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From experimentation to publication: Challenging students perceptions of scientific research 1. Summary A research-based practical class was developed.

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Presentation on theme: "From experimentation to publication: Challenging students perceptions of scientific research 1. Summary A research-based practical class was developed."— Presentation transcript:

1 From experimentation to publication: Challenging students perceptions of scientific research 1. Summary A research-based practical class was developed to challenge the students perceptions that science was a set of irrefutable facts and that any anomalies observed during their practical experiences were due to their lack of technical abilities (Samarapungavan & Bodner, 2006). Students recorded how they overcame technical difficulties and explained experimental anomalies. Student laboratory notes and manuscripts indicated that the experience increased their confidence in questioning the dependability of the methods rather than their own technical abilities and increased their appreciation for the subject matter. 2. Context This work is a tentative first step in developing an evidence-based inquiry to challenge the perceptions reported above by immersing the students into a research-based practical experience (Jenkins et al., 2003). 3. Methods At the end of the course students completed a survey which required responses on a Likert scale (1 to 5) from strongly agree (1) to strongly disagreeing (5) (Kelly et al., 2006) Laboratory books were read for evidence of a critical approach to the methods 6. Synopsis To complete tasks students prefer to talk with the lecturer/group members or seek out other resources rather then rely on the method book. The experience increased students ability to think through a problem and identify relationships between fundamental concepts and experimental observations. Student notes in laboratory books indicated that they were beginning to question the dependability of the methods and developed their own solutions to overcome any difficulties. 7. References Ala Samarapungavan, E. L. W. & Bodner, G. M Contextual epistemic development in science: A comparison of chemistry students and research chemists. Science Education, 90, Kelly, T. Reid, J. & Valentine Enhancing the utility of science: exploring the linkages between a science provider and their end users in New Zealand. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 46, Jenkins, A Breen, R. Lindsay, R. & Brew, A Reshaping Teaching in Higher Education. Linking Teaching with Research. Kogan Page, London 4. Student surveys Question 1. How much did each of the following aspects help you to complete the laboratory tasks? Question 2. Has this learning experience add to your skills in the following? Stage 1 Collection of soil samples from the a farm located at Camden, NSW Damien J. Field & Markus Gräfe Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, The University of Sydney, NSW, Stage 2 Process samples using the suggested laboratory procedures in method book Stage 4 Producing a manuscript suitable for publication in Australian Journal of Soil Research, with assessment and feedback partly aligned with the guide to authors given by the journal 5. Selected Quotes Some examples of notes recorded in laboratory note books from 4 different student groups; 1.) …instructions unclear in the manual. It would help (make sense) to split samples into halves rather then treating as a whole…. 2.) …adding CaCl 2 to sample 3 times and centrifuging after with washing with DDI water did not settle. Solution would be to add CaCl 2 2 more times before washing. This time it settled.. 3.) …Particle Size Analysis techniques confusing??? Using the American standard for particle size analysis. Need to find out more about this. 4.) …disaster strikes. The first trials results in clay gunk down the bottom of the container. Start over again with less soil in the container, reduce revolution speed and more initial soil then stated in the methods to allow for wastage…. Overview of the protocol students followed in their research-based practical experience Stage 3 Record observations and explanations of anomalies in their personal laboratory book PartMean± 1. The way in which the method book was presented? The pace at which you worked? Interacting with other group members? Talking to the lecturer/lab coordinator? Seeking out other resources not given in the course? PartMean± 1. Selecting appropriate solutions to solve problems? Ability to think through a problem? Confidence to address problems identified in experiments? Identify relationships between concepts and observations in the experiments? Enthusiasm for further experience in research? Tutorials Critical reflection on a variety of soil chemistry journal publications and abstract writing Laboratory Book Name: Team Bravo Examples of publication titles produced by each student group Dithionite-citrate-bicarbonate free iron extraction process effects on clay minerals as detected by mid-infrared spectroscopy Investigating the adsorption/desorption potential of soil for lead An investigation into the affect of lead exposure in a Red Dermosol used for mixed farming systems


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