Proposal Title

Translational and Molecular Medicine: A cutting-edge undergraduate program that maximizes research exposure for the next generation of Canadian scientists

Session Type

Poster

Room

P&A Atrium

Start Date

6-7-2017 5:50 PM

Keywords

active, inquiry and project-based learning

Primary Threads

Teaching and Learning Science

Abstract

A problem in undergraduate science education is that students, despite being able to recall content, experience difficulty applying concepts to real-world situations. To overcome this challenge, the University of Ottawa has developed a research-focused undergraduate program called Translational and Molecular Medicine (TMM). The objective of TMM is to equip students with the analytical and critical thinking skills required to solve biomedical research problems. To reach this objective, TMM adopts three practises that divert from the structure of traditional programs. The first is that theoretical and practical courses are highly integrated. Students learn how experimental systems work in the classroom and, in parallel, are taught how to use these systems in the laboratory. The second practise is that instructors use a range of active learning and problem-based strategies in the classroom and the laboratory. Learning is guided to help students reach beyond recall to a level where they can identify research questions, predict experimental outcomes and accurately interpret data. This practice is ideal for TMM as it maintains limited enrollment to ensure high student-professor interaction and an overall enhanced learning experience. The final practise is to provide students with opportunities to apply their knowledge to real-world situations through multiple short-term laboratory placements and an intensive honours project. We aim to provide colleagues interested in implementing similar programs or practises with helpful feedback based on our experiences and also look forward to using TMM as a starting point for discussion on effective strategies for student engagement and learning in a laboratory setting.

Elements of Engagement

We will actively discuss our findings and reflections at our poster. This discussion will be facilitated by a cumulative posting of ideas and brainstorming on a white board throughout the poster session.

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Jul 6th, 5:50 PM

Translational and Molecular Medicine: A cutting-edge undergraduate program that maximizes research exposure for the next generation of Canadian scientists

P&A Atrium

A problem in undergraduate science education is that students, despite being able to recall content, experience difficulty applying concepts to real-world situations. To overcome this challenge, the University of Ottawa has developed a research-focused undergraduate program called Translational and Molecular Medicine (TMM). The objective of TMM is to equip students with the analytical and critical thinking skills required to solve biomedical research problems. To reach this objective, TMM adopts three practises that divert from the structure of traditional programs. The first is that theoretical and practical courses are highly integrated. Students learn how experimental systems work in the classroom and, in parallel, are taught how to use these systems in the laboratory. The second practise is that instructors use a range of active learning and problem-based strategies in the classroom and the laboratory. Learning is guided to help students reach beyond recall to a level where they can identify research questions, predict experimental outcomes and accurately interpret data. This practice is ideal for TMM as it maintains limited enrollment to ensure high student-professor interaction and an overall enhanced learning experience. The final practise is to provide students with opportunities to apply their knowledge to real-world situations through multiple short-term laboratory placements and an intensive honours project. We aim to provide colleagues interested in implementing similar programs or practises with helpful feedback based on our experiences and also look forward to using TMM as a starting point for discussion on effective strategies for student engagement and learning in a laboratory setting.