of our summer REU program we used six of the best practices outlined in the literature to increase success and retention of underrepresented minority students in STEM fields: early intervention, strong mentoring, research experience, career counseling, financial support, workshops and seminars. The early intervention with strong mentoring has proven successful in several metrics: retention in STEM majors (96%), progression to graduate school (50%), and continuation to later research experiences (75%). Research mentors include faculty at staff at SSU, the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary and Georgia Tech-Savannah. Formal collaborative and cooperative agreements, externally-funded grants, and contracts in support of student research training have proven to be critical in providing resources for growth and improvement marine science curricular options at the University. Since 1981 the program has had four formal partnerships and 36 funded grant awards
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.
Peters, Kimberly A
To describe some of the benefits of service learning (SL), considerations in course development and construction, and implementation and outcomes of an SL course in the undergraduate communication sciences and disorders (CSD) program at a small, public university in northwest Washington. A review of the literature on SL and a description of the author's experience in course development are provided on the basis of a computerized database search, library search, and discussions with the Western Washington University Center for Service Learning. Teaching an SL course can present challenges to both faculty and students; nonetheless, incorporating SL into the undergraduate CSD curriculum is an excellent way of enriching the academic experience and improving critical-thinking skills of young students. SL provides hands-on opportunities for students to apply what they are learning in their CSD classes to real-world contexts, gain a better understanding of course content through engagement in real situations, and integrate information from a variety of courses in and outside of their major.
Colthorpe, Kay; Chen, Xuebin; Zimbardi, Kirsten
Effective science communication is one of the key skills undergraduates must achieve and is one of the threshold learning outcomes for Science (TLO 4.1). In addition, presenting published research to their peers allows students to critically evaluate scientific research (TLO 3.1) and develop a deeper appreciation for the link between experimental…
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…
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…
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.
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.
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.
Gasim, Gamal; Stevens, Tara; Zebidi, Amira
All undergraduate students are required by state law to take six credited hours in political science. This study will help us identify if differences exist in self-determination among students enrolled in American Public Policy and American Government at a large, Southwestern public university. Because some types of motivation are associated with…
Sugarman, Hannah; Impey, Chris; Buxner, Sanlyn; Antonellis, Jessie
A survey of the science knowledge and attitudes toward science of nearly 10000 undergraduates at a large public university over a 20-year period included several questions addressing student beliefs in astrology and other forms of pseudoscience. The results from our data reveal that a large majority of students (78%) considered astrology "very" or…
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
Bodner, George M.
When the author first became involved with the Green Chemistry movement, he noted that his colleagues in industry who were involved in one of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® industrial roundtables emphasized the take-home message they described as the "triple bottom line." They noted that introducing Green Chemistry in industrial settings had economic, social, and environmental benefits. As someone who first went to school at age 5, and has been "going to school" most days for 65 years, it was easy for the author to see why introducing Green Chemistry into academics had similar beneficial effects within the context of economic, social and environmental domains at the college/university level. He was prepared to understand why faculty who had taught traditional courses often saw the advantage of incorporating Green Chemistry into the courses they teach. What was not as obvious is why students who were encountering chemistry for the first time were often equally passionate about the Green Chemistry movement. Recent attention has been paid, however, to a model that brings clarity to the hitherto vague term of "relevance" that might explain why integrating Green Chemistry into the undergraduate chemistry classroom can achieve a "quadruple bottom-line" for students because of potentially positive effects of adding a domain of "relevance" to the existing economic, social, and environmental domains.
Sax, Linda J.; Kanny, M. Allison; Jacobs, Jerry A.; Whang, Hannah; Weintraub, Dayna S.; Hroch, Amber
In this paper we examine the level and determinants of entering college students' plans to major in engineering. While the overall level of interest in engineering has fluctuated between 1971 and 2011, a very large gender gap in freshman interest remains. We find that the percent of first-year women who plan to major in engineering is roughly the…
Casotti, G.; Rieser-Danner, L.; Knabb, M. T.
Recent evidence has demonstrated that inquiry-based physiology laboratories improve students' critical- and analytical-thinking skills. We implemented inquiry-based learning into three physiology courses: Comparative Vertebrate Physiology (majors), Human Physiology (majors), and Human Anatomy and Physiology (nonmajors). The aims of our curricular…
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.
Chen, Hui; Kelly, Michelle; Hayes, Carolyn; van Reyk, David; Herok, George
Teaching of pathophysiology concepts is a core feature in health professional programs, but it can be challenging in undergraduate medical/biomedical science education, which is often highly theoretical when delivered by lectures and pen-and-paper tutorials. Authentic case studies allow students to apply their theoretical knowledge but still require good imagination on the part of the students. Lecture content can be reinforced through practical learning experiences in clinical environments. In this study, we report a new approach using clinical simulation within a Human Pathophysiology course to enable undergraduate science students to see "pathophysiology in action" in a clinical setting. Students role played health professionals, and, in these roles, they were able to interact with each other and the manikin "patient," take a medical history, perform a physical examination and consider relevant treatments. Evaluation of students' experiences suggests that using clinical simulation to deliver case studies is more effective than traditional paper-based case studies by encouraging active learning and improving the understanding of physiological concepts. Copyright © 2016 The American Physiological Society.
Humphreys, R. R.; Hall, C.; Colgan, M. W.; Rhodes, E.
Although inquiry-based/problem-based methods have been successfully incorporated in undergraduate lecture classes, a survey of commonly used laboratory manuals indicates that few non-major geoscience laboratory classes use these strategies. The Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences faculty members have developed a successful introductory Environmental Geology Laboratory course for undergraduate non-majors that challenges traditional teaching methodology as illustrated in most laboratory manuals. The Environmental Geology lab activities employ active learning methods to engage and challenge students. Crucial to establishing an open learning environment is capturing the attention of non-science majors from the moment they enter the classroom. We use catastrophic ‘gloom and doom’ current events to pique the imagination with images, news stories, and videos. Once our students are hooked, we can further the learning process with use of other teaching methods: an inquiry-based approach that requires students take control of their own learning, a cooperative learning approach that requires the participation of all team members in peer learning, and a problem/case study learning approach that primarily relies on activities distilled from current events. The final outcome is focused on creating innovative methods to communicate the findings to the general public. With the general public being the audience for their communiqué, students are less intimated, more focused, and more involved in solving the problem. During lab sessions, teams of students actively engage in mastering course content and develop essential communication skills while exploring real-world scenarios. These activities allow students to use scientific reasoning and concepts to develop solutions for scenarios such as volcanic eruptions, coastal erosion/sea level rise, flooding or landslide hazards, and then creatively communicate their solutions to the public. For example, during a two
The goal of this study was to explore and understand the factors that influence students' intention to major in and complete an undergraduate program in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) discipline, in a non-STEM field, and how students' gender directly and indirectly affects their success in college. A quantitative study of three thousand four (3004) ACT-tested students who entered a Midwestern, land-grant university as freshmen in fall, 1999 was conducted based on their ACT Assessment information and their enrollment and graduation status after five years. A wide variety of variables were considered and logistic regression, factor analysis, and path analysis were used to analyze the data. The results show that students who intended to major in or completed STEM programs generally have better academic qualifications than their counterparts who intended to major in non-STEM fields. Students who intended to major in or completed STEM programs came from lower income families and smaller communities than those who intended to major in or graduated from non-STEM programs. In this study, gender's direct effect on students' college achievement is eleven times the total of gender's indirect effects through several major factors for students in both STEM fields and non-STEM fields. Perhaps nature has favored females when students' achievement is measured as their college GPA. The results also show that the overall high dropout rate is strongly associated with students' inadequate preparation in high school and family income. Out-of-school accomplishment in community service is a negative influence on their completion of a college degree. ACT scores are not necessary for prediction of college graduation.
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.
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
Little has been published about Internet instruction compared to traditional classroom teaching in undergraduate natural resource science (NRS) education. This study hypothesized associations between teaching environments (face-to-face only (FF), Web only (WE), mixed mode (MI)); and teaching philosophy, practices, and perceived course outcomes. A questionnaire was sent to 142 faculty members with experience teaching in these environments in Western US. Sixty percent responded. Data were analyzed using factor analysis and multivariate statistics. Only statistically significant differences are presented. Most respondents were male (68%) 50-59 years old (80%) and tenured (74%). Overall, Web-based instruction was not seen as equivalent to face to face instruction. Adoption of the Internet for teaching was beyond critical mass. Most faculty members ranked their ability to use the Internet as average (27%) or expert (22%). Faculty rarely perceived students' learning experience in a WE course as "better" than FF. Web-based courses were not usually required of majors in the offering department. Faculty age, gender and experience are significant variables in use of some teaching practices. Faculty members who used the Internet favored a constructivist teaching philosophy, while FF and MI instruction tended towards a behaviorist philosophy. Respondents' most frequent teaching practices addressed connections, collaboration, meaning making, and learner autonomy. Collaborative teaching strategies were seldom used in Web-based instruction relative to FF. Learning assessments focused on learner interactions, efforts (individual or groups), and recall. The latter assessment was used less on the Web. Respondents viewed effective teaching in all teaching environments as achieving competency and application of knowledge. Personal experience, resource availability, and feedback were the most important influences on teaching. Resource availability constrained Internet instruction most
Parker, Ashley Dawn
This research seeks to understand the experiences of African American female undergraduates in STEM. It investigates how familial factors and science identity formation characteristics influence persistence in STEM while considering the duality of African American women's status in society. This phenomenological study was designed using critical…
The major racket sports include badminton, squash, table tennis and tennis. The growth of sports science and the commercialization of racket sports in recent years have focused attention on improved performance and this has led to a more detailed study and understanding of all aspects of racket sports. The aim here, therefore, is to review recent developments of the application of science to racket sports. The scientific disciplines of sports physiology and nutrition, notational analysis, sports biomechanics, sports medicine, sports engineering, sports psychology and motor skills are briefly considered in turn. It is evident from these reviews that a great deal of scientific endeavour has been applied to racket sports, but this is variable across both the racket sports and the scientific disciplines. A scientific approach has helped to: implement training programmes to improve players' fitness; guide players in nutritional and psychological preparation for play; inform players of the strategy and tactics used by themselves and their opponents; provide insight into the technical performance of skills; understand the effect of equipment on play; and accelerate the recovery from racket-arm injuries. Racket sports have also posed a unique challenge to scientists and have provided vehicles for developing scientific methodology. Racket sports provide a good model for investigating the interplay between aerobic and anaerobic metabolism and the effect of nutrition, heat and fatigue on performance. They have driven the development of mathematical solutions for multi-segment interactions within the racket arm during the performance of shots, which have contributed to our understanding of the mechanisms of both performance and injury. They have provided a unique challenge to sports engineers in relation to equipment performance and interaction with the player. Racket sports have encouraged developments in notational analysis both in terms of analytical procedures and the
Wagner, Meredith G.; Hansen, Pamela; Rhee, Yeong; Brundt, Ardith; Terbizan, Donna; Christensen, Bryan
The study assessed the preferred learning style (LS) of college students and compared LS preferences among students majoring in Dietetics, Exercise Science, and Athletic Training. LS questionnaires were distributed to students (N = 693, mean age 20.5 ± 1.7) enrolled in health science courses at three Midwestern universities. Most students…
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.
Ward, Chris; Yates, Dan; Song, Joon Young
It is often the goal or mission of higher education to prepare graduates for leadership roles in organizations and the community. Even if we are to assume that leadership skills can be developed, determining the appropriate ways to teach and measure leadership is often debated. Our study used quantitative data from the ETS Business Major Field…
Full Text Available How should undergraduate science students’ writing be understood when it does not meet the conventions of scientific writing? Studies have shown that the writing that students produce in their course work on tasks that imitate authentic scientific writing practices often do not match the tone, vocabulary and grammatical choices made by professional scientists. However, from the perspective of looking at the students’ word and grammar choices alone, it is not easy to understand why students make their particular and varied word and grammar choices and how those choices can be related to their understanding of the goals and discourses that are typical of science practices. Studying the writing of four first year earth and geographical sciences students on a science faculty’s alternative access program, from an assignment in a course that introduced them to the research article, it seems that the students persist with the social purposes of their various school writing practices in attempting their new university writing tasks. It is this variety in the social purposes of the writing that the students continue to draw on in university that can explain some of the ways in which student writing does not meet even the broadest writing conventions of the discourses of science. Yet it seems that some of the social purposes and the related writing practices of some students can help them transition their writing more easily into a form that has the usual characteristics of a typical science genre. Therefore, understanding the social purposes that students bring with them can be crucial to successfully introducing them to the discourses of science and showing them how the social purposes of scientific practice can be served in a genre such as the research article.
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…
Joseph Paul Caruso
Full Text Available Course-based undergraduate research is known to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics student achievement. We tested “The Small World Initiative, a Citizen-Science Project to Crowdsource Novel Antibiotic Discovery” to see if it also improved student performance and the critical thinking of nonscience majors in Introductory Biology at Florida Atlantic University (a large, public, minority-dominant institution in academic year 2014–15. California Critical Thinking Skills Test pre- and posttests were offered to both Small World Initiative (SWI and control lab students for formative amounts of extra credit. SWI lab students earned significantly higher lecture grades than control lab students, had significantly fewer lecture grades of D+ or lower, and had significantly higher critical thinking posttest total scores than control students. Lastly, more SWI students were engaged while taking critical thinking tests. These results support the hypothesis that utilizing independent course-based undergraduate science research improves student achievement even in nonscience students.
