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Sample records for undergraduate science writing

  1. The Value of Understanding Students’ Prior Writing Experience in Teaching Undergraduate Science Writing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jumani Clarke

    2015-06-01

    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.

  2. Development of research paper writing skills of poultry science undergraduate students studying food microbiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Z R; Donalson, L M; Kim, W K; Li, X; Zabala Díaz, I; Landers, K L; Maciorowski, K G; Ricke, S C

    2006-02-01

    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.

  3. Enjoy writing your science thesis or dissertation! a step-by-step guide to planning and writing a thesis or dissertation for undergraduate and graduate science students

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    Fisher, Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    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.

  4. The Student Writing Toolkit: Enhancing Undergraduate Teaching of Scientific Writing in the Biological Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirrigl, Frank J., Jr.; Noe, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Teaching scientific writing in biology classes is challenging for both students and instructors. This article offers and reviews several useful "toolkit" items that improve student writing. These include sentence and paper-length templates, funnelling and compartmentalisation, and preparing compendiums of corrections. In addition,…

  5. Implementing a Grant Proposal Writing Exercise in Undergraduate Science Courses to Incorporate Real-World Applications and Critical Analysis of Current Literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Kathryn E.; Inada, Maki; Smith, Andrew M.; Haaf, Michael P.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  6. A writing-intensive course improves biology undergraduates' perception and confidence of their abilities to read scientific literature and communicate science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownell, Sara E; Price, Jordan V; Steinman, Lawrence

    2013-03-01

    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.

  7. Science and Writing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Marylu Shore; Zimmerman, Judith Moss

    1980-01-01

    Described is how the utilization of the science classroom for the development of language skills, particularly in the area of writing. Suggested activities include crossword puzzles, poetry, puppet shows, comic books and letter writing. (Author/DS)

  8. Writing toward a Scientific Identity: Shifting from Prescriptive to Reflective Writing in Undergraduate Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otfinowski, Rafael; Silva-Opps, Marina

    2015-01-01

    Analytical writing enhances retention of science learning and is integral to student-centered classrooms. Despite this, scientific writing in undergraduate programs is often presented as a series of sentence-level conventions of grammar, syntax, and citation formats, reinforcing students' perceptions of its highly prescriptive nature. The authors…

  9. Historical and social contexts for scientific writing and use of passive voice: Toward an undergraduate science literacy course

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Writing and Science Literacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss-Magasic, Coleen

    2012-01-01

    Writing activities are a sure way to assess and enhance students' science literacy. Sometimes the author's students use technical writing to communicate their lab experiences, just as practicing scientists do. Other times, they use creative writing to make connections to the topics they're learning. This article describes both types of writing…

  11. Queer Theory in the Undergraduate Writing Course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koski, Fran F.

    Teachers committed to breaking the silence on lesbian and gay issues in college-level writing classes can consult a growing body of literature by teachers similarly committed. None of this literature, however, has yet identified ways to bring readers in "queer" theory to the undergraduate writing class. Examining the work of four…

  12. The science writing tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuhart, Arthur L.

    This is a two-part dissertation. The primary part is the text of a science-based composition rhetoric and reader called The Science Writing Tool. This textbook has seven chapters dealing with topics in Science Rhetoric. Each chapter includes a variety of examples of science writing, discussion questions, writing assignments, and instructional resources. The purpose of this text is to introduce lower-division college science majors to the role that rhetoric and communication plays in the conduct of Science, and how these skills contribute to a successful career in Science. The text is designed as a "tool kit," for use by an instructor constructing a science-based composition course or a writing-intensive Science course. The second part of this part of this dissertation reports on student reactions to draft portions of The Science Writing Tool text. In this report, students of English Composition II at Northern Virginia Community College-Annandale were surveyed about their attitudes toward course materials and topics included. The findings were used to revise and expand The Science Writing Tool.

  13. A Writing-Intensive Course Improves Biology Undergraduates' Perception and Confidence of Their Abilities to Read Scientific Literature and Communicate Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownell, Sara E.; Price, Jordan V.; Steinman, Lawrence

    2013-01-01

    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…

  14. Writing for Science Literacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamberlin, Shannon Marie

    Scientific literacy is the foundation on which both California's currently adopted science standards and the recommended new standards for science are based (CDE, 2000; NRC, 2011). The Writing for Science Literacy (WSL) curriculum focuses on a series of writing and discussion tasks aimed at increasing students' scientific literacy. These tasks are based on three teaching and learning constructs: thought and language, scaffolding, and meta-cognition. To this end, WSL is focused on incorporating several strategies from the Rhetorical Approach to Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking to engage students in activities designed to increase their scientific literacy; their ability to both identify an author's claim and evidence and to develop their own arguments based on a claim and evidence. Students participated in scaffolded activities designed to strengthen their written and oral discourse, hone their rhetorical skills and improve their meta-cognition. These activities required students to participate in both writing and discussion tasks to create meaning and build their science content knowledge. Students who participated in the WSL curriculum increased their written and oral fluency and were able to accurately write an evidence-based conclusion all while increasing their conceptual knowledge. This finding implies that a discourse rich curriculum can lead to an increase in scientific knowledge.

  15. Write on the Edge: Using a Chemistry Corpus to Develop Academic Writing Skills Resources for Undergraduate Chemists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, M. L.; Coffer, P. K.; Rees, S.; Robson, J. M.

    2016-01-01

    Many undergraduate students find the production of an extended piece of academic writing challenging. This challenge is more acute in the sciences where production of extended texts is infrequent throughout undergraduate studies. This paper reports the development of a new English for Academic Purposes (EAP) workshop and associated resources for…

  16. A Program for Improving Undergraduate Psychology Students' Basic Writing Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fallahi, Carolyn R.; Wood, Rebecca M.; Austad, Carol Shaw; Fallahi, Hamid

    2006-01-01

    We examined the effects of in-class writing instruction, practice, peer review, and feedback on writing skills of undergraduates enrolled in a general psychology course. We rated writing for grammar, writing style, mechanics, and American Psychological Association referencing style. Significant differences emerged on the 4 writing skill domains (p…

  17. Writing for computer science

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    Zobel, Justin

    2015-01-01

    All researchers need to write or speak about their work, and to have research  that is worth presenting. Based on the author's decades of experience as a researcher and advisor, this third edition provides detailed guidance on writing and presentations and a comprehensive introduction to research methods, the how-to of being a successful scientist.  Topics include: ·         Development of ideas into research questions; ·         How to find, read, evaluate and referee other research; ·         Design and evaluation of experiments and appropriate use of statistics; ·         Ethics, the principles of science and examples of science gone wrong. Much of the book is a step-by-step guide to effective communication, with advice on:  ·         Writing style and editing; ·         Figures, graphs and tables; ·         Mathematics and algorithms; ·         Literature reviews and referees' reports; ·         Structuring of arguments an...

  18. Preparing and writing an undergraduate dissertation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannigan, B; Burnard, P

    2001-12-01

    Nurses studying for undergraduate degrees are often required to produce a dissertation. Usually, this will be a piece of work of around 10,000 words in length. In this paper, we discuss the characteristics of a good dissertation, and discuss a range of s trategies which students might find useful as they work towards dissertation submission. Particular areas that we concentrate on include: getting started, working with supervisors, defining aclear topic area, planning work and timetabling, locating and critiquing literature, writing up the literature review, linking theory and practice, and knitting the dissertation together.

  19. Researching Undergraduate Social Science Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rand, Jane

    2016-01-01

    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…

  20. Writing successfully in science

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    O'Connor, M; Gretton, J

    1991-01-01

    ... - from planning the initial framework of an article, preparing references and illustrative material and writing a first draft, to choosing suitable journals, writing to the editor and dealing with proofs of the final draft...

  1. Improving Scientific Writing in Undergraduate Geosciences Degrees Through Peer Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, E. A.; Collins, G. S.; Craig, L.

    2016-12-01

    In the British educational system, students specialise early. Often geoscience undergraduates have not taken a class that requires extended writing since they were sixteen years old. This can make it difficult for students to develop the written skills necessary for a geoscience degree, which often has assessments in the form of essays and reports. To improve both the writing and editing skills of our undergraduates we have introduced a peer review system, in which seniors review the work of first year students. At Imperial College London we set written coursework in every year of the degree. Communication is taught and assessed in many courses. There are two major modules with substantial written components that bookend the undergraduate degree at Imperial; the freshmen all write an assessed essay, while all seniors take 'Science Communication', a course that aims to prepare them for a range of possible careers. In the 2015-16 academic year we linked these courses by introducing a modified form of peer marking and instruction. Seniors had to complete reviews of draft first year essays for credit in Science Communication. These reviews are completed for the department 'journal' and introduce the first and fourth years to the nature of peer review. Seniors learn how to critically, but kindly, evaluate the work of other students, and are also prepared for potentially submitting their senior theses to journals. Reviews were managed by volunteer seniors, who acted as associate editors. They allocated anonymous reviewers and wrote decision letters, which were sent to the freshmen before their final assessed essay submission. Ultimately the fourth year reviews were formally assessed and graded by members of staff, as were the revised and resubmitted first year essays. Feedback for both courses has improved since the introduction of student reviews of essays. The markers of the freshman essay have also commented on the improvement in the standard of the writing and a

  2. Introducing Science to undergraduate students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Avila Jr

    2006-07-01

    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.

  3. Writing successfully in science

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    O'Connor, M; Gretton, J

    1991-01-01

    Many scientists encounter difficulties in writing papers for publication, perhaps because they have never previously done so, are out of practice, or are not completely confident in their abilities...

  4. The Utility of Writing Assignments in Undergraduate Bioscience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libarkin, Julie; Ording, Gabriel

    2012-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis that engagement in a few, brief writing assignments in a nonmajors science course can improve student ability to convey critical thought about science. A sample of three papers written by students (n = 30) was coded for presence and accuracy of elements related to scientific writing. Scores for different aspects of scientific writing were significantly correlated, suggesting that students recognized relationships between components of scientific thought. We found that students' ability to write about science topics and state conclusions based on data improved over the course of three writing assignments, while the abilities to state a hypothesis and draw clear connections between human activities and environmental impacts did not improve. Three writing assignments generated significant change in student ability to write scientifically, although our results suggest that three is an insufficient number to generate complete development of scientific writing skills. PMID:22383616

  5. The Component Reading and Writing Skills of At-Risk Undergraduates with Writing Difficulties

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    Harrison, Gina L.

    2009-01-01

    Cognitive, word-level reading, spelling and writing measures were administered to academically at-risk undergraduates with writing difficulties to examine their literacy profiles; and performance was compared to typically-achieving writers. The at-risk students were slower and less accurate on measures of sight word reading, lexical decision,…

  6. Writing for Primary Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mawby, Tara, Ed.

    2011-01-01

    In this article, two short pieces are presented to show educators just what a good article and a good review could have in them. This article has been written for the purpose of illustrating a good example, but is also representative of the type of content the editors encourage in "Primary Science": practical and active, with images. They also…

  7. Performance, Feedback, and Revision: Metacognitive Approaches to Undergraduate Essay Writing

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    Riddell, Jessica

    2015-01-01

    This paper explores ways in which frequent feedback and clear assessment criteria can improve students' essay writing performance in a first-year English literature course. Students (n = 68) completed a series of three scaffolded exercises over the course of a semester, where they evaluated undergraduate essays using a predetermined assessment…

  8. Using Rubrics as a Scientific Writing Instructional Method in Early Stage Undergraduate Neuroscience Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clabough, Erin B D; Clabough, Seth W

    2016-01-01

    Scientific writing is an important communication and learning tool in neuroscience, yet it is a skill not adequately cultivated in introductory undergraduate science courses. Proficient, confident scientific writers are produced by providing specific knowledge about the writing process, combined with a clear student understanding about how to think about writing (also known as metacognition). We developed a rubric for evaluating scientific papers and assessed different methods of using the rubric in inquiry-based introductory biology classrooms. Students were either 1) given the rubric alone, 2) given the rubric, but also required to visit a biology subject tutor for paper assistance, or 3) asked to self-grade paper components using the rubric. Students who were required to use a peer tutor had more negative attitudes towards scientific writing, while students who used the rubric alone reported more confidence in their science writing skills by the conclusion of the semester. Overall, students rated the use of an example paper or grading rubric as the most effective ways of teaching scientific writing, while rating peer review as ineffective. Our paper describes a concrete, simple method of infusing scientific writing into inquiry-based science classes, and provides clear avenues to enhance communication and scientific writing skills in entry-level classes through the use of a rubric or example paper, with the goal of producing students capable of performing at a higher level in upper level neuroscience classes and independent research.

  9. Want to Improve Undergraduate Thesis Writing? Engage Students and Their Faculty Readers in Scientific Peer Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Julie A.; Thompson, Robert J., Jr.

    2011-01-01

    One of the best opportunities that undergraduates have to learn to write like a scientist is to write a thesis after participating in faculty-mentored undergraduate research. But developing writing skills doesn't happen automatically, and there are significant challenges associated with offering writing courses and with individualized mentoring.…

  10. A Self-assessment Checklist for Undergraduate Students’ Argumentative Writing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vahid Nimehchisalem

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available With a growing emphasis on students’ ability to assess their own written works in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL writing courses, self-assessment checklists are today regarded as useful tools. These checklists can help learners diagnose their own weaknesses and improve their writing performance. This necessitates development of checklists that guide the learners in assessing their own writing. In this study, a self-assessment checklist was developed for undergraduate students in an ESL context to help them with their argumentative essays. This paper presents the related literature and theories, based on which the checklist was developed. The checklist is described and its potential theoretical and practical implications in ESL writing classes are discussed. Further research is necessary to refine the checklist through focus group studies with lecturers and students.

  11. Undergraduate Laboratory for Surface Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okumura, Mitchio; Beauchamp, Jesse L.; Dickert, Jeffrey M.; Essy, Blair R.; Claypool, Christopher L.

    1996-02-01

    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

  12. The Academic Writing Challenges of Undergraduate Students: A South African Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineteh, Ernest A.

    2014-01-01

    This article discusses the academic writing challenges of undergraduate students at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), South Africa. It examines challenges such as lack of a mastery of academic writing conventions, analysis of writing topics, using writing to construct social identities; ability to research and apply knowledge across…

  13. Enhancing Undergraduate Education through Mentored Research and Practical Writing Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Denise C.; Hintz, Eric G.; Joner, Michael D.; Moody, J. Ward

    2015-01-01

    Twenty years ago I attended my very first AAS meeting as a 21-year old undergraduate physics major. At that meeting I presented the light curve of a variable star I had studied as part of a mentored research program at BYU. That opportunity to do mentored research, and to attend a professional meeting of astronomers, helped to set the foundation for my success today as an associate professor of physics and astronomy. Twenty years ago I was the student, now I am the mentor! I have eight undergraduate students whom I currently supervise in active research, four of which are presenting their senior projects at the 225th meeting of the AAS.My experience has shown me that the full impact of mentored research cannot be measured by yearly numbers or statistics. When we mentor a student, we influence their career path and choices for years to come. Where feasible, every undergraduate should have the opportunity to do research if they so choose. It is a sacrifice of our time and our effort that cannot be easily measured through numbers or results, and is only visible many years down the road as these students become the future leaders in astronomy and policy. In this poster, I will discuss the benefits of mentored research, the growth we have seen at BYU over the past twenty years with the introduction of a mentored research program, and ideas for implementing mentored research and writing into course curricula to enhance the undergraduate educational experience.

  14. Expressive writing promotes self-reported physical, social and psychological health among Chinese undergraduates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Zhihan; Tang, Xiaoqing; Duan, Wenjie; Zhang, Yonghong

    2015-03-01

    The present study examines the efficacy of expressive writing among Chinese undergraduates. The sample comprised of 74 undergraduates enrolled in a 9-week intervention (35 in experimental class vs. 39 in control class). The writing exercises were well-embedded in an elective course for the two classes. The 46-item simplified Chinese Self-Rated Health Measurement Scale, which assesses psychological, physical and social health, was adopted to measure the outcome of this study. Baseline (second week) and post-test (ninth week) scores were obtained during the classes. After the intervention on the eighth week, the self-reported psychological, social and physical health of the experimental class improved. Psychological health obtained the maximum degree of improvement, followed by social and physical health. Furthermore, female participants gained more psychological improvement than males. These results demonstrated that the expressive writing approach could improve the physical, social and psychological health of Chinese undergraduates, and the method can be applied in university psychological consulting settings in Mainland China. © 2014 International Union of Psychological Science.

  15. Accreditation standards for undergraduate forensic science programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  16. Undergraduate Women's Persistence in the Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    George-Jackson, Casey E.

    2014-01-01

    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…

  17. Bringing Nuclear Science into the Undergraduate Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peaslee, Graham

    2006-04-01

    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.

  18. Undergraduate Training in Nutritional Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, George M.

    1972-01-01

    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)

  19. Advancing Research on Undergraduate Science Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, Susan Rundell

    2013-01-01

    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…

  20. The Lexical Breadth of Undergraduate Novice Level Writing Competency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott Roy Douglas

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This study builds on previous work exploring reading and listening lexical thresholds (Nation, 2006; Laufer & Ravenhorst-Kalovski, 2010; Schmitt, Jiang, & Grabe, 2011 in order to investigate productive vocabulary targets that mark successful entry-level undergraduate writing. Papers that passed the Effective Writing Test (EWT were chosen to create a corpus of novice university level writing (N = 120. Vocabulary profiles were generated, with results indicating the General Service List (GSL and the Academic Word List (AWL cover an average of 94% of a typical paper. Further analysis pointed to 3,000 word families and 5,000 word families covering 95% and 98% respectively of each paper. Low frequency lexical choices from beyond the 8,000 word family boundary accounted for only 0.6% coverage. These results support the frequency principle of vocabulary learning (Coxhead, 2006, and provide lexical targets for English for Academic Purposes (EAP curriculum development and materials design. Résumé Cette étude s'appuie sur des travaux antérieurs qui explorent les niveaux lexicaux pour la lecture et l’écoute (Laufer et Ravenhorst-Kalovski, 2010; Nation, 2006; Schmitt, Jiang et Grabe, 2011. Elle a pour but d'étudier les niveaux de production lexicale qui marquent l'écriture à l'entrée à l'université anglophone. Pour créer un corpus d'écriture de niveau universitaire novice, 120 articles qui ont passé le Effective Writing Test (EWT ont été choisis. Des profils de vocabulaire ont été générés et les résultats signalent que la General Service List (GSL et la Academic Word List (AWL couvrent une moyenne de 94% d'un document typique. En plus, 3 000 familles de mots et 5 000 familles de mots couvrent 95% et 98% respectivement de chaque article. Les choix de basses fréquences lexicales au-delà de la limite de 8 000 mots ne représentaient que 0,6% de la couverture. Ces résultats appuient le principe fréquence de l'apprentissage du

  1. Evaluating undergraduate nursing students' self-efficacy and competence in writing: Effects of a writing intensive intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Louise C; Russell, Cynthia L; Cheng, An-Lin; Skarbek, Anita J

    2015-05-01

    While professional nurses are expected to communicate clearly, these skills are often not explicitly taught in undergraduate nursing education. In this research study, writing self-efficacy and writing competency were evaluated in 52 nontraditional undergraduate baccalaureate completion students in two distance-mediated 16-week capstone courses. The intervention group (n = 44) experienced various genres and modalities of written assignments set in the context of evidence-based nursing practice; the comparison group (n = 8) received usual writing undergraduate curriculum instruction. Self-efficacy, measured by the Post Secondary Writerly Self-Efficacy Scale, indicated significant improvements for all self-efficacy items (all p's = 0.00). Writing competency, assessed in the intervention group using a primary trait scoring rubric (6 + 1 Trait Writing Model(®) of Instruction and Assessment), found significant differences in competency improvement on five of seven items. This pilot study demonstrated writing skills can improve in nontraditional undergraduate students with guided instruction. Further investigation with larger, culturally diverse samples is indicated to validate these results. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Do Gender-Science Stereotypes Predict Science Identification and Science Career Aspirations among Undergraduate Science Majors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cundiff, Jessica L.; Vescio, Theresa K.; Loken, Eric; Lo, Lawrence

    2013-01-01

    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…

  3. Scientists' views of science, models of writing, and science writing practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yore, Larry D.; Hand, Brian M.; Florence, Marilyn K.

    2004-04-01

    Written and oral communications and the processes of writing and reading are highly valued within the scientific community; scientists who communicate well are successful in gaining recognition and support from members of their own communities, the research funding agencies, and the wider society. Yet how do scientists achieve this proficiency? Are expert scientists equally expert writers in and of science? Do scientists' perceptions of the nature of science influence their writing strategies and processes, and their beliefs about the role of writing in knowledge construction? This study used a questionnaire and semistructured interviews to document these perceptions, strategies, processes, and beliefs in a nonrandom sample of Canadian university scientists and engineers. The results indicate that the scientists subscribed to a contemporary evaluativist view of science, used common writing strategies, held similar beliefs about scientific writing and nonscientific writing, and agreed that writing generates insights and clarifies ambiguity in science. The engineers held a different view of technology than the common views of science or technology as simply applied science. These findings were slightly different than those found for American scientists from a large land-grant university.

  4. Learning to Write and Writing to Learn in Science: Refutational Texts and Analytical Rubrics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dlugokienski, Amy; Sampson, Victor

    2008-01-01

    Most middle school science teachers are familiar with the idea of reading and writing across the curriculum. We, as science teachers, understand that our students need time, practice, and lots of encouragement in order to learn how to read and write well. What we also need to remember, however, is that learning how to read and write in science is…

  5. Internet Use Among Science Undergraduate Students: A ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    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 ...

  6. On the Strategies of Graduation Thesis Writing Teaching of Translation Major Undergraduates Based on Eco-Translatology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Wang

    2017-01-01

    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…

  7. Developing Research Paper Writing Programs for EFL/ESL Undergraduate Students Using Process Genre Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuyen, Kim Thanh; Bin Osman, Shuki; Dan, Thai Cong; Ahmad, Nor Shafrin Binti

    2016-01-01

    Research Paper Writing (RPW) plays a key role in completing all research work. Poor writing could lead to the postponement of publications. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a program of (RPW) to improve RPW ability for EFL/ESL writers, especially for undergraduate students in Higher Education (HE) institutions, which has caught less attention…

  8. Survey of Academic Writing Tasks Required of Graduate and Undergraduate Foreign Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridgeman, Brent; Carlson, Sybil

    Designed to define the academic writing skills required of beginning undergraduate and graduate students, a survey of needed academic writing skills was completed by faculty in 190 academic departments at 34 American and Canadian universities with high foreign student enrollments. At the graduate level, six academic disciplines with relatively…

  9. Evaluating Pragmatic Competence in Nigerian Undergraduates' Language Errors within Descriptive ESL Writing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhammad, Anas Sa'idu; Nair, Subadrah Madhawa

    2017-01-01

    This study investigates the level of pragmatic competence for ESL writing skills among Nigerian undergraduates. Methodologically, it adopts descriptive research design within the explanatory framework of the QUAN-Qual model. The instruments used are descriptive essay text and focus group interview questions. In writing the descriptive essays, a…

  10. Transfer of Mother Tongue Rhetoric among Undergraduate Students in Second Language Writing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saffari, Narges; Noordin, Shahrina Md; Sivapalan, Subarna; Zahedpisheh, Nahid

    2017-01-01

    Mother tongue rhetoric transfer is unavoidable in ESL writings, especially for Iranian ESL learners, since Persian and English language is quite different. The paper discusses the negative transfer of mother tongue rhetoric in Iranian undergraduate ESL learners' writings from the perspectives of choosing rhetorical structure in English and Persian…

  11. Integrating Scientific Argumentation to Improve Undergraduate Writing and Learning in a Global Environmental Change Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koffman, Bess G.; Kreutz,Karl J.; Trenbath, Kim

    2017-01-01

    We present a strategy for using scientific argumentation in an early undergraduate laboratory course to teach disciplinary writing practices and to promote critical thinking, knowledge transformation, and understanding of the scientific method. The approach combines targeted writing instruction; data analysis and interpretation; formulation of a…

  12. Qzone Weblog for Critical Peer Feedback to Improve Business English Writing: A Case of Chinese Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xianwei, Gao; Samuel, Moses; Asmawi, Adelina

    2016-01-01

    This study explores Qzone weblog for critical peer feedback (CPF) in Business English writing (BEW) among the Chinese undergraduates. A qualitative case study is conducted by Nvivo 8 to analyze the three research data of semi-structured interviews, BEW writing assignments, and CPF artifacts on Qzone weblog. Three research questions are focused to…

  13. Anxiety and Self-efficacy’s Relationship with Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions of the use of Metacognitive Writing Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graeme Stewart

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available There is growing interest in promoting metacognition among college and university students, as this has been linked with positive student learning outcomes. This study explores the relationship between student writing anxiety and self-efficacy on undergraduate students’ self-reported use of metacognitive writing strategies. Using undergraduate student survey data from a large, research-intensive university in Ontario, Canada, we found reductions in writing anxiety and increased self-efficacy had a statistically significant association with students’ perceptions of using metacognitive writing strategies. These findings have implications for both theory and practice. They demonstrate that writing metacognition is influenced by emotional factors, such as the level of anxiety and the extent of self-beliefs around writing. It also suggests that writing interventions that seek to reduce anxiety and increase undergraduate students’ self-efficacy with respect to writing may positively enhance students’ use of metacognitive writing strategies, and ultimately improve student writing outcomes.

  14. Undergraduate Psychological Writing: A Best Practices Guide and National Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishak, Shaziela; Salter, Nicholas P.

    2017-01-01

    There is no comprehensive guide for teaching psychological writing, and little is known about how often instructors teach the topic. We present a best practices guide for teaching psychological writing beyond just American Psychological Association style, discuss psychology-specific writing assignments, and examine psychological writing…

  15. Measuring Science Literacy in College Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Impey, Chris David; Buxner, S. R.; Antonellis, J.; King, C.; Johnson, E.; CATS

    2010-01-01

    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.

