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ERIC Number: EJ1038758
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 94
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
Effects of a Research-Infused Botanical Curriculum on Undergraduates' Content Knowledge, STEM Competencies, and Attitudes toward Plant Sciences
Ward, Jennifer Rhode; Clarke, H. David; Horton, Jonathan L.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v13 n3 p387-396 Sep 2014
In response to the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education initiative, we infused authentic, plant-based research into majors' courses at a public liberal arts university. Faculty members designed a financially sustainable pedagogical approach, utilizing vertically integrated curricular modules based on undergraduate researchers' field and laboratory projects. Our goals were to 1) teach botanical concepts, from cells to ecosystems; 2) strengthen competencies in statistical analysis and scientific writing; 3) pique plant science interest; and 4) allow all undergraduates to contribute to genuine research. Our series of inquiry-centered exercises mitigated potential faculty barriers to adopting research-rich curricula, facilitating teaching/research balance by gathering publishable scholarly data during laboratory class periods. Student competencies were assessed with pre- and postcourse quizzes and rubric-graded papers, and attitudes were evaluated with pre- and postcourse surveys. Our revised curriculum increased students' knowledge and awareness of plant science topics, improved scientific writing, enhanced statistical knowledge, and boosted interest in conducting research. More than 300 classroom students have participated in our program, and data generated from these modules' assessment allowed faculty and students to present 28 contributed talks or posters and publish three papers in 4 yr. Future steps include analyzing the effects of repeated module exposure on student learning and creating a regional consortium to increase our project's pedagogical impact.
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail: ascbinfo@ascb.org; Website: http://www.ascb.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina
Grant or Contract Numbers: DUE #092776|DBI #0420295|DBI #0821062