Thompson, Katerina V; Chmielewski, Jean; Gaines, Michael S; Hrycyna, Christine A; LaCourse, William R
The National Experiment in Undergraduate Science Education project funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute is a direct response to the Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians report, which urged a shift in premedical student preparation from a narrow list of specific course work to a more flexible curriculum that helps students develop broad scientific competencies. A consortium of four universities is working to create, pilot, and assess modular, competency-based curricular units that require students to use higher-order cognitive skills and reason across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Purdue University; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and the University of Miami are each developing modules and case studies that integrate the biological, chemical, physical, and mathematical sciences. The University of Maryland, College Park, is leading the effort to create an introductory physics for life sciences course that is reformed in both content and pedagogy. This course has prerequisites of biology, chemistry, and calculus, allowing students to apply strategies from the physical sciences to solving authentic biological problems. A comprehensive assessment plan is examining students' conceptual knowledge of physics, their attitudes toward interdisciplinary approaches, and the development of specific scientific competencies. Teaching modules developed during this initial phase will be tested on multiple partner campuses in preparation for eventual broad dissemination.
Watt-Watson, Judy; Hunter, Judi; Pennefather, Peter; Librach, Larry; Raman-Wilms, Lalitha; Schreiber, Martin; Lax, Leila; Stinson, Jennifer; Dao, Thuan; Gordon, Allan; Mock, David; Salter, Michael
Pain education, especially for undergraduates, has been identified as important to changing problematic pain practices, yet, no published data were found describing an integrated, interprofessional pain curriculum for undergraduate students. Therefore, this project aimed to develop, implement, and evaluate an integrated pain curriculum, based on the International Association for the Study of Pain curricula [http://www.iasp-pain.org/curropen.html], for 540 students from six Health Science Faculties/Departments. Over an 18-month period, the University of Toronto Centre for the Study of Pain's Interfaculty Pain Education Committee developed a 20-h undergraduate pain curriculum to be delivered during a 1-week period. Students from Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy participated as part of their 2nd or 3rd year program. Teaching strategies included large and small groups, Standardized Patients, and 63 facilitators. Evaluation methods included: (a) pre- and post-tests of the Pain Knowledge and Beliefs Questionnaire (PKBQ) and (b) Daily Content and Process Questionnaire (DCPQ) to obtain feedback about process, content, and format across the curriculum's 5 days. A significant improvement in pain knowledge and beliefs was demonstrated (t = 181.28, P < 0.001), although non-responders were problematic at the post-test. DCPQ overall ratings of 'exceeding or meeting expectations' ranged from 74 to 92%. Ratings were highest for the patient-related content and panel, and the small-group discussions with Standardized Patients. Overall evaluations were positive, and statistically significant changes were demonstrated in students' pain knowledge and beliefs. This unique and valuable learning opportunity will be repeated with some modifications next year.
Speck, Angela; Ruzhitskaya, L.; Whittington, A. G.
Ability to think critically is a key ingredient to the scientific mindset. Students who take science courses may or may not be predisposed to critical thinking - the ability to evaluate information analytically. Regardless of their initial stages, students can significantly improve their critical thinking through learning and practicing their reasoning skills, critical assessments, conducting and reflecting on observations and experiments, building their questioning and communication skills, and through the use of other techniques. While, there are several of teaching methods that may help to improve critical thinking, there are only a few assessment instruments that can help in evaluating the efficacy of these methods. Critical thinking skills and improvement in those skills are notoriously difficult to measure. Assessments that are based on multiple-choice questions demonstrate students’ final decisions but not their thinking processes. In addition, during the course of studies students may develop subject-based critical thinking while not being able to extend the skills to the general critical thinking. As such, we wanted to design and conduct a study on efficacy of several teaching methods in which we would learn how students’ improve their thinking processes within a science discipline as well as in everyday life situations. We conducted a study among 20 astronomy, physics and geology majors-- both graduate and undergraduate students-- enrolled in our Solar System Science course (mostly seniors and early graduate students) at the University of Missouri. We used the Ennis-Weir Critical Thinking Essay test to assess students’ general critical thinking and, in addition, we implemented our own subject-based critical thinking assessment. Here, we present the results of this study and share our experience on designing a subject-based critical thinking assessment instrument.
Leung, Jessica Shuk Ching; Wong, Alice Siu Ling; Yung, Benny Hin Wai
Understandings of nature of science (NOS) are a core component of scientific literacy, and a scientifically literate populace is expected to be able to critically evaluate science in the media. While evidence has remained inconclusive on whether better NOS understandings will lead to critical evaluation of science in the media, this study aimed at examining the correlation therein. Thirty-eight non-science majors, enrolled in a science course for non-specialists held in a local community college, evaluated three health news articles by rating the extent to which they agreed with the reported claims and providing as many justifications as possible. The majority of the participants were able to evaluate and justify their viewpoint from multiple perspectives. Students' evaluation was compared with their NOS conceptions, including the social and cultural embedded NOS, the tentative NOS, the peer review process and the community of practice. Results indicated that participants' understanding of the tentative NOS was significantly correlated with multiple perspective evaluation of science news reports of socioscientific nature (r = 0.434, p media of socioscientific nature. However, the null result for other target NOS aspects in this study suggested a lack of evidence to assume that understanding the social dimensions of science would have significant influence on the evaluation of science in the media. Future research on identifying the reasons for why and why not NOS understandings are applied in the evaluation will move this field forward.
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
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 gender were available, regression models were developed. The results indicated weak multiple correlation coefficients and were not statistically significant at alpha = .05. Evidence suggests that labs play a positive role in a student's academic success. It is recommended that lab experiences be included in all online Environmental Science programs, with emphasis on open-ended inquiries, and adoption of online tools to enhance hands-on experiences, such as 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.
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.
Kim, Karen A.; Fann, Amy J.; Misa-Escalante, Kimberly O.
Building on research that identifies and addresses issues of women's underrepresentation in computing, this article describes promising practices in undergraduate research experiences that promote women's long-term interest in computer science and engineering. Specifically, this article explores whether and how REU programs include programmatic…
Hartel, R. W.; Iwaoka, W. T.
For the past 15 years, Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) has mandated assessment of undergraduate student learning outcomes as the basis for approving food science (FS) programs. No longer is a check-off course system sufficient to be an IFT-approved program. The 4 steps to gaining IFT approval include developing learning outcomes for all…
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…
Anaam, Mahyoub Ali
The purposes of this study were: (a) to identify the variables associated with selection of majors; (b) to determine the differences between science and nonscience majors in general, and high and low achievers in particular, with respect to attitudes toward science, integrated science process skills, and logical thinking abilities; and (c) to determine if a significant relationship exists between students' majors and their personality types and learning styles. Data were gathered from 188 twelfth grade male and female high school students in Yemen, who enrolled in science (45 males and 47 females) and art and literature (47 males and 49 females) tracks. Data were collected by the following instruments: Past math and science achievement (data source taken from school records), Kolb's Learning Styles Inventory (1985), Integrated Science Process Skills Test, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Attitude Toward Science in School Assessment, Group Assessment of Logical Thinking, Yemeni High School Students Questionnaire. The Logistic Regression Model and the Linear Discriminant Analysis identified several variables that are associated with selection of majors. Moreover, some of the characteristics of science and nonscience majors that were revealed by these models include the following: Science majors seem to have higher degrees of curiosity in science, high interest in science at high school level, high tendency to believe that their majors will help them to find a potential job in the future, and have had higher achievement in science subjects, and have rated their math teachers higher than did nonscience majors. In contrast, nonscience majors seem to have higher degrees of curiosity in nonscience subjects, higher interest in science at elementary school, higher anxiety during science lessons than did science majors. In addition, General Linear Models allow that science majors generally demonstrate more positive attitudes towards science than do nonscience majors and they
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
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
Stansbury, Sydney Lynn
Compared with majority students, underrepresented minorities have demonstrated weaker undergraduate science performance. Previous research has attributed the weaker performance to socioeconomic factors that influence poorer precollege preparation. Studies also have found that, compared with majority students, underrepresented minorities are less confident about their science skills and more interested in extrinsic rewards of science careers. Social Cognitive Theory posits that low self-efficacy coupled with high extrinsic goal orientation diminishes cognitive engagement, resulting in weak performance. Applying motivational characteristics of underrepresented minority students to a Social Cognitive Model may explain why their performance is weaker than that of Caucasians. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the degree to which motivation variables account for the difference between underrepresented minority and majority students' undergraduate science performance. The study was conducted at a large, predominantly Caucasian, private university located in an urban setting in the Southwest. Two hundred twenty-two students--154 Caucasians and 68 Latinos--enrolled in a general chemistry course participated. Students were administered the Motivation for Learning Questionnaire, designed specifically for this study, consisting of scales measuring the following variables: ethnicity, level of parental education, and effort exertion; self-efficacy, effort regulation, intrinsic goal orientation, and extrinsic goal orientation, measures from the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (Pintrich, Smith, Garcia, & McKeachie, 1991); and ability orientation, a measure from the Patterns of Adaptive Learning Survey (Midgley, Maehr, & Urdan, 1995). Financial aid information, chemistry and math placement test scores, and chemistry grades were obtained from other on-campus departments. Results demonstrated that the hypotheses were only partially confirmed by the
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.
Brown, Ted; Boyle, Malcolm; Williams, Brett; Molloy, Andrew; McKenna, Lisa; Palermo, Claire; Molloy, Liz
It is important for educators to consider the communication skills of students enrolled in health science programmes. To date, research into this area is limited, and having measures that are valid and reliable would assist educators and researchers to complete high-quality investigations. The purpose of this study was to investigate the factor structure of Communicator Styles Measure. Data from the Communicator Styles Measure completed by 860 undergraduate health science students enrolled in eight different courses at an Australian university (response rate of 59%) were analysed using principal component analysis with varimax rotation and a cluster analysis using elementary linkage analysis. The Communicator Styles Measure is a self-report scale consisting of 40 items designed to assess ten communication styles and one's perception of his/her ability to communicate. Communicator Styles Measure items loaded onto five new viable factors labelled personable, energetic, confident, open and confronting. Six items of the original 40 from the Communicator Styles Measure did not load onto any factor and were therefore considered redundant. The original factor structure proposed by the Communicator Styles Measure's author was not supported, which calls into question its construct validity. However, the five new factors identified in this study may be useful for researchers and educators when assessing the communication skills of students and practitioners. Further investigation into the construct validity and reliability of the five new Communicator Styles Measure factors is recommended. © 2012 Nordic College of Caring Science.
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.
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).
cosmos after its February 1997 refurbishment. Europe's astronomers make outstanding use of their right to make observations with Hubble, guaranteed by ESA's participation. ESA's table d'h^te for space scientists To provide world-class opportunities in space for Europe's scientific community is one of ESA's primary duties. The successes summarized here are not a matter of luck, but of decades of sustained planning and effort. Although ESA's science budget is small as compared with NASA=s equivalent programme, and is even being squeezed, yet every one of ESA's missions is first in its class. * 3- The scientists of ESA's member states draw up the table d'h^te, with a balanced menu of research opportunities in Solar System exploration and in astronomy. ESA coordinates the technological and scientific efforts across Europe needed to accomplish the missions, after many years of preparation and sometimes adversity. One of ESA's strengths is that it sticks to its promises, and maintains a balance with several small missions, remaining alert to new tasks for short-term projects. Besides the spacecraft mentioned earlier, ESA is actively working on: * Rosetta. As the successor to the very successful comet mission Giotto, which intercepted Halley's Comet in 1986 and Comet Grigg-Skjellerup in 1992, Rosetta will confirm ESA's role as the world leader in comet science. To be launched in 2003, Rosetta will rendezvous with Comet Wirtanen, and fly in close orbit around it as it makes its closest approach to the Sun ten years later. * Integral. Adapted from the XMM spacecraft to save money, Integral will go into orbit in 2001 and renew ESA's role in gamma-ray astronomy, pioneered in its COS-B mission some twenty years ago. Gamma-rays reveal the most violent events in the Universe, including the gamma-ray bursts that are exciting astronomers greatly at present. * FIRST and Planck Surveyor. FIRST is a long-standing major project to extend the scope of infrared space astronomy to wavelengths
Graduation thesis is an indispensible procedure for each undergraduate, which is crucial for successful graduation, employment, further study and even further development. However, due to most undergraduates' ignorance of academic writing and the deficiency of current thesis writing course, thesis writing ability can hardly be enhanced and…
Leggett-Robinson, Pamela M.; Villa, Brandi C.; Mooring, Suazette Reid
This article describes the implementation of an innovative undergraduate research model for students attending a two-year institution. It gives students an opportunity to engage in undergraduate research at nearby four-year institutions, which provides a foundation that allows them to successfully make the transition to STEM programs at the…
Letovsky, Robert; Banschbach, Valerie S.
Biology majors team with business administration majors to develop proposals for "green" enterprise for a business plan competition. The course begins with a series of student presentations so that science students learn about the fundamentals of business, and business students learn about environmental biology. Then mixed biology-business student…
Knierman, Karen; Anbar, Ariel; Tamer, A. Joseph; Hunsley, Diana; Young, Patrick A.; Center for Education Through eXploration
With the growth of online astronomy courses, it has become necessary to design different strategies for students to engage meaningfully with astronomy content. In contrast to some of the previously designed “cookbook”-style lab exercises, the strategy of these Infiniscope activities is to provide an experience where the students explore and discover the content for themselves. The Infiniscope project was created by ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration and NASA’s Science Mission Directorate as part of the NASA Exploration Connection project. As part of this project, online activities on topics such as asteroids and Kuiper Belt objects, eclipses, and Kepler’s Laws were designed and created for middle school (grades 6-8) and informal education settings. This poster discusses adapting these activities to the undergraduate non-science major setting. In fall 2017, the Infiniscope activities, such as Small Worlds and Kepler’s Laws, will be incorporated into an Arizona State University online astronomy course, AST 113, which is the laboratory component for the Introduction to Solar System Astronomy course sequence. This course typically enrolls about 800-900 students per semester with a combination of students who are online only as well as those who also take in person classes. In this type of class, we cannot have any in-person required sessions and all content must be delivered online asynchronously. The use of the Infiniscope exploratory exercises will provide students with the ability to use NASA data in a hands-on manner to discover the solar system for themselves.
McGinnis, Emily J.