  16. Partners in Crime: Integrating Forensic Science and Writing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hein, Erik

    2006-01-01

    Forensic science lends itself to many academic areas. Aside from the science itself, writing plays a major role in the investigation process as well as in the courtroom. It is paramount that students learn how to write proficiently when recording results or writing evaluations and reports, just as forensic scientists do. This can also be done…

  17. Improving Undergraduates' Argumentative Group Essay Writing through Self-Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fung, Yong Mei; Mei, Hooi Chee

    2015-01-01

    When writing an argumentative essay, writers develop and evaluate arguments to embody, initiate, or simulate various kinds of interpersonal and textual interaction for reader consideration (Wu & Allison, 2003). This is quite challenging for English as a second language (ESL) learners. To improve the quality of their writing, students need to…

  18. Metadiscourse Use in the Persuasive Writing of Malaysian Undergraduate Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Helen; Eng, Wong Bee

    2014-01-01

    Metadiscourse is a prevalent linguistic resource that helps writers to manage the flow of the propositional contents and to direct their stance towards their contents and readers. Its dominance in persuasive writings has motivated this study which is to examine the occurrences and forms of metadiscourse use in the writing of both the high (HEP)…

  19. A Self-Assessment Checklist for Undergraduate Students' Argumentative Writing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimehchisalem, Vahid; Chye, David Yoong Soon; Jaswant Singh, Sheena Kaur A/P; Zainuddin, Siti Zaidah; Norouzi, Sara; Khalid, Sheren

    2014-01-01

    With a growing emphasis on students' ability to assess their own written works in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) writing courses, self-assessment checklists are today regarded as useful tools. These checklists can help learners diagnose their own weaknesses and improve their writing performance. This necessitates development of…

  20. "Writing in neuroscience": a course designed for neuroscience undergraduate students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Joyce

    2011-01-01

    Although neuroscience students may learn to write in a generic fashion through university writing courses, they receive little training in writing in their field. Here I describe a course that was created at the request of a Neuroscience Department with the intent to teach neuroscience students how to write well in their discipline. I explain the purpose for creating the "Writing in Neuroscience" course and offer a brief overview of the course curriculum, including pertinent pedagogical outcomes for such a course. I describe in depth the major assignment for the course, the literature review, and provide examples of paper titles that students wrote to fulfill the assignment. I briefly describe other relevant course assignments. I evaluate the course and include an overview of who should teach such a course, what support might be helpful, and what can be learned from formative assessment of the course. Using these insights can help others determine whether such a course is a good fit for them.

  1. The Benefits of Peer Review and a Multisemester Capstone Writing Series on Inquiry and Analysis Skills in an Undergraduate Thesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, K F; Morales, V; Nelson, M; Weaver, P F; Toledo, A; Godde, K

    2016-01-01

    This study examines the relationship between the introduction of a four-course writing-intensive capstone series and improvement in inquiry and analysis skills of biology senior undergraduates. To measure the impact of the multicourse write-to-learn and peer-review pedagogy on student performance, we used a modified Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education rubric for Inquiry and Analysis and Written Communication to score senior research theses from 2006 to 2008 (pretreatment) and 2009 to 2013 (intervention). A Fisher-Freeman-Halton test and a two-sample Student's t test were used to evaluate individual rubric dimensions and composite rubric scores, respectively, and a randomized complete block design analysis of variance was carried out on composite scores to examine the impact of the intervention across ethnicity, legacy (e.g., first-generation status), and research laboratory. The results show an increase in student performance in rubric scoring categories most closely associated with science literacy and critical-thinking skills, in addition to gains in students' writing abilities. © 2016 K. F. Weaver 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).

  2. A student guide to proofreading and writing in science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyatt, Jon-Philippe K; Bienenstock, Elisa Jayne; Tilan, Jason U

    2017-09-01

    Scientific writing requires a distinct style and tone, whether the writing is intended for an undergraduate assignment or publication in a peer-reviewed journal. From the first to the final draft, scientific writing is an iterative process requiring practice, substantial feedback from peers and instructors, and comprehensive proofreading on the part of the writer. Teaching writing or proofreading is not common in university settings. Here, we present a collection of common undergraduate student writing mistakes and put forth suggestions for corrections as a first step toward proofreading and enhancing readability in subsequent draft versions. Additionally, we propose specific strategies pertaining to word choice, structure, and approach to make products more fluid and focused for an appropriate target audience. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  3. Undergraduate space science program at Alabama A&M University

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. Write Now! Using Reflective Writing beyond the Humanities and Social Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannady, Rachel E.; Gallo, Kasia Z.

    2016-01-01

    Writing is an important teaching and learning tool that fosters active and critical thinking. There are multiple pressures for disciplines outside the humanities and social sciences to integrate writing in their courses. The shift from teaching solely discipline-specific skills to including writing in a meaningful way can be a daunting process. An…

  5. Investigating Undergraduate Science Students' Conceptions and Misconceptions of Ocean Acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielson, Kathryn I.; Tanner, Kimberly D.

    2015-01-01

    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…

  6. Understanding the Complex Relationship between Critical Thinking and Science Reasoning among Undergraduate Thesis Writers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowd, Jason E; Thompson, Robert J; Schiff, Leslie A; Reynolds, Julie A

    2018-01-01

    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).

  7. Undergraduate Origins of Recent Science and Engineering Doctorate Recipients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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)…

  8. Life Science Professional Societies Expand Undergraduate Education Efforts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matyas, Marsha Lakes; Ruedi, Elizabeth A.; Engen, Katie; Chang, Amy L.

    2017-01-01

    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…

  9. Undergraduate ESL Students' Engagement in Academic Reading and Writing in Learning to Write a Synthesis Paper

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Ruilan; Hirvela, Alan

    2015-01-01

    As an important and a challenging source-based writing task, synthesizing offers rich opportunities to explore the connections between reading and writing. In this article, we report findings from a qualitative study of two Chinese students' learning experiences with academic synthesis writing in a university ESL composition course. Specifically,…

  10. The Story of Them: Outcomes of Practicing Autoethnography in Undergraduate Writing Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, Justin B.

    2017-01-01

    This study is an examination of the outcomes of practicing autoethnography, specifically in the context of first-year undergraduate, writing-intensive courses. The researcher recounts his initial, inspiring encounter with autoethnography and explores the possibility of its pedagogical application in composition instruction. Autoethnography is a…

  11. Chinese University EFL Undergraduate Students' Perceptions towards EGAP Reading and Writing Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Ning; Chen, Jianhua; Liu, Meihua

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined how undergraduate students from a prestigious Chinese university perceived the teaching and learning of English for general academic purposes (EGAP) reading and writing courses. Analyses of 951 questionnaires revealed that most participants generally (strongly) believed that learning general academic English was closely…

  12. How the Experience of Assessed Collaborative Writing Impacts on Undergraduate Students' Perceptions of Assessed Group Work

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scotland, James

    2016-01-01

    A time-series analysis was used to investigate Arabic undergraduate students' (n = 50) perceptions of assessed group work in a major government institution of higher education in Qatar. A longitudinal mixed methods approach was employed. Likert scale questionnaires were completed over the duration of a collaborative writing event. Additionally,…

  13. Developing Academic Writing Skills as Part of Graduate Attributes in Undergraduate Curricula

    Science.gov (United States)

    du Preez, I.; Fossey, A.

    2012-01-01

    The development of graduate attributes in higher education is enjoying much attention worldwide. Employers consistently rank communication skills, in particular writing ability, among the most important skills for graduates to possess. The inclusion and development of graduate attributes in undergraduate curricula have received little attention.…

  14. Apologia for undergraduate peer-tutors in writing

    OpenAIRE

    Cleary, Lawrence

    2013-01-01

    peer-reviewed When Kenneth Bruffee said ‘The beginnings of peer tutoring lie in practice, not in theory’ (Bruffee 2001, p.206), he was pointing out that ‘ancilliary [writing support] programs staffed by professionals’ weren’t working. ‘Students’, claimed Bruffee, ‘avoided them in droves’ (Bruffee, 2001: p.206). Students were avoiding lots of things in droves. It was, after all, the sixties. Back then, peers tutoring one another in writing was the trialling of a hunch. ‘Some of ...

  15. Undergraduate Students Searching and Reading Web Sources for Writing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yongyan

    2012-01-01

    With the Internet-evoked paradigm shift in the academy, there has been a growing interest in students' Web-based information-seeking and source-use practices. Nevertheless, little is known as to how individual students go about searching for sources online and selecting source material for writing particular assignments. This exploratory study…

  16. From proposal to thesis: writing an undergraduate dissertation

    OpenAIRE

    Feather, Denis

    2013-01-01

    This book is full of useful advice and tips on how to write your thesis, taking you through the whole process: from getting started and collecting data to handing it in. The information Denis Feather provides here is based on ten years of teaching research methodologies and supervising students at all levels.

  17. Want to Improve Undergraduate Thesis Writing? Engage Students and Their Faculty Readers in Scientific Peer Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Julie A.; Thompson, Robert J.

    2011-01-01

    One of the best opportunities that undergraduates have to learn to write like a scientist is to write a thesis after participating in faculty-mentored undergraduate research. But developing writing skills doesn't happen automatically, and there are significant challenges associated with offering writing courses and with individualized mentoring. We present a hybrid model in which students have the structural support of a course plus the personalized benefits of working one-on-one with faculty. To optimize these one-on-one interactions, the course uses BioTAP, the Biology Thesis Assessment Protocol, to structure engagement in scientific peer review. By assessing theses written by students who took this course and comparable students who did not, we found that our approach not only improved student writing but also helped faculty members across the department—not only those teaching the course—to work more effectively and efficiently with student writers. Students who enrolled in this course were more likely to earn highest honors than students who only worked one-on-one with faculty. Further, students in the course scored significantly better on all higher-order writing and critical-thinking skills assessed. PMID:21633069

  18. Integrating Scientific Argumentation to Improve Undergraduate Writing and Learning in a Global Environmental Change Course

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koffman, Bess G. [School of Earth and Climate Sciences, 5790 Bryand Global Sciences Center, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469, USA; Department of Earth Sciences, 6105 Sherman Fairchild Hall, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755, USA; Kreutz, Karl J. [School of Earth and Climate Sciences, 5790 Bryand Global Sciences Center, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469, USA; Climate Change Institute, 300 Bryand Global Sciences Center, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469, USA; Trenbath, Kim [Maine Center for Research in STEM Education, 5727 Estabrooke Hall, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, 04469, USA; National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 15013 Denver West Parkway, Golden, Colorado 80401, USA

    2017-08-01

    We present a strategy for using scientific argumentation in an early undergraduate laboratory course to teach disciplinary writing practices and to promote critical thinking, knowledge transformation, and understanding of the scientific method. The approach combines targeted writing instruction; data analysis and interpretation; formulation of a hypothesis; and construction of an argument. Students submit and receive feedback on two drafts of two different argumentation essays, providing the opportunity for guided practice. Each written argument is intended to draw on several weeks' course material, including short lectures, discussions, readings, and problem sets. Thus our aim with these writing assignments is to help students synthesize content and concepts, deepening their learning. We have found that this inquiry-based approach to writing engages students in course material, and significantly improves both writing and learning. We observed the greatest improvement among students with the lowest initial scores, suggesting that lower-achieving students benefitted disproportionately from this approach. Students have responded positively to the use of writing in the course, many stating on course evaluations that this is the first time they have received instruction in scientific writing. They have also pointed to a greater 'big-picture' understanding of the course gained through writing. We describe the course and our curriculum, and provide suggestions for implementation as well as rubrics used to evaluate problem sets and student argumentation essays.

  19. The Kitchen Is Your Laboratory: A Research-Based Term-Paper Assignment in a Science Writing Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Clinton D.

    2011-01-01

    A term-paper assignment that encompasses the full scientific method has been developed and implemented in an undergraduate science writing and communication course with no laboratory component. Students are required to develop their own hypotheses, design experiments to test their hypotheses, and collect empirical data as independent scientists in…

  20. Learning to write in science: A study of English language learners' writing experience in sixth-grade science classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Yang

    Writing is a predictor of academic achievement and is essential for student success in content area learning. Despite its importance, many students, including English language learners (ELLs), struggle with writing. There is thus a need to study students' writing experience in content area classrooms. Informed by systemic functional linguistics, this study examined 11 ELL students' writing experience in two sixth grade science classrooms in a southeastern state of the United States, including what they wrote, how they wrote, and why they wrote in the way they did. The written products produced by these students over one semester were collected. Also collected were teacher interviews, field notes from classroom observations, and classroom artifacts. Student writing samples were first categorized into extended and nonextended writing categories, and each extended essay was then analyzed with respect to its schematic structure and grammatical features. Teacher interviews and classroom observation notes were analyzed thematically to identify teacher expectations, beliefs, and practices regarding writing instruction for ELLs. It was found that the sixth-grade ELLs engaged in mostly non-extended writing in the science classroom, with extended writing (defined as writing a paragraph or longer) constituting roughly 11% of all writing assignments. Linguistic analysis of extended writing shows that the students (a) conveyed information through nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbial groups and prepositional phrases; (b) constructed interpersonal context through choices of mood, modality, and verb tense; and (c) structured text through thematic choices and conjunctions. The appropriateness of these lexicogrammatical choices for particular writing tasks was related to the students' English language proficiency levels. The linguistic analysis also uncovered several grammatical problems in the students' writing, including a limited range of word choices, inappropriate use of mood

  1. BURECS: An Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Climate Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennis, D. P.; Marchant, D. R.; Christ, A. J.; Ehrenfeucht, S.

    2017-12-01

    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.

  2. Writing science how to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded

    CERN Document Server

    Schimel, Joshua

    2012-01-01

    As a scientist, you are a professional writer: your career is built on successful proposals and papers. Success isn't defined by getting papers into print, but by getting them into the reader's consciousness. Writing Science is built upon the idea that successful science writing tells a story. It uses that insight to discuss how to write more effectively. Integrating lessons from other genres of writing with those from the author's years of experience as author, reviewer, and editor, the book shows scientists and students how to present their research in a way that is clear and that will maximize reader comprehension. The book takes an integrated approach, using the principles of story structure to discuss every aspect of successful science writing, from the overall structure of a paper or proposal to individual sections, paragraphs, sentences, and words. It begins by building core arguments, analyzing why some stories are engaging and memorable while others are quickly forgotten, and proceeds to the elements...

  3. Development and Evaluation of an Undergraduate Science Communication Module

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeoman, Kay H.; James, Helen A.; Bowater, Laura

    2011-01-01

    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…

  4. Investigating Undergraduate Science Students’ Conceptions and Misconceptions of Ocean Acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielson, Kathryn I.; Tanner, Kimberly D.

    2015-01-01

    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

  5. Using gamification to develop academic writing skills in dental undergraduate students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Tantawi, Maha; Sadaf, Shazia; AlHumaid, Jehan

    2018-02-01

    To assess the satisfaction of first-year dental students with gamification and its effect on perceived and actual improvement of academic writing. Two first-year classes of dental undergraduate students were recruited for the study which extended over 4 months and ended in January 2015. A pre-intervention assessment of students' academic writing skills was performed using criteria to evaluate writing. The same criteria were used to evaluate the final writing assignment after the intervention. Students' satisfaction with game aspects was assessed. The per cent change in writing score was regressed on scores of satisfaction with game aspects controlling for gender. Perceived improvement in writing was also assessed. Data from 87 (94.6%) students were available for analysis. Students' overall satisfaction with the gamified experience was modest [mean (SD) = 5.9 (2.1)] and so was their overall perception of improvement in writing [mean (SD) = 6.0 (2.2)]. The per cent score of the first assignment was 35.6 which improved to 80 in the last assignment. Satisfaction with playing the game was significantly associated with higher percentage of improvement in actual writing skills [regression coefficient (95% confidence interval) = 21.1 (1.9, 40.2)]. Using gamification in an obligatory course for first-year dental students was associated with an improvement in academic writing skills although students' satisfaction with game aspects was modest and their willingness to use gamification in future courses was minimal. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. How Is Language Used to Craft Social Presence in Facebook? A Case Study of an Undergraduate Writing Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Jessica

    2016-01-01

    This quantitative content analysis examines the way social presence was created through original posts and comments in a Facebook group for an undergraduate writing course. The author adapted a well-known coding template and examined how course members--one instructor, two undergraduate teaching assistants and twenty-two students--used language…

  7. Writing for Immediacy: Narrative Writing as a Teaching Technique in Undergraduate Cultural Geography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summerby-Murray, Robert

    2010-01-01

    Narrative inquiry is an innovative means of encouraging students to internalize concepts, reflect on experiences or create applications for theoretical ideas. The use of first-person creative writing in a second-year cultural geography course prompted initial scepticism from students but eventually highlighted their constructivist engagement with…

  8. Undergraduate ESL Students’ Difficulties in Writing the Introduction for Research Reports

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirrah Diyana Binti Maznun

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available This study was conducted to investigate the difficulties encountered by undergraduate ESL students in writing the introduction section of their project reports. Five introduction sections of bachelor of arts students, majoring in English language, were analyzed and a lecturer was interviewed regarding the areas of the students’ weaknesses. Swales’ create-a-research-space (cars model was used as the analytical framework of the study. The results revealed that students confronted problems in writing their introduction for each move especially for move 2, which consists of counter claiming, indicating research gap, raising questions from previous research and continuing tradition. It was also found that the students had difficulty in writing the background of the study, theoretical framework, and statement of the problem which indicated their unawareness of the appropriate rhetorical structure of the introduction section.

  9. Improving together: better science writing through peer learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiller-Reeve, Mathew A.; Heuzé, Céline; Ball, William T.; White, Rachel H.; Messori, Gabriele; van der Wiel, Karin; Medhaug, Iselin; Eckes, Annemarie H.; O'Callaghan, Amee; Newland, Mike J.; Williams, Sian R.; Kasoar, Matthew; Wittmeier, Hella Elisa; Kumer, Valerie

    2016-07-01

    Science, in our case the climate and geosciences, is increasingly interdisciplinary. Scientists must therefore communicate across disciplinary boundaries. For this communication to be successful, scientists must write clearly and concisely, yet the historically poor standard of scientific writing does not seem to be improving. Scientific writing must improve, and the key to long-term improvement lies with the early-career scientist (ECS). Many interventions exist for an ECS to improve their writing, like style guides and courses. However, momentum is often difficult to maintain after these interventions are completed. Continuity is key to improving writing. This paper introduces the ClimateSnack project, which aims to motivate ECSs to develop and continue to improve their writing and communication skills. The project adopts a peer-learning framework where ECSs voluntarily form writing groups at different institutes around the world. The group members learn, discuss, and improve their writing skills together. Several ClimateSnack writing groups have formed. This paper examines why some of the groups have flourished and others have dissolved. We identify the challenges involved in making a writing group successful and effective, notably the leadership of self-organized groups, and both individual and institutional time management. Within some of the groups, peer learning clearly offers a powerful tool to improve writing as well as bringing other benefits, including improved general communication skills and increased confidence.

  10. Women Write Science: The Case of Hannah Longshore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Susan

    1996-01-01

    Focuses on women who practiced and wrote about medicine in nineteenth-century United States. Argues that the writing of women scientists complicates present understanding of the relations of gender, science, and writing as it presents in the discourse of medicine a variety of gendered positions rather than a univocal performance of patriarchal…

  11. Students' Accounts of Their First-Year Undergraduate Academic Writing Experience: Implications for the Use of the CEFR

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, Tim; Morton, Janne; Storch, Neomy; Thompson, Celia

    2018-01-01

    This article addresses the suitability of the CEFR as the basis for decisions about the readiness of individuals to engage in academic writing tasks in undergraduate university courses, and as a guide to progress. The CEFR offers potentially relevant general scales and subscales, but also more specific subscales for writing in the academic…

  12. A Pilot Intervention to Improve the Structural Quality of Exam Essay Writing in UK Undergraduate Psychology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connelly, Vincent; Dockrell, Julie E.; Barnett, Jo

    2006-01-01

    Psychology undergraduates need to produce good quality essays in order to succeed at university. Students find the transition to university writing difficult. Using a rubric, a profile of student weakness in psychology essay writing was described. The students were generally poor at the structural organisation of their essays. A pilot intervention…

  13. Anxiety and Self-Efficacy's Relationship with Undergraduate Students' Perceptions of the Use of Metacognitive Writing Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Graeme; Seifert, Tricia Anne; Rolheiser, Carol

    2015-01-01

    There is growing interest in promoting metacognition among college and university students, as this has been linked with positive student learning outcomes. This study explores the relationship between student writing anxiety and self-efficacy on undergraduate students' self-reported use of metacognitive writing strategies. Using undergraduate…

  14. Field Research in the Teaching of Undergraduate Soil Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brevik, Eric C.; Senturklu, Songul; Landblom, Douglas

    2015-04-01

    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.

  15. Writing poetry through the eyes of science a teacher's guide to scientific literacy and poetic response

    CERN Document Server

    Gorrell, Nancy

    2012-01-01

    Writing Poetry Through the Eyes of Science: A Teacher's Guide to Scientific Literacy and Poetic Response presents a unique and effective interdisciplinary approach to teaching science poems and science poetry writing in secondary English and science classrooms.

  16. Teaching professional writing in an academic health sciences center: the Writing Center model at the Medical University of South Carolina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Tom G; Ariail, Jennie; Richards-Slaughter, Shannon; Kerr, Lisa

    2011-01-01

    Writing is taught as professional competency in higher education generally, but the health science education literature emphasizes writing as a pedagogical means rather than a professional end. The Medical University of South Carolina established a Writing Center in 1994 to teach professional writing. This report describes the rationale for profession-specific, graduate-level writing instruction; summarizes the Writing Center model; and reports usage data. Students have reported improvement in particular texts and said they would be better able to complete writing tasks in the future. Interventions modeled after the Writing Center and staffed with professionally trained writing teachers may provide a means to pool resources to teach writing as professional competency. The Writing Center has provided the expertise to teach professional writing without demanding curricular revision.

  17. Enhancement of Elementary School Students' Science Learning by Web-Quest Supported Science Writing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Min-Hsiung, Chuang; Jeng-Fung, Hung; Quo-Cheng, Sung

    2011-01-01

    This study aimed to probe into the influence of implementing Web-quest supported science writing instruction on students' science learning and science writing. The subjects were 34 students in one class of grade six in an elementary school in Taiwan. The students participated in the instruction, which lasted for eight weeks. Data collection…

  18. Reading, Writing & Rings: Science Literacy for K-4 Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    McConnell, S.; Spilker, L.; Zimmerman-Brachman, R.

    2007-12-01

    Scientific discovery is the impetus for the K-4 Education program, "Reading, Writing & Rings." This program is unique because its focus is to engage elementary students in reading and writing to strengthen these basic academic skills through scientific content. As science has been increasingly overtaken by the language arts in elementary classrooms, the Cassini Education Program has taken advantage of a new cross-disciplinary approach to use language arts as a vehicle for increasing scientific content in the classroom. By utilizing the planet Saturn and the Cassini-Huygens mission as a model in both primary reading and writing students in these grade levels, young students can explore science material while at the same time learning these basic academic skills. Content includes reading, thinking, and hands-on activities. Developed in partnership with the Cassini-Huygens Education and Public Outreach Program, the Bay Area Writing Project/California Writing Project, Foundations in Reading Through Science & Technology (FIRST), and the Caltech Pre-College Science Initiative (CAPSI), and classroom educators, "Reading, Writing & Rings" blends the excitement of space exploration with reading and writing. All materials are teacher developed, aligned with national science and language education standards, and are available from the Cassini-Huygens website: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/education/edu-k4.cfm Materials are divided into two grade level units. One unit is designed for students in grades 1 and 2 while the other unit focuses on students in grades 3 and 4. Each includes a series of lessons that take students on a path of exploration of Saturn using reading and writing prompts.

  19. Gender Digital Divide and Challenges in Undergraduate Computer Science Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoilescu, Dorian; McDougall, Douglas

    2011-01-01

    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…

  20. Indian Institute of Science-Undergraduate Programme: Admissions ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    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:

  1. Reading and writing to learn science: Achieving scientific literacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glynn, Shawn M.; Muth, K. Denise

    A key step in helping students to achieve scientific literacy is to ensure that each school's curriculum supports students' efforts to learn science meaningfully. Educational researchers play a vital role in this step by providing teachers, teacher educators, administrators, and policy makers with information about the creation of a curriculum that supports scientific literacy. In a scientific literacy curriculum, reading and writing can serve as dynamic vehicles for learning science meaningfully. The task of educational researchers is to show how reading and writing can be used most effectively to support science learning. Much of what is done now in schools is based on teacher intuition - good intuition - but intuition nonetheless. What is needed is school-based research to validate and build upon these intuitions. This article is intended to stimulate research on reading and writing to learn science.

  2. Undergraduate Writing Promotes Student’s Understanding of International Sustainable Development in Horticulture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil O. Anderson

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Promotion of undergraduate student thinking and learning in the realm of sustainable production is a new focus for horticulture curricula. In a writing intensive course, Greenhouse Management (Hort 3002W; University of Minnesota, students focus their learning of sustainability by writing peer-reviewed, 3-phase ‘Worldwide Sustainable Horticultural Crop Production Papers’ on past, present, and future prospects for sustainability. The USA is used as an in-class example throughout the semester while each student focuses their writing on a specific country of their choosing. Their papers focus on eight goals for each country across the three Phases: I—their choice of a country, definition of sustainability, identification of historical production practices, current production statistics; II—current production practices and integration of historical/current practices (ranked strategies; III—finalized sustainable development strategy, design of a future sustainable, controlled-environment production facility. The last two goals (Phase III provide plant breeders with potential breeding objectives for country-specific cultivar development within a sustainable production framework. Completed papers are web-published for global availability to enable each country’s researchers and policy makers to access sustainable ideas for future development. In 2009–2010, ‘Worldwide Sustainable Horticultural Crop Production Papers’ were published for 41 countries which were downloaded 3900 times in 19 months through April 2011. This large readership indicates such an assignment can generate interest in either undergraduate writing about developing sustainable horticulture and/or the topic area itself, although the exact purpose of the downloads or the location of the users could not be determined.

  3. Connecting undergraduate science education with the needs of today's graduates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callier, Viviane; Singiser, Richard H; Vanderford, Nathan L

    2014-01-01

    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.

  4. Writing for science and engineering papers, presentations and reports

    CERN Document Server

    Silyn-Roberts, Heather

    2013-01-01

    Learning how to write clearly and concisely is an integral part of furthering your research career; however, doing so is not always easy. In this second edition, fully updated and revised, Dr. Silyn-Roberts explains in plain English the steps to writing abstracts, theses, journal papers, funding bids, literature reviews, and more. The book also examines preparing seminar and conference presentations. Written in a practical and easy to follow style specifically for postgraduate students in Engineering and Sciences, this book is essential in learning how to create powerful documents. Writing for Science and Engineering will prove invaluable in all areas of research and writing due its clear, concise style. The practical advice contained within the pages alongside numerous examples to aid learning will make the preparation of documentation much easier for all students.

  5. Performance in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Workshop

    OpenAIRE

    Angus, Tiffani

    2017-01-01

    This paper looks at the dynamic of science fiction and fantasy (SFF) writing workshop critique groups. Because of the nature of SFF as a fandom group, critiques and feedback in writing workshops—in this case, affinity groups with the same goal—can cross the line from participation to performance; group members tend to perform depending on their levels of cultural literacy and impostor syndrome, both of which influence fans working to become published writers. The performance can have positive...

