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ERIC Number: EJ1020511
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1539-2422
Engaging Biology Undergraduates in the Scientific Process through Writing a Theoretical Research Proposal
Stanford, Jennifer S.; Duwel, Laura E.
Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching, v39 n2 p17-24 Dec 2013
It has been suggested that research experiences are an important element that should be included in all undergraduate Biology curricula. This is a difficult suggestion to accommodate due to issues with cost, space and time. We addressed this challenge through development of a capstone project in which Biology majors work in groups to develop novel theoretical research proposals with guidance from a faculty mentor. Though students are not directly working at the bench, they are being mentored in aspects of the scientific process such as synthesizing information from the literature, asking novel research questions, constructing logical aims, designing experiments and writing scientifically. Since this project began, we have mentored 417 students in proposal writing and have assessed their experiences through pre-and post-surveys. Students have made gains in several areas, but most notably in their ability to pose novel questions and develop an experimental plan, and in the number of professional relationships they have with faculty members. Most faculty feel positively about mentoring these projects. In our view, this approach allows programs to engage a large number of students in the scientific process, and could be adapted for use in a variety of different university or college environments.
Association of College and Biology Educators. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A