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ERIC Number: ED491734
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Nov-5
Pages: 32
Abstractor: Author
"Hands-On" Undergraduate Research Opportunities in the Life Sciences: Preparing the Next Generation of Biological Researchers
Levis-Fitzgerald, Marc; Denson, Nida; Kerfeld, Cheryl A.
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (Kansas City, MO, Nov 5, 2004)
Over the past decade, a number of scholars have publicly criticized large research universities for failing to provide undergraduate students with the skills and abilities needed to succeed both in life and in the workforce. At the heart of this criticism is the concern that research institutions have de-emphasized teaching by increasing the size of undergraduate classes, expanding the role of teaching assistants, and structuring the faculty promotion process so that it provides greater rewards to those who conduct exceptional research at the expense of student learning (Boyer, 1990; Boyer Commission, 1998). Concerned, a number of institutions have examined their curriculum, looking for ways to improve the quality of the undergraduate experience. One strategy, taken at UCLA, is to use our strength as a research institution as the foundation of curricular reform; for example, by bringing research experience into science general education (Kerfeld, Levis, & Perry, 2001). We have developed a program ( in which large numbers of students (nearly 2,000 annually) participate in a research project in the context of their undergraduate coursework. The Undergraduate Genomics Research Initiative (UGRI), uses a common research goal, the sequencing of a microbial genome, to link several upper and lower division life sciences courses and science general education courses. In order to facilitate this multi-course collaboration, it was necessary to invent a new course based entirely on undergraduate research to serve as the hub of the UGRI. This paper presents findings from the first year assessment of this novel course, Life Sciences 187, Principles and Practices of Genomic Research. (Contains 8 tables.)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A