  6. Deconstructing Attitudes towards Plagiarism of Japanese Undergraduates in EFL Academic Writing Classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teeter, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    In this study, a qualitative analysis of 276 first-year Japanese university science major responses to plagiarism to deconstruct prevailing generalizations regarding the incidence of plagiarism by Japanese university students. These students were enrolled in a compulsory yearlong English academic writing course. While utilizing a contextualized…

  7. Popular Science Writing to Support Students' Learning of Science and Scientific Literacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelger, Susanne; Nilsson, Pernilla

    2016-06-01

    In higher natural science education, the scientific report is the prevailing genre of writing. Despite the fact that communicative skills are highly valued in working life, earlier studies have shown deficiencies among science students. In this paper, we highlight the need for varied communication training, in particularly arguing for the possibilities that students' popular science writing offers. Our study was based on a questionnaire answered by 64 degree project students in biology. The questions focused on the students' own experiences of writing about their projects for the general public and what contribution the writing made to their learning of science. A vast majority of the students expressed that the writing helped change their perspectives and that they saw their subject and project in a different light. Many of the students described that the popular science writing made it easier for them to put the science content in a context, to better understand the aim of their own work, and the implications of their findings. We discuss the positive effects that popular science writing may have on students' subject matter understanding and development of scientific literacy. Our concluding remark is that popular science writing is a useful tool for reflection and that it adds significant value to the students' capacity to change perspectives, understand their subject and develop scientific literacy.

  8. Investigating Undergraduate Science Students' Conceptions and Misconceptions of Ocean Acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielson, Kathryn I; Tanner, Kimberly D

    2015-01-01

    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).

  9. The Difference of Grammatical Error in Writing Recount Text Between Natural Science and Social Science Students

    OpenAIRE

    Sembiring, Imantha Eko Putra; Gintings, Elia Masa

    2013-01-01

    This study concerned on the difference of grammatical error in writing recount text between natural science and social science students. The objective of this study was to find out the difference of grammatical error in writing recount text between natural science and social science students. This research was conducted by using causal- comparative research. The subject of the study was the students of XI-IPA1 and XI- IPS1 of SMA Swasta Methodist Berastagi. The number of the samples was twent...

  10. Development of a Blended Instructional Model via Weblog to Enhance English Summary Writing Ability of Thai Undergraduate Students

    OpenAIRE

    Saisunee Termsinsuk

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this research and development was to develop an effective blended instructional model via weblog to enhance English summary writing ability of Thai undergraduate students. A sample group in the English program of Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University was studied in academic year 2010-2013. The research instruments were an effective semi-structured interview form, the learning and instructional record format, the test of English summary writing ability, and the ...

  11. Metaphor and knowledge the challenges of writing science

    CERN Document Server

    Baake, Ken

    2003-01-01

    Analyzing the power of metaphor in the rhetoric of science, this book examines the use of words to express complex scientific concepts. Metaphor and Knowledge offers a sweeping history of rhetoric and metaphor in science, delving into questions about how language constitutes knowledge. Weaving together insights from a group of scientists at the Santa Fe Institute as they shape the new interdisciplinary field of complexity science, Ken Baake shows the difficulty of writing science when word meanings are unsettled, and he analyzes the power of metaphor in science.

  12. Personal interests as incentive for professional writing; Towards a writing pedagogy for Dutch universities of applied sciences

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    dr Marianne Boogaard; P.H. van de Ven; Marleen Claessens; P.A. Coppen

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study is to find design criteria for a writing pedagogy for Dutch universities of applied sciences (also: HBO schools). We analyzed policy and educational documents and interviewed lecturers of three writing courses in three HBO schools. This enabled us to characterize their writing

  13. Matrices to Revise Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Curricula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savin, Mary C.; Longer, David; Miller, David M.

    2005-01-01

    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…

  14. Teaching Basic Probability in Undergraduate Statistics or Management Science Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naidu, Jaideep T.; Sanford, John F.

    2017-01-01

    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…

  15. Use of Lecture Capture in Undergraduate Biological Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiese, Candace; Newton, Genevieve

    2013-01-01

    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…

  16. Cultivating Citizen Scientists in the Undergraduate Science Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egger, A. E.

    2007-12-01

    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

  17. Development of a Blended Instructional Model via Weblog to Enhance English Summary Writing Ability of Thai Undergraduate Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Termsinsuk, Saisunee

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this research and development was to develop an effective blended instructional model via weblog to enhance English summary writing ability of Thai undergraduate students. A sample group in the English program of Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University was studied in academic year 2010-2013. The research instruments were an…

  18. Peer Feedback on Facebook: The Use of Social Networking Websites to Develop Writing Ability of Undergraduate Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wichadee, Saovapa

    2013-01-01

    The current study explores how integrating a social networking website called Facebook with peer feedback in groups supports student learning, investigates the nature of feedback students received on their writing, and examines their attitudes towards the use of Facebook for peer feedback. The study involves 30 undergraduate students who…

  19. The Oxford book of modern science writing

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dawkins, Richard

    2008-01-01

    ..." to "the terror and vastness of the universe." Edited by renowned scientist Richard Dawkins, this collection brings together pieces by a who's who of scientists and science writers, including Stephen Pinker, Stephen Jay Gould, Martin Gardner...

  20. Undergraduate Research in Quantum Information Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, David W.

    2017-01-01

    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…

  1. Science Writing and Rhetorical Training: A New Model for Developing Graduate Science Writers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karraker, N. E.; Lofgren, I.; Druschke, C. G.; McWilliams, S. R.; Morton-Aiken, J.; Reynolds, N.

    2016-12-01

    Graduate programs in the sciences generally offer minimal support for writing and communication, yet there is an increasing need for scientists to engage with the public and policymakers on technological, environmental, and health issues. The traditional focus on gaining particular discipline-related technical skills, coupled with the relegation of writing largely to the end of a student's academic tenure, falls short in equipping them to tackle these challenges. To address this problem, we launched a cross-disciplinary, National Science Foundation-funded training program in rhetoric and writing for science graduate students and faculty at the University of Rhode Island. This innovative program bases curricular and pedagogical support on three central practices, habitual writing, multiple genres, and frequent review, to offer a flexible model of writing training for science graduate students and pedagogical training for faculty that could be adopted in other institutional contexts. Key to the program, called SciWrite@URI, is a unique emphasis on rhetoric, which, we argue, is an essential—but currently lacking—component of science communication education. This new model has the potential to transform graduate education in the sciences by producing graduates who are as adept at the fundamentals of their science as they are at communicating that science to diverse audiences.

  2. The Value of Understanding Students' Prior Writing Experience in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    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 ...

  3. Careers in Science Journalism and Writing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Helen

    2017-09-01

    Science journalists cover some of the most complex, exciting, and important issues of our day, ranging from the impacts of climate change to emerging infectious diseases. They use words, sounds, images, and graphics to create compelling stories about science that appear in newspapers and magazines, in print and online, on the radio and TV, and in podcasts and videos. The field is undergoing rapid change, which presents both challenges and opportunities. The migration of readers and advertising to the internet and digital platforms has led to declining sales of print publications. This means that jobs are now scarce in traditional print media, but that there are growing opportunities to produce digital content. Copyright © 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  4. Writing Intensive Undergraduate Field Camp and Education: Expanding the Classroom and Preparing Students for the Workforce

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, M. T.; McGehee, T. L.

    2014-12-01

    There has always been a strong perception within the geoscience community that a capstone field course was the pinnacle of an undergraduate geoscience degree. Such a course draws from the student's accumulated knowledge base, using information from multiple sub-disciplines to solve "real-world" problems. Since 2006, there has been a 92% increase in students attending field camps (Status of the Geoscience Workforce 2014 - AGI). But, the number of field camps has significantly declined. In 1995, 35% of geoscience departments offered a summer field course but by 2006 that number had dropped to 15% (Status Report on Geoscience Summer Field Camps - AGI) and since 2009, the number of field camps listed in the Geology.com directory has dropped from 100 to about 75. This decline is despite the fact that 88% of industry professionals believe fieldwork should "be an integral and required part of undergraduate programs" (Petcovic, et al., 2014). In 2012, in order to meet the growing needs of industry and better prepare our students, Texas A&M University-Kingsville developed an in-house, unique set of field courses that expand the limits of the classroom. We have two required courses. One is similar to a traditional field camp except that it contains a writing intensive component. The six-credit course runs for seven weeks. Prior to camp, students are required to write an introduction (geologic history section) on the study area. We spend two weeks in the field, mapping daily (Big Bend National Park), and then return to Kingsville. Students then have two weeks to finish a fully referenced paper, including their edited introduction, methods, observations, interpretations, discussion and conclusions and once complete, they begin the introduction for the next area. This is another two-week field session, in central Texas. After this, we return the first paper which has been edited for content by geoscience faculty and for grammar by an English instructor. Students spend the next

  5. Science Literacy of Undergraduates in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Impey, Chris

    2013-01-01

    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.

  6. Undergraduate Biotechnology Students' Views of Science Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmondston, Joanne Elisabeth; Dawson, Vaille; Schibeci, Renato

    2010-01-01

    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…

  7. Science writing workshops with the ATLAS experiment

    CERN Document Server

    Bourdarios, Claire; The ATLAS collaboration

    2017-01-01

    Particle physics is fascinating to an overwhelming majority of the population but is shrouded in mystery.. Our theories appear abstruse and abstract, our experiments are specialized and technical; there is a barrier-both literal and metaphorical -that keeps the uninitiated out. As practicing scientists, we are often called upon to explain our work: to spread awareness, to educate, to justify the expenditure of public funds, or to counter an increasingly troubling suspicion of science. But the dispassionate, objective, disembodied voice we have been trained to use in our professional lives, doesn't work very well with the public. In order to communicate meaningfully with a more general audience, we must start from a point of connection and keep referring back to the things we have in common -the human experiences and emotions we all share; we must risk being subjective and personal, be willing to talk about the messy, creative aspects of science and the passion that animates our work. This talk will describe w...

  8. Undergraduate Computer Science and Engineering Curriculum in India

    OpenAIRE

    Rajaraman, Vaidyeswaran

    1993-01-01

    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...

  9. The relevance of basic sciences in undergraduate medical education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, C; Grant, T; McLoughlin, P; Last, J

    2016-02-01

    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.

  10. Framework for Disciplinary Writing in Science Grades 6-12: A National Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drew, Sally Valentino; Olinghouse, Natalie G.; Faggella-Luby, Michael; Welsh, Megan E.

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated the current state of writing instruction in science classes (Grades 6-12). A random sample of certified science teachers from the United States (N = 287) was electronically surveyed. Participants reported on their purposes for teaching writing, the writing assignments most often given to students, use of evidence-based…

  11. Teaching Writing in the Social Sciences: A Comparison and Critique of Three Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Kristine; Adams, Joyce

    2010-01-01

    This article describes and evaluates three approaches to teaching writing in the social sciences, particularly psychology: an English department-based course for all social science majors; a team-teaching model that embeds writing in core courses in psychology; and a stand-alone course dedicated to teaching writing in psychology, often taken…

  12. Assessing and Improving L2 Graduate Students' Popular Science and Academic Writing in an Academic Writing Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rakedzon, Tzipora; Baram-Tsabari, Ayelet

    2017-01-01

    This paper reports a study using a quasi-experimental design to examine whether an academic writing course in English can improve graduate students' academic and popular science writing skills. To address this issue, we designed pre- and post-assessment tasks, an intervention assessment task and a scoring rubric. The pre- and post-assessment tasks…

  13. Core Skills for Effective Science Communication: A Teaching Resource for Undergraduate Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer-Mapstone, Lucy; Kuchel, Louise

    2017-01-01

    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…

  14. The Importance of Accuracy, Stimulating writing, and Relevance in Middle School Science Textbook Writing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubisz, John

    2004-05-01

    While accuracy in Middle School science texts is most important, the texts should also read well, stimulating the student to want to go on, and the material must be relevant to the subject at hand as the typical student is not yet prepared to ignore that which is irrelevant. We know that children will read if the material is of interest (witness The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter book sales) and so we must write in a way that stimulates the student to want to examine the subject further and eliminate that which adds nothing to the discipline. Examples of the good and the bad will be presented.

  15. Use of a journal club and letter-writing exercise to teach critical appraisal to medical undergraduates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, R; White, M; Gray, J; Fischbacher, C

    2001-07-01

    There is growing interest in methods of teaching critical appraisal skills at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. We describe an approach using a journal club and subsequent letter writing to teach critical appraisal and writing skills to medical undergraduates. The exercise occurs during a 3-week public health medicine attachment in the third year of the undergraduate curriculum. Students work in small groups to appraise a recently published research paper, present their findings to their peers in a journal club, and draft a letter to the journal editor. Evaluation took place through: informal and formal feedback from students; number of letters written, submitted and published, and a comparison of marks obtained by students submitting a literature review assignment with and without critical appraisal teaching during the public health attachment. Feedback from students was overwhelmingly positive. In the first 3(1/2) years, 26 letters have been published or accepted for publication, and 58 letters published on the Internet. There were no significant differences in overall marks or marks for the critical appraisal component of the literature review assignments between the two student groups. We believe our approach is an innovative and enjoyable method for teaching critical appraisal and writing skills to medical students. Lack of difference in marks in the literature review between the student groups may reflect its insensitivity as an outcome measure, contamination by other critical appraisal teaching, or true ineffectiveness.

  16. Astrobites: Engaging Undergraduate Science Majors with Current Astrophysical Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zevin, Michael; Astrobites

    2017-01-01

    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.

  17. Science and ecological literacy in undergraduate field studies education

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Learning to Write and Writing to Learn Social Work Concepts: Application of Writing across the Curriculum Strategies and Techniques to a Course for Undergraduate Social Work Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horton, E. Gail; Diaz, Naelys

    2011-01-01

    Although writing is of great importance to effective social work practice, many students entering social work education programs experience serious academic difficulties related to writing effectively and thinking critically. The purpose of this article is to present an introductory social work course that integrates Writing Across the Curriculum…

  19. Undergraduates' Perceived Gains and Ideas about Teaching and Learning Science from Participating in Science Education Outreach Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Stacey L.

    2015-01-01

    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…

  20. Writing in elementary school science: Factors that influence teacher beliefs and practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glen, Nicole J.

    Recent calls for scientifically literate citizens have prompted science educators to examine the roles that literacy holds in students' science learning processes. Although many studies have investigated the cognitive gains students acquire when they write in science, these writing-to-learn studies have typically been conducted with only middle and secondary school students. Few studies have explored how teachers, particularly elementary teachers, understand the use of writing in science and the factors that influence their science and writing lessons. This was a qualitative case study conducted in one suburban school with four elementary teachers. The purpose of this study was to understand: (a) how teachers' uses of and purposes for writing in science compared to that in English language arts; (b) the factors that drove teachers' pedagogical decisions to use writing in certain ways; (c) teachers' beliefs about science teaching and learning and its relation to how they used writing; (d) teachers' perceptions of students' writing abilities and its relation to how they used writing; and (e) teachers' views about how writing is used by scientists. Seven main findings resulted from this research. In summary, teachers' main uses of and purposes for writing were similar in science and English language arts. For much of the writing done in both subjects, teachers' expectations of students' writing were typically based on their general literacy writing skills. The teachers believed that scientific writing is factual, for the purpose of communicating about science, and is not as creative or "fun" as other types of writing. The teachers' pedagogical practices in science included teaching by experiences, reading, and the transmission of information. These practices were related to their understanding of scientific writing. Finally, additional factors drove the decisions teachers made regarding the use of writing in science, including time, knowledge of curriculum

  1. Prospective Science Teachers' Attitudes and Views of Using Journal Writing in the "Methods of Teaching Science" Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambusaidi, Abdullah

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the attitudes of prospective science teachers at Sultan Qaboos University towards and their views about using journal writing in the Methods of Teaching Science course. Twenty-six prospective science teachers were asked to write about each topic in the course in their journal to show their understanding of…

  2. The Polaris Project: Undergraduate Research Catalyzing Advances in Arctic Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schade, J. D.; Holmes, R. M.; Natali, S.; Mann, P. J.; Bunn, A. G.; Frey, K. E.

    2017-12-01

    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

  3. Epistemologies and scientific reasoning skills among undergraduate science students

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. Concept Maps for Improved Science Reasoning and Writing: Complexity Isn't Everything.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowd, Jason E; Duncan, Tanya; Reynolds, Julie A

    2015-01-01

    A pervasive notion in the literature is that complex concept maps reflect greater knowledge and/or more expert-like thinking than less complex concept maps. We show that concept maps used to structure scientific writing and clarify scientific reasoning do not adhere to this notion. In an undergraduate course for thesis writers, students use concept maps instead of traditional outlines to define the boundaries and scope of their research and to construct an argument for the significance of their research. Students generate maps at the beginning of the semester, revise after peer review, and revise once more at the end of the semester. Although some students revised their maps to make them more complex, a significant proportion of students simplified their maps. We found no correlation between increased complexity and improved scientific reasoning and writing skills, suggesting that sometimes students simplify their understanding as they develop more expert-like thinking. These results suggest that concept maps, when used as an intervention, can meet the varying needs of a diverse population of student writers. © 2015 J. E. Dowd 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).

  5. [The undergraduate program in forensic science: a national challenge].

    Science.gov (United States)

    García Castillo, Zoraida; Graue Wiechers, Enrique; Durante Montiel, Irene; Herrera Saint Leu, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    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.

  6. The Role of Information Literacy Competence and Higher Order Thinking Skills to Develop Academic Writing in Science and Engineering Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumari, B. Kranthi

    2016-01-01

    This article discusses a study organized to develop academic writing skills in undergraduate students pursuing engineering courses. The target group consisted of 30 students pursuing a Bachelor of Technology in their third year. The classroom observations regarding teaching writing revealed that writing proficiency for most of the students was at…

  7. Authentic Science Research Opportunities: How Do Undergraduate Students Begin Integration into a Science Community of Practice?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Grant E.; Forrester, Jennifer H.; Jeffrey, Penny Shumaker; Ferzli, Miriam; Shea, Damian

    2015-01-01

    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.

  8. Writing Chinese and Mathematics Achievement: A Study with Chinese-American Undergraduates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chieh; Nuttall, Ronald

    2001-01-01

    Indicates that writing Chinese is correlated to Chinese-American (CA) students' spatial skills and investigates whether writing Chinese would have the same relationship to mathematics skills. Suggested a strong correlation between writing Chinese and success on SAT-Math. Supports the cultural relativity theory of gender difference on SAT-Math.…

  9. Exploring Undergraduate Disciplinary Writing: Expectations and Evidence in Psychology and Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Katherine E.

    2013-01-01

    Research in the area of academic writing has demonstrated that writing varies significantly across disciplines and among genres within disciplines. Two important approaches to studying diversity in disciplinary academic writing have been the genre-based approach and the corpus-based approach. Genre studies have considered the situatedness of…

  10. Improving Student Writing: Methods You Can Use in Science and Engineering Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hitt, S. J.; Bright, K.

    2013-12-01

    Many educators in the fields of science and engineering assure their students that writing is an important and necessary part of their work. According to David Lindsay, in Scientific Writing=Thinking in Words, 99% of scientists agree that writing is an integral part of their jobs. However, only 5% of those same scientists have ever had formal instruction in scientific writing, and those who are also educators may then feel unconfident in teaching this skill to their students (2). Additionally, making time for writing instruction in courses that are already full of technical content can cause it to be hastily and/or peremptorily included. These situations may be some of the contributing factors to the prevailing attitude of frustration that pervades the conversation about writing in science and engineering classrooms. This presentation provides a summary of past, present, and ongoing Writing Center research on effective writing tutoring in order to give science and engineering educators integrated approaches for working with student writers in their disciplines. From creating assignments, providing instruction, guiding revisions, facilitating peer review, and using assessments, we offer a comprehensive approach to getting your students motivated to improve their writing. Our new research study focuses on developing student writing resources and support in science and engineering institutions, with the goal of utilizing cross-disciplinary knowledge that can be used by the various constituencies responsible for improving the effectiveness of writing among student engineers and scientists. We will will draw upon recent findings in the study of the rhetoric and compositional pedagogy and apply them to the specific needs of the science and engineering classroom. The fields of communication, journalism, social sciences, rhetoric, technical writing, and philosophy of science have begun to integrate these findings into classroom practice, and we will show how these can also

  11. Effects of a research-infused botanical curriculum on undergraduates' content knowledge, STEM competencies, and attitudes toward plant sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Jennifer Rhode; Clarke, H David; Horton, Jonathan L

    2014-01-01

    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

  12. Student and Faculty Outcomes of Undergraduate Science Research Projects by Geographically Dispersed Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Lawton; Kennepohl, Dietmar

    2013-01-01

    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…

  13. Developing Oral and Written Communication Skills in Undergraduate Computer Science and Information Systems Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kortsarts, Yana; Fischbach, Adam; Rufinus, Jeff; Utell, Janine M.; Yoon, Suk-Chung

    2010-01-01

    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…

  14. Engaging Undergraduates in Social Science Research: The Taking the Pulse of Saskatchewan Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berdahl, Loleen

    2014-01-01

    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…

  15. Coordinating the undergraduate medical (MBBS basic sciences programme in a Nepalese medical school

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shankar PR

    2011-06-01

    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.

  16. The use of writing assignments to help students synthesize content in upper-level undergraduate biology courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks-Thissen, Rebecca L

    2017-02-01

    Biology education is undergoing a transformation toward a more student-centered, inquiry-driven classroom. Many educators have designed engaging assignments that are designed to help undergraduate students gain exposure to the scientific process and data analysis. One of these types of assignments is use of a grant proposal assignment. Many instructors have used these assignments in lecture-based courses to help students process information in the literature and apply that information to a novel problem such as design of an antiviral drug or a vaccine. These assignments have been helpful in engaging students in the scientific process in the absence of an inquiry-driven laboratory. This commentary discusses the application of these grant proposal writing assignments to undergraduate biology courses. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Undergraduate-driven interventions to increase representation in science classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freilich, M.; Aluthge, D.; Bryant, R. M.; Knox, B.; McAdams, J.; Plummer, A.; Schlottman, N.; Stanley, Z.; Suglia, E.; Watson-Daniels, J.

    2014-12-01

    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.

  18. Fairy-tale planet: creative science writing for children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanza, Tiziana; D'Addezio, Giuliana

    2017-04-01

    During public events organized by our Institute sometimes we have predisposed a corner to entertain primary school children with fairy-tales about the planet. In that occasion we realized that even if children could take part in other activities more in fashion such as laboratories, theatre performances, exhibits, they were very attracted by fairy tales, such an "ancient" tradition. This year within the projects "alternanza scuola-lavoro" we are planning to involve also the students of the secondary schools to learn themselves how to animate a fairy-tale corner for children. The "alternanza scuola lavoro" (interchange school/work) has been recently introduced in the Italian school as a methodology for implementing the second cycle teaching. The general purpose is to ensure that 15 to 18 years old students, beside the access to basic knowledge, can acquire skills in the employment and real work environments experiencing other teaching methods based both on knowledge and know-how. We will then start a new adventure by investigating what will be the best way to introduce children to creative science writing for the planet. The aim would be that of creating a format suitable for children either for writing all together a planet fairy-tale in class, or individually. The final goal is to raise awareness about the environmental problems by stimulating in scholars their own creativity.

  19. Study of science students' expectation for university writing courses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shanthi Nadarajan

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The New Malaysia Education Blueprint (2012 states that the private sector continues to have concerns for Malaysian graduates’ English proficiency. The present study investigates the views and expectations of science students taking English courses in a public university. The findings revealed that learners saw opportunities to communicate and job applications process as important soft skills. They preferred practical learning methods above traditional teaching methods. Learners considered group performance, personal attitudes and online activities as important learning opportunities, while factual knowledge, report writing were least supported despite the fact that the majority viewed both assessments and instructional process as relevant. The data revealed that though they were dissatisfied with their existing level of proficiency, many students continued to expect an A for their course. An assessment of the learner’s’ language ability revealed that language ability was less under the learner’s control and more dependent on learner proficiency level. Taken together, this study suggests that the curriculum for the Professional Writing course should be highly diversified and balanced, with some emphasis on getting less proficient learners to read and improve their grammar skills while better students should be given opportunities to develop creative talents and interpersonal skills.

  20. Analysis of the Development of Academic Writing in the "FJNSc" ("Finnish Journal of Nursing Science")

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanhanen-Nuutinen, Liisa; Janhonen, Sirpa; Tuomi, Jouni

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to analyze the genre of the reviewed scientific articles published in the "FJNSc" ("Finnish Journal of Nursing Science") during its history. The aim was to bring a critical approach to writing in nursing science and to discuss the dominant conventions of scientific writing in nursing. A total of 27…

  1. Preparing minority undergraduate students for successful science careers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akundi, Murty

    2008-03-01

    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.

  2. Intrinsically restless: Unifying science, writing, and the human condition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sissom, Matthew

    The field of physics has always fascinated me, but I never possessed the mathematical skills necessary to extend that interest past the point of curiosity. This thesis was set up to explore how I and other writers, specifically Walt Whitman, use(d) the skills we do have to ask and attempt to answer the same cosmic questions normally reserved for scientists overseeing particle collider experiments. In Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra attempted to blend the principles of Eastern philosophy with the movements associated with modern physics. In doing so, he offers up a few insights into the human desire to "divide the world into separate objects and events" (117), which I believe, when it comes to fiction, greatly influences the audience's interpretive framework. Capra suggests, "To believe that our abstract concepts of separate `things' and `vents' are realities of nature is an illusion" (117). Humans use this division to cope with our everyday environment, yet it is not a fundamental feature of reality but, rather, an abstraction devised by our discriminating and categorizing intellect. It is a coping mechanism, as Capra refers to it, that pins writers in a corner, encouraging them to forms and styles set by their predecessors to better satisfy the "discriminating and categorizing intellect" of their audience. Writers often struggle to achieve a balance between accurately presenting the human condition that, like Capra's description of subatomic particles as "intrinsically restless" (117), changes based on myriad variables and properly structuring their writing to fit a predetermined model. Whitman, a fan of popular science, drew from the scientific world, using his understanding of the interpretive framework, to better craft his poems' metaphors. In "Song of Myself," Whitman suggests that the celebration of one's own existence cannot be separated from the celebration of the universe, "For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you" (1-3). Whitman's writing

  3. Writing in science: Exploring teachers' and students' views of the nature of science in language enriched environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decoito, Isha

    Writing in science can be used to address some of the issues relevant to contemporary scientific literacy, such as the nature of science, which describes the scientific enterprise for science education. This has implications for the kinds of writing tasks students should attempt in the classroom, and for how students should understand the rationale and claims of these tasks. While scientific writing may train the mind to think scientifically in a disciplined and structured way thus encouraging students to gain access to the public domain of scientific knowledge, the counter-argument is that students need to be able to express their thoughts freely in their own language. Writing activities must aim to promote philosophical and epistemological views of science that accurately portray contemporary science. This mixed-methods case study explored language-enriched environments, in this case, secondary science classrooms with a focus on teacher-developed activities, involving diversified writing styles, that were directly linked to the science curriculum. The research foci included: teachers' implementation of these activities in their classrooms; how the activities reflected the teachers' nature of science views; common attributes between students' views of science and how they represented science in their writings; and if, and how the activities influenced students' nature of science views. Teachers' and students' views of writing and the nature of science are illustrated through pre-and post-questionnaire responses; interviews; student work; and classroom observations. Results indicated that diversified writing activities have the potential to accurately portray science to students, personalize learning in science, improve students' overall attitude towards science, and enhance scientific literacy through learning science, learning about science, and doing science. Further research is necessary to develop an understanding of whether the choice of genre has an

  4. Using Primary Literature for Teaching Undergraduate Planetary Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, J.

