ERIC Number: EJ1047238
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
The Python Project: A Unique Model for Extending Research Opportunities to Undergraduate Students
Harvey, Pamela A.; Wall, Christopher; Luckey, Stephen W.; Langer, Stephen; Leinwand, Leslie A.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v13 n4 p698-710 Dec 2014
Undergraduate science education curricula are traditionally composed of didactic instruction with a small number of laboratory courses that provide introductory training in research techniques. Research on learning methodologies suggests this model is relatively ineffective, whereas participation in independent research projects promotes enhanced knowledge acquisition and improves retention of students in science. However, availability of faculty mentors and limited departmental budgets prevent the majority of students from participating in research. A need therefore exists for this important component in undergraduate education in both small and large university settings. A course was designed to provide students with the opportunity to engage in a research project in a classroom setting. Importantly, the course collaborates with a sponsor's laboratory, producing a symbiotic relationship between the classroom and the laboratory and an evolving course curriculum. Students conduct a novel gene expression study, with their collective data being relevant to the ongoing research project in the sponsor's lab. The success of this course was assessed based on the quality of the data produced by the students, student perception data, student learning gains, and on whether the course promoted interest in and preparation for careers in science. In this paper, we describe the strategies and outcomes of this course, which represents a model for efficiently providing research opportunities to undergraduates.
Descriptors: Undergraduate Students, Undergraduate Study, Student Research, College Science, Science Instruction, Research Projects, Science Curriculum, College Curriculum, Science Laboratories, Partnerships in Education, Genetics, Student Attitudes, Academic Achievement, Student Interests, Science Careers, Course Evaluation, Student Characteristics, Demography, Lecture Method, Instructional Materials, Skill Development, Student Surveys, Online Surveys, Statistical Analysis, Knowledge Level, Molecular Biology, Positive Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado