ERIC Number: EJ1091060
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Geoscience Education Research Project: Student Benefits and Effective Design of a Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience
Kortz, Karen M.; van der Hoeven Kraft, Katrien J.
Journal of Geoscience Education, v64 n1 p24-36 Feb 2016
Undergraduate research has been shown to be an effective practice for learning science. While this is a popular discussion topic, there are few full examples in the literature for introductory-level students. This paper describes the Geoscience Education Research Project, an innovative course-based research experience designed for introductory-level, nonscience majors. Participating students complete all steps of a scientific research project, starting with the research question, ''What do college students think about ___?'' Students fill in the blank with a geoscience topic of their choosing. Support for the students is ongoing through detailed directions and multiple checkpoint assignments with timely feedback to ensure they are on task. This design and support can be used as a model for other undergraduate research experiences. Student reactions to the benefits of participating in the research project and the effectiveness of its design were analyzed. Students' benefits from this research project included increased content knowledge, improved skills, and positive affective responses, such as interest leading to motivation. In this study, students were also found to have an increased appreciation of science and scientists, without necessarily having the desire to become scientists themselves. Student reactions to the design of the Geoscience Education Research Project emphasized the importance of an appealing topic, careful planning and conveying of project information, frequent deadlines and feedback, and communication by students beyond just the professor. Based on these findings, recommendations for successful implementation of course-based, introductory-level undergraduate research experiences are given.
Descriptors: Earth Science, Research Projects, Undergraduate Students, Student Research, Nonmajors, Introductory Courses, Research Skills, Instructional Materials, Educational Research, Program Design, Program Effectiveness, Change Strategies, Student Attitudes, Learning Experience
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail: email@example.com; Website: http://nagt-jge.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A