    2013-05-01

    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

  5. Engaging Undergraduates in Science Research: Not Just About Faculty Willingness

    OpenAIRE

    Eagan, M. Kevin; Sharkness, Jessica; Hurtado, Sylvia; Mosqueda, Cynthia M.; Chang, Mitchell J.

    2010-01-01

    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...

  6. Engaging Undergraduates in Science Research: Not Just about Faculty Willingness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eagan, M. Kevin, Jr.; Sharkness, Jessica; Hurtado, Sylvia; Mosqueda, Cynthia M.; Chang, Mitchell J.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  7. Using a Personalized System of Instruction to Improve the Writing Skills of Undergraduates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, George J.

    1984-01-01

    A traditional abnormal psychology course was restructured to emphasize writing using a personalized system of instruction. The major benefit was that students showed significant improvement in writing style and clarity. The major costs of the course were the high student turnover and the abnormally large workload for students and instructor. (RM)

  8. English Language Writing Anxiety among Final Year Engineering Undergraduates in University Putra Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Min, Lau Sing; Rahmat, Nurhazlini

    2014-01-01

    Second Language Writing Anxiety (SLWA) is considered one of the most crucial factors affecting all second language learning. This study focused on a group of final year Engineering students' English Language writing anxiety (N = 93) in relation to their gender, race and MUET results. The findings showed that the male gender, Chinese and MUET band…

  9. An analysis of undergraduate exercise science programs: an exercise science curriculum survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elder, Craig L; Pujol, Thomas J; Barnes, Jeremy T

    2003-08-01

    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.

  10. Research and Teaching: Encouraging Science Communication in an Undergraduate Curriculum Improves Students' Perceptions and Confidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Train, Tonya Laakko; Miyamoto, Yuko J.

    2017-01-01

    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…

  11. Use of Lecture Capture in Undergraduate Biological Science Education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Candace Wiese

    2013-12-01

    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.

  12. Bringing Space Science to the Undergraduate Classroom: NASA's USIP Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vassiliadis, D.; Christian, J. A.; Keesee, A. M.; Spencer, E. A.; Gross, J.; Lusk, G. D.

    2015-12-01

    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.

  13. Research Experience for Undergraduates Program in Multidisciplinary Environmental Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, M. S.

    2012-12-01

    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.

  14. Public Science Education and Outreach as a Modality for Teaching Science Communication Skills to Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arion, Douglas; OConnell, Christine; Lowenthal, James; Hickox, Ryan C.; Lyons, Daniel

    2018-01-01

    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.

  15. INTRODUCING SCIENCE BY DISTANCE EDUCATION TO UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Avila Jr.

    2007-05-01

    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.

  16. A Flexible e-Learning Resource Promoting the Critical Reading of Scientific Papers for Science Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letchford, Julie; Corradi, Hazel; Day, Trevor

    2017-01-01

    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…

  17. Study on Related Courses to Help Undergraduate Students Write Research Reports: A Curriculum Evaluation

    OpenAIRE

    Eny Winarti

    2014-01-01

    From the experience of joining the boards in the students’ research report defence, teaching education research methodology, and classroom action research, the researcher indicated that students had challenges related with the logic of research methods and academic research writing. These findings encouraged the researcher to study the courses that have potential in helping students writing their research reports. To study the courses, the researcher analysed related documents, such as ...

  18. Quality and integrity in scientific writing: prerequisites for quality in science communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Claude Roland

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Standards and Good Practice guidelines provide explicit criteria for maintaining quality and integrity in science. But research practices are now openly questioned. I defend the idea that the tension between norms and practices in scientific writing must be addressed primarily by the scientific community if quality of the sources in the process of science communication is to be guaranteed. This paper provides evidence that scientific writing and researchers’writing practices do not reflect expected quality criteria. Evidence is based on four complementary analyses of: (i communication manuals, journals’ recommendations to authors and the norms they convey (ii feedback given by reviewers (ii interviews and questionnaires (iv researchers’ written productions and writing practices. I show that researchers’ writing and communication practices are very often in total contradiction with the norms and standards the scientific community has established. Unless researchers can improve and guarantee quality and integrity of the sources, the whole system of science communication will be threatened.

  19. Introducing an Undergraduate Degree of Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design within a College of Pharmacy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriella Baki

    2017-01-01

    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

  20. Enhancing interdisciplinary, mathematics, and physical science in an undergraduate life science program through physical chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pursell, David P

    2009-01-01

    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.

  1. Blog-Integrated Writing with Blog-Buddies: EAP Learners' Writing Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asoodar, Maryam; Atai, Mahmood Reza; Vaezi, Shahin

    2016-01-01

    This article reports a mixed-method research probing the effect of utilizing a blog-buddy system on English for academic purposes learners' writing performance. Sixty Iranian undergraduate engineering students at Iran University of Science and Technology Virtual Campus participated in this study. Our analysis of the students' writings indicated…

  2. Developing Critical Thinking Skills Using the Science Writing Heuristic in the Chemistry Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, N. S.; Sadler-McKnight, N. P.

    2016-01-01

    The Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) laboratory approach is a teaching and learning tool which combines writing, inquiry, collaboration and reflection, and provides scaffolding for the development of critical thinking skills. In this study, the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) was used to measure the critical thinking skills of…

  3. Audience, Purpose, and Civic Engagement: A Reassessment of Writing Instruction in Political Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anson, Ian G.

    2017-01-01

    In the present study I examine meaning-making as an integral aspect of successful writing assignments in political science. Results of a semester-long quasi-experimental pilot study show that meaning-making writing tasks help students in Introduction to American Politics courses become more politically engaged through the inculcation of civic…

  4. Cross-Curricular Literacy: Writing for Learning in a Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Shelley Stagg; Rochwerger, Leonora

    2006-01-01

    Teacher educator and researcher Peterson works with eighth-grade science teacher, Rochwerger, who believes that writing is a learning tool that will enable her students to become scientifically literate. Here, we see this belief played out through an action research project that found students using a genre of their choice to write about what they…

  5. Sharing the Tacit Rhetorical Knowledge of the Literary Scholar: The Effects of Making Disciplinary Conventions Explicit in Undergraduate Writing about Literature Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, Laura; Wolfe, Joanna

    2009-01-01

    The ethics and efficacy of explicitly teaching disciplinary discourse conventions to undergraduate students has been hotly debated. This quasi-experimental study seeks to contribute to these debates by focusing on the conventional special "topoi" of literary analysis--conventions that previous Writing in the Disciplines (WID) research indicates…

  6. How Do People Think about the Science They Encounter in Fiction? Undergraduates Investigate Responses to Science in "The Simpsons"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orthia, Lindy A.; Dobos, Amy R.; Guy, Tristan; Kan, Shanan Z.; Keys, Siân E.; Nekvapil, Stefan; Ngu, Dalton H. Y.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  7. Of Responsible Research--Exploring the Science-Society Dialogue in Undergraduate Training within the Life Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Maria Strecht; Quintanilha, Alexandre

    2017-01-01

    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…

  8. Psychological Distress and Sources of Stressors amongst Medical and Science Undergraduate Students in Malaysia

    OpenAIRE

    Ali S Radeef; Ghasak G Faisal

    2017-01-01

    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...

  9. Writing-to-Learn in First-Year Biological Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paszkowski, Cynthia; Haag, Margaret

    2008-01-01

    In 2006-2007, we established a writing exercise in two large first-year biology courses. Overall, our exercise, which consisted of multiple drafts of a 500-word essay, offered students a good introduction to how editorial feedback can improve content and style in scientific writing. We discuss our goals, procedures, outcome, and students'…

  10. Introducing Taiwanese Undergraduate Students to the Nature of Science through Nobel Prize Stories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eshach, Haim; Hwang, Fu-Kwun; Wu, Hsin-Kai; Hsu, Ying-Shao

    2013-01-01

    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…

  11. Undergraduate Research-Methods Training in Political Science: A Comparative Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Jonathan

    2010-01-01

    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,…

  12. Internet use by library and information science undergraduates in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    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 ...

  13. Of Fallacies, Ferris Wheels, and Figurative Language: Metaphor in Science and Technical Writing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roesler, Glenn R.

    1987-01-01

    Assesses the unaccepted use of figurative language in science and technical writing, especially, objections to metaphor's imputed ambiguity. Proposes that metaphor play a stronger role in conceptualization of scientific and technical ideas. (MS)

  14. Exploring evidence of higher order thinking skills in the writing of first year undergraduates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lynette Faragher

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Research indicates that concern is often expressed about the language and discourse skills new students bring with them when they first enrol at university, which leads to assumptions being made about their academic abilities. In this paper, an argument is developed through detailed analysis of student writing, that many new first year students have nascent Higher Order Thinking Skills and the potential to be successful in their studies. The work of Robert Marzano and his associates (Marzano, 2001; Marzano & Kendall, 2007, 2008 is applied to student writing.

  15. "On Course" for Supporting Expanded Participation and Improving Scientific Reasoning in Undergraduate Thesis Writing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowd, Jason E.; Roy, Christopher P.; Thompson, Robert J., Jr.; Reynolds, Julie A.

    2015-01-01

    The Department of Chemistry at Duke University has endeavored to expand participation in undergraduate honors thesis research while maintaining the quality of the learning experience. Accomplishing this goal has been constrained by limited departmental resources (including faculty time) and increased diversity in students' preparation to engage in…

  16. Analysis of Nature of Science Included in Recent Popular Writing Using Text Mining Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Feng; McComas, William F.

    2014-01-01

    This study examined the inclusion of nature of science (NOS) in popular science writing to determine whether it could serve supplementary resource for teaching NOS and to evaluate the accuracy of text mining and classification as a viable research tool in science education research. Four groups of documents published from 2001 to 2010 were…

  17. Broad Collaboration to Improve Biological Sciences Students' Writing and Research Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brancato, Lisa; Chan, Tina; Contento, Anthony

    2016-01-01

    At the State University of New York at Oswego (SUNY Oswego), a faculty member and advisement coordinator, both of the biological sciences department, and the biological sciences librarian have worked together since 2013 to present a workshop called Writing for the Biological Sciences. Offered once per semester, the workshop is sponsored by the…

  18. Use of Microthemes to Increase Writing Content for Introductory Science Laboratory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle L. Lewis

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Writing is a learning activity, as well as a communication skill. Many instructors recognize the value of writing as a learning tool but struggle to develop effective writing assignments. Instructors are generally pressed for time during lecture due to the necessity to deliver content and, therefore, cannot dedicate time necessary to teach science writing skills effectively. Traditional term papers assigned to a class with varying writing skills may not accomplish the desired goal of teaching both technical writing skills and critical thinking skills. Students that are already struggling with content may be at a disadvantage in terms of conveying complex ideas. An answer to this problem is the microtheme paper which we employ in an Introductory Botany laboratory setting.

  19. Team-Designed Improvement of Writing and Critical Thinking in Large Undergraduate Courses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Bernstein

    2014-03-01

    We addressed this challenge in a three-year project using team course design, built around a cognitive apprenticeship model, to enhance undergraduates’ writing, critical thinking, and research skills in courses ranging in size from 70 to over 400 students. Faculty members partnered with specialists from the university library, writing center, and teaching center, and with graduate student fellows who received supplemental training in those units. Together they designed progressive learning activities and written assignments based on meaningful, situated critical thinking scenarios. Instruction teams also developed rubrics for tracking students’ progress on each step, and they used this information to inform the next wave of course enhancements and generate continual and iterative improvement. Assessments developed by the instruction teams showed that students in the team-designed courses improved in their critical thinking and writing skills from the beginning to the end of the semester. Furthermore, an evaluation of student work from the team-designed courses using the AA C&U Value rubrics showed that these students displayed more advanced critical thinking and writing skills than students in roughly comparable but conventionally designed courses. Our results demonstrate that team design involving specialists and graduate students can be a feasible and worthwhile strategy for engaging faculty members in developing advanced instructional and assessment designs that enhance high-end learning in a large university setting.

  20. Study on Related Courses to Help Undergraduate Students Write Research Reports: A Curriculum Evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eny Winarti

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available From the experience of joining the boards in the students’ research report defence, teaching education research methodology, and classroom action research, the researcher indicated that students had challenges related with the logic of research methods and academic research writing.  These findings encouraged the researcher to study the courses that have potential in helping students writing their research reports.  To study the courses, the researcher analysed related documents, such as syllabi and lesson plans.  The researcher also interviewed teachers and students to clarify the relevance of the syllabi and the classroom learning.  The results of the study indicated that logic, academic writing, statistics, research methodology, and classroom action research had the potential of helping the students write their research report.  The researcher also indicated that the content of the courses should have been more helpful.  The fact, however, was that the students still had challenges understanding the materials after taking the courses.  Further study about this fact is then recommended.

  1. Disciplinary Epistemologies, Generic Attributes and Undergraduate Academic Writing in Nursing and Midwifery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gimenez, Julio

    2012-01-01

    Generic attributes such as "holding a critical stance", "using evidence to support claims", and "projecting an impersonal voice" are central to disciplinary academic writing in higher education. These attributes, also referred to as "skills", have for a long time been conceptualised as transferable in that…

  2. Lexical Bundles in Chinese Undergraduate Academic Writing at an English Medium University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruan, Zhoulin

    2017-01-01

    This paper investigates the use of lexical bundles in Chinese students' academic writing across different levels of studies at an English medium university. Frequency-based bundles were retrieved from a corpus of student academic texts written at four points of time between Year 1 and Year 4, and the structures and functions of the bundles were…

  3. Learning to write in science in the primary grades: A contextual study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honig, Sheryl L.

    This study described the way three children appropriated scientific discourse in their writing (and drawing) during second and third grades. Their scientific writing was situated within an "integrated" curriculum in which science instruction included hands-on activities as well as literacy events such as the reading of informational books and the writing of various scientific texts. The study included long-term participant observation of the children during their science lessons. Interviews of the teachers and children were also conducted. The findings indicate that, in this community, the process of learning how to express new scientific ideas in word and images is a complex one, in which children must simultaneously take up distinct theoretical ideas, scientific vocabulary, generic text structure, generic linguistic skills, methods of illustration to express empirical and theoretical ideas, and audience awareness. Writing in this science classroom was highly scaffolded by classroom discussion, teacher read-alouds, hands-on activities, and teacher modeling, as well as by the kinds of writing tasks (or genre set) that were made available to children. Three children, Hannah, Jason, and Rose, took up various aspects of this scaffolding in unique ways, producing unique forms of scientific writing and drawing as they constructed meanings in science. The study provides insights into the relationship between contextual influences and young children's appropriation of scientific discourse. The study has implications for elementary school science instruction, at a time when "scientific literacy" is highly contested.

  4. English Language Writing Anxiety among Final Year Engineering Undergraduates in University Putra Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lau Sing Min

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Second Language Writing Anxiety (SLWA is considered one of the most crucial factors affecting all second language learning. This study focused on a group of final year Engineering students’ English Language writing anxiety (N=93 in relation to their gender, race and MUET results. The findings showed that the the male gender, Chinese and MUET band 4 participants faced higher levels of anxiety as compared to the other groups respectively. Somatic anxiety was recorded to be the highest subscale of anxiety faced by most of the participants. The findings of this study can help in making suitable amendments in the engineering programme course structure, especially in determining the suitable English papers to be offered to the students.

  5. Change over a service learning experience in science undergraduates' beliefs expressed about elementary school students' ability to learn science

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  6. Resources to Transform Undergraduate Geoscience Education: Activities in Support of Earth, Oceans and Atmospheric Sciences Faculty, and Future Plans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, J. G.; Singer, J.

    2013-12-01

    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

  7. Information Literacy in Science Writing: How Students Find, Identify, and Use Scientific Literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klucevsek, Kristin M.; Brungard, Allison B.

    2016-01-01

    For undergraduate students to achieve science literacy, they must first develop information literacy skils. These skills align with Information Literacy Standards and include determining appropriate databases, distinguishing among resource types, and citing resources ethically. To effectively improve information literacy and science literacy, we…

  8. Self-efficacy and Its Relation to ESL Writing Proficiency and Academic Disciplines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saeid Raoofi

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Writing is an essential skill for academic development within any disciplinary area. Despite the rapidly growing body of research on the various aspects of second language writing, research on writing self-efficacy remains scarce. This study investigated the relationship the between writing self-efficacy and writing proficiency in English as a second language. In this cross-sectional study, 304 Malaysian undergraduate students completed a writing self-efficacy questionnaire. The participants’ writing proficiency was assessed using two different writing tasks. The results showed that there was a significant difference in writing self-efficacy among the three writing proficiency groups. It was also found that science students had significantly higher writing self-efficacy than those in social sciences. Limitations of the study and Implications for second language writing instruction are also discussed.

  9. Undergraduate Neuroscience Education in the U.S.: Quantitative Comparisons of Programs and Graduates in the Broader Context of Undergraduate Life Sciences Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Raddy L; Esposito, Anthony W; O'Malley, Shannon; Smith, Phoebe T; Grisham, William

    2016-01-01

    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.

  10. 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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raftery, C. L.; Davis, H. B.; Peticolas, L. M.; Paglierani, R.

    2015-12-01

    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.

  11. Teaching science writing in an introductory lab course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holstein, Sarah E; Mickley Steinmetz, Katherine R; Miles, John D

    2015-01-01

    One challenge that many neuroscience instructors face is how to teach students to communicate within the field. The goal of this project was to improve students' scientific writing in an introductory psychology laboratory course that serves as a feeder course into the neuroscience curriculum. This course included a scaffolded approach - breaking assignments into different sections that build upon each other to allow for more direction and feedback on each section. Students were also provided with examples of scientific writing, given direction on finding and reading journal articles, and were taught how to effectively peer review a paper. Research papers were assessed before (Year 1) and after (Year 2) this scaffolded approach was instituted. The assessment included measures of "Genre Knowledge" for each section of a research paper (abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion) as well as measures of "Writing Elements" (grammar, formatting, clarity, transitions, building to the hypothesis, using evidence). The results indicated that there was an improvement for Genre Knowledge scores when comparing Year 1 to Year 2. However, there was no systematic improvement in Writing Elements. This suggests that this teaching technique was most effective in improving students' ability to write within the scientific genre. The logistics of implementing such an approach are discussed.

  12. Teaching Science Writing in an Introductory Lab Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holstein, Sarah E.; Mickley Steinmetz, Katherine R.; Miles, John D.

    2015-01-01

    One challenge that many neuroscience instructors face is how to teach students to communicate within the field. The goal of this project was to improve students’ scientific writing in an introductory psychology laboratory course that serves as a feeder course into the neuroscience curriculum. This course included a scaffolded approach - breaking assignments into different sections that build upon each other to allow for more direction and feedback on each section. Students were also provided with examples of scientific writing, given direction on finding and reading journal articles, and were taught how to effectively peer review a paper. Research papers were assessed before (Year 1) and after (Year 2) this scaffolded approach was instituted. The assessment included measures of “Genre Knowledge” for each section of a research paper (abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion) as well as measures of “Writing Elements” (grammar, formatting, clarity, transitions, building to the hypothesis, using evidence). The results indicated that there was an improvement for Genre Knowledge scores when comparing Year 1 to Year 2. However, there was no systematic improvement in Writing Elements. This suggests that this teaching technique was most effective in improving students’ ability to write within the scientific genre. The logistics of implementing such an approach are discussed. PMID:25838801

  13. Undergraduate Research in Physics as a course for Engineering and Computer Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, James; Rueckert, Franz; Sirokman, Greg

    2017-01-01

    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.

  14. To Stay or Leave: Factors That Impact Undergraduate Women's Persistence in Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gayles, Joy Gaston; Ampaw, Frim

    2016-01-01

    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…

  15. Teaching Scientists to Communicate: Evidence-Based Assessment for Undergraduate Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer-Mapstone, Lucy; Kuchel, Louise

    2015-01-01

    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…

  16. Informal Learning in Science, Math, and Engineering Majors for African American Female Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPherson, Ezella

    2014-01-01

    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'…

  17. Student Perceptions of Communication Skills in Undergraduate Science at an Australian Research-Intensive University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer-Mapstone, Lucy D.; Matthews, Kelly E.

    2017-01-01

    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…

  18. Successful Programs for Undergraduate Women in Science and Engineering: "Adapting" versus "Adopting" the Institutional Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Mary Frank; Sonnert, Gerhard; Nikiforova, Irina

    2009-01-01

    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,…

  19. A Portable Bioinformatics Course for Upper-Division Undergraduate Curriculum in Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floraino, Wely B.

    2008-01-01

    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…

  20. Using Mobile Devices to Facilitate Student Questioning in a Large Undergraduate Science Class

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crompton, Helen; Burgin, Stephen R.; De Paor, Declan G.; Gregory, Kristen

    2018-01-01

    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…

  1. Anthropogenic Climate Change in Undergraduate Marine and Environmental Science Programs in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlietstra, Lucy S.; Mrakovcich, Karina L.; Futch, Victoria C.; Stutzman, Brooke S.

    2016-01-01

    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%…

  2. The Inclusion of the Nature of Science and Its Elements in Recent Popular Science Writing for Adults and Young Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Feng

    2012-01-01

    This study was conducted to examine the inclusion of nature of science (NOS) in popular science writing to determine whether it could serve supplementary resource for teaching NOS. Four groups of documents published from 2001 to 2010 were included in the analysis: "Scientific American," "Discover" magazine, winners of the…

  3. Designing Creative Inter-Disciplinary Science and Art Interventions in Schools: The Case of Write a Science Opera (WASO)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Horin, Oded; Chappell, Kerry A.; Halstead, Jill; Espeland, Magne

    2017-01-01

    The goal of this qualitative study is to provide theoretical knowledge and design principles for a creative educational environment characterized by simultaneous study and exploration of science or math, and the arts: Write a Science Opera (WASO). To do so, we used a theory of creativity in education which links collaborative co-creation in…

  4. An investigation of information seeking behaviour of Computer Science and Information Technology undergraduates: a qualitative approach

    OpenAIRE

    Saad, M. S. M.; Zainab, A. N.

    2009-01-01

    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...

  5. Evaluation of a computer-based prompting intervention to improve essay writing in undergraduates with cognitive impairment after acquired brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ledbetter, Alexander K; Sohlberg, McKay Moore; Fickas, Stephen F; Horney, Mark A; McIntosh, Kent

    2017-11-06

    This study evaluated a computer-based prompting intervention for improving expository essay writing after acquired brain injury (ABI). Four undergraduate participants aged 18-21 with mild-moderate ABI and impaired fluid cognition at least 6 months post-injury reported difficulty with the writing process after injury. The study employed a non-concurrent multiple probe across participants, in a single-case design. Outcome measures included essay quality scores and number of revisions to writing counted then coded by type using a revision taxonomy. An inter-scorer agreement procedure was completed for quality scores for 50% of essays, with data indicating that agreement exceeded a goal of 85%. Visual analysis of results showed increased essay quality for all participants in intervention phase compared with baseline, maintained 1 week after. Statistical analyses showed statistically significant results for two of the four participants. The authors discuss external cuing for self-monitoring and tapping of existing writing knowledge as possible explanations for improvement. The study provides preliminary evidence that computer-based prompting has potential to improve writing quality for undergraduates with ABI.

  6. Science Café Course: An Innovative Means of Improving Communication Skills of Undergraduate Biology Majors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Goldina

    2013-12-01

    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.

  7. Journal Writing: A Means of Professional Development in ESL Classroom at Undergraduate Level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Samrajya Lakshmi

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available The duty of the Teacher of English is not merely teaching English texts but he/she should help the students in enhancing various other skills like communicative, analytical, logical and soft skills. To compete with the growing demands on the English teachers, timely orientation towards professionalism is of dire importance. For over three decades now, it has been found that methodology, training and concept alone will not make a teacher competent enough to train the students at college level to meet the students’ requirements. In this fast changing global scenario, no other processes excepting reflective practice, which is highly exploratory is the best and could serve the ever growing needs of the English language learners and teachers by integrating both theory and practice. This paper focuses on the potential of journal writing as a reflective professional development tool, which is purely a personal low-tech way of incorporating reflective practice in day-to-day classroom teaching by individual teachers. My attempt through this paper is to advertise the use of journal writing not only to the experienced but also to the novice teacher to make his/her class effective.

  8. Students' attitudes towards science and science learning in an introductory undergraduate biology course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floro, Nicole

    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.

  9. A Computer Security Course in the Undergraduate Computer Science Curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spillman, Richard

    1992-01-01

    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…

  10. A Social Capital Perspective on the Mentoring of Undergraduate Life Science Researchers: An Empirical Study of Undergraduate-Postgraduate-Faculty Triads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aikens, Melissa L; Sadselia, Sona; Watkins, Keiana; Evans, Mara; Eby, Lillian T; Dolan, Erin L

    2016-01-01

    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).

  11. Science and Literacy: Incorporating Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, Research Methods, and Writing into the Science Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieser, K.; Carlson, C.; Bering, E. A.; Slagle, E.

    2012-12-01

    Part of preparing the next generation of STEM researchers requires arming these students with the requisite literacy and research skills they will need. In a unique collaboration, the departments of Physics (ECE) and Psychology at the University of Houston have teamed up with NASA in a grant to develop a supplemental curriculum for elementary (G3-5) and middle school (G6-8) science teachers called Mars Rover. During this six week project, students work in teams to research the solar system, the planet Mars, design a research mission to Mars, and create a model Mars Rover to carry out this mission. Targeted Language Arts skills are embedded in each lesson so that students acquire the requisite academic vocabulary and research skills to enable them to successfully design their Mars Rover. Students learn academic and scientific vocabulary using scientifically based reading research. They receive direct instruction in research techniques, note-taking, summarizing, writing and other important language skills. The interdisciplinary collaboration empowers students as readers, writers and scientists. After the curriculum is completed, a culminating Mars Rover event is held at a local university, bringing students teams in contact with real-life scientists who critique their work, ask questions, and generate excite about STEM careers. Students have the opportunity to showcase their Mars Rover and to orally demonstrate their knowledge of Mars. Students discover the excitement of scientific research, STEM careers, important research and writing tools in a practical, real-life setting.

