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HIGH-IMPACT LEARNING: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH FROM FRESHMAN EXPERIENCE TO SENIOR CAPSTONE, AND BACK AGAIN GORDON E. UNO DEPT. OF MICROBIOLOGY AND PLANT.

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Presentation on theme: "HIGH-IMPACT LEARNING: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH FROM FRESHMAN EXPERIENCE TO SENIOR CAPSTONE, AND BACK AGAIN GORDON E. UNO DEPT. OF MICROBIOLOGY AND PLANT."— Presentation transcript:

1 HIGH-IMPACT LEARNING: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH FROM FRESHMAN EXPERIENCE TO SENIOR CAPSTONE, AND BACK AGAIN GORDON E. UNO DEPT. OF MICROBIOLOGY AND PLANT BIOLOGY UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA

2 LIFE IS NOT ABOUT FINDING YOURSELF LIFE IS ABOUT CREATING YOURSELF

3 CONVERGENCE OF NATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION REFORM PROJECTS College Boards Revision of All Advanced Placement (AP) Science Courses (Bio, Chem, Phys, Env Sci) plus History, Languages and Culture HHMI List of Competencies for Incoming and Graduating Medical Students Vision and Change (AAAS and NSF project) Next Generation Science Standards from the NRC Introductory Biology Project (IBP): ibp.ou.edu

4 WHAT DO THESE PROJECTS HAVE IN COMMON? 1.Focus On Student Outcomes: Competencies (What do we want our students to know, understand, and be able to do?) 2.Emphasis On Skills And Investigation (Critical Thinking, Inquiry, and Science Process; Authentic Research) 3.Attention To Learning And Understanding (Student- Centered Classes; Metacognition; Appropriate Assessments; Dealing with Misconceptions; Mathematics Preparation) 4.Using Evidence-based Activities ( What Works?) 5.Content: Less Is More; Use of Themes Throughout What Can Students Do With Their Knowledge? (Connect to Other Concepts and Disciplines; Interdisciplinary Synthesis; Apply Knowledge to New Situations)

5 AACUs LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes Beginning in school, and continuing at successively higher levels across their college studies, students should prepare for 21 st century challenges by gaining:

6 KNOWLEDGE OF HUMAN CULTURES AND THE PHYSICAL AND NATURAL WORLD Through study in the sciences, mathematics, social sciences, humanities, histories, languages, and arts Focused by engagement with big questions, both contemporary and enduring

7 INTELLECTUAL AND PRACTICAL SKILLS Inquiry and analysis Creative and critical thinking Written and oral communication Quantitative and information literacy Teamwork and problem-solving Practiced extensively, across the curriculum, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards of performance

8 PERSONAL AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Civic knowledge and engagement – local and global Intercultural knowledge and competence Ethical reasoning and action Foundations and skills for lifelong learning Anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges

9 INTEGRATIVE AND APPLIED LEARNING Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies Demonstrated through the application of knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems

10 AACU HIGH-IMPACT PRACTICES: HELPING STUDENTS REACH LEARNING OUTCOMES 1) First-year Seminars and Experiences 2) Common Intellectual Experiences 3) Learning Communities 4) Writing Intensive Courses 5) Collaborative Assignments and Projects 6) Undergraduate Research 7) Diversity/Global Learning 8) Service Learning, Community-based Learning 9) Internships 10) Capstone Courses and Projects

11 WHY UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH? Improves student retention Increases/maintains student interest in discipline Active form of teaching/learning that stays with student (powerful teaching/learning tool) Other reasons??

12 WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A QUALITY MENTOR OF UNDERGRADUATE INVESTIGATORS?

13 WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERISTICS OF UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH MENTORS ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO STUDENTS? The Mentor: 1)is knowledgeable about the students project 2)is well known professionally 3)is intellectually brilliant 4)has external funding 5)is enthusiastic 6)works at the frontiers of knowledge 7)is available to student 8)provides feedback on student progress 9)provides clear expectations

14 WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERISTICS OF UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH MENTORS ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO STUDENTS? The Mentor: 1)is knowledgeable about the students project** 2)is well known professionally 3)is intellectually brilliant 4)has external funding 5)is enthusiastic** 6)works at the frontiers of knowledge 7)is available to student** 8)provides feedback on progress** 9)provides clear expectations**

15 WHO CAN MENTOR? Faculty---of all kinds Post-doctoral Fellows Graduate Students Seasoned Advanced Undergraduates (Peers) Student Advisors Local/Regional Members of the Community

16 WHAT ARE SOME KIND OF CAPSTONE EXPERIENCES? Research Paper/Thesis on Independent Study Poster/Presentation at Professional Meeting An Original Performance/Exhibit of Artwork Portfolio of Best Work Class/Seminar Internship OTHERS??

17 WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD CAPSTONE? For instance, debates and piano recitals are quality high-impact practices. Are they good capstone activities?