Research focused on the relationship of emotional intelligence (EI) to academic and professional success in education, and whether and how it might be taught and learned, is inconclusive. The purpose of this study was to examine the degree to which undergraduate music education majors experienced a change in EI after implementing strategies from…
This article reports an investigative study on the target language use in and outside business English classrooms for non-English major undergraduates in a Chinese university context. The aims of the study are to identify the actual situation of target language use in business English teaching and to suggest ways for improvements. The study uses…
Alexandru Corneliu ARION
Full Text Available Even though on Religion and Science opposition an impressive amount of blood has been shed, today many scientists, philosophers, and theologians throughout history have seen compatibility or independence between the two domains of thinking. The complex but enduring relationship between the sciences and diverse world religions has now transformed itself into what some are calling a new scholarly field of science and religion. In the last two decades public awareness of and interest in this complex and often contentious relationship between science and religion has reached an unprecedented level. All religious traditions and all forms of scientific work have something to gain as well as lose in the process of mutual interaction, and the historical record demonstrates profound and longstanding engagement between science and religion in all literate cultures.
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.
Simarski, Lynn Teo
“The politics of science and technology has returned with a vengeance—or perhaps it never left,” Mary Good, head of the National Science Board, told a gathering of Washington scientists and policy-makers on March 30. Good addressed a spectrum of U.S. science issues, providing a chance to take the pulse of an important science policy- maker. The 24-member board that she chairs sets policy for the National Science Foundation.Good strongly criticized current attempts in Congress and elsewhere to create one over-arching policy for science, technology, and competitiveness. “We need to get these three areas separated out,” Good said. “They are truly three different subjects.” The issue is part of an on-going debate in Congress over the character of U.S. industrial policy. Congressional committees often ask how a science program under scrutiny will contribute to the nation's ability to compete in the world marketplace. “My cohorts in industry say that the one thing we must have from the universities is quality manpower; that's the first priority,” Good said. Second on the list is to forge links between academia and industry to keep industry's “in-house talent” at the cutting edge.
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: email@example.com.
van Lacum, Edwin; Ossevoort, Miriam; Buikema, Hendrik; Goedhart, Martin
Learning to read and understand research articles (primary literature) is an important step in the enculturation of higher education students into the scientific community. We presume, based on ideas from the field of genre analysis, that it is important for the development of reading skills to become conscious of the rhetorical structures in research articles. So, we determined how well science students are able to identify 2 important elements of this rhetorical structure: conclusions and grounds. First-year undergraduate life science students who followed a course called 'Biomedical Research' made assignments in which they had to identify these 2 elements. We analysed the answers of 20 students in detail and compared their answers with 2 expert readers. Furthermore, we conducted task-based interviews with 4 students to gain more insight into their reading strategies and to determine how they identify conclusions and grounds. Our results show that students and experts defined conclusions and grounds in different ways. Students and experts agreed on the most important conclusion of the articles. However, students identified a wide range of sentences which were not seen as conclusions by the experts. The grounds students mentioned mostly matched their conclusions. Students sometimes failed to mention important grounds for a particular conclusion. In conclusion, our study shows the differences between student and expert readers of primary literature. Based on our results, we formulated criteria for the design of a teaching strategy that aims to improve students' skills for reading primary literature.
Hsu, Chihcheng; Ou Yang, Fang-Chuan
Students of English as a second language who major in science and technology use English-language textbooks to ensure that they can read English materials upon graduation. Research indicates that teachers spend little time helping these students on the linguistic complexity of such textbooks. Vocabulary, grammar, and article structure are elements…
Hummer, Jill Abraham
In 1991, the APSA Task Force on Political Science recommended elements of a curricular structure that would best promote student learning. The report stated that there should be a capstone experience at the end of the senior year and that the capstone should require students to integrate their whole learning experience in the major. This article…
Schultz, David M.; Anderson, Stuart; Seo-Zindy, Ryo
For students who major in meteorology, engaging in weather forecasting can motivate learning, develop critical-thinking skills, improve their written communication, and yield better forecasts. Whether such advances apply to students who are not meteorology majors has been less demonstrated. To test this idea, a weather discussion and an eLearning weather forecasting contest were devised for a meteorology course taken by third-year undergraduate earth- and environmental-science students. The discussion consisted of using the recent, present, and future weather to amplify the topics of the week's lectures. Then, students forecasted the next day's high temperature and the probability of precipitation for Woodford, the closest official observing site to Manchester, UK. The contest ran for 10 weeks, and the students received credit for participation. The top students at the end of the contest received bonus points on their final grade. A Web-based forecast contest application was developed to register the students, receive their forecasts, and calculate weekly standings. Students who were successful in the forecast contest were not necessarily those who achieved the highest scores on the tests, demonstrating that the contest was possibly testing different skills than traditional learning. Student evaluations indicate that the weather discussion and contest were reasonably successful in engaging students to learn about the weather outside of the classroom, synthesize their knowledge from the lectures, and improve their practical understanding of the weather. Therefore, students taking a meteorology class, but not majoring in meteorology, can derive academic benefits from weather discussions and forecast contests. Nevertheless, student evaluations also indicate that better integration of the lectures, weather discussions, and the forecasting contests is necessary.
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
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.
Estes, Jr., Maurice G.; Perkey, Donald J.; Coleman, T. L.
The primary objective of the HSCaRS Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) is to make significant contributions to the NASA Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) and the Alabama A&M University (AAMU) Center for Hydrology, Soil Climatology and Remote Sensing (HSCaRS) research missions by providing undergraduate student research internships with an emphasis on minority and women students. Additional objectives are to encourage more minority and women students to pursue advanced degrees in Earth system and global change science and to increase the participation of minority institutions in the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Also, the SEP strives to make students in the traditional science disciplines more aware of the opportunities in Earth System Science. In designing the SEP, it was acknowledged that HSCaRS was a new research effort and Center. Consequently, students were not expected to immediately recognize the Center as one would older, more established research laboratories with national reputations, such as Los Alamos, Battelle, National Consortium for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), etc. Yet we still wanted to compete nationally for the best students. Therefore, we designed the program with a competitive financial package that includes a stipend of $400 per week, round-trip transportation from home to the summer research site, and free campus housing and meal plans provided by Alabama A&M University. Students also received a modest living allowance of approximately $25 per week. The internship program was 10 weeks in residence at Alabama A&M University or IGCRE, and gave students the opportunity to select from six general research areas: micro-meteorology, soil data analysis, soil moisture modeling, instrumentation, geographic information systems, and computer science. Student participants also enrolled in an introductory global change science course as part of the summer program (a copy of the course outline is in the appendix). The program included participation in a
Collins, Todd A.; Knotts, H. Gibbs; Schiff, Jen
We know little about the amount of career preparation offered to students in political science departments. This lack of information is particularly troubling given the state of the current job market and the growth of applied degree programs on university campuses. To address this issue, this article presents the results of a December 2010 survey…
Shoemaker, Judith S.
This study was an examination of the usefulness of a statistical regression approach to identify prospective Engineering and Information and Computer Science (ICS) applicants most likely to succeed at the University of California at Irvine (UCI). The specific purpose was to determine the extent to which preadmissions measures such as high school…
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
Shell, Duane F.; Soh, Leen-Kiat
The goal of the present study was to utilize a profiling approach to understand differences in motivation and strategic self-regulation among post-secondary STEM students in major versus required non-major computer science courses. Participants were 233 students from required introductory computer science courses (194 men; 35 women; 4 unknown) at a large Midwestern state university. Cluster analysis identified five profiles: (1) a strategic profile of a highly motivated by-any-means good strategy user; (2) a knowledge-building profile of an intrinsically motivated autonomous, mastery-oriented student; (3) a surface learning profile of a utility motivated minimally engaged student; (4) an apathetic profile of an amotivational disengaged student; and (5) a learned helpless profile of a motivated but unable to effectively self-regulate student. Among CS majors and students in courses in their major field, the strategic and knowledge-building profiles were the most prevalent. Among non-CS majors and students in required non-major courses, the learned helpless, surface learning, and apathetic profiles were the most prevalent. Students in the strategic and knowledge-building profiles had significantly higher retention of computational thinking knowledge than students in other profiles. Students in the apathetic and surface learning profiles saw little instrumentality of the course for their future academic and career objectives. Findings show that students in STEM fields taking required computer science courses exhibit the same constellation of motivated strategic self-regulation profiles found in other post-secondary and K-12 settings.
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
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
Tajudin, Nor'ain Mohd.; Saad, Noor Shah; Rahman, Nurulhuda Abd; Yahaya, Asmayati; Alimon, Hasimah; Dollah, Mohd. Uzi; Abd Karim, Mohd. Mustaman
The objectives of this quantitative survey research were (1) to establish the level of scientific reasoning (SR) skills among science, mathematics and engineering (SME) undergraduates in Malaysian Institute of Higher Learning (IHL); (b) to identify the types of instructional methods in teaching SME at universities; and (c) to map instructional methods employed to the level of SR skills among the undergraduates. There were six universities according to zone involved in this study using the stratification random sampling technique. For each university, the faculties that involved were faculties which have degree students in science, mathematics and engineering programme. A total of 975 students were participated in this study. There were two instruments used in this study namely, the Lawson Scientific Reasoning Skills Test and the Lecturers' Teaching Style Survey. The descriptive statistics and the inferential statistics such as mean, t-test and Pearson correlation were used to analyze the data. Findings of the study showed that most students had concrete level of scientific reasoning skills where the overall mean was 3.23. The expert and delegator were dominant lecturers' teaching styles according to students' perception. In addition, there was no correlation between lecturers' teaching style and the level of scientific reasoning skills. Thus, this study cannot map the dominant lecturers' teaching style to the level of scientific reasoning skills of Science, Mathematics and Engineering undergraduates in Malaysian Public Institute of Higher Learning. Nevertheless, this study gave some indications that the expert and delegator teaching styles were not contributed to the development of students' scientific reasoning skills. This study can be used as a baseline for Science, Mathematics and Engineering undergraduates' level of scientific reasoning skills in Malaysian Public Institute of Higher Learning. Overall, this study also opens an endless source of other
Birru, Eshetie Melese; Abay, Zenahebezu; Abdelwuhab, Mohammedbrhan; Basazn, Abebe; Sirak, Betelhem; Teni, Fitsum Sebsibe
The headache disorders, namely, migraine and tension type headache and the associated analgesic consumption is badly underestimated and thus makes a major current public health problem. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of migraine and tension type headaches and the associated management options used among undergraduate students of College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia. Institution based cross sectional study was conducted among 720 students in May, 2014. Pretested and structured self-administered questionnaires were used as data collecting tool followed by short interview to diagnose the type of headache based on the International Headache Society diagnostic criteria. SPSS version 20 was also used to analyse the data descriptively as well as inferentially using logistic regression models to investigate factors associated with presence of headache and analgesic use. The prevalence of lifetime headache and headache in the last 12 months was 81.11 and 67.22 %, respectively. Migraine and tension type headache were having 94 (13.06 %) and 481 (66.81 %) prevalence, respectively. Prevalence of life time headache was significant among females, students with family history of headache and lack of adequate vacation time. Similarly, lifetime prevalence of analgesic use for headache was 72.45 % and it had statistical association with sex, age, type of headache, lack of adequate vacation time and family history of headache. Majority of the students, migraineurs (54.65 %) and the tension type headache sufferers (66.17 %) commonly used paracetamol. High prevalence without adequate medical care seeking behaviour and the associated significant analgesic consumption necessitate the designing of all rounded strategies to improve the quality of life of individuals with such neurologic disorders.
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. PMID:23737631
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.
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.
The titles in this section include: 1) GRIDVIEW: Recent Improvements in Research and Education Software for Exploring Mars Topography; 2) Software and Hardware Upgrades for the University of North Dakota Asteroid and Comet Internet Telescope (ACIT); 3) Web-based Program for Calculating Effects of an Earth Impact; 4) On-Line Education, Web- and Virtual-Classes in an Urban University: A Preliminary Overview; 5) Modelling Planetary Material's Structures: From Quasicrystalline Microstructure to Crystallographic Materials by Use of Mathematica; 6) How We Used NASA Lunar Set in Planetary and Material Science Studies: Textural and Cooling Sequences in Sections of Lava Column from a Thin and a Thick Lava-Flow, from the Moon and Mars with Terrestrial Analogue and Chondrule Textural Comparisons; 7) Classroom Teaching of Space Technology and Simulations by the Husar Rover Model; 8) New Experiments (In Meteorology, Aerosols, Soil Moisture and Ice) on the New Hunveyor Educational Planetary Landers of Universities and Colleges in Hungary; 9) Teaching Planetary GIS by Constructing Its Model for the Test Terrain of the Hunveyor and Husar; 10) Undergraduate Students: An Untapped Resource for Planetary Researchers; 11) Analog Sites in Field Work of Petrology: Rock Assembly Delivered to a Plain by Floods on Earth and Mars; 12) RELAB (Reflectance Experiment Laboratory): A NASA Multiuser Spectroscopy Facility; 13) Full Text Searching and Customization in the NASA ADS Abstract Service.
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.
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...
Reisner, Barbara A.; Vaughan, K. T. L.; Shorish, Yasmeen L.
In the age of "big data" science, data management is becoming a key information literacy skill for chemistry professionals. To introduce this skill in the undergraduate chemistry major, an activity has been developed to familiarize undergraduates with data management. In this activity, students rename and organize cards that represent…
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
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…
Brown, Stephen; White, Sue; Bowmar, Alex; Power, Nicola
The attitude toward a subject contributes to both academic engagement and success at university, yet it is not routinely measured in undergraduate students. Therefore, in two consecutive introductory courses in Human anatomy and physiology (HAP 1, n = 239, and HAP 2, n = 329), an instrument to quantify undergraduate students' attitude to the…
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…
Woods, J. E.