  12. The Effectiveness of Professional Development in Teaching Writing-to-Learn Strategies for Science: An Evaluative Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kravchuk, Deborah A.

    With the adoption of the Common Core Learning Standards and the release of the Next Generation Science Standards, New York State students are expected to write in science classes with science writing assessments becoming an indicator of grade level literacy proficiency. The introduction of these assessments raises questions concerning the readiness of teachers to help students learn the skills needed in order to be successful on standardized tests. While such mandates stress the need for incorporating writing into the classroom, few secondary science teachers receive content-specific training in how to teach writing strategies; rather, they often receive the same professional development as their non-science colleagues. This evaluative case study examined how eight secondary science teachers in the Hyde Park Central School District perceived student outcomes as they focused on identifying the challenges encountered and overcome by transferring writing-to-learn (WTL) strategies into the classroom. Targeted professional development (PD) allowed the group of eight secondary science teachers to research WTL strategies, practice them in the classroom, and assess their success through personal and collegial reflection. The results of this study showed a positive correlation between introducing low-stakes writing in the science classroom and increased student understanding of the content presented, that short low-stakes writing prompts helped the students focus on thinking and organizing their thoughts in the science settings (Totten, 2005), and that the secondary science teachers participating in this study perceived the inclusion writing in the classroom to have a positive effect on student outcomes.

  13. Air, Ocean and Climate Monitoring Enhancing Undergraduate Training in the Physical, Environmental and Computer Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hope, W. W.; Johnson, L. P.; Obl, W.; Stewart, A.; Harris, W. C.; Craig, R. D.

    2000-01-01

    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.

  14. What Are They Thinking? Automated Analysis of Student Writing about Acid-Base Chemistry in Introductory Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haudek, Kevin C.; Prevost, Luanna B.; Moscarella, Rosa A.; Merrill, John; Urban-Lurain, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Students' writing can provide better insight into their thinking than can multiple-choice questions. However, resource constraints often prevent faculty from using writing assessments in large undergraduate science courses. We investigated the use of computer software to analyze student writing and to uncover student ideas about chemistry in an…

  15. Utilization of Electronic Information Resources by Undergraduate Students of University of Ibadan: A Case Study of Social Sciences and Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owolabi, Sola; Idowu, Oluwafemi A.; Okocha, Foluke; Ogundare, Atinuke Omotayo

    2016-01-01

    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…

  16. A Pharmacology-Based Enrichment Program for Undergraduates Promotes Interest in Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godin, Elizabeth A.; Wormington, Stephanie V.; Perez, Tony; Barger, Michael M.; Snyder, Kate E.; Richman, Laura Smart; Schwartz-Bloom, Rochelle; Linnenbrink-Garcia, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    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

  17. Do Undergraduate Journalism Students Tend to Write Report-Books on Human Rights?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos Antônio Zibordi

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this article is to present updated results of incipient research on report-book production (Lima, 2009 by journalism undergraduate students. We relate three data sets to support the premise that these authors tend to focus on humanitarian topics, regardless of the Brazilian region and the course type, public or private. A private educational institution in the city of São Paulo is being systematically researched and in this article we publish results between 2015 and 2017 regarding the journalistic products made by the undergraduate students, mainly report-books. This information is intersected with the winning works of two national awards, the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji and the Experimental Research in Communication Exhibition (Expocom, whose journalistic products and selected topics in annual competitions adopt the same perspective of those produced in the researched institution of São Paulo, indicating that, for the time being, at least the hypothesis of this research is justified. O objetivo deste artigo é apresentar resultados atualizados de incipiente pesquisa sobre produção de livros-reportagem (Lima, 2009 por graduandos de Jornalismo. Relacionamos três conjuntos de dados para sustentar a premissa de que esses autores tendem a pautar temas humanitários, independente da região do Brasil e do tipo de curso, público ou particular. Uma instituição de ensino privada da capital paulista está sendo sistematicamente pesquisada e neste artigo publicamos resultados entre 2015 e 2017 referentes aos produtos jornalísticos realizados pelos concluintes, sobretudo livros-reportagem. Essas informações são cruzadas com os trabalhos vencedores de duas premiações nacionais, a da Associação Brasileira de Jornalismo Investigativo (Abraji e a da Exposição de Pesquisa Experimental em Comunicação (Expocom, cujos produtos jornalísticos e temas selecionados em certames anuais adotam a mesma

  18. Successful grant proposals in science, technology, and medicine a guide to writing the narrative

    CERN Document Server

    Oster, Sandra

    2015-01-01

    There are many resources on grant writing in science, technology and medicine, but most do not provide the practical advice needed to write the narratives of grant proposals. Designed to help novice and experienced investigators write compelling narratives and acquire research funding, this is a detailed guide to the content, organisation, layout, phrasing, and scientific argumentation of narratives. The authors draw on more than twenty years of research and analysis of grant proposals, having worked extensively with investigators at different levels, from pre-doctoral students to senior scientists. They have used this experience to design a framework for scientific writing that you can apply directly to narratives. The guidelines and advice offered are applicable across many funding agencies, including the NIH and NSF. Featuring many real-life examples, the book covers a range of topics, from organisational alternatives to best practices in grammar and editing, overview visuals, and working with contributors...

  19. Seeing Science in Haiku: Primary Students Explore Connections between Science and Writing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burrow, Lauren E.

    2016-01-01

    To achieve widespread, well-received knowledge dissemination, scientific writing must be precise, persuasive, and presentable. Thus, by definition, haiku writing is a logical choice by which to introduce young learners to effective scientific writing. In its traditional form, "haiku" is a Japanese poem intended for comparing imagery in…

  20. Leveraging Innovation in Science Education: Using Writing and Assessment to Decode the Class Size Conundrum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camfield, Eileen Kogl; McFall, Eileen Eckert; Land, Kirkwood M.

    2016-01-01

    Introductory biology courses are supposed to serve as gateways for many majors, but too often they serve instead as gatekeepers. Reliance on lectures, large classes, and multiple-choice tests results in high drop and failure rates. Critiques of undergraduate science education are clear about the problems with conventional introductory science…

  1. Analysis of Nature of Science Included in Recent Popular Writing Using Text Mining Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Feng; McComas, William F.

    2014-09-01

    This study examined the inclusion of nature of science (NOS) in popular science writing to determine whether it could serve supplementary resource for teaching NOS and to evaluate the accuracy of text mining and classification as a viable research tool in science education research. Four groups of documents published from 2001 to 2010 were analyzed: Scientific American, Discover magazine, winners of the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books, and books from NSTA's list of Outstanding Science Trade Books. Computer analysis categorized passages in the selected documents based on their inclusions of NOS. Human analysis assessed the frequency, context, coverage, and accuracy of the inclusions of NOS within computer identified NOS passages. NOS was rarely addressed in selected document sets but somewhat more frequently addressed in the letters section of the two magazines. This result suggests that readers seem interested in the discussion of NOS-related themes. In the popular science books analyzed, NOS presentations were found more likely to be aggregated in the beginning and the end of the book, rather than scattered throughout. The most commonly addressed NOS elements in the analyzed documents are science and society and empiricism in science. Only one inaccurate presentation of NOS were identified in all analyzed documents. The text mining technique demonstrated exciting performance, which invites more applications of the technique to analyze other aspects of science textbooks, popular science writing, or other materials involved in science teaching and learning.

  2. "If I write like a scientist, then soy un cientifico": Differentiated Writing Supports and the Effects on Fourth-Grade English Proficient Students' and English Language Learners' Science Content Knowledge and Explanatory Writing About Magnetism and Electricity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lichon, Kathryn A.

    The purpose of this pre-post quasi-experimental dissertation was to investigate the effects of differentiated writing supports on English Proficient Students' (EPSs) and English Language Learners' (ELLs) science content knowledge and explanatory writing about magnetism and electricity. Eighty-seven fourth-grade students (EPSs = 35; ELLs = 52) were randomly assigned to two groups based on two differentiated writing: guided questions ( n = 43) or targeted writing frames (n = 44). In the guided questions condition, students completed four question sets after a science investigation, and in the targeted writing frames condition, students completed the same four question sets, but with explicit support for vocabulary, transitions, and relational language in the form of if-then statements. Over the course of the four week intervention, students completed a total of nine writing tasks, and were pretested and posttested on six variables: magnetism and electricity content knowledge test, explanatory writing task, total number of words written, total number of sentences written, number of if-then statements, and number of content-based vocabulary words. Results indicate that EPSs and ELLs in both writing conditions improved significantly from pretest to posttest on six content and explanatory writing variables, with statistically significant gain scores occurring for the magnetism and electricity content knowledge test in which the targeted writing frames condition had a larger rate of gain. ANCOVA results indicated that in comparing writing conditions, a statistically significant difference was found for magnetism and electricity content knowledge posttests, when controlling for pretests. No statistically significant effects for language classification on the six variables were found when controlling for pretest scores. Interaction effects between writing condition and language classification were statistically significantly different for the interaction effect found on if

  3. Coffee, Black Holes, Editors, and Beer: The Science-Writing Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, Matthew R.

    2016-01-01

    What does a science writer do all day? In a tough job market and the pressures of the publish-or-perish life, careers outside academia are enticing. But it's not just a matter of swapping research papers for news stories, or adapting course lectures to magazine articles. I am a former academic scientist (with a PhD in physics and astronomy, as well as six years of university teaching) who now works as a freelance science journalist. In this talk, I'll share my experiences, along with a brief guide to the science-writing life. Along the way, we'll touch on misconceptions ("I love teaching, so science writing should be easy!"), bad attitudes ("dumbing down" is a concept that should be nuked from orbit), and the joys of sharing science with others. There are some hard truths: don't choose science writing because you think it's an easy option compared with academic research. Nevertheless, it's a rewarding profession, and one that allows you to remember the love of science — and share that love with large numbers of other people.

  4. Green Chemistry and Sustainability: An Undergraduate Course for Science and Nonscience Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Erin M.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  5. Management Science in U.S. AACSB International-Accredited Core Undergraduate Business School Curricula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palocsay, Susan W.; Markham, Ina S.

    2014-01-01

    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…

  6. Broadening the voice of science: Promoting scientific communication in the undergraduate classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cirino, Lauren A; Emberts, Zachary; Joseph, Paul N; Allen, Pablo E; Lopatto, David; Miller, Christine W

    2017-12-01

    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.

  7. Lessons Learned from Undergraduate Students in Designing a Science-Based Course in Bioethics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loike, John D.; Rush, Brittany S.; Schweber, Adam; Fischbach, Ruth L.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  8. Factors Influencing Achievement in Undergraduate Social Science Research Methods Courses: A Mixed Methods Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markle, Gail

    2017-01-01

    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…

  9. Factors Contributing to the Success of Undergraduate Business Students in Management Science Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookshire, Robert G.; Palocsay, Susan W.

    2005-01-01

    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…

  10. Citation Behavior of Undergraduate Students: A Study of History, Political Science, and Sociology Papers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendley, Michelle

    2012-01-01

    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…

  11. Cross-Disciplinary Thermoregulation and Sweat Analysis Laboratory Experiences for Undergraduate Chemistry and Exercise Science Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulligan, Gregory; Taylor, Nichole; Glen, Mary; Tomlin, Dona; Gaul, Catherine A.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  12. A Photovoltaics Module for Incoming Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dark, Marta L.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  13. Exploring Undergraduates' Perceptions of the Use of Active Learning Techniques in Science Lectures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welsh, Ashley J.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  14. Connecting Self-Efficacy and Views about the Nature of Science in Undergraduate Research Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quan, Gina M.; Elby, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    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…

  15. Undergraduate Involvement in Extracurricular Activities and Leadership Development in College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foreman, Elizabeth A.; Retallick, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  16. Tiered Internship Model for Undergraduate Students in Geospatial Science and Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopteva, Irina A.; Arkowski, Donna; Craft, Elaine L.

    2015-01-01

    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…

  17. African American Children Reflecting on Science, Mathematics, and Computers Through Creative Writing: Perspectives from a Saturday Science Academy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickerson, Tona; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Assesses the creative writing of 23 black seventh graders enrolled in a weekend science enrichment program to determine their thematic choice, self-expression, career interest, racial/gender identity, and evidence of parental influence and expectations. Analysis revealed few examples of racial or gender issues, but many expressed keen interest in…

  18. The Effect of Reflective Science Journal Writing on Students' Self-Regulated Learning Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Rawahi, Nawar M.; Al-Balushi, Sulaiman M.

    2015-01-01

    The current study investigates the effectiveness of grade-ten students' reflective science journal writing on their self-regulated learning strategies. We used a pre-post control group quasi-experimental design. The sample consisted of 62 tenth-grade students (15 years old) in Oman, comprising 32 students in the experimental group and 30 students…

  19. Writing their way to Science: Gaining access to the discourse of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Writing their way to Science: Gaining access to the discourse of Biology. M Inglis, T Kirkwood, C T Downs, J Parkinson. Abstract. No Abstract. Journal for Language Teaching Vol. 41 (1) 2007: pp. 82-100. Full Text: EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT.

  20. Reducing Unintentional Plagiarism amongst International Students in the Biological Sciences: An Embedded Academic Writing Development Programme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Divan, Aysha; Bowman, Marion; Seabourne, Anna

    2015-01-01

    There is general agreement in the literature that international students are more likely to plagiarise compared to their native speaker peers and, in many instances, plagiarism is unintentional. In this article we describe the effectiveness of an academic writing development programme embedded into a Biological Sciences Taught Masters course…

  1. Live from Boone Lake: Interdisciplinary Problem-Based Learning Meets Public Science Writing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amador, Jose A.; Miles, Libby

    2016-01-01

    As strong proponents of problem-based learning (PBL), the authors designed and taught an interdisciplinary, team-taught PBL course on Writing Science for the Public at a midsize northeastern state university. This approach led to emphasizing collaboration and experiential learning and resulted in media-rich student projects.

  2. Undergraduate students' earth science learning: relationships among conceptions, approaches, and learning self-efficacy in Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Kuan-Ming; Lee, Min-Hsien; Tsai, Chin-Chung; Chang, Chun-Yen

    2016-06-01

    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.

  3. The reading-science learning-writing connection: Breakthroughs, barriers, and promises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holliday, William G.; Yore, Larry D.; Alvermann, Donna E.

    This article establishes a broad framework from which to interpret and evaluate the reading-science learning-writing connection. The presentation of breakthroughs, barriers, and promises is intended to outline the established links between, to identify current bottlenecks in thinking about, and to highlight productive inquiries into, print-based languages and scientific understanding. The ideas presented come from various disciplines connected to science education. The ideas are meant to be informative, provocative, integrative, supportive, and without hidden agenda.

  4. How to incorporate and evaluate writing skills in animal science and dairy science courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haug, M

    1996-11-01

    For more than a century, teachers in all content areas have expressed concern about the writing skills of their students. Historically, the burden for teaching writing has fallen to English teachers, many of whom feel inadequately trained in rhetoric. Recently, faculty in many content areas, encouraged by the theories of composition specialists such as Stephen Tchudi, James Britton, Donald Murray, Ken McCrorie, and others, have begun to incorporate more writing into their disciplines, and today on many college campuses administrators strongly encourage and support training in writing across the curriculum. However, faculty in content areas other than English often feel they do not have the time or the knowledge to stress writing in their classroom. Current research in teaching writing effectively addresses both these issues. First, faculty in the college of agriculture can eliminate their students' resistance to writing by modeling and by consistently integrating writing into the course. Research suggests that content-area teachers may be more qualified than anyone to evaluate the effectiveness of their students' writing. The content-area teacher understands the material and can best determine how clearly the student has communicated an idea. Evaluating students' writing need not be overwhelming. Content-area teachers who are committed to incorporating more writing into their classes can use a variety of approaches in assessing their students' writing, many of which require limited grading. Furthermore, content-area teachers should remember that writing is as much a process as it is a product and daily writing exercises, which are generally short and often ungraded, can be integrated routinely into the curriculum without placing an unreasonable strain on the professor's time. A benefit to using daily writing is that it can help students master content as well as communicate effectively. After the content-area professor has developed a practice of using daily

  5. Are UK undergraduate Forensic Science degrees fit for purpose?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welsh, Charles; Hannis, Marc

    2011-09-01

    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.

  6. Understanding the Complex Relationship between Critical Thinking and Science Reasoning among Undergraduate Thesis Writers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowd, Jason E.; Thompson, Robert J., Jr.; Schif, Leslie A.; Reynolds, Julie A.

    2018-01-01

    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…

  7. Global Science Share: Connecting young scientists from developing countries with science writing mentors to strengthen and widen the international science community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasenkopf, C. A.

    2012-12-01

    Collaborative science in which scientists are able to form research questions based on the current body of scientific knowledge and get feedback from colleagues on their ideas and work is essential for pushing science forward. However, not all scientists are able to fully participate in the international science community. Scientists from developing countries can face barriers to communicating with the international community due to, among other issues: fewer scientists in their home country, difficulty in getting language-specific science writing training, fewer established pre-existing international collaborations and networks, and sometimes geographic isolation. These barriers not only result in keeping individual scientists from contributing their ideas, but they also slow down the progress of the scientific enterprise for everyone. Global Science Share (http://globalscienceshare.org/) is a new project, entering its pilot phase in Fall 2012, which will work to reduce this disparity by connecting young scientists and engineers from developing countries seeking to improve their technical writing with other scientists and engineers around the world via online collaborations. Scientist-volunteers act as mentors and are paired up with mentees according to their academic field and writing needs. The mentors give feedback and constructive technical and editorial criticisms on mentees' submitted pieces of writing through a four-step email discussion. Mentees gain technical writing skills, as well as make international connections with other scientists and engineers in fields related to their own. Mentors also benefit by gaining new international scientific colleagues and honing their own writing skills through their critiques. The Global Science Share project will begin its pilot phase by first inviting Mongolian science students to apply as mentees this fall. This abstract will introduce the Global Science Share program, present a progress report from its first

  8. Mutualism in museums: A model for engaging undergraduates in biodiversity science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2017-11-01

    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.

  9. Mutualism in museums: A model for engaging undergraduates in biodiversity science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicero, Carla; Albe, Monica J.; Barclay, Theresa L. W.; Spencer, Carol L.; Koo, Michelle S.; Bowie, Rauri C. K.; Lacey, Eileen A.

    2017-01-01

    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

  10. Kimchi: Spicy Science for the Undergraduate Microbiology Laboratory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia A. Young

    2014-02-01

    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.

  11. Producing an Online Undergraduate Literary Magazine: A Guide to Using Problem-Based Learning in the Writing and Publishing Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persichetti, Amy L.

    2016-01-01

    This article will illustrate how a problem-based learning (PBL) course (Savery, 2006) can be used in a writing program as a vehicle for both creative and preprofessional learning. English 420: Writing, Publishing, and Editing is offered every fall, and its counterpart, English 423: Writing, Publishing, and Editing is offered each spring. The…

  12. Journal of Undergraduate Research, Volume IX, 2009

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stiner, K. S.; Graham, S.; Khan, M.; Dilks, J.; Mayer, D.

    2009-01-01

    Each year more than 600 undergraduate students are awarded paid internships at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Laboratories. Th ese interns are paired with research scientists who serve as mentors in authentic research projects. All participants write a research abstract and present at a poster session and/or complete a fulllength research paper. Abstracts and selected papers from our 2007–2008 interns that represent the breadth and depth of undergraduate research performed each year at our National Laboratories are published here in the Journal of Undergraduate Research. The fields in which these students worked included: Biology; Chemistry; Computer Science; Engineering; Environmental Science; General Science; Materials Science; Medical and Health Sciences; Nuclear Science; Physics; Science Policy; and Waste Management.

  13. Undergraduate female science-related career choices: A phenomenological study

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Exploring Conceptions about Writing and Learning: Undergraduates' Patterns of Beliefs and the Quality of Academic Writing (Acercamiento a las concepciones sobre la escritura y el aprendizaje: patrones de creencias de los universitarios y la calidad de su redacción académica)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Fernández, J. R.; Corcelles, M.; Bañales, G.; Castelló, M.; Gutiérrez-Braojos, C.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: In this study, the conceptions of learning and writing of a group of undergraduates enrolled in a teacher education programme were identified. The relationship between them were analysed, and a set of patterns of beliefs about learning and writing were defined. Finally, the relation between these patterns and the quality of a text…

  15. Self Reflections of Undergraduate Students on Using Web-Supported Counterintuitive Science Demonstrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, David Devraj; Dunn, Jessica

    2018-03-01

    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.

  16. Practicing biology: Undergraduate laboratory research, persistence in science, and the impact of self-efficacy beliefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkes, Elizabeth

    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

  17. Methods used for Undergraduate Education at the University of Alaska Southeast Environmental Sciences Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavner, M. J.; Hood, E. W.; Connor, C. L.

    2004-12-01

    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.

  18. Undergraduate Research or Research-Based Courses: Which Is Most Beneficial for Science Students?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivares-Donoso, Ruby; González, Carlos

    2017-06-01

    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.

  19. Science Fiction Handbook, Revised: A Guide to Writing Imaginative Literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Camp, L. Sprague; de Camp, Catherine C.

    This book provides the general reader with an introduction to the field of imaginative fiction. The first two chapters describe the growth of science fiction from Aristophanes to Asimov and give the history of its parent literature, fantasy. The rest of the book affords the apprentice writer an overview of skills necessary for creating imaginative…

  20. Teaching Writing and Critical Thinking in Large Political Science Classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Daniel; Weinberg, Joseph; Reifler, Jason

    2014-01-01

    In the interest of developing a combination of teaching techniques designed to maximize efficiency "and" quality of instruction, we have experimentally tested three separate and relatively common teaching techniques in three large introductory political science classes at a large urban public university. Our results indicate that the…

  1. Integrating Writing into Science through Student-Made Field Guides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaither, Elizabeth; Scott, Catherine Marie

    2016-01-01

    In our experience, providing students with opportunities to explore outdoors has benefited them greatly in appreciating the outdoors and learning more about the environment. Similarly, researchers recognize that participants of outdoor schoolyard instruction have a more significant increase in cognitive understanding of ecological science concepts…

  2. Concept Mapping Revisited: Nurturing Children's Writing Skills in Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isabelle, Aaron

    2015-01-01

    Concept mapping has long been used an assessment tool by educators to illustrate students' conceptual development of a topic over time. In this article, we chronicle the use of concept maps in a language arts environment. Focusing on a literacy tutoring program for struggling readers/writers centered on hands-on science experiments, we explain how…

  3. A Research Experiences for Undergraduates program (REU) Program Designed to Recruit, Engage and Prepare a Diverse Student Population for Careers in Ocean Sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarkston, B. E.; Garza, C.

    2016-02-01

    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

  4. Science as a general education: Conceptual science should constitute the compulsory core of multi-disciplinary undergraduate degrees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charlton, Bruce G

    2006-01-01

    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.

  5. The hand of science academic writing and its rewards

    CERN Document Server

    Cronin, Blaise

    2005-01-01

    The collaborative character of science and scholarship, whether formal or informal in nature, is the focus of this discussion by a master of the subject. The world of scholarly communication is evolving with exponential speed. Propelled by the Web and the rapid transition from paper to electronic journals, the scale of the research effort is moving from the individual to research conducted by dozens of scientists scattered all over the globe.These changes evoke many questions: What does it mean to be an author in an age of collective effort? How are responsibility and credit allocated in collaborative endeavors? What is the relationship between reading, referencing and reputation - the political economy of citation? How are social relations inscribed in intellectual space? Will the move to online and open access publishing provide new measures of authorial salience and intellectual impact? Cronin answers these questions as he captures the complex relationship between authorship and the reward system of scienc...

  6. Impact of Undergraduate Research Mentorship Affects on Student Desire, Confidence and Motivation to Continue Work in Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salm, Ann E.

    2015-01-01

    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…

  7. Do Biology Students Really Hate Math? Empirical Insights into Undergraduate Life Science Majors' Emotions about Mathematics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachsmuth, Lucas P; Runyon, Christopher R; Drake, John M; Dolan, Erin L

    2017-01-01

    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).

  8. A Blueprint for Expanding the Mentoring Networks of Undergraduate Women in the Earth and Environmental Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

    2017-12-01

    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/).

  9. Persistence of deaf students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics undergraduate programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Social Networking among Library and Information Science Undergraduate Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alakpodia, Onome Norah

    2015-01-01

    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…

  11. Essential Ingredients of a Good Research Proposal for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students in the Social Sciences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raymond Talinbe Abdulai

    2014-08-01

    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.

  12. Do Biology Students Really Hate Math? Empirical Insights into Undergraduate Life Science Majors’ Emotions about Mathematics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachsmuth, Lucas P.; Runyon, Christopher R.; Drake, John M.; Dolan, Erin L.

    2017-01-01

    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

  13. 21 The Value of Understanding Students' Prior Writing Experience in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    How do undergraduate science students learn to imitate the language of science, particularly in reading and writing research articles, and what should be understood when they do not get this right? Given that the technical language of the research article is a resource that scientists use to persuade the scientific community ...

  14. Investigating the effectiveness of implementing the Science Writing Heuristic on student performance in general chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poock, Jason Ray

    This research investigated the effectiveness at how the Science Writing Heuristic in the freshman chemistry laboratory for science and engineering majors at Iowa State University during the fall and spring semesters of the 2002--2003 academic year, was implemented. The Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) consists of two components, writing to learn strategies and conducting the laboratory session in a student-centered, guided-inquiry fashion. The writing component replaced the standard laboratory report with a series of questions that guided the students' critical thinking along the lines of scientific investigation. The writing process helped students construct knowledge. Also critical to the successful implementation of the SWH was conducting the laboratory experiments in a student-centered, guided-inquiry fashion. Through the SWH the students became engaged in meaningful scientific dialogue that promoted knowledge construction. For the SWH to be properly implemented, a classroom dynamic between the teacher and the students should be established. The teacher provides the framework within which the laboratory experiment is conducted and the students respond to that guidance by becoming engaged in the learning process. Results of the study showed that student scores improved when the teacher properly implemented the SWH, when the students responded positively to the implementation of the SWH, and when there was a proper classroom dynamic created between the teacher and the students. This study revealed that successful implementation of the SWH was beneficial to females and low ability students. This research also demonstrated a connection between the implementation of a learning strategy in the laboratory component of a course and the subsequent benefit in student performance in the lecture component of the course.

  15. Relevance, textual unity, and politeness in writing about science

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kreml, N.M.P.

