Goals and Intended Outcomes
1. Improving student learning through collaborative research with professors in the following areas
2. Teaching appropriate scientific communication skills
3. Incorporating recent scientific instrumentation (two new Atomic Absorbance Spectrometers) into several courses
4. Providing more opportunities for faculty to do research (both with students and with each other)
5. Strengthening a culture of research
An interdisciplinary approach
Multi-week research projects provide a central unifying theme for the course or part of the course. By embedding course content in a real world research problem, it increases student learning because it provides incentive for students dig go deeper into the subject.
This approach also emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of most real world problems. Because the rubric, instrumentation, and an interdisciplinary approach are used across many different courses and between both chemistry & biology departments, we are able to emphasize that the “big ideas” or central themes of science run across many topics. Students are also directed to developmentally appropriate expectations for how their work should score on the rubric.
The expectation is that by time students have completed their studies they should have increased from lower scores (does not meet) to competent towards exemplary work because they will have experienced both the assessment tool and the authentic research experience multiple times.