The United States Naval Academy (USNA) Polar Science Program (PSP), has been very active completing its own field campaign out of Barrow, AK, sent students to the South Pole, participated in STEM activities and educated over 100 future Naval Officers about the Polar Regions. Each activity is uniquely different, but has the similar undertone of sharing the recent rapid changes in the Cryosphere to a wide range of audiences. There is further room for development and growth through future field campaigns and new collaborations. The Naval Academy Ice Experiment (NAICEX) 2013 was based out of the old Naval Arctic Research Laboratory (NARL) in Barrow, AK. In joint collaboration with the University of Delaware, University of Washington, and Naval Research Laboratory we successfully took multiple measurements for over a week on the fast ice just offshore. Five undergraduate students from USNA, as well as 3 graduate students from University of Delaware participated, as well as multiple professors and instructors from each institution. Data collected during the experiment will be used in capstone courses and thesis research. There was also an outreach component to the experiment, where local students from Barrow H.S. have been assigned to the USNA ice observations project for their own high school course work. Local students will be analyzing data that will contribute into the larger research effort at USNA through coordinated remote efforts and participation in future field experiments. The USNA STEM office is one of the most robust in the entire country. The USNA PSP is active within this program by developing polar specific modules that are integrated varying length outreach opportunities from a few hours to week long camps. USNA PSP also engages in educator training that is held at the Naval Academy each summer. Through this program of educating the educators, the far reaching levels of awareness are multiplied exponentially. Also, the USNA Oceanography Department has
Eisen, Arri; Huang, Junjian
Many issues in science create individual and societal tensions with important implications outside the classroom. We describe one model that directly addresses such tensions by integrating science and religion in two parallel, integrated courses for science majors. Evaluation of the goals of the project--(1) providing students with strategies to…
Scott, Timothy P.; Thigpin, Sara S.; Bentz, Adrienne O.
The College of Science at Texas A&M University developed a transfer student learning community with one 2-year institution after receiving National Science Foundation funds for scholarships to support students majoring in engineering and science. To date, 89% of the students that matriculated to Texas A&M University under this grant have…
Fisher, J. A.; Brewer, C.; O'Brien, G.
Computing and programming are rapidly becoming necessary skills for earth and environmental scientists. Scientists in both academia and industry must be able to manipulate increasingly large datasets, create plots and 3-D visualisations of observations, and interpret outputs from complex numerical models, among other tasks. However, these skills are rarely taught as a compulsory part of undergraduate earth science curricula. In 2016, the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of Wollongong began a pilot program to integrate introductory programming and modelling skills into the required first-year core curriculum for all undergraduates majoring in earth and environmental science fields. Using Python, a popular teaching language also widely used by professionals, a set of guided exercises were developed. These exercises use interactive Jupyter Notebooks to introduce students to programming fundamentals and simple modelling problems relevant to the earth system, such as carbon cycling and population growth. The exercises are paired with peer review activities to expose students to the multitude of "correct" ways to solve computing problems. In the last weeks of the semester, students work in groups to creatively adapt their new-found skills to selected problems in earth system science. In this presentation, I will report on outcomes from delivering the new curriculum to the first two cohorts of 120-150 students, including details of the implementation and the impacts on both student aptitude and attitudes towards computing. While the first cohort clearly developed competency, survey results suggested a drop in student confidence over the course of the semester. To address this confidence gap for the second cohort, the in-class activities are now being supplemented with low-stakes open-book review quizzes that provide further practice with no time pressure. Research into the effectiveness of these review quizzes is ongoing and preliminary findings
The author investigates relationships between instructor, peer, and self-evaluations. Undergraduate music education students each taught three micro-teaching segments. Immediately after teaching, they filled out an evaluation for themselves indicating four things they did well, one suggestion for improvement, and an effectiveness score from 1 to…
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.
Rukundo, Godfrey Zari; Burani, Aluonzi; Kasozi, Jannat; Kirimuhuzya, Claude; Odongo, Charles; Mwesigwa, Catherine; Byona, Wycliff; Kiguli, Sarah
Masters Students are major stakeholders in undergraduate medical education but their contribution has not been documented in Uganda. The aim of the study was to explore and document views and experiences of undergraduate students regarding the role of masters students as educators in four Ugandan medical schools. This was a cross-sectional descriptive study using qualitative data collection methods. Eight Focus Group Discussions were conducted among eighty one selected preclinical and clinical students in the consortium of four Ugandan medical schools: Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Makerere College of Health Sciences, Gulu University and Kampala International University, Western Campus. Data analysis was done using thematic analysis. Participants' privacy and confidentiality were respected and participant identifiers were not included in data analysis. Undergraduate students from all the medical schools viewed the involvement of master's students as very important. Frequent contact between masters and undergraduate students was reported as an important factor in undergraduate students' motivation and learning. Despite the useful contribution, master' students face numerous challenges like heavy workload and conflicting priorities. According to undergraduate students in Ugandan medical schools, involvement of master's students in the teaching and learning of undergraduate students is both useful and challenging to masters and undergraduate students. Masters students provide peer mentorship to the undergraduate students. The senior educators are still needed to do their work and also to support the master's students in their teaching role.
Mentors for Undergraduates in Technical Disciplines: A Collaborative Effort by Faculty, Student Development Professionals, and Alumni To Improve Undergraduate Retention and Success in Technical Majors.
Newton, Elizabeth; Wells-Glover, Linda
Describes a program at Fontbonne College (Missouri) by the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and Office of Multicultural Affairs that identified eight high-risk, first- and second-year students and matched them with four alumni mentors as part of a one-credit career management course. Evaluation showed improved academic performance…
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...
Full Text Available The article is dedicated to identifying and diagnosing qualitative indicators of efficiency of technologies developing ESP competence in students majoring in Sciences, namely: indicators of objective and subjective assessment of students’ ESP competence, students’ motivation regarding professional choice, organizational features of professional training, its contents, the most popular learning activities, use of active methods of study in educational process. The paradigm of experimental research of efficiency of technologies developing ESP competence in students majoring in Sciences has been defined. Based on the interpretation of the qualitative indicators the hypothesis of efficiency of technologies developing ESP competence in students majoring in Sciences has been proven.
Metzger, C. A.
The project Exploring Science in the Studio at California College of the Arts (CCA), one of the oldest and most influential art and design schools in the country, pursues ways to enable undergraduate students to become scientifically literate problem-solvers in a variety of careers and to give content and context to their creative practices. The two main branches of this National Science Foundation-funded project are a series of courses called Science in the Studio (SitS) and the design of the Mobile Units for Science Exploration (MUSE) system, which allow instructors to bring science equipment directly into the studios. Ongoing since 2010, each fall semester a series of interdisciplinary SitS courses are offered in the college's principal areas of study (architecture, design, fine arts, humanities and sciences, and diversity studies) thematically linked by Earth and environmental science topics such as water, waste, and sustainability. Each course receives funding to embed guest scientists from other colleges and universities, industry, or agriculture directly into the studio courses. These scientists worked in tandem with the studio faculty and gave lectures, led field trips, conducted studio visits, and advised the students' creative endeavors, culminating in an annual SitS exhibition of student work. The MUSE system, of fillable carts and a storage and display unit, was designed by undergraduate students in a Furniture studio who explored, experimented, and researched various ways science materials and equipment are stored, collected, and displayed, for use in the current and future science and studio curricula at CCA. Sustainable practices and "smart design" underpinned all of the work completed in the studio. The materials selected for the new Science Collection at CCA include environmental monitoring equipment and test kits, a weather station, a stream table, a rock and fossil collection, and a vertebrate skull collection. The SitS courses and MUSE system
Caruso, Joseph P.; Israel, Natalie; Rowland, Kimberly; Lovelace, Matthew J.; Saunders, Mary Jane
Course-based undergraduate research is known to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics student achievement. We tested “The Small World Initiative, a Citizen-Science Project to Crowdsource Novel Antibiotic Discovery” to see if it also improved student performance and the critical thinking of non-science majors in Introductory Biology at Florida Atlantic University (a large, public, minority-dominant institution) in academic year 2014–15. California Critical Thinking Skills Test pre- and posttests were offered to both Small World Initiative (SWI) and control lab students for formative amounts of extra credit. SWI lab students earned significantly higher lecture grades than control lab students, had significantly fewer lecture grades of D+ or lower, and had significantly higher critical thinking posttest total scores than control students. Lastly, more SWI students were engaged while taking critical thinking tests. These results support the hypothesis that utilizing independent course-based undergraduate science research improves student achievement even in nonscience students. PMID:27047613
Gomillion, Crystall Sharee
The focus of this research was to evaluate if differences exist in the racial identity profiles and perceptions of scientists held by 48 Black college students majoring in science (n = 17) and non-science (n = 31) fields. The study was conducted at a large, predominantly White university located in the south. All participants completed the Cross Racial Identity Scale (CRIS) and Draw-a-Scientist Test (DAST); measures used to assess six subscales of individuals' racial identity development (RID) and 16 stereotypical conceptions of scientists respectively. Fourteen volunteers also completed one-on-one interviews with the researcher to discuss information that would elucidate their responses to survey instruments. Findings from the CRIS revealed that significant differences did not exist in the science majors' and non-science majors' racial identity profiles. Both groups expressed strongest agreement with views reflected in Internalization Multiculturalist Inclusive (IMCI) and Pre-Encounter Miseducation (PM) subscales. Conversely, the science majors and non-science majors exhibited least agreement with attitudes depicted in Immersion-Emersion Anti-White (IEAW) and Pre-Encounter Self-Hatred (PSH) subscales. Results from the DAST demonstrated that both groups illustrated similar perceptions of scientists as observed by an average of four of the 16 stereotypes expressed in their images.
Brevik, C.; Daniels, L.; McCoy, C.
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) place an equal emphasis on science process skills and science content. The goal is to have K-12 students "doing" science, not just "learning about" science. However, most traditional college science classes for elementary education majors place a much stronger emphasis on science content knowledge with the hands-on portion limited to a once-a-week lab. The two models of instruction are not aligned. The result is that many elementary school teachers are unprepared to offer interactive science with their students. Without additional coaching, many teachers fall back on the format they learned in college - lecture, handouts, homework. If we want teachers to use more hands-on methods in the classroom, these techniques should be taught to elementary education majors when they are in college. Dickinson State University has begun a collaboration between the Teacher Education Department and the Department of Natural Sciences. The physical science course for elementary education majors has been completely redesigned to focus equally on the needed science content and the science process skills emphasized by the NGSS. The format of the course has been adjusted to more closely mirror a traditional K-5 classroom; the course meets for 50 minutes five days a week. A flipped-classroom model has been adopted to ensure no content is lost, and hands-on activities are done almost every day as new concepts are discussed. In order to judge the effectiveness of these changes, a survey tool was administered to determine if there was a shift in the students' perception of science as an active instead of a passive field of study. The survey also measured the students' comfort-level in offering a hands-on learning environment in their future classrooms and their confidence in their ability to effectively teach science concepts to elementary students. Results from the first year of the study will be presented.
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
Cole, Kathryn E.; Inada, Maki; Smith, Andrew M.; Haaf, Michael P.
Writing is an essential part of a successful career in science. As such, many undergraduate science courses have begun to implement writing assignments that reflect "real-world" applications and focus on a critical analysis of current literature; these assignments are often in the form of a review or a research proposal. The…
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…
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…
Kichawen, Pongie; Swain, Julian; Monk, Martin
Using a schedule originated by Nott and Wellington to explore science teachers' views on the philosophy of science, data were gathered at the University of Papua New Guinea. Similarities in response were established for successive first year intakes of science undergraduates (1999-2000). Students with experience in national high schools or Australian high schools responded more positively than their provincial secondary school trained peers to items indicating that the findings of scientific enquiry were universally true. A cross-sectional analysis showed the undergraduates in the third and fourth years to be more process orientated than the first or second years. Both the first and second years were different in their views compared with their tutors in the relativism-positivism scale, where they were more positivist, the contextualism-decontextualism scale, where they were less decontextualist, and the process-content scale where they were considerably less process orientated. Those with a preferred career destination of medicine were slightly more decontextualist in outlook while being marginally realist, those with a preferred physical science career being very weakly instrumentalist. The results can be interpreted in terms of respondents' experiences in secondary schooling and on programmes at the University of Papua New Guinea.
Creswell, John W.; Jones, Larry R.
The structure of arts, science, and humanities colleges within major universities was investigated to determine the relationship between number of faculty or students and the number of administrative levels, and the ratio of administrators to faculty. (SF)
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
Plotnick, Roy E.; Varelas, Maria; Fan, Qian
Physical World is a one-semester course designed for elementary education majors, that integrates earth science, astronomy, and physics. The course is part of a four-course set that explores science concepts, processes, and skills, along with the nature of scientific practice, that are included in state and national standards for elementary school…
Siver, Christi; Greenfest, Seth W.; Haeg, G. Claire
While the literature emphasizes the importance of teaching political science students methods skills, there currently exists little guidance for how to assess student learning over the course of their time in the major. To address this gap, we develop a model set of assessment tools that may be adopted and adapted by political science departments…
The social sciences offer a rich array of paradigms within which to locate agricultural knowledge and information systems (AKIS) research. This article provides an overview of the major paradigms in the social sciences, identifying those which offer a lens through which the AKISs of small-scale farmers can be viewed.
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.
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)
Bigelow, Cale A.; Kaminski, John E., III
Most undergraduate students arrive on campus fluent in electronic communication methods and social media (SM). This cultural or communication shift presents both opportunities and challenges in pedagogy. Social media allows users to share and network with geographically diverse individuals and has the potential for engaging students both inside…
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…
Pagano, Todd; Ross, Annemarie; Smith, Susan B.
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…
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'…
Papakonstantinou, Theo; Charlton-Robb, Kate; Reina, Richard D.; Rayner, Gerry
Work-integrated learning has become an integral part of many undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, both in Australia and internationally. Such programs vary in structure, timeframe and discipline type, with concomitant amounts of support, assessment and evaluation. Their value to students, industry partners and higher education institutions,…
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…
Mogk, D. W.; Wysession, M. E.; Beauregard, A.; Reinen, L. A.; Surpless, K.; O'Connell, K.; McDaris, J. R.