    1992-01-01

    The question of whether there are social implications of linguistic choices in unifying a text is investigated empirically by this study which accounts for the interpretation of implicatures in conversation and written texts. It considers Relevance Theory (Sperber and Wilson 1988, Blakemore 1987, Blass 1990) to be the explanation of the unity of the text, as opposed to semantic theories of cohesion (Halliday and Hasan 1976) or pragmatic theories of coherence (van Dijk 1977). This study presents a model of three types of textual unifiers: overt (referring specifically to the text), embedded (referring to intra- and extra-textual information), and inference (not referring to the text at all). It hypothesizes that different genres are characterized by the predominance of different types of textual unifiers, and that readers will prefer those texts that rely on inferential unifiers which emphasize the reader's ability to participate in creating the meaning of the text. Eighteen texts of 275 words each are selected from three genres: scientific magazines, introductory science textbooks, and essays on science. The texts are found to vary significantly by genre in the type of textual unifier used. An Overtness Index expresses the ratio of the marked forms: science textbooks have more Overt unifiers (such as connective phrases) and thus a high Overtness Index; essays rely more on Inference unifiers (not represented by words) and thus have a low Overtness Index. The texts are submitted to 188 readers, and a significantly high number of all types of readers prefer the texts with the lower Overtness Indices-the essays. Thus a low Overtness Index is one feature of texts preferred by readers, supporting the hypotheses that genres of texts vary in the type of unifier used and that readers prefer texts that allow them to participate in constructing the meaning of the text.

  16. Scottish science fiction: writing Scottish literature back into history

    OpenAIRE

    Miller, Gavin

    2010-01-01

    The increasing vigour of Scottish literature since the 1980s has led not only to a revival in literary fiction, but also to a growing diversification into other narrative genres. The detective story – in the form of so-called “tartan noir” – has been the most obvious popular genre to undergo revival, but science fiction has also blossomed in the work of authors such as Alasdair Gray, Iain (M.) Banks, and Ken MacLeod. In this article, I trace something of the problematic history of Scottish sc...

  17. Longitudinal effects of college type and selectivity on degrees conferred upon undergraduate females in physical science, life science, math and computer science, and social science

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. [Undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the biological sciences in Chile (1985)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemeyer, H

    1986-01-01

    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

  19. Facilitating awareness of philosophy of science, ethics and communication through manual skills training in undergraduate education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kordahl, Hilde Lund; Fougner, Marit

    2017-03-01

    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

  20. An Inquiry-Based Approach to Teaching Space Weather to Undergraduate Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cade, W. B., III

    2016-12-01

    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.

  1. Of responsible research-Exploring the science-society dialogue in undergraduate training within the life sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Maria Strecht; Quintanilha, Alexandre

    2017-01-02

    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.

  2. "Our Zoo to You": The Link between Zoo Animals in the Classroom and Science and Literacy Concepts in First-Grade Journal Writing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Kathleen; Trainin, Guy; Laughridge, Virginia; Brooks, David; Wickless, Mimi

    2011-01-01

    This study examined first-grade students' journal writing to determine how placing live zoo animals in classrooms for science education links to students' emergent and early writing. Students were asked to write journal entries during the daily language arts period. Although no direct instruction in informational text writing was offered, teachers…

  3. Radiochemistry course in the undergraduate nuclear science program at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sarmani, S.B.; Yahaya, R.B.; Yasir, M.S.; Majid, A.Ab.; Khoo, K.S.; Rahman, I.A.; Mohamed, F.

    2015-01-01

    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)

  4. Experiences of undergraduate African health sciences students: A hermeneutic inquiry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inyama, Davis; Williams, Allison; McCauley, Kay

    2015-06-01

    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.

  5. Do Biology Students Really Hate Math? Empirical Insights into Undergraduate Life Science Majors' Emotions about Mathematics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachsmuth, Lucas P.; Runyon, Christopher R.; Drake, John M.; Dolan, Erin L.

    2017-01-01

    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…

  6. A Model of Critical Peer Feedback to Facilitate Business English Writing Using Qzone Weblogs among Chinese Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xianwei, Gao; Samuel, Moses; Asmawi, Adelina

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore critical thinking skills in peer feedback for Business English writing in order to facilitate the quality of peer feedback and quality of Business English writing. "Critical peer feedback" was conceptualized with the integration of "critical thinking" and "peer feedback" in…

  7. A look at spatial abilities in undergraduate women science majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Undergraduates' Attitudes Toward Science and Their Epistemological Beliefs: Positive Effects of Certainty and Authority Beliefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulmer, Gavin W.

    2013-08-01

    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.

  9. Undergraduates' Attitudes Toward Science and Their Epistemological Beliefs: Positive Effects of Certainty and Authority Beliefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulmer, Gavin W.

    2014-02-01

    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.

  10. Introducing Taiwanese undergraduate students to the nature of science through Nobel Prize stories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haim Eshach

    2013-04-01

    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.

  11. Engaging Undergraduate Education Majors in the Practice of Astronomy through a Coherent Science Content Storyline Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plummer, Julia; Palma, Christopher

    2015-08-01

    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

  12. Lecturing undergraduate science in Danish and in English

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thøgersen, Jacob; Airey, John

    2011-01-01

    , 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...

  13. Lecturing undergraduate science in Danish and in English

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thøgersen, Jacob; Airey, John

    2011-01-01

    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...

  14. Concept Maps for Improved Science Reasoning and Writing: Complexity Isn’t Everything

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowd, Jason E.; Duncan, Tanya; Reynolds, Julie A.

    2015-01-01

    A pervasive notion in the literature is that complex concept maps reflect greater knowledge and/or more expert-like thinking than less complex concept maps. We show that concept maps used to structure scientific writing and clarify scientific reasoning do not adhere to this notion. In an undergraduate course for thesis writers, students use concept maps instead of traditional outlines to define the boundaries and scope of their research and to construct an argument for the significance of their research. Students generate maps at the beginning of the semester, revise after peer review, and revise once more at the end of the semester. Although some students revised their maps to make them more complex, a significant proportion of students simplified their maps. We found no correlation between increased complexity and improved scientific reasoning and writing skills, suggesting that sometimes students simplify their understanding as they develop more expert-like thinking. These results suggest that concept maps, when used as an intervention, can meet the varying needs of a diverse population of student writers. PMID:26538388

  15. Adherence and perceptions regarding simulation training in undergraduate health Sciences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  16. Clinical medical sciences for undergraduate dental students in the United Kingdom and Ireland - a curriculum.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Mighell, A J

    2011-08-01

    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.

  17. Can a tablet device alter undergraduate science students' study behavior and use of technology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Neil P; Ramsay, Luke; Chauhan, Vikesh

    2012-06-01

    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.

  18. The Effects of Case-Based Instruction on Undergraduate Biology Students' Understanding of the Nature of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Pathways into Geoscience (IUSE: GEOPATHS) - A National Science Foundation Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, B.; Patino, L. C.

    2016-12-01

    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

  20. Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Experiences in Geosciences for Physical Science and Engineering Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bililign, S.; Schimmel, K.; Lin, Y. L.; Germuth, A.

    2014-12-01

    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.

  1. Psychological Distress and Sources of Stressors amongst Medical and Science Undergraduate Students in Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali S Radeef

    2017-08-01

    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.

  2. The effects of different types of video modelling on undergraduate students’ motivation and learning in an academic writing course

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariet Raedts

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available This study extends previous research on observational learning in writing. It was our objective to enhance students’ motivation and learning in an academic writing course on research synthesis writing. Participants were 162 first-year college students who had no experience with the writing task. Based on Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory we developed two videos. In the first video a manager (prestige model elaborated on how synthesizing information is important in professional life. In the second video a peer model demonstrated a five-step writing strategy for writing up a research synthesis. We compared two versions of this video. In the explicit-strategy-instruction-video we added visual cues to channel learners’ attention to critical features of the demonstrated task using an acronym in which each letter represented a step of the model’s strategy. In the implicit-strategy-instruction-video these cues were absent. The effects of the videos were tested using a 2x2 factorial between-subjects design with video of the prestige model (yes/no and type of instructional video (implicit versus explicit strategy instruction as factors. Four post-test measures were obtained: task value, self-efficacy beliefs, task knowledge and writing performances. Path analyses revealed that the prestige model did not affect students’ task value. Peer-mediated explicit strategy instruction had no effect on self-efficacy, but a strong effect on task knowledge. Task knowledge – in turn – was found to be predictive of writing performance.

  3. Teaching Spatial Thinking in Undergraduate Geology Courses Using Tools and Strategies from Cognitive Science Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ormand, C. J.; Shipley, T. F.; Dutrow, B. L.; Goodwin, L. B.; Hickson, T. A.; Tikoff, B.; Atit, K.; Gagnier, K. M.; Resnick, I.

    2015-12-01

    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.

  4. Science teachers and docents as mentors to science and mathematics undergraduates in formal and information settings. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koran, J.J. Jr. [Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL (United States)

    1993-10-15

    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.

  5. Writing in science: Influences of professional development on teachers' beliefs, practices, and student performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulton, Lori

    Science education reform calls for learners to be engaged in hand-on, minds-on activities related to science. As a part of this reform effort, learners are encouraged to use writing as a means of documenting their work and developing their understandings. This qualitative case study employed the Conceptual Change Perspective and Sociocultural Perspective to examine the impact on three elementary teachers' beliefs, practices, and student outcomes, as they relate to science notebooks, based on their participation in a professional study group. Data sources included teacher and student interviews, video of the study group meetings, video of classroom lessons, and student work in the form of science notebooks and pre- and posttests. Results show that the study group discussions focused on the science notebook as a tool, the teacher's role, the students' struggle to write, and the content of the notebook. Individual cases were developed and then a cross-case analysis was conducted. Results of this analysis suggest that the longer a teacher is involved in a study group, the greater the impact on her beliefs and practices, which resulted in students being able to define a purpose for the notebook, having a higher percentage of the parts of a conclusion within their notebooks, and demonstrating an understanding of the scientific content. Based on the analysis, a substantive theory on the development of insightful implementation of science notebooks was developed. This study has implications for both the elementary classroom and teacher education programs in helping teachers learn reform-based practices that facilitate student learning. Finally, suggestions for future research are considered.

  6. Uncovering the lived experiences of junior and senior undergraduate female science majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adornato, Philip

    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.

  7. Targeting Future Customers: An Introductory Biobanking Course for Undergraduate Students of Life Sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdelhafiz, Ahmed Samir; Fouda, Merhan Ahmed; El-Jaafary, Shaimaa Ibrahim; Farghly, Maysa Ibrahim; Salem, Mazen; Tammam, Ahmed; Gabr, Hala

    2017-08-01

    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

  8. Peer Feedback Enhances a "Journal Club" for Undergraduate Science Students That Develops Oral Communication and Critical Evaluation Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colthorpe, Kay; Chen, Xuebin; Zimbardi, Kirsten

    2014-01-01

    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…

  9. Using a Scientific Paper Format to Foster Problem-Based, Cohort-Learning in Undergraduate Environmental Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, T.; Langley-Turnbaugh, S. J.; Sanford, R.

    2006-01-01

    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…

  10. Conceptions of the Nature of Science Held by Undergraduate Pre-Service Biology Teachers in South-West Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adedoyin, A. O.; Bello, G.

    2017-01-01

    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…

  11. Women, Men, and Academic Performance in Science and Engineering: The Gender Difference in Undergraduate Grade Point Averages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnert, Gerhard; Fox, Mary Frank

    2012-01-01

    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…

  12. Insights for undergraduates seeking an advanced degree in wildlife and fisheries sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaemingk, Mark A.; Dembkowski, Daniel J.; Meyer, Hilary A.; Gigliotti, Larry M.

    2013-01-01

    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.

  13. A flexible e-learning resource promoting the critical reading of scientific papers for science undergraduates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letchford, Julie; Corradi, Hazel; Day, Trevor

    2017-11-01

    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.

  14. Undergraduate Research Involving Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students in Interdisciplinary Science Projects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd Pagano

    2015-05-01

    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.

  15. Rudiments of materials science

    CERN Document Server

    Pillai, SO

    2007-01-01

    Writing a comprehensive book on Materials Science for the benefit of undergraduate courses in Science and Engineering was a day dream of the first author, Dr. S.O. Pillai for a long period. However, the dream became true after a lapse of couple of years. Lucid and logical exposition of the subject matter is the special feature of this book.

  16. Reading and Writing as Scientists? Text Genres and Literacy Practices in Girls' Middle-Grade Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faller, S. Elisabeth

    2018-01-01

    Science teachers are often charged with providing discipline-specific literacy instruction. However, little is known about the reading and writing genres, or text types, typically found in these classrooms. In particular, there is a lack of knowledge about what opportunities adolescents have to engage with the genres privileged in science to learn…

  17. A study of the relationship between reflective writing and critical thinking in seventh grade integrated science students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowicki, Mark Adam

    This study examined the role of reflective journal writing on the development of critical thinking in seventh grade integrated science students. The students participating in this study were part of four science classes taught by the same instructor, using the same curriculum and methods employed during this study. The larger working group consisted of 69 seventh grade students who were allowed to participate in this study by virtue of a signed consent form. The 12 students who comprised the smaller writing group were selected from the larger working group. The smaller, criterion-based writing group was selected from the working group based on their level of critical thinking as indicated on the pre-test instrument. The study utilized several methods of data collection. Data were collected through analyses of student journal entries, class discussions, and a pre and posttest instrument to measure a student's level of critical thinking. All participants were given code names to mask their identity. The findings of this study indicate that a majority of the students' ability to think critically appeared to improve after 18 weeks of reflective journal writing. However, no relationship was found between a student's level of critical thinking and his or her ability to write reflectively. Although many participants did improve their level of reflective writing and critical thinking, there was no direct relationship found between the two skills. This study provided some evidence that reflective journal writing is beneficial for students although some benefits may be intangible. The attitudes of many students toward writing improved, and there was a noticeable increase in students' willingness to share their thoughts and respond to questions in class. Practice in reflective writing also contributed to improved writing skills by the participants. Additionally, there are five recommendations for further research derived from this study.

  18. Science Diaries: A Brief Writing Intervention to Improve Motivation to Learn Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernacki, Matthew; Nokes-Malach, Timothy; Richey, J. Elizabeth; Belenky, Daniel M.

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the hypothesis that prompting students to self-assess their interest and understanding of science concepts and activities would increase their motivation in science classes. Students were randomly assigned to an experimental condition that wrote self-assessments of their competence and interest in science lessons or a…

  19. Source of stressors and emotional disturbances among undergraduate science students in Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Sabri Radeef, Ghasak Ghazi Faisal, Syed Masroor Ali, MaungKoHajee Mohamed Ismail

    2014-04-01

    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.

  20. The use of simulation as a novel experiential learning module in undergraduate science pathophysiology education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hui; Kelly, Michelle; Hayes, Carolyn; van Reyk, David; Herok, George

    2016-09-01

    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.

  1. The use of appetite suppressants among health sciences undergraduate students in Southern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubaran, Carlos; Lazzaretti, Rubia

    2013-01-01

    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.

  2. A new course and textbook on Physical Models of Living Systems, for science and engineering undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Philip

    2015-03-01

    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.

  3. Astronomers Who Write Science Fiction: Using SF as a Form of Astronomy Outreach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraknoi, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    In a recent survey, I have identified 21 living professional astronomers who write science fiction, plus a yet uncounted number of physicists. Many of the science fiction stories by this group involve, as you might imagine, reasonable extrapolation from current scientific ideas and discoveries. These stories, some of which are available free on the Web or are collected in inexpensive anthologies, represented a method of astronomy outreach to which relatively little attention has been paid. I will list the authors identified in the survey and provide a representative list of their stories or novels, organized by astronomical topic. I will also discuss how written SF (and SF films based on ideas by scientists, such as Kip Thorne's "Interstellar") can be used in general education classes and public programs. Scientists do not need to cede the field to wizards, dragons, and zombies! (Note: The author is included in the list of 21, having published two short stories in two different anthologies recently.)

  4. The historiography of contemporary science, technology, and medicine writing recent science

    CERN Document Server

    Söderqvist, Thomas

    2006-01-01

    As historians of science increasingly turn to work on recent (post 1945) science, the historiographical and methodological problems associated with the history of contemporary science are debated with growing frequency and urgency. Bringing together authorities on the history, historiography and methodology of recent and contemporary science, this book reviews the problems facing historians of technology, contemporary science and medicine, and explores new ways forward. With contributions from key researchers in the field, the text covers topics that will be of ever increasing interest to historians of post-war science, including the difficulties of accessing and using secret archival material, the interactions between archivists, historians and scientists, and the politics of evidence and historical accounts.

  5. Mini-Journals: Incorporating Inquiry, Quantitative Skills and Writing into Homework Assignments for Geochemistry and Planetary Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittington, A. G.; Speck, A.; Witzig, S.

    2011-12-01

    As part of an NSF-funded project, "CUES: Connecting Undergraduates to the Enterprise of Science," new inquiry-based homework materials were developed for two upper-level classes at the University of Missouri: Geochemistry (required for Geology majors, fulfills the computing requirement by having 50% of the grade come from five spreadsheet-based homework assignments), and Solar System Science (open to seniors and graduate students, co-taught and cross-listed between Geology and Physics & Astronomy). Inquiry involves activities where the learner engages in scientifically oriented questions, gives priority to evidence in responding to questions, formulates explanations from evidence, connects explanations to scientific knowledge, and communicates and justifies explanations. We engage students in inquiry-based learning by presenting homework exercises as "mini-journal" articles that follow the format of a scientific journal article, including a title, authors, abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion and citations to peer-reviewed literature. The mini-journal provides a scaffold and serves as a springboard for students to develop and carry out their own follow-up investigation. They then present their findings in the form of their own mini-journal. Mini-journals replace traditional homework problem sets with a format that more directly reflects and encourages scientific practice. Students are engaged in inquiry-based homework which encompass doing, thinking, and communicating, while the mini-journal allows the instructor to contain lines of inquiry within the limits posed by available resources. In the examples we present, research is conducted via spreadsheet modeling, where the students develop their own spreadsheets. Example assignments from Geochemistry include "Trace Element Partitioning During Mantle Melting and MORB Crystallization" and "Isotopic Investigations of Crustal Evolution in the Midcontinent US". The key differences between the old and new

  6. New Measures Assessing Predictors of Academic Persistence for Historically Underrepresented Racial/Ethnic Undergraduates in Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byars-Winston, Angela; Rogers, Jenna; Branchaw, Janet; Pribbenow, Christine; Hanke, Ryan; Pfund, Christine

    2016-01-01

    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

  7. Evidence of The Importance of Philosophy of Science Course On Undergraduate Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suyono

    2018-01-01

    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.

  8. Undergraduate science research: a comparison of influences and experiences between premed and non-premed students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacifici, Lara Brongo; Thomson, Norman

    2011-01-01

    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.

  9. Undergraduate Science Research: A Comparison of Influences and Experiences between Premed and Non–Premed Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacifici, Lara Brongo; Thomson, Norman

    2011-01-01

    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

  10. When Do Students "Learn-to-Comprehend" Scientific Sources?: Evaluation of a Critical Skill in Undergraduates Progressing through a Science Major.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Tamara L; Guenther, Merrilee F; Raimondi, Stacey L

    2015-05-01

    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.

  11. Undergraduate honors students' images of science: Nature of scientific work and scientific knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. A Model Of Critical Peer Feedback To Facilitate Business English Writing Using Qzone Weblogs Among Chinese Undergraduates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gao Xianwei

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to explore critical thinking skills in peer feedback for Business English writing in order to facilitate the quality of peer feedback and quality of Business English writing. “Critical peer feedback” was conceptualized with the integration of “critical thinking” and “peer feedback” in order to improve the quality of peer feedback. This study explored the process, content and factors of critical peer feedback through Qzone weblogs, and summarized the model of critical peer feedback. A qualitative case study was conducted with a group of six junior students majoring in Business English for one semester in a Chinese university. Three models of critical thinking including Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy, Paul-Elder Model and Reichenbach’s Six Steps Model, were transferred to the participants in the workshops. Three kinds of data including semi-structured interview transcripts, six writing assignments and artifacts of critical peer feedback, were analyzed by QSR NVivo 8. The findings revealed that the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy is more acceptable for the beginners of critical peer feedback which provides a six-step model of critical thinking. The process of critical peer feedback in online context was summarized as four steps- “intake”, “critical thinking”, “output”, and “post-output”. Each of the four steps had several mental processes in critical peer feedback. This study may be significant for the knowledge of higher-order peer feedback to facilitate the quality of higher-level writing.

  13. An Evaluation of Research Ethics in Undergraduate Health Science Research Methodology Programs at a South African University.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coetzee, Tanya; Hoffmann, Willem A; de Roubaix, Malcolm

    2015-10-01

    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.

  14. The influences and experiences of African American undergraduate science majors at predominately White universities

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  15. Repeatable Writing Assignments to Enhance Student Writing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiebold, W. J.; And Others

    1990-01-01

    Discussed is the use of two short writing assignments and a peer review system in an undergraduate agronomy course to improve writing skills and the learning of agronomic principles. Provided is a course description and procedures used in the course. Student evaluation in the course is reviewed. (CW)

  16. Increasing persistence in undergraduate science majors: a model for institutional support of underrepresented students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toven-Lindsey, Brit; Levis-Fitzgerald, Marc; Barber, Paul H; Hasson, Tama

    2015-01-01

    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).

  17. Understanding the Views of the Nature of Science of Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hypolite, Karen L.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  18. Brownfield Action Online - An Interactive Undergraduate Science Course in Environmental Forensics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liddicoat, Joseph; Bower, Peter

    2014-05-01

    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.

  19. Competency-based reforms of the undergraduate biology curriculum: integrating the physical and biological sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Katerina V; Chmielewski, Jean; Gaines, Michael S; Hrycyna, Christine A; LaCourse, William R

    2013-06-01

    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.

  20. An integrated undergraduate pain curriculum, based on IASP curricula, for six health science faculties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2004-07-01

    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.

  1. "Brevity is the Soul of Wit": Use of a Stepwise Project to Teach Concise Scientific Writing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cyr, Nicole E

    2017-01-01

    Skillful writing is essential for professionals in science and medicine. Consequently, many undergraduate institutions have adjusted their curriculum to include in-depth instruction and practice in writing for students majoring in the sciences. In neuroscience, students are often asked to write a laboratory report in the style of a primary scientific article or a term paper structured like a review article. Typically, students write section by section and build up to the final draft of a complete paper. In this way, students learn how to write a scientific paper. While learning to write such a paper is important, this is not the only type of written communication relevant to scientific careers. Here, I describe a stepwise writing project aimed to improve editing, succinctness, and the ability to synthesize the literature. Furthermore, I provide feedback from the students, and discuss the advantages and challenges of this project.

  2. Pilot study of a budget-tailored culinary nutrition education program for undergraduate food science students

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  3. Practice education learning environments: the mismatch between perceived and preferred expectations of undergraduate health science students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Ted; Williams, Brett; McKenna, Lisa; Palermo, Claire; McCall, Louise; Roller, Louis; Hewitt, Lesley; Molloy, Liz; Baird, Marilyn; Aldabah, Ligal

    2011-11-01

    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 © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Inservice teachers' implementation of the Science Writing Heuristic as a tool for professional growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omar, Sozan H.

    According to the National Science Standards, science educators have been calling for the inclusion of inquiry-based approaches in science classrooms as a reform for science instruction. Teachers' reluctance to implement inquiry-based approaches may be attributed to the different interpretations of the underpinning theory. Any efforts to help teachers implement effective teaching approaches, therefore, should not target merely additive skills; rather, such efforts should foster fundamental changes of beliefs, knowledge, and habits of practice that teachers deeply hold. This study is a part of a bigger project known as the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) Partnership Professional Development Project, conducted at Iowa State University in association with the Iowa Department of Education to help improve science teaching. The aim of the project is to help in service science teachers understand and apply a student-oriented instructional approach, using the SWH. The framework of the SWH emphasizes the role of classroom dialogical discussion in students' learning. The role of the teacher when implementing constructivist approaches represented in a student-oriented instruction, differs markedly from traditional approaches, and hence there is a need to study the changes in teaching practice when using this specific tool. The methodological framework of this study combined qualitative and quantitative methods. Interpretative case studies for 18 science teachers are presented. A triangulation strategy was used to provide support for the qualitative findings using three different data collection approaches: observation, questionnaire, and interviews. Quantitative data in the form of student performance on higher order conceptual questions and total test scores were collected. Teachers varied in their implementation of the SWH. Three criteria were constructed to define teachers' levels of implementation: epistemological belief, pedagogical practice, and teacher content knowledge

  5. Longitudinal analysis of standardized test scores of students in the Science Writing Heuristic approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chanlen, Niphon

    The purpose of this study was to examine the longitudinal impacts of the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) approach on student science achievement measured by the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS). A number of studies have reported positive impact of an inquiry-based instruction on student achievement, critical thinking skills, reasoning skills, attitude toward science, etc. So far, studies have focused on exploring how an intervention affects student achievement using teacher/researcher-generated measurement. Only a few studies have attempted to explore the long-term impacts of an intervention on student science achievement measured by standardized tests. The students' science and reading ITBS data was collected from 2000 to 2011 from a school district which had adopted the SWH approach as the main approach in science classrooms since 2002. The data consisted of 12,350 data points from 3,039 students. The multilevel model for change with discontinuity in elevation and slope technique was used to analyze changes in student science achievement growth trajectories prior and after adopting the SWH approach. The results showed that the SWH approach positively impacted students by initially raising science achievement scores. The initial impact was maintained and gradually increased when students were continuously exposed to the SWH approach. Disadvantaged students who were at risk of having low science achievement had bigger benefits from experience with the SWH approach. As a result, existing problematic achievement gaps were narrowed down. Moreover, students who started experience with the SWH approach as early as elementary school seemed to have better science achievement growth compared to students who started experiencing with the SWH approach only in high school. The results found in this study not only confirmed the positive impacts of the SWH approach on student achievement, but also demonstrated additive impacts found when students had longitudinal experiences

  6. The First Mediterranean Seminar on Science Writing, Editing and Publishing, Sarajevo, December 2-3, 2016.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masic, Izet; Donev, Doncho; Sinanovic, Osman; Jakovljevic, Miro; Zerem, Enver; Milosevic, Dejan B; Gajovic, Srecko; Gasparyan, Armen Yuri; Sokolovic, Sekib; Salkic, Nermin; Uzunovic, Selma; Dobric, Silva; Kurti, Floreta; Begic, Edin; Kurtcehajic, Admir

    2016-12-01

    The First Mediterranean Seminar on Science Writing, Editing & Publishing (SWEP 2016) was held in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina from 2nd to 3rd December 2016. It was organized by Academy of Medical Sciences of Bosnia and Herzegovina, running concurrent sessions as part of its Annual Meeting titled " "Days of AMNuBiH - Theory and Practice in Science Communication and Scientometrics". Hotel Bosnia in the city centre was the chosen venue. On the first day, nineteen presentations on various issues of science writing and publication ethics were delivered by speakers from Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina and the UK (Asim Kurjak, Milivoj Boranić, Doncho Donev, Osman Sinanović, Miro Jakovljević, Enver Zerem, Dejan Milošević, Silva Dobrić, Srećko Gajović, Izet Mašić, Armen Yuri Gasparyan, Šekib Sokolović, Nermin Salkić, Selma Uzunović, Admir Kurtčehajić, Edin Begić and Floreta Kurti). Each presentation had a take-home message for novice and seasoned authors, encountering numerous problems in non-Anglophone research environment. Lecturers, who were internationally recognized editors of regional journals, generously shared their experience of adhering to the best ethical guidance. Elegant presentations by Srećko Gajović (Editor-in-Chief of the Croatian Medical Journal) and Armen Yuri Gasparyan (past Chief Editor of the European Science Editing) showcased their accomplishments that strengthened ties between authors from all over the world. Gasparyan reflected on educational resources of editorial associations, such as the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), and called not just to declare the adherence to, but also to enforce their ethical guidance in daily practice. Editors of Medical Archives, Croatian Medica Journal, Vojnosanitetski Pregled, Psychiatria Danubina, Acta Informatica Medica, Materia Socio-Medica, The Donald School Journal of Ultrasound in Obstretics

  7. Engaging Women in Computer Science and Engineering: Promising Practices for Promoting Gender Equity in Undergraduate Research Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Karen A.; Fann, Amy J.; Misa-Escalante, Kimberly O.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  8. Effects of a Research-Infused Botanical Curriculum on Undergraduates' Content Knowledge, STEM Competencies, and Attitudes toward Plant Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Jennifer Rhode; Clarke, H. David; Horton, Jonathan L.

