ERIC Number: EJ1074535
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Engaging Novice Researchers in the Process and Culture of Science Using a "Pass-the-Problem" Case Strategy
White, Harold B., III; Usher, David C.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v43 n5 p341-344 Sep-Oct 2015
Undergraduates having their first research experience frequently have little idea of what to expect. Institutions offering summer research experiences attempt to address this issue through programs that introduce students to the process and culture of science. However, didactic approaches frequently bore students who prefer more interactive sessions. We describe a "Pass-the-Problem" case study approach that engages groups of students in useful discussions about the research environment they are entering. The cases presented here include keeping a thorough laboratory notebook, balancing laboratory and personal time demands, anxiety about formal presentations, unexpected federal regulatory inspection, working in a lab with limited funds, being used as a technician rather than a researcher, frustration with failed experiments, effects of promotion and tenure on laboratory atmosphere, the importance of reading the research literature, and questioning a career in science. These cases alert students to different situations they might encounter and stimulate discussion about how to deal with them.
Descriptors: Novices, Undergraduate Students, Summer Science Programs, Student Research, Science Course Improvement Projects, Laboratory Procedures, Notetaking, Time Management, Anxiety, Federal Regulation, Financial Support, Responsibility, Failure, Tenure, Career Development, Student Experience, Guidance Programs, Case Studies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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