The recent PCAST report (2012), Engage to Excel, calls for a major shift in instructional modes in introductory (geo)science courses by "replacing standard laboratory courses with discovery-based research courses". An increased emphasis is recommended to engage students in experiments with the possibility of true discovery and expanded use of scientific research courses in the first two years. To address this challenge, the On the Cutting Edge program convened a workshop of geoscience faculty to explore the many ways that true research experiences can be built into introductory geoscience courses. The workshop goals included: consideration of the opportunities, strategies and methods used to provide research experiences for students in lower division geoscience courses; examination of ways to develop students' "geoscience habits of mind" through participation in authentic research activities; exploration of ways that student research projects can be designed to contribute to public science literacy with applications to a range of issues facing humanity; and development of strategies to obtain funding for these research projects, to make these programs sustainable in departments and institutions, and to scale-up these programs so that all students may participate. Access to Earth data, information technology, lab and field-based instrumentation, and field experiences provide unprecedented opportunities for students to engage in authentic research at early stages in their careers. Early exposure to research experiences has proven to be effective in the recruitment of students to the geoscience disciplines, improved retention and persistence in degree programs, motivation for students to learn and increase self-efficacy, improved attitudes and values about science, and overall increased student success. Workshop outcomes include an online collection of tested research projects currently being used in geoscience classes, resources related to effective design
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 primary literature, writing assignments directed toward a layperson and scientist audience, and in-class discussions, we aimed to improve the ability of students to 1) comprehend primary scientific papers, 2) communicate science to a scientific audience, and 3) communicate science to a layperson audience. We offered the course for three consecutive years and evaluated its impact on student perception and confidence using a combination of pre- and postcourse survey questions and coded open-ended responses. Students showed gains in both the perception of their understanding of primary scientific papers and of their abilities to communicate science to scientific and layperson audiences. These results indicate that this unique format can teach both communication skills and basic science to undergraduate biology students. We urge others to adopt a similar format for undergraduate biology courses to teach process skills in addition to content, thus broadening and strengthening the impact of undergraduate courses.
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…
Pilachowski, Catherine A.; van Zee, Liese
The Art of Astronomy is a new general education course developed at Indiana University. The topic appeals to a broad range of undergraduates and the course gives students the tools to understand and appreciate astronomical images in a new way. The course explores the science of imaging the universe and the technology that makes the images possible. Topics include the night sky, telescopes and cameras, light and color, and the science behind the images. Coloring the Universe: An Insider's Look at Making Spectacular Images of Space" by T. A. Rector, K. Arcand, and M. Watzke serves as the basic text for the course, supplemented by readings from the web. Through the course, students participate in exploration activities designed to help them first to understand astronomy images, and then to create them. Learning goals include an understanding of scientific inquiry, an understanding of the basics of imaging science as applied in astronomy, a knowledge of the electromagnetic spectrum and how observations at different wavelengths inform us about different environments in the universe, and an ability to interpret astronomical images to learn about the universe and to model and understand the physical world.
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
Ford, R. E.; Dunbar, S. G.; Soret, S.; Wiafe, S.; Gonzalez, D.; Rossi, T.
The vision of the School of Science and Technology (SST) at Loma Linda University (LLU) is to develop an interdisciplinary approach to doing science that bridges the social, biological, earth, and health sciences. It will provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students to apply new tools and concepts to the promotion of global service and citizenship while addressing issues of global poverty, health and disease, environmental degradation, poverty, and social inequality. A primary teaching strategy will be to involve students with faculty in applied field social and science policy research on "global sustainability" issues and problems in real places such as Fiji, Jamaica, Honduras, Bahamas, East Africa, and the US southwest (Great Basin, Salton Sea, coastal California, southern Utah). Recently we became a partner in the NASA/USRA ESSE21 Project (Earth System Science Education for the 21st Century). We bring to that consortium strengths and experience in areas such as social policy, sustainable development, medicine, environmental health, disaster mitigation, humanitarian relief, geoinformatics and bioinformatics. This can benefit ESSE21, the NASA Earth Enterprise Mission, and the wider geosciences education community by demonstrating the relevance of such tools, and methods outside the geosciences. Many of the graduate and undergraduate students who will participate in the new program come from around the world while many others represent underserved populations in the United States. The PI and Co-PIs have strong global as well as domestic experience serving underrepresented communities, e.g. Seth Wiafe from Ghana, Sam Soret from Spain, Stephen Dunbar from the South Pacific, and Robert Ford from Latin America and Africa. Our partnership in implementation will include other institutions such as: La Sierra University, the California State University, Pomona, Center for Geographic Information Science Research, ESRI, Inc., the University of
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....
Daly, Russell F; Erickson, Alan K
To assess the level of interest of university students enrolled in veterinary science courses toward becoming a veterinarian, reasons supporting or discouraging their interest, when those attitudes were formed, and future plans for those pursuing veterinary medicine as a career. Cross-sectional study. 585 university students in South Dakota enrolled in 2 veterinary science courses over a 6-year period. Each year, students enrolled in the 2 courses answered survey questions pertaining to their interest in becoming a veterinarian, background, and future plans. Most students enrolled in these courses desired to become a veterinarian at some time in their lives. Females were more likely than males to indicate veterinary medicine as their current career choice. Most students developed their interest during grades 10 to 12. Females developed an interest in veterinary medicine earlier than did males. Enjoyment of animals, intellectual stimulation, and the opportunity to actively work outdoors were cited frequently as reasons for interest in veterinary medicine. Increased duration of education, high educational costs, and preveterinary coursework difficulty were major reasons for disinterest in becoming a veterinarian. Of students pursuing the profession, desired practice type correlated strongly with previous animal experience. Considering that most students, especially males, developed their interest in veterinary medicine during grades 10 to 12, elementary school may be the best starting point for exposing students to veterinary medicine. To increase interest in large animal practice among students entering veterinary school, livestock experiences should be provided to children with no farm experience during their elementary, middle, and high school years. In our survey population, cost and duration of veterinary education had a significant negative influence on student interest in the profession.
Halpin, Patricia A.
Nonscience majors often rely on general internet searches to locate science information. This practice can lead to misconceptions because the returned search information can be unreliable. In this article the authors describe how they used the social media site Twitter to address this problem in a general education course, BSCI 421 Diseases of the…
Borgerding, Lisa A.
A shortage of highly qualified math and science teachers pervades the U.S. public school system. Clearly, recruitment of talented STEM educators is critical. Previous literature offers many suggestions for how STEM teacher recruitment programs and participant selection should occur. This study investigates how early STEM majors who are not already…
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.
In light of the persistent shortage of qualified mathematics and science teachers and the new teacher qualification provisions of the recently passed No Child Left Behind Act, This study tested the impact of an educational intervention designed to enhance interest in public school teaching careers among undergraduate students who were declared/intended majors in mathematics and/or natural science. Besides salary, research reveals content fear as the biggest roadblock to attracting mathematics and science teachers. Because of this, liberal arts majors in mathematics and science are a target pool of individuals to recruit into teaching. The researcher hypothesized that knowledge and attitudinal favorability would both increase after an intervention about teaching careers and that an increase in one variable would be associated with the other. Also, knowledge and attitudinal favorability would have a greater increase after a more intensive intervention than a less intensive intervention or no intervention. The researcher also hypothesized that if undergraduates were less decided in their career, lower classmen, and female, their attitudes toward the teaching profession would increase the most. One hundred eighty-nine college students, 73 males and 116 females, including 85 freshmen, 67 sophomores, 18 juniors and 19 seniors, at University A and University B were randomly assigned to a workshop, reading, or control group. The workshop group attended a workshop about the teaching profession. The reading group read articles with the same information presented in the workshop. The control group read unrelated articles. The findings from this study indicate that an intervention about teaching does significantly increase both knowledge and attitudinal favorability toward teaching (p policy, in particular urging more communication between schools of education and liberal arts.
Libes, Susan M.
Chemical analyses should always be accompanied by activities that ensure and document quality control (QC). An undergraduate course in environmental analysis is a practical point at which to teach this, as the U.S. EPA has developed a standard set of QC activities. Such a course should be a requirement for all environmental chemistry programs because the collection of reliable and defensible data is central to regulatory monitoring work as well as modeling efforts and risk assessment. In the environmental realm, QC includes activities associated with sampling, sample preservation and storage, method validation, and analysis involving solids, liquids, and gases. Students should be led to discover the need for QC by first performing analyses with little guidance. This is followed by a class discussion in which they critique their data. Once convinced of the value of QC, students learn specific techniques by performing an Initial Demonstration of Capability for a relatively simple analysis in which they perform an instrumental calibration, determine method detection limits, and demonstrate adequate precision and accuracy. Particular focus is put on the use of spreadsheets for generating forms, producing control charts, and performing statistical tests. A variety of analytical methods are covered, including atomic and molecular spectrometry, ion selective electrodes, and gas chromatography.
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…
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.
Steele, Anita Louise; Young, Sylvester
The purpose of the current study was to determine personality types and demographic characteristics of professional music educators and music therapists. The researchers also sought to determine if personality types of professionals were consistent with undergraduate majors in those fields and personal characteristics as suggested by The Music Education National Conference (MENC) and the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). The research of Steele and Young (2008) found strong similarities and some differences between undergraduate music education and music therapy students. The possibility that basic types extend across the life span may strengthen understanding of job satisfaction, stress, burn out and other factors affecting retention. Participants were a voluntary convenience sample of 253 music educators (n=110) and music therapists (n=143). The highest preference for music educators was Extrovert-Intuition-Feeling-Judgment (ENFJ) and the highest preference for music therapists was Introvert-Intuition-Feeling-Judgment (INFJ). The difference in the collective type of each group was their "outlook on life", which was either Extrovert or Introvert. However, both groups were the same in their secondary type functions of "NFJ". A comparison of findings with the Steele and Young (2008) study suggested small changes in personality type over time. Caution must be exercised in generalizing findings; however this descriptive investigation may serve as the basis for future studies, which should help foster a stable work force in these professions.
Eastwood, Jennifer L.; Sadler, Troy D.; Sherwood, Robert D.; Schlegel, Whitney M.
The purpose of this study was to examine whether Socioscientific Issues (SSI) based learning environments affect university students' epistemological understanding of scientific inquiry differently from traditional science educational contexts. We identify and compare conceptions of scientific inquiry of students participating in an…
Berryhill, K. J.; Coble, K.; Slater, T. F.; McLin, K. M.; Cominsky, L. R.
Responding to national science education reform documents calling for students to have more opportunities for authentic research experiences, several national projects have developed online telescope networks to provide students with Internet-access to research grade telescopes. The nature of astronomical observation (e.g., remote sites, expensive equipment, and odd hours) has been a barrier in the past. Internet-based robotic telescopes allow scientists to conduct observing sessions on research-grade telescopes half a world away. The same technology can now be harnessed by STEM educators to engage students and reinforce what is being taught in the classroom, as seen in some early research in elementary schools (McKinnon and Mainwaring 2000 and McKinnon and Geissinger 2002), middle/high schools (Sadler et al. 2001, 2007 and Gehret et al. 2005) and undergraduate programs (e.g., McLin et al. 2009). This project looks at the educational value of using Internet-based robotic telescopes in a general education introductory astronomy course at the undergraduate level. Students at a minority-serving institution in the midwestern United States conducted observational programs using the Global Telescope Network (GTN). The project consisted of the use of planetarium software to determine object visibility, observing proposals (with abstract, background, goals, and dissemination sections), peer review (including written reviews and panel discussion according to NSF intellectual merit and broader impacts criteria), and classroom presentations showing the results of the observation. The GTN is a network of small telescopes funded by the Fermi mission to support the science of high energy astrophysics. It is managed by the NASA E/PO Group at Sonoma State University and is controlled using SkyNet. Data includes course artifacts (proposals, reviews, panel summaries, presentations, and student reflections) for six semesters plus student interviews. Using a grounded theory approach
Hoepner, Cynthia Colon
President Obama has recently raised awareness on the need for our nation to grow a larger pool of students with knowledge in science mathematics, engineering, and technology (STEM). Currently, while the number of women pursuing college degrees continues to rise, there remains an under-representation of women in STEM majors across the country. Although research studies offer several contributing factors that point to a higher attrition rate of women in STEM than their male counterparts, no study has investigated the role that high school advanced placement (AP) math and science courses play in preparing students for the challenges of college STEM courses. The purpose of this study was to discover which AP math and science courses and/or influential factors could encourage more students, particularly females, to consider pursuing STEM fields in college. Further, this study examined which, if any, AP math or science courses positively contribute to a student's overall preparation for college STEM courses. This retrospective study combined quantitative and qualitative research methods. The survey sample consisted of 881 UCLA female and male students pursuing STEM majors. Qualitative data was gathered from four single-gender student focus groups, two female groups (15 females) and two male groups (16 males). This study examined which AP math and science courses students took in high school, who or what influenced them to take those courses, and which particular courses influenced student's choice of STEM major and/or best prepared her/him for the challenges of STEM courses. Findings reveal that while AP math and science course-taking patterns are similar of female and male STEM students, a significant gender-gap remains in five of the eleven AP courses. Students report four main influences on their choice of AP courses; self, desire for math/science major, higher grade point average or class rank, and college admissions. Further, three AP math and science courses were
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.
Solberg, Brooke L.
As a result of massive retirement and educational program expense and closure, the field of Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) is facing a critical workforce shortage. Combatting this issue by increasing undergraduate class size is a difficult proposition due to the intense psychomotor curricular requirements of MLS programs. Technological advances…
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.
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.
Bangera, Gita; Brownell, Sara E.
Current approaches to improving diversity in scientific research focus on graduating more science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors, but graduation with a STEM undergraduate degree alone is not sufficient for entry into graduate school. Undergraduate independent research experiences are becoming more or less a prerequisite…
Creswell, John W.; Jones, Larry G.
This study of organizational structure, administrative structure, and governance of colleges of arts and sciences at five major universities summarizes the issues involved and identifies some common concepts and arrangements. From the information obtained it seems unlikely that a single organizational structure exists or could be designed to serve…
Wang, Weiwei; Xu, Xiaoqin
This study employs corpus analytical tools to carry out a systematic study on Chinese Science and Engineering Majors' (SEMs') use of self-repair in their oral English. The study aims to find out the overall feature of using self-repair by SEMs and to see if there exists statistically significant difference of using self-repair across different…
Lichtin, J. Leon; Radd, Billie L.
Discusses the growing field of cosmetic science as a career option for chemistry majors. Outlines the design, formulation, manufacture, stabilization, evaluation, control management, safety, mechanism of action, and claim substantiation of cosmetic products. Provides information on the concerns and professional responsibilities of the cosmetic…
Lehman, Kathleen J.; Sax, Linda J.; Zimmerman, Hilary B.
Despite the current growing popularity of the computer science (CS) major, women remain sorely underrepresented in the field, continuing to earn only 18% of bachelor's degrees. Understanding women's low rates of participation in CS is important given that the demand for individuals with CS training has grown sharply in recent years. Attracting and…
Castillo, Antonio S.; Berenguer, Isabel A.; Sánchez, Alexander G.; Álvarez, Tomás R. R.
This paper analyzes the results of a diagnostic study carried out with second year students of the computational sciences majors at University of Oriente, Cuba, to determine the limitations that they present in computational algorithmization. An exploratory research was developed using quantitative and qualitative methods. The results allowed…
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 student knowledge and understanding in sports 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.
Hsu, Chihcheng; Yang, Fang-Chuan Ou
Students of English as a second language who major in science and technology use English-language textbooks to ensure that they can read English materials upon graduation. Research indicates that teachers spend little time helping these students on the linguistic complexity of such textbooks. Vocabulary, grammar, and article structure are elements of this complexity, but to many students, these elements can be akin to locked doors. This study presents MyVLS-Reader, which focuses on unlocking the first of these doors-vocabulary-while assisting in reading. With explicit vocabulary learning, students learn and memorize individual vocabulary, but the context is lost if the depth of learning discards context. In implicit vocabulary learning, students acquire vocabulary through repeated exposure to contexts, but repeated encounters with new words are required. Few e-learning systems combine both vocabulary-learning approaches. MyVLS-Reader achieves such synergy by (1) using a keyword setting to provide context-matched vocabulary explanation while reading and (2) embedding multiple learning choices, such as keyword setting, the review and memorization of explicit vocabulary, and the option to ask instructors. This study includes two rounds of evaluations: (1) an evaluation of the learning achievements of control and treatment groups and (2) a quantitative and qualitative investigation of perceptions regarding the use of MyVLS-Reader. The evaluation results indicate that the treatment group developed a better vocabulary than the control group in significantly less time. The use of MyVLS-Reader also slightly improved higher-order thinking skills. This result suggests that MyVLS-Reader can effective assist students in building their vocabulary while reading.
Boness, D. A.
The general public is heavily exposed to "news" and commentary---and arts and entertainment---that either inadvertently misrepresents science or even acts to undermine it. Climate change denial and evolution denial is well funded and pervasive. Even university-educated people get little exposure to the aims, methods, debates, and results of scientific inquiry because unless they earn degrees in science they typically only take one or two introductory science courses at the university level. This presentation reports the development of a new, non-science major Seattle University course on mass extinctions throughout earth history. Seattle University is an urban, Jesuit Catholic university. The topic of mass extinctions was chosen for several reasons: (1) To expose the students to a part of current science that has rich historical roots yet by necessity uses methods and reasoning from geology, geophysics, oceanography, physics, chemistry, biology, and astronomy. This multidisciplinary course provides some coverage of sciences that the student would not typically ever see beyond secondary school. (2) To enable the students to learn enough to follow some of the recent and current debates within science (e.g., mass extinctions by asteroid impact versus massive volcanism, ocean anoxia, and ocean acidification), with the students reading some of the actual literature, such as articles in Science, Nature, or Nature Geoscience. (3) To emphasize the importance of "deep time" as evolutionary biological processes interact with massive environmental change over time scales from hundreds of millions of years down to the seconds and hours of an asteroid or comet strike. (4) To show the effects of climate change in the past, present, and future, due to both natural and anthropogenic causes. (5) To help the student critically evaluate the extent to which their future involves a human-caused mass extinction.
Smith, Emma; White, Patrick
This paper reports the findings of an Economic and Social Research Council-funded study investigating patterns of participation in UK higher education science programmes across two decades. Using data on applications and acceptances to university, the paper describes trends in the proportions of candidates who choose to study science and…
Wyer, Mary Beth
Contemporary research on persistence in undergraduate education in science and engineering has focused primarily on identifying the structural, social, and psychological barriers to participation by students in underrepresented groups. As a result, there is a wealth of data to document why students leave their majors, but there is little direct empirical data to support prevailing presumptions about why students stay. Moreover, researchers have used widely differing definitions and measures of persistence, and they have seldom explored field differences. This study compared three ways of measuring persistence. These constituted three criterion variables: commitment to major, degree aspirations, and commitment to a science/engineering career. The study emphasized social factors that encourage students to persist, including four predictor variables---(1) positive images of scientists/engineers, (2) positive attitudes toward gender and racial equality, (3) positive classroom experiences, and (4) high levels of social integration. In addition, because researchers have repeatedly documented the degree to which women are more likely than men to drop out of science and engineering majors, the study examined the potential impact of gender in relation to these predictor variables. A survey was administered in the classroom to a total of 285 students enrolled in a required course for either a biological sciences and or an engineering major. Predictor variables were developed from standard scales, including the Images of Science/Scientists Scale, the Attitudes toward Women Scale, the Women in Science Scale, and the Perceptions of Prejudice Scale. Based on logistic regression models, results indicate that positive images of scientists and engineers was significantly related to improving the odds of students having a high commitment to major, high degree aspirations, and high commitment to career. There was also evidence that positive attitudes toward gender and racial equality
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
Brown, Susan Wightman
National statistics clearly demonstrate an underrepresentation of minorities in the fields of science and engineering. Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, and Asians do not typically choose science or engineering as their college major; therefore, there is a very small representation of these minorities in the science and engineering labor force. The decision not to major in science and engineering may begin as soon as the child can begin to recognize role models in the media. News stories, magazine articles, television programs, teachers, parents, administrators, and other agencies have painted the picture of a scientist or engineer as being dominantly a White male. Schools have continued society's portrayal by using curriculum, textbooks, role models, instructional strategies, and counseling that continues to encourage the White male to succeed in science and engineering, but discourages the minority students, male and female, from succeeding in these fields. In this qualitative study, 22 Hispanic students, 12 female and 10 male, who are majoring in science or engineering, were interviewed using Seidman's in-depth interviewing technique. These students were shadowed in their college science or engineering classes; their high school and college transcripts were analyzed; and, a focus group was brought together at the end of the interviewing process in order to allow interaction between the participants. The goal was to explore the educational journeys of the 22 Hispanic students. What made a difference in the journeys of these 22 students so that they could succeed in majors that have historically discouraged minority students? Seven themes emerged: family support, honors program, challenging and interactive curriculum, college preparation in high school courses, caring and kind teachers, small class size, and small communities. Gender comparison of the educational journeys documents these differences between the females and males: college preparation, mentoring
Katz, Laura A.; Aloisio, Kathryn M.; Horton, Nicholas J.; Ly, Minh; Pruss, Sara; Queeney, Kate; Rowen, Cate; DiBartolo, Patricia Marten
Created to foster inclusive excellence, Smith College's Achieving Excellence in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science (AEMES) Scholars program provides early faculty-mentored research opportunities and other programming as a way to foster success in academic outcomes for underrepresented women in science. Using academic record data, we compared…
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…
Students should have aesthetic experiences to be fully engaged in science learning at any level. A general education science instructor can foster opportunities for aesthetic educative learning experiences enabling student growth. Drawing on the work of John Dewey and expanding on others in the field, Uhrmacher identifies the characteristics of…
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…
Marion, Scott F.; Coladarci, Theodore
This study was conducted from the perspective that the under-representation of women in science is, at least partially, a consequence of learning, and therefore, may be considered a symptom of a hidden curriculum in science education. A nine page review of the literature is presented on this subject. This study investigated the direct and indirect…
Hutchinson-Anderson, Kelly; Johnson, Kaileigh; Craig, Paul A.
The authors examined college students' perceptions about their middle school and high school preparation for college science courses as well as what led them to study or not study science in college. Analysis of a survey using mixed methods revealed that the more laboratory techniques students felt proficient in conducting and the more science AP…
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.
Full Text Available Nowadays, improvement of thinking skills of students is one of the universally supported aims in the majority of medical schools. This study aims to design longitudinal theme of reasoning, problem-solving and decision-making into the undergraduate medical curriculum at Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS. A participatory approach was applied to design the curriculum during 2009-2011. The project was conducted by the contribution of representatives of both basic and clinical faculty members, students and graduates at Tehran University of Medical Sciences. The first step toward integrating cognitive skills into the curriculum was to assemble a taskforce of different faculty and students, including a wide variety of fields with multidisciplinary expertise using nonprobability sampling and the snowball method. Several meetings with the contribution of experts and some medical students were held to generate the draft of expected outcomes. Subsequently, the taskforce also determined what content would fit best into each phase of the program and what teaching and assessment methods would be more appropriate for each outcome. After a pilot curriculum with a small group of second-year medical students, we implemented this program for all first-year students since 2011 at TUMS. Based on findings, the teaching of four areas, including scientific and critical thinking skills (Basic sciences, problem-solving and reasoning (Pathophysiology, evidence-based medicine (Clerkship, and clinical decision-making (Internship were considered in the form of a longitudinal theme. The results of this study could be utilized as a useful pattern for integration of psycho-social subjects into the medical curriculum.
Comeaux, Eddie; Bachman, Tina; Burton, Rena M.; Aliyeva, Aida
Employing the conceptual model developed by Comeaux and Harrison (Coll Stud Aff J 30(1):75-87, 2011), this study explored the undergraduate experience of Division I athlete STEM graduates. Data collection involved 17 in-depth interviews with former athletes at two research-intensive, public institutions. Results revealed that pre-college characteristics, involvement in purposeful STEM-related activities, and sport participation, as well as academic support and guidance within athletic departments, play important roles in shaping the experiences of athletes who earn STEM degrees. Implications for student affairs professionals, faculty, and others who frequently interact with college athletes and are committed to creating more equitable educational environments are discussed.
César Manso Perea
Full Text Available We present the first results about a research that aims to promote information skills in undergraduate nursing students through an educational proposal that integrates information literacy in the curriculum of the School of Nursing Red Cross in Madrid. In collaboration with the library information needs of students are evaluated and learning from a previous training experience taught from the university library is valued. The results show satisfaction with the skills acquired in previous training and the methodology followed; and reflect the need for training and information skills transversely distributed in different subjects of the degree. The training proposal reveals the importance of the acquisition of information skills by future professionals nurses and advantages of the involvement of information professionals in their teaching.
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.
Establishing the Empirical Relationship Between Non-Science Majoring Undergraduate Learners' Spatial Thinking Skills and Their Conceptual Astronomy Knowledge. (Spanish Title: Estableciendo Una Relación Empírica Entre el Razonamiento Espacial de los Estudiantes de Graduación de Carreras no Científicas y su Conocimento Conceptual de la Astronomía.) Estabelecendo Uma Relação Empírica Entre o RacioCínio Espacial dos Estudantes de Graduação EM Carreiras Não Científicas e Seu Conhecimento Conceitual da Astronomia
Heyer, Inge; Slater, Stephanie J.; Slater, Timothy F.
The astronomy education community has tacitly assumed that learning astronomy is a conceptual domain resting upon spatial thinking skills. As a first step to formally identify an empirical relationship, undergraduate students in a non-major introductory astronomy survey class at a mediumsized, Ph.D. granting, mid-western US university were given pre- and post-astronomy conceptual diagnostics and spatial reasoning diagnostics, Instruments used were the "Test Of Astronomy Standards" and "What Do You Know?" Using only fully matched data for analysis, our sample consisted of 86 undergraduate non-science majors. Students' normalized gains for astronomy surveys were low at .26 and .13 respectively. Students' spatial thinking was measured using an instrument designed specifically for this study. Correlations between the astronomy instruments' pre- to post-course gain scores and the spatial assessment instrument show moderate to strong relationships suggesting the relationship between spatial reasoning and astronomy ability can explain about 25% of the variation in student achievement. La comunidad de educación en astronomía ha supuesto de forma tácita que el aprendizaje de la astronomía consiste en un dominio conceptual fundamentado en el razonamiento espacial. Como un primer paso para identificar formalmente una relación empírica entre estas dos cosas, utilizamos como muestra los estudantes de graduación de carreras no científicas de un curso experimental en una universidad norteamericana del medioeste de porte mediano con programa de Doctorado em curso, en el cual estos estudiantes se sometieron a un diagnóstico de razonamiento espacial y conceptos astronómicos antes e después del mismo. Las herramientas utilizadas fueron el Test Of Astronomy Standards (TOAST) y el cuestionario What do you know? Utilizando solo los datos completamente consistentes para este análisis, nuestra muestra consistió en 86 estudantes de graduación. Las mejoras, depués de
Gonzales, Erin E.