    2014-01-01

    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…

  9. A Report from the Higher Education Review Board (HERB): Assessment of Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes in Food Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartel, R. W.; Iwaoka, W. T.

    2016-01-01

    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…

  10. The Experimental Teaching Reform in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for Undergraduate Students in Peking University Health Science Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiaohan; Sun, Luyang; Zhao, Ying; Yi, Xia; Zhu, Bin; Wang, Pu; Lin, Hong; Ni, Juhua

    2015-01-01

    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…

  11. Undergraduate Research Experiences in Geosciences for Physical Science and Engineering Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bililign, S.; Schimmel, K.; Lin, Y. L.; Germuth, A.

    2015-12-01

    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.

  12. Downscaling Climate Science to the Classroom: Diverse Opportunities for Teaching Climate Science in Diverse Ways to Diverse Undergraduate Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, R. M.; Gill, T. E.; Quesada, D.; Hedquist, B. C.

    2015-12-01

    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

  13. So much more than just a list: exploring the nature of critical questioning in undergraduate sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedrosa-de-Jesus, Helena; Moreira, Aurora; Lopes, Betina; Watts, Mike

    2014-05-01

    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

  14. Absenteeism among medical and health science undergraduate students at Hawassa University, Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desalegn, Anteneh Assefa; Berhan, Asres; Berhan, Yifru

    2014-04-14

    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.

  15. Cross-Cultural Comparisons of Undergraduate Student Views of the Nature of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arino de la Rubia, Leigh S.; Lin, Tzung-Jin; Tsai, Chin-Chung

    2014-07-01

    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.

  16. Improving scientific learning and supporting civic engagement for undergraduate non-science majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Value Added: History of Physics in a ``Science, Technology, and Society'' General Education Undergraduate Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuenschwander, Dwight

    2016-03-01

    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.

  18. Factor structure of the Communicator Styles Measure (CSM) when used with undergraduate health science students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Ted; Boyle, Malcolm; Williams, Brett; Molloy, Andrew; McKenna, Lisa; Palermo, Claire; Molloy, Liz

    2013-06-01

    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.

  19. Connecting self-efficacy and views about the nature of science in undergraduate research experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quan, Gina M.; Elby, Andrew

    2016-12-01

    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.

  20. A Data-enhanced On-line Learning Environment for Undergraduate Earth System Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    di, L.; Deng, M.

    2004-12-01

    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

  1. Biomedical Science Undergraduate Major: A New Pathway to Advance Research and the Health Professions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunn, John S; Ledford, Cynthia H; Mousetes, Steven J; Grever, Michael R

    2018-01-01

    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

  2. High School Students' Attitudes and Beliefs on Using the Science Writing Heuristic in an Advanced Placement Chemistry Class

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putti, Alice

    2011-01-01

    This paper discusses student attitudes and beliefs on using the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) in an advanced placement (AP) chemistry classroom. During the 2007 school year, the SWH was used in a class of 24 AP chemistry students. Using a Likert-type survey, student attitudes and beliefs on the process were determined. Methods for the study are…

  3. Integrating K-W-L Prompts into Science Journal Writing: Can Simple Question Scaffolding Increase Student Content Knowledge?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Brandon Joel

    Writing-to-learn strategies have been administered in the past to enrich student learning. The purpose of this study was to see if K-W-L prompts in science journal writing could benefit student content knowledge within biology. Two high school biology classes were provided with learning journals. The journals given to the students during the treatment unit were provided with K-W-L question prompts to guide student learning while during the comparison unit students were given an open ended writing assignment. Pre and posttests were administered to determine student-learning gains. Student motivations and opinions of the treatment were collected through student interviews. The combined results were used to determine to what extent could K-W-L prompts in science journal writing influence comprehension of content knowledge. This study found there to be no difference in student learning gains when utilizing the K-W-L literacy strategy versus another free-writing activity. When scored, student K-W-Ls total scores did correlate to student success on unit tests. This opens up the potential for K-W-Ls to serve as an adequate tool for formative assessment. Here the K-W-L could be expanded to enrich student question asking, potentially aid students learning English, and potentially be used by students without teacher scaffolding.

  4. Learning physical biology via modeling and simulation: A new course and textbook for science and engineering undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Philip

    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.

  5. Research and Teaching: Writing to Learn in the Natural Sciences--Does Source Material Matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Heather Rebecca; Rasmussen, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    For over 4 decades, educational researchers have been studying best practices for introducing writing into the curriculum. One successful strategy, a low-stakes writing exercise called "writing to learn" (WTL), has been implemented across several disciplines within higher education. In light of a growing interest in the use of technology…

  6. An Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Space Physics Course: Understanding the Process of Science Through One Field's Colorful History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Ramon E.

    1996-01-01

    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.

  7. The ASSURE Summer REU Program: Introducing research to first-generation and underserved undergraduates through space sciences and engineering projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barron, Darcy; Peticolas, Laura; Multiverse Team at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Lab

    2018-01-01

    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.

  8. Teaching microbiology to undergraduate students in the humanities and the social sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oren, Aharon

    2015-10-01

    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: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. First Experiences with Reading Primary Literature by Undergraduate Life Science Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Lacum, Edwin; Ossevoort, Miriam; Buikema, Hendrik; Goedhart, Martin

    2012-08-01

    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.

  10. Brownfield Action: An education through an environmental science simulation experience for undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Developing Leaders: Implementation of a Peer Advising Program for a Public Health Sciences Undergraduate Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan eGriffin

    2015-01-01

    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

  12. How to engage undergraduate students in Soil Science: some strategies to enhance their motivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zornoza, Raúl; Lozano-García, Beatriz; Acosta, Jose A.; Martínez-Martínez, Silvia; Parras-Alcántara, Luis; Faz, Angel

    2017-04-01

    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

  13. Writing Nature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin Asdal

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available This special issue of the Nordic Journal of Science and Technology Studies is interested in how nature, in different versions and forms, is invited into our studies, analyses, and stories. How is it that we “write nature”? How is it that we provide space for, and actually describe the actors, agents, or surroundings, in our stories and analyses? The articles in the issue each deal with different understandings of both the practices of writing and the introduction of various natures into these. In this introduction to the issue the editors engage with actor-network theory as a material semiotic resource for writing nature. We propose to foreground actor-network theory as a writing tool, at the expense of actor-network theory as a distinct vocabulary. In doing this and pointing out the semiotic origins to material-semiotics we also want to problematize a clear-cut material approach to writing nature.

  14. How Role Play Addresses the Difficulties Students Perceive when Writing Reflectively about the Concepts They are Learning in Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millar, Susan

    A fundamental problem which confronts Science teachers is the difficulty many students experience in the construction, understanding and remembering of concepts. This is more likely to occur when teachers adhere to a Transmission model of teaching and learning, and fail to provide students with opportunities to construct their own learning. Social construction, followed by individual reflective writing, enables students to construct their own understanding of concepts and effectively promotes deep learning. This method of constructing knowledge in the classroom is often overlooked by teachers as they either have no knowledge of it, or do not know how to appropriate it for successful teaching in Science. This study identifies the difficulties which students often experience when writing reflectively and offers solutions which are likely to reduce these difficulties. These solutions, and the use of reflective writing itself, challenge the ideology of the Sydney Genre School, which forms the basis of the attempt to deal with literacy in the NSW Science Syllabus. The findings of this investigation support the concept of literacy as the ability to use oral and written language, reading and listening to construct meaning. The investigation demonstrates how structured discussion, role play and reflective writing can be used to this end. While the Sydney Genre School methodology focuses on the structure of genre as a prerequisite for understanding concepts in Science, the findings of this study demonstrate that students can use their own words to discuss and write reflectively as they construct scientific concepts for themselves. Social construction and reflective writing can contribute to the construction of concepts and the development of metacognition in Science. However, students often experience difficulties when writing reflectively about scientific concepts they are learning. In this investigation, students identified these difficulties as an inability to understand

  15. An investigation of communication patterns and strategies between international teaching assistants and undergraduate students in university-level science labs

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  16. The effects of blogs versus dialogue journals on open-response writing scores and attitudes of grade eight science students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Diane K.

    Today's students have grown up surrounded by technology. They use cell phones, word processors, and the Internet with ease, talking with peers in their community and around the world through e-mails, chatrooms, instant messaging, online discussions, and weblogs ("blogs"). In the midst of this technological explosion, adolescents face a growing need for strong literacy skills in all subject areas for achievement in school and on mandated state and national high stakes tests. The purpose of this study was to examine the use of blogs as a tool for improving open-response writing in the secondary science classroom in comparison to the use of handwritten dialogue journals. The study used a mixed-method approach, gathering both quantitative and qualitative data from 94 students in four eighth-grade science classes. Two classes participated in online class blogs where they posted ideas about science and responded to the ideas of other classmates. Two classes participated in handwritten dialogue journals, writing ideas about science and exchanging journals to respond to the ideas of classmates. The study explored these research questions: Does the use of blogs, as compared to the use of handwritten dialogue journals, improve the open-response writing scores of eighth grade science students? How do students describe their experience using blogs to study science as compared to students using handwritten dialogue journals? and How do motivation, self-efficacy, and community manifest themselves in students who use blogs as compared to students who use handwritten dialogue journals? The quantitative aspect of the study used data from pre- and post-tests and from a Likert-scale post-survey. The pre- and post-writing on open-response science questions were scored using the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) open-response scoring rubric. The study found no statistically significant difference in the writing scores between the blog group and the dialogue journal

  17. A Social Capital Perspective on the Mentoring of Undergraduate Life Science Researchers: An Empirical Study of Undergraduate–Postgraduate–Faculty Triads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aikens, Melissa L.; Sadselia, Sona; Watkins, Keiana; Evans, Mara; Eby, Lillian T.; Dolan, Erin L.

    2016-01-01

    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

  18. "Hey! Today I Will Tell You about the Water Cycle!": Variations of Language and Organizational Features in Third-Grade Science Explanation Writing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avalos, Mary A.; Secada, Walter G.; Zisselsberger, Margarita Gómez; Gort, Mileidis

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated third graders' use and variation of linguistic resources when writing a science explanation. Using systemic functional linguistics as a framework, we purposefully selected and analyzed writing samples of students with high and low scores to explore how the students' use of language features (i.e., lexicogrammatical…

  19. An analysis of the information technology discipline in archival sciences undergraduate courses of universities from the south of Brazil

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    Nelma Camêlo Araujo

    2009-10-01

    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

  20. Mapping the level of scientific reasoning skills to instructional methodologies among Malaysian science-mathematics-engineering undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tajudin, Nor'ain Mohd.; Saad, Noor Shah; Rahman, Nurulhuda Abd; Yahaya, Asmayati; Alimon, Hasimah; Dollah, Mohd. Uzi; Abd Karim, Mohd. Mustaman

    2012-05-01

    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

  1. Using Assessments to Investigate and Compare the Nature of Learning in Undergraduate Science Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Momsen, Jennifer; Offerdahl, Erika; Kryjevskaia, Mila; Montplaisir, Lisa; Anderson, Elizabeth; Grosz, Nate

    2013-01-01

    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

  2. Teaching Map Concepts in Social Science Education; an Evaluation with Undergraduate Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugdayci, Ilkay; Zahit Selvi, H.

    2017-12-01

    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.

  3. Using assessments to investigate and compare the nature of learning in undergraduate science courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Momsen, Jennifer; Offerdahl, Erika; Kryjevskaia, Mila; Montplaisir, Lisa; Anderson, Elizabeth; Grosz, Nate

    2013-06-01

    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.

  4. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Undergraduate Education and Research Programs, Facilities, and Information Access

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    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.

  5. Human sciences in the first semester of the dental undergraduate course at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Röding, K

    1999-08-01

    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

  6. Knowledge of healthy foods does not translate to healthy snack consumption among exercise science undergraduates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McArthur, Laura H; Valentino, Antonette; Holbert, Donald

    2017-06-01

    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.

  7. Using Sol-Gel Chemistry to Synthesize a Material with Properties Suited for Chemical Sensing. Development and Implementation of a Materials Science Experiment for the Undergraduate Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laughlin, J. B.; Sarquis, J. L.; Jones, V. M.; Cox, J. A.

    2000-01-01

    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.

  8. Narrative writing and the emergence of speech voices: a bet for otherness in the (context of humanities and social sciences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mário Henrique da Mata Martins

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available We defend narrative-polyphonic writing as a condition of possibility for the expression of another in (contexts of research in the humanities and social sciences and also as an epistemological and philosophical positioning with a critical and reflexive character for considering the interlocutors as co-builders of knowledge. This proposal intends to valorize otherness in scientific text. The discussion is grounded in theoretical-methodological field of Discursive Practices and Production of Senses that hinges on Social Constructionism.

  9. Assessing Attitudes Towards Science During an Adaptive Online Astrobiology Course: Comparing Online and On-Campus Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perera, Viranga; Mead, Chris; Buxner, Sanlyn; Horodyskyj, Lev; Semken, Steven; Lopatto, David; Anbar, Ariel

    2016-10-01

    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

  10. Referencing Science: Teaching Undergraduates to Identify, Validate, and Utilize Peer-Reviewed Online Literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berzonsky, William A.; Richardson, Katherine D.

    2008-01-01

    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…

  11. Evaluating an Instrument to Quantify Attitude to the Subject of Physiology in Undergraduate Health Science Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Stephen; White, Sue; Bowmar, Alex; Power, Nicola

    2017-01-01

    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…

  12. Ideas and Approaches for Teaching Undergraduate Research Methods in the Health Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peachey, Andrew A.; Baller, Stephanie L.

    2015-01-01

    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…

  13. United States Naval Academy Polar Science Program; Undergraduate Research and Outreach in Polar Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woods, J. E.

    2013-12-01

    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

  14. Effects of Persuasion and Discussion Goals on Writing, Cognitive Load, and Learning in Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Perry D.; Ehrhardt, Jacqueline S.

    2015-01-01

    Argumentation can contribute significantly to content area learning. Recent research has raised questions about the effects of discussion (deliberation) goals versus persuasion (disputation) goals on reasoning and learning. This is the first study to compare the effects of these writing goals on individual writing to learn. Grade 7 and 8 students…

  15. The value of a writing center at a medical university.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariail, Jennie; Thomas, Suzanne; Smith, Tom; Kerr, Lisa; Richards-Slaughter, Shannon; Shaw, Darlene

    2013-01-01

    Students often enter graduate healthcare/biomedical schools with insufficient undergraduate instruction in effective writing, yet the ability to write well affects their career opportunities in health care and in scientific research. The present study was conducted to determine the value and effectiveness of instruction by faculty with expertise in teaching writing at a writing center at an academic health science center. Two separate sources of data were collected and analyzed. First, an anonymous campus-wide survey assessed students' satisfaction and utilization of the university's Writing Center. Second, a nonexperimental objective study was conducted comparing a subsample of students who used versus those who did not receive instruction at the Writing Center on quality of writing, as determined by an evaluator who was blind to students' utilization status. From the campus-wide survey, more than 90% of respondents who used the center (which was 26% of the student body) agreed that it was a valuable and effective resource. From the objective study of writing quality, students who used the Writing Center were twice as likely as students who did not to receive an A grade on the written assignment, and the blinded evaluator accurately estimated which students used the Writing Center based on the clarity of writing. The instruction at the Writing Center at our university is highly valued by students, and its value is further supported by objective evidence of efficacy. Such a center offers the opportunity to provide instruction that medical and other healthcare students increasingly need without requiring additions to existing curricula. By developing competency in writing, students prepare for scholarly pursuits, and through the process of writing, they engage critical thinking skills that can make them more attuned to narrative and more reflective and empathetic in the clinical setting.

  16. The Effect of Journal Writing on Students' Cognitive Critical Thinking Skills: "A Quasi-Experimental Research on an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Undergraduate Classroom in Egypt"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaarawy, Hanaa Youssef

    2014-01-01

    Based on writing weekly academic journals and on Bloom's (1984) taxonomy of cognitive critical thinking skills, this article reports on a quasi-experiment where journal writing was an additional task to an academic writing course. The experiment was carried out with first year university students (semester two) in one of the Egyptian private…

  17. "The impossible made possible": A method for measuring change in conceptual understanding in undergraduate science students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Himangshu, Sumitra

    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

  18. Enhancing Student Writing and Computer Programming with LATEX and MATLAB in Multivariable Calculus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Eric; Melvin, Timothy

    2016-01-01

    Written communication and computer programming are foundational components of an undergraduate degree in the mathematical sciences. All lower-division mathematics courses at our institution are paired with computer-based writing, coding, and problem-solving activities. In multivariable calculus we utilize MATLAB and LATEX to have students explore…

  19. Enhancing the research and publication efforts of health sciences librarians via an academic writing retreat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bullion, John W; Brower, Stewart M

    2017-10-01

    This case study describes the South Central Chapter of the Medical Library Association (SCC/MLA) initiative to develop an academic writing retreat for members who sought the necessary time and support to advance their research projects toward publication. SCC/MLA staged a dedicated writing retreat to coincide with the organization's 2012, 2013, and 2014 annual meetings. Each cohort met over two days to write and to workshop their peers' manuscripts. Organizers distributed an online survey one month after each retreat to evaluate attendees' perceptions. Three years' worth of writing retreats yielded fourteen peer-reviewed articles and one book chapter. Participants indicated that the retreat helped them meet or exceed their writing goals by offering protected time and a setting conducive to productivity. The format of the retreat is cost effective and easily adaptable for fellow professionals who wish to organize a formal event as a conference offering or simply support a writing group at their home institutions. In SCC/MLA, the retreat revitalized interest in writing and demystified the scholarly publication process.

  20. Benefits and Limitations of Online Instruction in Natural Science Undergraduate Liberal Arts Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liddicoat, Joseph; Roberts, Godfrey; Liddicoat, Kendra; Porzecanski, Ana Luz; Mendez, Martin; McMullen, David

    2013-04-01

    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.

  1. Cross-disciplinary thermoregulation and sweat analysis laboratory experiences for undergraduate Chemistry and Exercise Science students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulligan, Gregory; Taylor, Nichole; Glen, Mary; Tomlin, Dona; Gaul, Catherine A

    2011-06-01

    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.

  2. The art of scientific writing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gad-El-Hak, Mohamed

    2015-11-01

    The humanities teach students how to learn and communicate. Science teaches why everything works. Engineering teaches how to make things work. But scientists and engineers need to communicate their ideas amongst themselves as well as to everyone else. A newly developed technical writing course is outlined. In the class, offered to senior undergraduate and beginning graduate students, we read numerous short novels, essays, and op-eds. Some of the reading materials are technical but many are not. The students also have weekly writing assignments. When the first assignment is returned to the students with a grade of 20-30%, their first reaction is, ``how come I did not receive my usual 80-90%?'' I retort, ``you reach that level only when your essay is ready to be published in The New York Times.'' What is emphasized in the class is the process of creating something to write about, researching that something, expressing ideas coherently and comprehensibly, then endlessly editing the essay. The elective class has been offered three times thus far, all of its available seats are always filled, the students' evaluations have been outstanding, and the improvements in the students' ability to write by the end of the semester is quite impressive.

  3. Methods and successes of New York University workshops for science graduate students and post-docs in science writing for general audiences (readers and radio listeners)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, S. S.

    2012-12-01

    Scientists and science administrators often stress the importance of communication to the general public, but rarely develop educational infrastructures to achieve this goal. Since 2009, the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University has offered a series of basic and advanced writing workshops for graduate students and post-docs in NYU's eight scientific divisions (neuroscience, psychology, physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, anthropology, and computer science). The basic methodology of the NYU approach will be described, along with successful examples of both written and radio work by students that have been either published or broadcast by general interest journalism outlets.

  4. Doing, talking and writing science: A discourse analysis of the process of resemiotization in a middle school lab-based science class

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Laura J.

    This study examines students' sense making practices in a middle school science class from a discourse analytic perspective. Using Mediated Discourse Analysis (MDA) (Scollon 1998, 2001) and interactional sociolinguistics (Gumperz 1999, 2001, Schiffrin 1994), my research seeks to enrich findings from recent sociocultural studies of science classrooms that focus on doing, talking and writing science (Roth 2005, Kress, et al. 2002, Halliday & Martin 1993, Lemke 1990). Within a middle school science classroom, these fundamental activities form a nexus of practice (Scollon 1998, 2001) basic to science literacy (AAAS 1989) and reflective of the work of practicing scientists. Moreover, students' engagement in these practices provides insight into the cultural production and reproduction of science and scientist. I first examine how the students' curriculum text encourages these three scientific practices and then trace students' uptake; that is, how they subsequently do, talk, and write science throughout the course of the unit. I argue that learning science with this curriculum unit requires students to resemiotize (Iedema 2001, 2003) first hand experience so they can represent their knowledge cohesively and coherently in evaluable forms. Ultimately, students must transform language from the curriculum text and their teacher into action in their laboratory activities and action in their laboratory activities into language. In addition, I show how students are apprenticed to the conventionalized practices and voices (Bakhtin 1986) of science (i.e. the scientific register), and how their figures of personhood (Agha 2005) reflect the development of their scientific identities. Overall, I argue that the microanalytic methods I use illuminate how students draw upon curricular resources to become scientifically literate and develop scientific identities.

  5. Undergraduate Convexity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lauritzen, Niels

    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...

  6. Exploring Science in the Studio: NSF-Funded Initiatives to Increase Scientific Literacy in Undergraduate Art and Design Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metzger, C. A.

    2015-12-01

    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

  7. The CLEAN Workshop Series: Promoting Effective Pedagogy for Teaching Undergraduate Climate Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, K. B.; Bruckner, M. Z.; Manduca, C. A.; Buhr, S. M.

    2012-12-01

    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

  8. Journal writing in science: Effects on comprehension, interest, and critical reflection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin Wäschle

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Writing-to-learn assignments typically foster deep comprehension of learning contents. Journal writing, in particular, promotes the application of learning strategies, which promote learners’ comprehension, interest in a topic and ability to critically reflect on learning contents. Against this background, we conducted two longitudinal field studies. In Study 1, twenty-one students wrote learning journal entries after their biology lessons. After the intervention period, they showed better scores in comprehension, interest and critical reflection than the control class, in which students (n=25 completed other homework assignments. Mediation analyses revealed a domino effect: Journal writing improved comprehension, which led to raised interest, which resulted in superior critical reflection. Study 2 further investigated the role of learners’ interest in improving critical reflection. Students in the experimental condition (n=13 received a personal-utility prompt in addition to cognitive and metacognitive prompts to support journal writing. In the control group (n=11, students only received cognitive and metacognitive prompts. The experimental group showed higher interest scores after the intervention period and a better quality of critical reflections on a bio-ethical issue than the control group. Together, these studies illustrate the potentials of journal writing for improving learners’ comprehension, their interest and ability to critically reflect on complex scientific issues.

  9. C-MORE Scholars Program: Encouraging Hawaii`s Undergraduates to Explore the Ocean and Earth Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruno, B. C.; Gibson, B.

    2008-05-01

    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

  10. A case based- shared teaching approach in undergraduate medical curriculum: the real integration in basic and clinical sciences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soheil Peiman

    2017-05-01

    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.

  11. Gender and Belonging in Undergraduate Computer Science: A Comparative Case Study of Student Experiences in Gateway Courses. WCER Working Paper No. 2016-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benbow, Ross J.; Vivyan, Erika

    2016-01-01

    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…

  12. Developing Food Science Core Competencies in Vietnam: The Role of Experience and Problem Solving in an Industry-Based Undergraduate Research Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeGrand, Karen; Yamashita, Lina; Trexler, Cary J.; Vu, Thi Lam An; Young, Glenn M.

    2017-01-01

    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…

  13. Views on the philosophy of science among undergraduate science students and their tutors at the University of Papua New Guinea: origins, progression, enculturation and destinations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kichawen, Pongie; Swain, Julian; Monk, Martin

    2004-01-01

    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.

