Proposal Title

Facilitating self-directed learning through early research experience. A synthesis of biology, innovation and education.

Session Type

Poster

Room

P&A Atrium

Start Date

6-7-2017 5:50 PM

Keywords

research skills, self-directed learning, independent inquiry, student engagement

Primary Threads

Teaching and Learning Science

Abstract

Laboratory research positions and NSERC scholarships at the undergraduate level are generally more available to upper year students. Hence, the Early Research Program was envisaged with the idea of providing research experience to first and second year students in the Faculty of Science. The program was designed to create open-scheduled spaces and to facilitate flexible learning module for students to collaborate with peers, graduate students and professors. This has resulted in students conducting experiments, generating interesting hypotheses and testing other novel approaches using fundamental principles of Synthetic Biology. This learning approach marks a significant shift from our traditionally more passive “cookbook” exercises that students followed during scheduled laboratory sessions. Our new experience has demonstrated that independent inquiry through stages of increased self-direction allows the students to become active learners with high levels of confidence, motivation and engagement with research.

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Jul 6th, 5:50 PM

Facilitating self-directed learning through early research experience. A synthesis of biology, innovation and education.

P&A Atrium

Laboratory research positions and NSERC scholarships at the undergraduate level are generally more available to upper year students. Hence, the Early Research Program was envisaged with the idea of providing research experience to first and second year students in the Faculty of Science. The program was designed to create open-scheduled spaces and to facilitate flexible learning module for students to collaborate with peers, graduate students and professors. This has resulted in students conducting experiments, generating interesting hypotheses and testing other novel approaches using fundamental principles of Synthetic Biology. This learning approach marks a significant shift from our traditionally more passive “cookbook” exercises that students followed during scheduled laboratory sessions. Our new experience has demonstrated that independent inquiry through stages of increased self-direction allows the students to become active learners with high levels of confidence, motivation and engagement with research.