Despite an increasing demand for college graduates skilled in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics ("STEM") fields, a substantial number of students who choose these majors leave after taking their first-year "gateway" math and science coursework. Research has shown GPA to be a salient predictor of persistence in STEM majors: Students who earn high grades in gateway courses are more likely to continue, and those who earn low grades are more likely to leave. However, a small number of students defy that expectation: Despite a low gateway course GPA, they persist not just to the sophomore year but all the way to graduation. The purpose of this study was to determine what other experiences, motivations, or attributes aside from academic performance influence these students to persist. A qualitative approach was taken with the use of semi-structured interviews, which provided a means for analysis based on insights directly from students. An invitation was sent to a cohort of graduating math and science majors at a large public institution, and 10 eligible volunteers were chosen to participate. A thematic analysis was conducted to seek common themes in the students' interviews regarding their experiences in their gateway coursework, their feelings towards their chosen major, their beliefs about their academic proficiency, their motivations for continuing in their major, and other prominent characteristics they attributed to their persistence. Five themes were found: Ambition, dedication, achievement, culture shock, and resilience. Of the five themes, four are attributes of the students themselves: Ambition, dedication, achievement, and resilience. The fifth, culture shock, is something that happened to them, although it does contain information about the students insofar as how they handled the situation. The end result was the identification of a specific group of students: High achievers majoring in math and science who are self-driven and independent, as
Majetic, Cassie; Pellegrino, Catherine
The skill set associated with lifelong scientific literacy often includes the ability to decode the content and accuracy of scientific research as presented in the media. However, students often find decoding science in the media difficult, due to limited content knowledge and shifting definitions of accuracy. Faculty have developed a variety of…
Lilian Akemi Kato
Full Text Available This paper, which is part of a research based on the theoretical framework of the Theory of Conceptual Fields, investigated the performance of first-year undergraduate students attending Exact Sciences courses at the State University of Maringá, Brazil, with regard to the solution of problems in the additive conceptual field. Results obtained by these students evidenced some types of reasoning involved in additive structure that stand as an obstacle to the learning of Mathematics and may interfere with their future studies. Among the three classes that constitute the additive conceptual field proposed by Gérard Vergnaud, transformation problems had the highest rate of unsatisfactory results. However, errors committed by the students were detected in all problems of the diagnostic test. These results underscore the need for a broader discussion in academic environments that takes into account the difficulties in the test with regard to reasoning involving additive structure so that changes in the curricular structures of Exact Sciences courses may be fostered.
Baral, K P; Upadhyay, S K; Bhandary, S; Gongal, R N; Karki, A
In response to continuing health disparities between rural and urban population, Patan Academy of Health Sciences (PAHS) was established in 2008. It aimed to produce physicians who would be able and willing to serve in the rural areas. In order to empower them with understanding and tools to address health issues of rural population, an innovative curriculum was developed. This paper aims to describe the community based learning and education (CBLE) system within the overall framework of PAHS undergraduate medical curriculum. A Medical School Steering Committee (MSSC) comprising of a group of committed medical educators led the curriculum development process. The committee reviewed different medical curricula, relevant literatures, and held a series of consultative meetings with the stakeholders and experts within and outside Nepal. This process resulted in defining the desirable attributes, terminal competencies of the graduates, and then the actual development of the entire curriculum including CBLE. Given the critical importance of population health, 25% of the curricular weightage was allocated to the Community Health Sciences (CHS). CBLE system was developed as the primary means of delivering CHS curriculum. The details of CBLE system was finalized for implementation with the first cohort of medical students commencing their studies from June 2010. The CBLE, a key educational strategy of PAHS curriculum, is envisaged to improve retention and performance of PAHS graduates and, thereby, health status of rural population. However, whether or not that goal will be achieved needs to be verified after the graduates join the health system.
Evidence-based best practices for improving undergraduate STEM education abound. Unfortunately, these practices have not been widely adopted, in part because typical dissemination efforts are mediated in a top-down fashion and fail to obtain critical buy-in from key local stakeholders. Here, we present a novel framework to increase nationwide uptake of STEM-education best practices through grassroots propagation of Professional Development programs for Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA-PD). Our model pays special attention to overcoming resistance to change by soliciting, from the very start, critical buy-in from departmental chairs, faculty, and GTAs who have direct control over and responsibility for instruction. A key component of our approach involves an annual National GTA Workshop where faculty-GTA leadership teams from many different Physics and Chemistry departments come together to develop best-practices-based GTA-PD improvement plans for their own departments while guided by a core group of nationally recognized expert practitioners in GTA-PD and STEM education. As a pre-condition for participation, each department chair must pledge to facilitate implementation of their leadership team's plan; additional and ongoing support is provided by the core group of experts, together with other teams from the workshop cohort. Our initial pilot efforts point to success via enthusiastic buy-in within each STEM department due to the potential for immediate positive impacts on both undergraduate instruction and the long term research productivity of GTAs. In the future, longitudinal data on the progress of the GTA-PD programs will be gathered and analyzed to provide guidance for improving the success of future GTA-PD programs. Financial support provided by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement and the American Chemical Society.
Ding, Dan Xiong
The passive voice is a major stylistic feature of modern scientific discourse, but such a feature did not dominate scientific writing until the 1890s. It has its roots in the philosophical thoughts of experimental science of Francis Bacon and his followers such as Thomas Sprat and John Locke. In the early seventeenth century. Bacon called for a new science that emphasized collective knowledge of nature. Such a science was a cooperative and public enterprise in which scientists should work as a group to advance knowledge of nature. When science was moving gradually toward a public enterprise from the early seventeenth century, the passive voice gradually replaced the active voice in science writing as a dominant stylistic feature. The passive voice in scientific writing is thus historically and socially conditioned. Scientists take advantage of the linguistic functions of the passive voice to serve their rhetorical and pragmatic purposes such as presenting experiments as they are for others to reproduce and verify the results. It embodies two major conventions of scientific communities: (1) science is a public enterprise and (2) it is also a cooperative venture. Other conventions are related to these two: the collective authority of an scientific community is above the personal authority of any one individual scientist; science is not an infallible force, so any research result needs to be verified by a scientific community before it becomes knowledge; scientists use passive voice to approach their writing to make it appear as if it were objective; and science is a human profession. Therefore, we need to teach science students to use the passive voice, and more importantly, why and when to use it. We should emphasize writing practice to have students' see that they use passives rhetorically to present experimental processes, materials and methods.
Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 3; Issue 12. SPIC Undergraduate Programme. P K Subrahmanyam. Information and Announcements Volume 3 Issue 12 December 1998 pp 108-110. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:
Laughlin, J. B.; Sarquis, J. L.; Jones, V. M.; Cox, J. A.
Materials chemistry has become a field of high priority internationally, in terms of both fundamental and applied science. Although a growing field in industrial and scientific research, materials chemistry continues to be a minor segment of the academic curriculum. We propose using sol-gel chemistry to introduce undergraduate chemistry majors to the field of materials chemistry. In this experiment, students vary the synthetic processes necessary for xerogel production. They investigate how different parameters (e.g., temperature and pH) affect the internal porous network during xerogel synthesis. Techniques such as inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis are used to investigate the porous nature of xerogels. Conclusions are drawn on the basis of measurements that reflect the pore diameters. By varying the synthetic processes and comparing their experimental results, students are introduced to the concept of cooperative learning to enhance teamwork in the laboratory. Students are introduced to data handling, to writing formal reports in the style common in chemistry journals, and to use of scientific literature. However, the primary objective is to introduce them to the synthesis and characterization of a material.
Fredrick, L. Denise
The focus of this study was to investigate college students' perception of high school and college introductory science learning experiences related to persistence in science as a major area of study in college. The study included students' perceptions of the following areas of science education: (1) teacher interpersonal relationship with students, (2) teacher personality styles, (3) teacher knowledge of the content, (4) instructional methods, and (5) science course content. A survey research design was employed in the investigative study to collect and analyze data. One hundred ninety two students participated in the research study. A survey instrument entitled Science Education Perception Survey was used to collect data. The researcher sought to reject or support three null hypotheses as related to participants' perceptions of high school and college introductory science education experiences. Using binomial regression analysis, this study analyzed differences between students persisting in science and students not persisting in science as a major. The quantitative research indicated that significant differences exist between persistence in science as a major and high school science teacher traits and college introductory science instructional methods. Although these variables were found to be significant predictors, the percent variance was low and should be considered closely before concluded these as strong predictors of persistence. Major findings of the qualitative component indicated that students perceived that: (a) interest in high school science course content and high school science teacher personality and interpersonal relationships had the greatest effect on students' choice of major area of study; (b) interest in college introductory science course content had the greatest effect on students' choice of major area of study; (c) students recalled laboratory activities and overall good teaching as most meaningful to their high school science
Raymond Talinbe Abdulai
Full Text Available As part of the requirements for the award of degrees in higher education institutions, students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels normally carry out research, which they report in the form of dissertations or theses. The research journey commences with the selection of a research topic and the preparation of a proposal on the selected topic. Experience has shown that students tend to encounter difficulties in writing research proposals for their supervisors because they do not fully comprehend what constitutes a research proposal. The purpose of this article is to take students through a step-by-step process of writing good research proposals by discussing the essential ingredients of a good research proposal. Thus, it is not a didactic piece—the aim is to guide students in research proposal writing. In discussing these ingredients, relevant examples are provided where necessary for ease of understanding. It is expected that on reading this article, students should be able to: (a demonstrate knowledge and understanding of what research is all about and its challenging nature; (b display an enlarged comprehension of research gap(s, problem or question(s, aim, objectives, and hypotheses as well as their distinguishing characteristics; (c demonstrate a good understanding of the relevant elements to be considered in the constituent sections of a good research proposal; and (d comprehend the elements of a research proposal that should feature in the final written dissertation or thesis.
Full Text Available This paper reports on progress and conclusions of two-year research of gender issues in studying computer science at Department of Mathematics and Informatics, Faculty of Science, University of Novi Sad. Using statistics on data gathered by a survey, the work presented here focused on identifying, understanding, and correlating both female and male students’ performance, professional motivation, ambition, confidence level and attitudes towards differences, learning quality and nature of the field. Results show agreement with theoretical predictions and significant improvement over previous efforts; providing profound implications for future studies of gender-sensitive IT education in the region and beyond.
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
The underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers constitutes a major issue in postsecondary science education. Perseverance of women in STEM is linked to a strong science identity. Experiential learning activities, such as undergraduate research, increase science identity and thus should help keep women in STEM. Most studies on research program development are from 4-year institutions, yet many women start at community colleges. The goal of this study was to fill this gap. Science identity and experiential learning theories provided the framework for this case study at a local institution (LECC). Semistructured interviews determined college science faculty and administrators perceptions of advantages and disadvantages of undergraduate research, the viability of developing a research program, and specific research options feasible for LECC. Transcripted data were analyzed through multiple rounds of coding yielding five themes: faculty perception of undergraduate research, authentic experiences, health technologies/nursing programs, LECC students career focus, and the unique culture at LECC. The most viable type of undergraduate research for LECC is course-based and of short timeframe. The project study advocates the use of citizen science (CS) studies in the classroom as they are relatively short-term and can take the place of lab sessions. The true benefit is that students perform authentic science by contributing to an actual scientific research project. CS projects can effect social change by developing science literate citizens, empowering faculty to create authentic learning experiences, and by sparking interest in science and directing women into STEM careers.
Radencic, S.; Walker, R. M.; Anthony, K. V.
Graduate and undergraduate students with an interest in science education complete an intensive three-week "Maymester" course at Mississippi State University that includes one week of field experience teaching science in outdoor environments. The focus of the course includes the history and rationales for interdisciplinary outdoor education and informal learning environments while promoting successful pedagogical practices to enhance science instruction. Students gain valuable outdoor education field experience through a week of full emersion at a residential environmental learning center at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, TN (www.gsmit.org) that challenges perceptions of what many believe are "good teaching" practices. Tremont offers multiple overnight educational options for K-12 schools, teacher professional development programs, master naturalists trainings, and citizen science opportunities to the public. Being fully immersed in the outdoors teaching and learning about Earth Science interdisciplinary topics creates a paradigm shift in what is considered to be effective teaching by the graduate and undergraduate participants. Prior to the week at Tremont, students select a Tremont created outdoor educational activity to teach their fellow the graduate and undergraduate students while at Tremont. All activities promote inquiry and hands-on exploration utilizing authentic science process skills in outdoor field research settings that can also be adapted for local school environments. At Tremont the students reside in platform tents located at the center to allow complete immersion in the culture of informal learning unique to outdoor education. In addition to gaining personal experiences leading outdoor science activities, the college students get to actively observe experts in the field of outdoor ecological education model exemplary pedagogical practices of guided inquiry and effective questioning strategies. The impact of the full emersion
Phillips, Sarah R.; Matherly, Cheryl A.; Kono, Junichiro
The international nature of science and engineering research demands that students have the skillsets necessary to collaborate internationally. However, limited options exist for science and engineering undergraduates who want to pursue research abroad. The NanoJapan International Research Experience for Undergraduates Program is an innovative response to this need. Developed to foster research and international engagement among young undergraduate students, it is funded by a National Science Foundation Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) grant. Each summer, NanoJapan sends 12 U.S. students to Japan to conduct research internships with world leaders in terahertz (THz) spectroscopy, nanophotonics, and ultrafast optics. The students participate in cutting-edge research projects managed within the framework of the U.S-Japan NSF-PIRE collaboration. One of our focus topics is THz science and technology of nanosystems (or `TeraNano'), which investigates the physics and applications of THz dynamics of carriers and phonons in nanostructures and nanomaterials. In this article, we will introduce the program model, with specific emphasis on designing high-quality international student research experiences. We will specifically address the program curriculum that introduces students to THz research, Japanese language, and intercultural communications, in preparation for work in their labs. Ultimately, the program aims to increase the number of U.S. students who choose to pursue graduate study in this field, while cultivating a generation of globally aware engineers and scientists who are prepared for international research collaboration.
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).
Al-Ismaily, Said; Kacimov, Anvar; Al-Maktoumi, Ali
Three strategies in a soil science undergraduate programme with inquiry-based learning (IBL) principles at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman, are presented. The first strategy scaffolds courses into three phases: with direct instructional guidance, structured IBL, and finally, guided to open IBL. The second strategy involves extra-curricular activities of undergraduates, viz. conducting workshops on soils for pupils in grades 7-9 with their teachers. The third strategy promotes the teaching-research nexus through collaboration between the undergraduates and faculty within a student-supporting, government-funded programme through 1-year long research grants of up to 5,500 US/project. The efficiency of the strategies was evaluated by students' evaluations of courses and instructors and questionnaire-based surveys. Statistics of students' responses in teaching evaluations of IBL courses showed a significantly higher level of satisfaction compared with regular courses taught in the department and college. In surveys of other constituencies of the program, viz. the secondary schools, more than 90% of respondents "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that they had learned new information/secrets about soils. The indicators of success in the third strategy are: winning a highly competitive grant and, moreover, earning an even more competitive annual national award for the best executed research project. The two top graduates of the IBL soil programme progressed into the MSc programme with the university and national scholarships. Key words: inquiry based learning, soil science undergraduate program, scaffold of courses, outreach activities, teaching-research nexus, evaluation of program's efficiency
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).