  14. Escrevendo em aulas de ciências Writing in science classes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla Marques Alvarenga de Oliveira

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Neste artigo, apresentamos uma análise dos registros escritos dos alunos do 3° ano do Ensino Fundamental nas aulas de Ciências, em que a professora utilizou as atividades de conhecimento físico, criadas pelo Laboratório de Pesquisa e Ensino de Física da Faculdade de Educação da Universidade de São Paulo. Os registros analisados foram coletados na Escola de Aplicação da Feusp, no ano de 2001, durante o acompanhamento de três aulas de Ciências: o problema do submarino, o problema do barquinho e o problema da pressão. O artigo procura mostrar um panorama de como aparecem os registros realizados pelos alunos, após uma aula de Ciências em que eles são levados a resolver situações problemáticas por meio da experimentação, argumentar e escrever sobre os fenômenos físicos. Durante a análise, levou-se em consideração os tipos de textos que os alunos escrevem, o uso da primeira pessoa, o uso de verbos de ação, o respeito à ordem cronológica dos eventos e quais os tipos de explicações os alunos atribuem aos fenômenos trabalhados.This article analyzed the written records of Third Grade students of Elementary School at Escola de Aplicação, Universidade de São Paulo, gathered during the Science classes of the 2001 school year, in which activities about physical understanding were used. Created by the Laboratory of Research and Teaching of Physics - LAPEF, of the College of Education of USP, the activities "The Problem of the Submarine", "The Problem of the Little Boat" and "The Problem of the Pressure" required the students to solve problematic situations through experimentation, developing arguments and write about the phenomena. The study developed a framework of how the records are presented by the students, considering the types of texts they produce, the use of the first person, the use of verbs of action, the respect of the chronological order of events and the types of explanations the students give for the

  15. Factors affecting the matriculation of African American undergraduate students in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  16. Life in the Universe - Astronomy and Planetary Science Research Experience for Undergraduates at the SETI Institute

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiar, J.; Phillips, C. B.; Rudolph, A.; Bonaccorsi, R.; Tarter, J.; Harp, G.; Caldwell, D. A.; DeVore, E. K.

    2016-12-01

    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

  17. Exploring face-to-face and Web-based pedagogy in undergraduate natural resource sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mbabaliye, Theogene

    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

  18. How to Create High-Impact Writing Assignments That Enhance Learning and Development and Reinvigorate WAC/WID Programs: What Almost 72,000 Undergraduates Taught Us

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Paul; Anson, Chris M.; Gonyea, Robert M.; Paine, Charles

    2016-01-01

    This article reports on a study that suggests ways that Writing Across the Curriculum/Writing in the Disciplines (WAC/WID) programs can increase the effectiveness of their efforts, including implementation of writingintensive courses, which are one of the Association of American Colleges and Universities' High-Impact Educational Practices. The…

  19. Research and Teaching: The Pairing of a Science Communications and a Language Course to Enrich First-Year English Language Learners' Writing and Argumentation Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welsh, Ashley J.; Shaw, Amber; Fox, Joanne A.

    2017-01-01

    This article explores how English-language learners' writing evolved during a first-year seminar in science course aimed at developing students' argumentation skills. We highlight how a science communications course was paired with a weekly academic English course in the context of a highly coordinated and enriched first-year experience program…

  20. Embedding Publication Skills in Science Research Training: A Writing Group Programme Based on Applied Linguistics Frameworks and Facilitated by a Scientist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cargill, Margaret; Smernik, Ronald

    2016-01-01

    Few systematic efforts have been reported to develop higher degree by research student skills for writing publishable articles in science and technology fields. There is a need to address this lack in the light of the current importance of publication to science research students and the high supervisor workload entailed in repeated draft…

  1. Assessing Student Attitudes Towards Science in an Adaptive Online Astrobiology Course: Comparing Online and On-Campus Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buxner, S.; Perera, V.; Mead, C.; Horodyskyj, L.; Semken, S. C.; Lopatto, D.; Anbar, A. D.

    2016-12-01

    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.

  2. Journal Writing: Enlivening Elementary Linear Algebra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meel, David E.

    1999-01-01

    Examines the various issues surrounding the implementation of journal writing in an undergraduate linear algebra course. Identifies the benefits of incorporating journal writing into an undergraduate mathematics course, which are supported with students' comments from their journals and their reflections on the process. Contains 14 references.…

  3. From Synapse to Syntax: The Science of Learning and the Teaching of Writing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancia, Kathleen A. St. Peters

    2013-01-01

    To best meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population, we must develop an integrative writing pedagogy that is informed by what the cognitive and neurosciences have uncovered about learning so that our theories of learning and practices of instruction are consistent with our most current and accurate knowledge of the biological and…

  4. Advising Undergraduates in a Department of Soil Science and/or Agronomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Gerhard B.

    1987-01-01

    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)

  5. Social Media and Electronic Networking Use and Preferences among Undergraduate Turf Science Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigelow, Cale A.; Kaminski, John E., III

    2016-01-01

    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…

  6. Student Perceptions of the Cell Biology Laboratory Learning Environment in Four Undergraduate Science Courses in Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2016-01-01

    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…

  7. Undergraduate Research Involving Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students in Interdisciplinary Science Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagano, Todd; Ross, Annemarie; Smith, Susan B.

    2015-01-01

    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…

  8. The Perceived Undergraduate Classroom Experiences of African American Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Kimberly Monique

    2013-01-01

    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…

  9. Research and Teaching: Blooming, SOLO Taxonomy, and Phenomenography as Assessment Strategies in Undergraduate Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Genevieve; Martin, Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    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)…

  10. Implementation and Assessment of Undergraduate Experiences in SOAP: An Atmospheric Science Research and Education Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopper, Larry J., Jr.; Schumacher, Courtney; Stachnik, Justin P.

    2013-01-01

    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'…

  11. Providing Research-Focused Work-Integrated Learning for High Achieving Science Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papakonstantinou, Theo; Charlton-Robb, Kate; Reina, Richard D.; Rayner, Gerry

    2013-01-01

    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,…

  12. How (and Whether) to Teach Undergraduates about the Replication Crisis in Psychological Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chopik, William J.; Bremner, Ryan H.; Defever, Andrew M.; Keller, Victor N.

    2018-01-01

    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…

  13. Lab Aliens, Legendary Fossils, and Deadly Science Potions: Views of Science and Scientists from Fifth Graders in a Free-Choice Creative Writing Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellman, Leslie G.

    This qualitative study uses children's writing to explore the divide between a conception of Science as a humanistic discipline reliant on creativity, ingenuity and out of the box thinking and a persistent public perception of science and scientists as rigid and methodical. Artifacts reviewed were 506 scripts written during 2014 and 2016 by 5th graders participating in an out-of classroom, mentor supported, free-choice 10-week arts and literacy initiative. 47% (237) of these scripts were found to contain content relating to Science, Scientists, Science Education and the Nature of Science. These 237 scripts were coded for themes; characteristics of named scientist characters were tracked and analyzed. Findings included NOS understandings being expressed by representation of Science and Engineering Practices; Ingenuity being primarily linked to Engineering tasks; common portrayals of science as magical or scientists as villains; and a persistence in negative stereotypes of scientists, including a lack of gender equity amongst the named scientist characters. Findings suggest that representations of scientists in popular culture highly influence the portrayals of scientists constructed by the students. Recommendations to teachers include encouraging explicit consideration of big-picture NOS concepts such as ethics during elementary school and encouraging the replacement of documentary or educational shows with more engaging fictional media.

  14. Doing science in order to communicate about science from 1st course of ESO: learning to think, to read, to make, to communicate and to write science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María del Pilar Menoyo Díaz

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This  article  presents  the  project  \\Doing  science  in  order  to  communicate  about  science  from  1st  course of ESO : learning to think, to read, to make to communicate and to write science", awarded with “Ethics and Science for schools" second price in 2015 by the Foundation Victor Grífols i Lucas. The project's aim is twofold: the first one is that students gradually achieve during the whole ESO's itinerary a high-quality scientific alphabetization from all the areas and thus acquiring scientific and linguistic competencies that qualify  them  to  ask  themselves  questions  that  can  be  answered  through  by  research.  Its  second  goal  is  to encourage  students  to  ethically  process  sources  of  information  and  data  gathering  as  well  as  to  make  a sustainable use of the available resources. Communication and external dissemination of the process and results of the research is encouraged in two main ways. The first one, is achieved by using Juan Manuel Zafra  high-school's  website  as  teaching-learning  tool:  both  in  the  private  area  (Moodle  and  the  public area (with an on-line magazine, news, tweets and blogs. Moreover, students are encouraged to participate in  young  researchers  meetings,  as  Exporecerca  Jove,  Jóvenes  Investigadores,  Galiciencia  among  others research seminars. This article propounds a progression of the scientific and linguistic competences along the  four  courses  of  ESO  as  well  as  proposing  frames  in  which  the  student  body  can  be  initiated  in  the research process.

  15. Inclusion of Pedigree-analysis (NUSAP) in undergraduate science education: An example

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dam, Marie Inger; Kjær Jensen, Jon; Jónsson, Jóhann Gunnar

    2009-01-01

    Aalborg University applies a problem-based learning model. Each semester all students form groups. Group members formulate and agree upon a problem they want to address, within their course of study, and write a long report on their findings (length depends on the year of study, the number of gro...

  16. Bridging the Gap: Embedding Communication Courses in the Science Undergraduate Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jandciu, Eric; Stewart, Jaclyn J.; Stoodley, Robin; Birol, Gülnur; Han, Andrea; Fox, Joanne A.

    2015-01-01

    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…

  17. Archimedes' Oldest Writings Under X-ray vision (BNL Women in Science Lecture Series)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bergmann, Uwe

    2009-01-01

    Archimedes of Syracuse (287-212 B.C.) is considered one of the most brilliant mathematicians and thinkers of all times. The tenth-century parchment document known as the Archimedes Palimpsest is the oldest surviving copy of works by the Greek genius. Currently, the privately owned Palimpsest is the subject of an integrated campaign of conservation, imaging, and scholarship being undertaken at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. Much of the text has been imaged by various optical techniques, but significant gaps in the legibility of the writing have remained on several pages. Large parts of these writings were recently deciphered at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource at SLAC. A special x-ray technique showed maps of iron in faint traces of partially erased ink. The x-ray images revealed Archimedes writings from some of his most important works that were hidden by twelfth-century biblical texts, mold and forged gold paintings. Join Bergmann in a fascinating journey of a 1,000-year-old parchment from its origin in the Mediterranean city of Constantinople to an x-ray beam line at SLAC in California.

  18. Launching and Undergraduate Earth System Science Curriculum with a Focus on Global Sustainability: the Loma Linda University Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, R. E.; Dunbar, S. G.; Soret, S.; Wiafe, S.; Gonzalez, D.; Rossi, T.

    2004-12-01

    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

  19. Undergraduate Convexity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lauritzen, Niels

    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....

  20. Rocking Your Writing Program: Integration of Visual Art, Language Arts, & Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poldberg, Monique M.,; Trainin, Guy; Andrzejczak, Nancy

    2013-01-01

    This paper explores the integration of art, literacy and science in a second grade classroom, showing how an integrative approach has a positive and lasting influence on student achievement in art, literacy, and science. Ways in which art, science, language arts, and cognition intersect are reviewed. Sample artifacts are presented along with their…

  1. Assessment as Living Documents of Program Identity and Institutional Goals: A Profile of Missouri University of Science and Technology's Composition Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reardon, Daniel; Wulff, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    In this profile we describe changes to the composition program at Missouri University of Science and Technology, prompted by the hiring of the university's first writing program administrator (WPA). We describe our efforts to implement evidence-based best practices in undergraduate writing courses in a context where very little program specific…

  2. Integrated Concentration in Science (iCons): Undergraduate Education Through Interdisciplinary, Team-Based, Real-World Problem Solving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuominen, Mark

    2013-03-01

    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.

  3. The Implementation of Levels of Inquiry With Writing-To-Learn Assignment To Improve Vocational School Student’s Science Literacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amarulloh, R. R.; Utari, S.; Feranie, S.

    2017-02-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of writing-to-learn assignment in a levels of inquiry learning to improve vocational school student’s science literacy competence and knowledge on the subject of temperature and heat. This study used quasi experiment research methods. The data were obtained using 16 item of science literacy instrument with essay format. The result shows that there was a significant difference on the improvement of science literacy ability between the experimental class and control class. A significant difference occurred in the evaluating and designing experiments competency, interpretating data and science evidence competency, and procedural knowledge. Therefore it can be concluded that the implementation of levels of inquiry with writing-to-learn assignment can improve vocational student’s science literacy competence and knowledge.

  4. Investigating the impact of teachers' implementation practices on academic achievement in science during a long-term professional development program on the Science Writing Heuristic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunel, Murat

    This study is a part of a bigger project known as the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) Partnership Professional Development Project, conducted at Iowa State University and the University of Iowa in association with the Iowa Department of Education to help improve science teaching. Overall, the goal of the project is to help practicing science teachers understand and apply a student-oriented instructional approach, using the SWH. The purpose of this research study was to examine the link between teachers' implementation of a student-oriented teaching approach through the SWH approach with embedded non-traditional writing practices and students' performances on standardized tests over a 3-year period. This study investigated the impact of 6 teachers' (3 high school teachers and 3 middle school teachers) implementation of the SWH approach on student standardized test scores over the 3-year period. A mixed method approach was adopted as a research method. A major premise underpinning this study is that in the rate of change differs by teachers, and that change is not a linear process for teachers. Results of the study indicated a differential across teachers in terms of improvement in pedagogical skills related to the SWH approach. Further, results showed that the SWH approach in-service program did have an impact on participating teachers' pedagogical practices. The majority of the participating teachers improved their pedagogical practices of implementing science inquiry through the SWH approach over the 3-year period of the professional development program. Further, when teachers' rankings were correlated against students' standardized test scores, the results indicated that as their implementation levels increased their students' test achievements also increased.

  5. Undergraduate Students' Earth Science Learning: Relationships among Conceptions, Approaches, and Learning Self-Efficacy in Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Kuan-Ming; Lee, Min-Hsien; Tsai, Chin-Chung; Chang, Chun-Yen

    2016-01-01

    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…

  6. [Supply and demand of clinical practice fields for training undergraduate health sciences students in Peru, 2005-2009].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alva, Javier; Verastegui, George; Velasquez, Edgar; Pastor, Reyna; Moscoso, Betsy

    2011-06-01

    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.

  7. Including service learning in the undergraduate communication sciences and disorders curriculum: benefits, challenges, and strategies for success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Kimberly A

    2011-12-01

    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.

  8. Geography, Resources, and Environment of Latin America: An Undergraduate Science Course focused on Attracting Hispanic students to Science and on Educating Non-Hispanics about Latin America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pujana, I.; Stern, R. J.; Ledbetter, C. E.

    2004-12-01

    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

  9. Journal of Undergraduate Research, Volume VIII, 2008

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stiner, K. S.; Graham, S.; Khan, M.; Dilks, J.; Mayer, D.

    2008-01-01

    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.

  10. Virtual and Traditional Slides for Teaching Cellular Morphology to Medical Laboratory Science Undergraduates: A Comparative Study of Performance Outcomes, Retention, and Self-Efficacy Beliefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solberg, Brooke L.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  11. Effectiveness of mathematics education in secondary schools to meet the local universities missions in producing quality engineering and science undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakar Hasan, Abu; Fatah Abdul, Abdul; Selamat, Zalilah

    2018-01-01

    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.

  12. Designing and Implementing a Computational Methods Course for Upper-level Undergraduates and Postgraduates in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, E.; L'Ecuyer, T. S.; Douglas, A.; Hansen, Z.

    2017-12-01

    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.

  13. Academic writing in a corpus of 4th grade science notebooks: An analysis of student language use and adult expectations of the genres of school science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esquinca, Alberto

    This is a study of language use in the context of an inquiry-based science curriculum in which conceptual understanding ratings are used split texts into groups of "successful" and "unsuccessful" texts. "Successful" texts could include known features of science language. 420 texts generated by students in 14 classrooms from three school districts, culled from a prior study on the effectiveness of science notebooks to assess understanding, in addition to the aforementioned ratings are the data sources. In science notebooks, students write in the process of learning (here, a unit on electricity). The analytical framework is systemic functional linguistics (Halliday and Matthiessen, 2004; Eggins, 2004), specifically the concepts of genre, register and nominalization. Genre classification involves an analysis of the purpose and register features in the text (Schleppegrell, 2004). The use of features of the scientific academic register, namely the use relational processes and nominalization (Halliday and Martin, 1993), requires transitivity analysis and noun analysis. Transitivity analysis, consisting of the identification of the process type, is conducted on 4737 ranking clauses. A manual count of each noun used in the corpus allows for a typology of nouns. Four school science genres, procedures, procedural recounts reports and explanations, are found. Most texts (85.4%) are factual, and 14.1% are classified as explanations, the analytical genre. Logistic regression analysis indicates that there is no significant probability that the texts classified as explanation are placed in the group of "successful" texts. In addition, material process clauses predominate in the corpus, followed by relational process clauses. Results of a logistic regression analysis indicate that there is a significant probability (Chi square = 15.23, p corpus has recognizable genres and features science language, and relational processes are more prevalent in "successful" texts. However, the

  14. Interactive mobile learning: a pilot study of a new approach for sport science and medical undergraduate students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce-Low, S S; Burnet, S; Arber, K; Price, D; Webster, L; Stopforth, M

    2013-12-01

    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.

  15. Who Is Studying Science? The Impact of Widening Participation Policies on the Social Composition of UK Undergraduate Science Programmes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Emma; White, Patrick

    2011-01-01

    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…

  16. Giant Ants and Walking Plants: Using Science Fiction to Teach a Writing-Intensive, Lab-Based Biology Class for Nonmajors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firooznia, Fardad

    2006-01-01

    This writing-intensive, lab-based, nonmajor biology course explores scientific inquiry and biological concepts through specific topics illustrated or inaccurately depicted in works of science fiction. The laboratory emphasizes the scientific method and introduces several techniques used in biological research related to the works we study.…

  17. Leitura e redação entre universitários: avaliação de um programa de intervenção Reading and writing among undergraduates students: evaluation of a remedial program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel S. Sampaio

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available Este trabalho avalia a aplicação de um programa de intervenção em leitura e redação realizado com alunos ingressantes de dois cursos da área de Negócios de uma universidade particular, período noturno, num total de 42 participantes. Os resultados obtidos indicam que as diferenças de desempenho não foram estatisticamente significativas entre o pré e o pós-teste, mas que houve mudanças qualitativas nas atitudes dos alunos em relação a esses temas. O estudo enfatiza a necessidade de incorporação de disciplinas especificas ou atividades de longa duração aos currículos dos cursos de graduação, destinadas a oferecer aos alunos a oportunidade de superarem deficiências da escolarização anterior.This work evaluates a remedial program focused in reading and writing skills developed with 42 freshmen of two undergraduate courses of Business area. Final results demonstrate that there wasn’t significative increasing in the performance of the participants (considering pre and post tests at reading and writing activities. A qualitative change was observed in their opinions and atitudes throughout these subjects. It’s suggested the inclusion of long duration disciplines or activities in the curricula of these courses, offering the freshmen the opportunity to overcome their difficulties.

  18. Escritura y Bibliotecología/Ciencia de la Información = Writing and Librarianship and Information Science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parada, Alejandro E.

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available En este editorial se formulan una serie de reflexiones sobre varios elementos relacionados con la escritura y la Bibliotecología/Ciencia de la Información. Se analiza, especialmente, el contexto teórico-práctico de dicha producción textual como una instancia de la investigación bibliotecológica. Entre los diversos puntos en los cuales se manifiesta esta problemática, se mencionan los siguientes: el tema de la identidad bibliotecaria observada desde la otredad de distintos territorios de las Ciencias Sociales, la importancia de trascender los métodos y objetos de estudio que caracterizan al campo, la amplitud creadora de la representación de la escritura como la construcción de un propio relato bibliotecario, la urgencia de desarrollar discursos novedosos que coadyuven a un nuevo entramado de la Bibliotecología con otras ciencias, entre otros motivos. El editorial concluye con una reflexión general para que nuestra disciplina conciba el desafío de mirar sus temáticas tradicionales, y criterios de verosimilitud, desde otras miradas todavía no abordadas. = The following editorial includes a series of thoughts regarding some of the elements related to writing and Librarianship and Information Science. The theoretical and practical context of the text production is specially analyzed as an instance of the librarian research. Among the different points of this matter, the following are mentioned: Librarian identity from the perspective of the different areas in the Social Sciences conceived as the otherness, the importance of transcending the methods and subjects of study that characterize the field, the creative power of the representation of the writing as a construction of an own librarian story, the urgency to develop innovative discourses that contribute to a new network between Librarianship and Information Science and other sciences, etcetera. The conclusion of the editorial is that our discipline should conceive the challenge

  19. Standards-based teaching and educational digital libraries as innovations: Undergraduate science faculty in the adoption process

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  20. [Antisemitism in medical-natural science and philosophical writings of Paracelsus].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benzenhöfer, U; Finsterbusch, K

    1997-01-01

    During the "Third Reich", the famous German medical doctor Paracelsus (1493/94-1541) was often honoured as a forerunner of certain aspects of the "Nazi"-ideology. Especially some invectives against jews in his medical writings were often quoted in this context. But was he really the "racial" antisemite as the Nazis wanted to see him? In the present study the authors demonstrate in detail that Paracelsus, like many christian scholars in the early modern period, indeed was a propagator of a clear-cut antisemitism. But although he often used antisemitic stereotypes, his antisemitism was in no way "racial", and he was not one of the extremely radical antisemites of his time.

  1. Learning Style Preferences of Undergraduate Dietetics, Athletic Training, and Exercise Science Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Meredith G.; Hansen, Pamela; Rhee, Yeong; Brundt, Ardith; Terbizan, Donna; Christensen, Bryan

    2014-01-01

    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…

  2. A Program Aimed toward Inclusive Excellence for Underrepresented Undergraduate Women in the Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Laura A.; Aloisio, Kathryn M.; Horton, Nicholas J.; Ly, Minh; Pruss, Sara; Queeney, Kate; Rowen, Cate; DiBartolo, Patricia Marten

    2017-01-01

    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…

  3. Powerful Partnerships: The Worth of Embedding Masters Level Library Science Students in Undergraduate Classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becnel, Kim; Moeller, Robin A.; Pope, Jon C.

    2016-01-01

    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…

  4. The Necessity of Teaching for Aesthetic Learning Experiences in Undergraduate General Education Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biscotte, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    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…

  5. The Undergraduate Statistics Major--A Prelude to Actuarial Science Training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  6. Stem Cells and Society: An Undergraduate Course Exploring the Intersections among Science, Religion, and Law

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierret, Chris; Friedrichsen, Patricia

    2009-01-01

    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…

  7. Gender Differences in Science Course-Taking Patterns among College Undergraduates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  8. To be or not to be a facilitator of reflective learning for medical students? a case study of medical teachers' perceptions of introducing a reflective writing exercise to an undergraduate curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sukhato, Kanokporn; Sumrithe, Sutida; Wongrathanandha, Chathaya; Hathirat, Saipin; Leelapattana, Wajana; Dellow, Alan

    2016-04-04

    Introducing reflective writing to a medical curriculum requires the acceptance and participation of teachers. The purpose of this study was to explore medical teachers' views on the benefits of introducing a reflective writing exercise into an undergraduate medical curriculum, including their levels of satisfaction and their concerns. We also investigated effects on the teachers' personal and professional development arising from their roles as novice facilitators. A qualitative approach was employed using semi-structured interviews. During an attachment to Primary Care Medicine course, fourth-year medical students (n = 180) in the Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand were assigned to write a reflective essay titled, "A Significant Event in My First Clinical Year". After reading the essays and facilitating between one to three small group discussions based on these, each of the 18 teachers enrolled in our study completed an in-depth face to face interview. Transcripts of these were studied, using thematic content analysis to identify emerging themes. The novice facilitators felt that facilitated reflection was both valuable and appropriate for students. They also perceived that it had a positive impact on their own personal and professional lives. In the early phase of implementing this activity, teachers expressed concerns about 1) their ability and confidence as facilitators in small group discussion 2) their ability to deal with emotions raised within their groups 3) the effectiveness of the activity 4) poor presentation and possible fabrication of student work. Most teachers regarded this activity as being beneficial to them, to student learning, and to the curriculum. Their insights, including concerns about the level of skill needed for facilitation, provide valuable material for planning a comprehensive faculty development programme.

  9. Connecting undergraduate science education with the needs of today’s graduates [v1; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/4pl

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viviane Callier

    2014-11-01

    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.

  10. Undergraduate Experiences of Division I Athlete Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Graduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comeaux, Eddie; Bachman, Tina; Burton, Rena M.; Aliyeva, Aida

    2017-02-01

    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.

  11. Information literacy in Health Sciences: a training proposal for undergraduate nursing students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    César Manso Perea

    2015-06-01

    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.

  12. Using HeLa Cell Stress Response to Introduce First Year Students to the Scientific Method, Laboratory Techniques, Primary Literature, and Scientific Writing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resendes, Karen K.

    2015-01-01

    Incorporating scientific literacy into inquiry driven research is one of the most effective mechanisms for developing an undergraduate student's strength in writing. Additionally, discovery-based laboratories help develop students who approach science as critical thinkers. Thus, a three-week laboratory module for an introductory cell and molecular…

  13. Student Contributions to Citizen Science Programs As a Foundation for Independent and Classroom-Based Undergraduate Research in the Earth Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guertin, L. A.

    2014-12-01

    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

  14. 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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2015-07-01

    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.

  15. Doing peer review and receiving feedback: impact on scientific literacy and writing skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geithner, Christina A; Pollastro, Alexandria N

    2016-03-01

    Doing peer review has been effectively implemented to help students develop critical reading and writing skills; however, its application in Human Physiology programs is limited. The purpose of the present study was to determine the impact of peer review on Human Physiology majors' perceptions of their scientific literacy and writing skills. Students enrolled in the Scientific Writing course completed multiple writing assignments, including three revisions after receiving peer and instructor feedback. Students self-assessed their knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to science and writing in pre- and postcourse surveys (n = 26 with complete data). Seven survey items related to scientific literacy and writing skills impacted by peer review were selected for analysis. Scores on these survey items were summed to form a composite self-rating score. Responses to two questions regarding the most useful learning activities were submitted to frequency analysis. Mean postcourse scores for individual survey items and composite self-rating scores were significantly higher than precourse means (P writing skills. In conclusion, peer review is an effective teaching/learning approach for improving undergraduate Human Physiology majors' knowledge, skills, and attitudes regarding science and scientific writing. Copyright © 2016 The American Physiological Society.

  16. Differences between Lab Completion and Non-Completion on Student Performance in an Online Undergraduate Environmental Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corsi, Gianluca

    2011-12-01

    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.

  17. Debates of science vs. religion in undergraduate general education cosmology courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Aleman, Ramon

    2015-04-01

    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.

  18. Performance of first-year undergraduate students attending exact sciences courses in problems of the additive conceptual field

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilian Akemi Kato

    2015-10-01

    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.

  19. Development of Community Based Learning and Education system within Undergraduate Medical Curriculum of Patan Academy of Health Sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baral, K P; Upadhyay, S K; Bhandary, S; Gongal, R N; Karki, A

    2016-01-01

    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.

  20. Writing Beyond the Letter

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Küster, Marc Wilhelm

    2017-01-01

    textabstractThe ability to write, hence to preserve and share arbitrary words and thoughts, was one of the most important breakthroughs in the history of mankind. It laid the technological basis for what we perceive today as culture, science and, in good part, economy. Nonetheless, writing can