18 CAPSTONE QUESTIONS Does the work have to be original/creative and make a contribution to the discipline? Does the work have to be interesting to both the student and the mentor? Does the work have to be presented to and evaluated by the public or peers? Does the work have to have a social or real-world aspect to it?

19 WHAT SHOULD BE THE GOALS FOR A CAPSTONE? LETS BREAK UP INTO GROUPS….. 1)Natural Sciences 2)Humanities 3)Social Sciences 4)Interdisciplinary

20 A Capstone Should….. Allow students to integrate and apply what they learned throughout their undergraduate experience. Cement a students disciplinary affiliation and provide a rite of passage into the profession. Are you trying to develop a Mini-Me?

21 CAPSTONE GOALS

22 ALL CAPSTONES ARE CHARACTERIZED BY…. Mentorshipcollaborative interaction, mentor guides student into deeper intellectual engagement Originalityentirely or partially, meaningful contribution to discipline Acceptabilityemploy appropriate techniques and methodologies of discipline Disseminationproduct peer-reviewed, critiqued, judged by disciplinary standards

23 BUT WHAT ABOUT THE STUDENT? What skills do you want your students to use/develop during capstone? What do you want your students know, value, and be able to do by the end of the capstone?

24 WHAT ARE THE FIVE MOST IMPORTANT COMPETENCIES OF STUDENTS AT THE END OF THEIR CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE? (IN TERMS OF WHAT THEY KNOW, UNDERSTAND, VALUE, AND CAN DO) How would you recognize a successful capstone student?

25 AS YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT COMPETENCIES…… Moving Students From Passive Consumers of Knowledge/Art…to Active Producers of Knowledge/Art Moving Students From Naïve, Dependent Investigators…to Competent, Confident, Independent Investigators Moving Students From Being Students to Being Teachers

26 STUDENT COMPETENCIES

27 DESIRABLE COMPETENCIES OF YOUR SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS Ask unique/relevant questions Survey a field and find an empty niche Apply knowledge to new situations Make connections between ideas or concepts Appreciate, accept, and use evidence Be creative and innovative Work well with others Understand and use the major concepts and investigative process of the discipline Use critical thinking skills effectively and often

28 CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS Observe and Ask Good Questions Hypothesize and Predict Design an Investigation Collect, Process, and Interpret Data Draw Conclusions Infer and Generalize Communicate/Discuss Relate Cause and Effect (vs. correlation) Recognize Assumptions and Evaluate Apply Knowledge to New Situations Determine What You Dont Know

29 QUESTIONS ABOUT IMPLEMENTING HIGH-IMPACT PRACTICES Is once enough? Must it be repeated? If so, how often? When to introduce in students program? How do you scaffold experiences throughout a degree to prepare a student for the culminating activity? Providing feedbackwhat kind, when? By whom? How do we prepare faculty to implement high-impact practices? How do you get more faculty to participate (ramping up)?

30 WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN IN THE FRESHMAN EXPERIENCE TO HELP POINT STUDENTS TOWARD THEIR CAPSTONE? Intentionality How do we as a college/university become more intentional about the preparation of our students for a capstone experience?

31 FRESHMAN SEMINAR 1) Expose students to the methodologies, practices and results of the discipline 2) Read and review scholarly and peer- reviewed papers 3) How to keep research records/notes 4)How to use equipment/library/literature/ master works 5)How to write an abstract/summary 6) How to identify a research question 7) Introduce on-campus research/scholarly/ creative activities

32 QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER 1) What do you want your students to know, value, and be able to do at the end of your program? 2) What learning outcomes/competencies are most desirable/beneficial for your students? 3) What are the best high-impact practices/ interventions to help your students? 4) How do you set the bar high enough to challenge students without eliminating many of them before they even start? 5) How do you know where your students are in relation to your/their goals?

33 MORE QUESTIONS 6)How do you get more students involved? 7)What are student barriers to overcome? 8) Should you focus on program-level or individual interventions? 10) How do you know what your students know and can do? 11) How can you tell if you are successful? (What are you going to evaluate?)

34 EVEN MORE QUESTIONS 12) What is the best progression of classes/ experiences for students in your program? 13) How do you link the 1 st course in the discipline to the capstonewhat is the pathway? 14) Do you need to connect with colleagues in regional high schools? 15) How do you get colleague buy-in? 16) How do you make your program systemic and sustain it? 17) How does your program fit into other majors on your campus?

35 PROMOTE A CAMPUSWIDE COMMITMENT TO CHANGE Mobilize all stakeholders (students to administrators) to commit to improve the quality of undergraduate education Support the development of a community of scholars dedicated to advancing sciences and science of teaching Advocate for increased status, recognition, and rewards for innovation in teaching and improving student success Require graduate students on training grants to participate in training in how to teach Provide teaching support and training to all faculty, but especially postdoctoral fellows and early-career faculty

36 UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH RESOURCES Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) How to Mentor Undergraduate Researchers Broadening Participation in Undergraduate Research CUR Focus Quarterly/CUR Focus on the Web AACU High-Impact Practices Others??


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