Pinto, María; Fernández-Pascual, Rosaura
Restricted to five Spanish public universities, this paper examines knowledge about information literacy competencies--that is, the objective dimension--among a population of social sciences students, as well as two subjective dimensions: students' belief in the importance of information literacy, hereafter called "belief-in-importance",…
Ruiz, Patricia Adriana
Women continue to be underrepresented in computer science and technology related fields despite their significant contributions. The lack of diversity in technology related fields is problematic as it can result in the perpetuation of negative stereotypes and closed-minded, unchecked biases. As technology tools become integral to our daily lives…
Coticone, Sulekha Rao; Van Houten, Lora Bailey
A special topics course combining two relevant and contemporary themes (forensic DNA analysis and illicit drug detection) was developed to stimulate student enthusiasm and enhance understanding of forensic science. Building on the interest of popular television shows such as "CSI" and "Breaking Bad," this course connects…
McGuire, Frederick L.; Friedmann, Claude T. H.
The new teaching format of a behavioral science course at the University of California, Irvine, College of Medicine is described. Specific objectives were to present an introduction of life's developmental cycles, the nature of mind-body relationships, and dynamics of the doctor-patient relationship, and to develop interviewing skills. (MLW)
Dowd, Jason E.; Thompson, Robert J., Jr.; Schif, 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…
Keebaugh, Alaine; Darrow, Lyndsey; Tan, David; Jamerson, Heather
Previous research has highlighted the effectiveness of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) in multiple disciplinary settings, including medicine, teacher education, business, allied health, and the social sciences. Yet interdisciplinary educators have very little information about how to implement PBL in classrooms where multiple disciplines are…
National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA. Div. of Science Resources Studies.
Baccalaureate institutions are an essential part of the educational process for persons earning science and engineering doctorates. This report summarizes data on the baccalaureate institutions reported by persons completing doctorates from 1991 through 1995. It provides an institutional context for examining this aspect of the educational…
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…
DeLaet, Debra L.
This article provides an overview of a classroom project, titled the Priorities Project, which is designed to promote responsible and informed civic engagement on the part of students in upper level political science courses at Drake University. It provides an overview of the Priorities Project, a brief summary highlighting the process and results…
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…
Heerwegh, Dirk; De Wit, Kurt; Verhoeven, Jef C.
Computers have taken an important place in the training of science students and in the professional life of scientists. It is often taken for granted that most students have mastered basic Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) skills; however, it has been shown that not all students are equally proficient in this regard. Starting from…
Harris, Lynne; Driscoll, Peter; Lewis, Melinda; Matthews, Lynda; Russell, Cherry; Cumming, Steven
This case study presents a longitudinal, evidence-based approach to health science curriculum reform and evaluation. Curriculum in higher education must meet the needs of diverse stakeholders and must respond to dynamic local, national and international contexts, and this creates challenges for evaluation. The long lead time prior to the…
Institutional graduate capabilities and discipline threshold learning outcomes require science students to demonstrate ethical conduct and social responsibility. However, the teaching and assessment of these concepts are not straightforward. Australian chemistry academics participated in a workshop in 2013 to discuss and develop teaching and…
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…
Mlenga, Francis Howard
The purpose of the study was to determine factors affecting elementary female student teachers' choice of science as a major at college level in Zimbabwe. The study was conducted at one of the Primary School Teachers' Colleges in Zimbabwe. A sample of two hundred and thirty-eight female student teachers was used in the study. Of these one hundred and forty-two were non-science majors who had been randomly selected, forty-one were science majors and forty-five were math majors. Both science and math majors were a convenient sample because the total enrollment of the two groups was small. All the subjects completed a survey questionnaire that had sixty-eight items. Ten students from the non-science majors were selected for individual interviews and the same was done for the science majors. A further eighteen were selected from the non-science majors and divided into three groups of six each for focus group interviews. The same was done for the science majors. The interviews were audio taped and transcribed. Data from the survey questionnaires were analyzed using Binary Logistic Regression which predicted factors that affected students' choice of science as a major. The transcribed interview data were analyzed used using domain, taxonomic and componential analyses. Results of the study indicated that elementary female students' choice of science as a major at college level is affected by students' attitudes toward science, teacher behavior, out-of-school experiences, role models, gender stereotyping, parental influence, peer influence, in-school experiences, and societal expectations, namely cultural and social expectations.
Hu, Anning; Wu, Xiaogang
Previous studies on major East Asian societies such as Japan and Korea generally fail to find a strong effect of cultural capital in educational inequality, partly due to the characteristic extreme focus on standardized test and curriculum. This study shifts attention to the horizontal stratification of education by investigating the association between family background, cultural capital, and college major choice in contemporary China. Based on analysis of data from the Beijing College Students Panel Survey (BCSPS), we found that, on average, cultural capital significantly mediates the relationship between family background and college major preference. Those with greater endowment of cultural capital are more likely to come from socio-economically advantaged families, and, at the same time, demonstrate a stronger propensity to major in liberal arts fields rather than science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Further analyses reveal that the association between cultural capital and academic field choice comes into being by way of performance in the Chinese test in the national college entrance examination and of the non-cognitive dispositions, such as self-efficacy and self-esteem. Our findings better our understanding of formation of the horizontal stratification of higher education. © London School of Economics and Political Science 2017.
Gao, Xing-Ya; Yu, Rong-Bin; Shen, Hong-Bing; Chen, Qi
To build an effective model to train excellent doctors, Nanjing Medical University has proposed a five- plus three-year combined undergraduate-master's clinical medicine degree program. The program integrates undergraduate education, the education of research students, and standardized doctor residency training into a single system, allowing…
The traditional science lecture, where an instructor delivers a carefully crafted monolog to a large audience of students who passively receive the information, has been a popular mode of instruction for centuries. Recent evidence on the science of teaching and learning indicates that learner-centered, active teaching strategies can be more effective learning tools than traditional lectures. Yet most colleges and universities retain lectures as their central instructional method. This article highlights several simple collaborative teaching techniques that can be readily deployed within traditional lecture frameworks to promote active learning. Specifically, this article briefly introduces the techniques of: reader's theatre, think-pair-share, roundtable, jigsaw, in-class quizzes, and minute papers. Each technique is broadly applicable well beyond neuroscience courses and easily modifiable to serve an instructor's specific pedagogical goals. The benefits of each technique are described along with specific examples of how each technique might be deployed within a traditional lecture to create more active learning experiences.
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).
Abstract Learning to read and understand research articles (primary literature) is an important step in the enculturation of higher education students into the scientific community. We presume, based on ideas from the field of genre analysis, that it is important for the development of reading skills to become conscious of the rhetorical structures in research articles. So, we determined how well science students are able to identify two important elements of this rhetorical struct...
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).
Baldwin, Kathryn A.
This study examined prospective elementary education majors' science teaching self-efficacy while they were enrolled in an introductory geology lab course for elementary education majors. The Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument Form B (STEBI-B) was administered during the first and last lab class sessions. Additionally, students were…
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.
Fjellstad, Kenneth; Isaksen, Tor Olav; Frich, Jan C
During the last decades attempts have been made at integrating art in medical education. What should be the form, content and objectives of such teaching? We address this question on the basis of a review of articles in medical journals from 1990 until May 2001 about art and undergraduate medical education. A common reason for integrating art in undergraduate medical education is that art may act as a balance to the dominance of natural science. One pedagogical approach is to use art as a tool for training skills. Many articles emphasise that teaching art should also contribute to the personal and professional development of medical students. The majority of articles report on courses in literature and medicine. Art is often taught in small or medium-sized groups; courses may last from single lessons to programmes over years. The aim of art courses may be the development of skills, but also one of facilitating personal growth and professional development.
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.
Monroe, Joseph; Kelkar, Ajit
The NASA PAIR program incorporated the NASA-Sponsored research into the undergraduate environment at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. This program is designed to significantly improve undergraduate education in the areas of mathematics, science, engineering, and technology (MSET) by directly benefiting from the experiences of NASA field centers, affiliated industrial partners and academic institutions. The three basic goals of the program were enhancing core courses in MSET curriculum, upgrading core-engineering laboratories to compliment upgraded MSET curriculum, and conduct research training for undergraduates in MSET disciplines through a sophomore shadow program and through Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs. Since the inception of the program nine courses have been modified to include NASA related topics and research. These courses have impacted over 900 students in the first three years of the program. The Electrical Engineering circuit's lab is completely re-equipped to include Computer controlled and data acquisition equipment. The Physics lab is upgraded to implement better sensory data acquisition to enhance students understanding of course concepts. In addition a new instrumentation laboratory in the department of Mechanical Engineering is developed. Research training for A&T students was conducted through four different programs: Apprentice program, Developers program, Sophomore Shadow program and Independent Research program. These programs provided opportunities for an average of forty students per semester.
Persons, Christopher Andrew
A disproportionately low number of women, despite rigorous high school preparation and evidenced interest in STEM through voluntary participation in additional coursework, declare a STEM-related college major. The result of this drop in participation in STEM-related college majors is a job market flooded with men and the support of an incorrect stereotype: STEM is for men. This research seeks to assess the effects, if any, that Dual Enrollment (DE) science courses have on students' self-identified intent to declare a STEM-related college major as well as the respective perceptions of both male and female students. Self-Determination Theory and Gender Equity Framework were used respectively as the theoretical frames. High school students from six schools in two district participated in an online survey and focus groups in this mixed methods study. The results of the research identified the role the DE course played in their choice of college major, possible interventions to correct the underrepresentation, and societal causes for the stereotype.
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
For science learning to be successful, students must develop attitudes toward support future engagement with challenging social issues related to science. This is especially important for increasing participation of students from underrepresented populations. This study investigated how participation in inquiry-based biology laboratory classes affected students' attitudes toward science, focusing on deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing signing students in bilingual learning environments (i.e., taught in American Sign Language and English). Analysis of reflection assignments and interviews revealed that the majority of students developed positive attitudes toward science and scientific attitudes after participating in inquiry-based biology laboratory classes. Attitudinal growth appears to be driven by student value of laboratory activities, repeated direct engagement with scientific inquiry, and peer collaboration. Students perceived that hands-on experimentation involving peer collaboration and a positive, welcoming learning environment were key features of inquiry-based laboratories, affording attitudinal growth. Students who did not perceive biology as useful for their majors, careers, or lives did not develop positive attitudes. Students highlighted the importance of the climate of the learning environment for encouraging student contribution and noted both the benefits and pitfalls of teamwork. Informed by students' characterizations of their learning experiences, recommendations are made for inquiry-based learning in college biology. © 2017 C. Gormally. 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).
Partin, Matthew L.; Underwood, Eileen M.; Worch, Eric A.
To develop a more scientifically literate society, students need to understand the nature of science, which may be affected by controversial topics such as evolution. There are conflicting views among researchers concerning the relationships between understanding evolution, acceptance of evolution, and understanding of the nature of science. Four…
Starmer, David J.; Duquette, Sean; Howard, Loretta
Objective This research explores participatory evidence-based teaching methods in a health science course to see if a relationship emerged between the level of student participation and course performance, the type of participation and course performance, or the amount of participation and course performance and level of demonstrated learning. Methods Level of student participation was dichotomous (100% or learning were also tested after the knowledge test was measured using a matrix based upon Bloom's taxonomy. Results Students who participated 100% of the time scored 6% higher on average than students with less than 100% participation (t = 3.55, p = .0005, d = 0.52). There was no difference between groups when assessing for differences in course performance by type of participation. Students with 100% participation scored higher on the short answer question section of the examination (t = 4.58, p = .0001, d = 0.68), but there was no difference on the multiple choice question part of the examination. Conclusion Full participation in the course was related to higher examination scores and higher scores on examination questions assessing higher levels in the cognitive domain. PMID:26023893
Cino, Kathleen; Austin, Rita; Casa, Cristina; Nebocat, Christine; Spencer, Adele
To prepare for the modern collaborative healthcare system, health science academia is charged with educating future professionals to be competent members of the interprofessional team. The purpose of this pilot study was to assess self-efficacy for interprofessional education (IPE) in medical laboratory technology, dental hygiene, and nursing students before and after an IPE session. The specific topic of ethics was the focus of the session. The interprofessional seminar was designed to compare the codes of ethics from each programme through discussion and a case-based approach. The Self-Efficacy for Interprofessional Experiential Learning scale was used to collect quantitative data. A total of 75 participants rated self-efficacy for IPE before and after the educational offering. A paired sample t-test was used to analyse data. Significant results were found in students' pre- and post-test scores that indicated increased levels of self-efficacy related to working as a collaborative team for the benefit of the patient. Overall, there was an increase in participants' self-efficacy after collaborating with students from different health professions programmes. Healthcare students that learn together are more confident in their abilities to implement a team-structured approach, and understand that doing so will foster optimal patient wellbeing.
Halstead, Judith A.
The Council on Undergraduate Research promotes and assists development of collaborative student/faculty research at primarily undergraduate colleges and universities. Most science educators today accept such research as a critical component of an undergraduate science education. Research provides the primary opportunity for students to engage in the practice of science. We can draw an analogy between sports training and the education of young scientists. We cannot train future tennis players exclusively by providing them with lectures on tennis and supervising them performing skill-development drills. To become skilled at their game, tennis players must engage in active competition. Similarly, young scientists must engage in the enterprise that affords our understanding of the physical universe. Only by participating in scientific investigation can students understand the nature of science and become scientists.
The study is on utilization of online resources among undergraduates in Nigerian library school using the department of Library Science, Federal Polytechnic Nekede as a case study. The questionnaire was the major instrument used in eliciting information from the respondents. A total of 100 sets of questionnaire were ...