Proposal Title

Interdisciplinary science boosts to affective domain learning and student engagement

Session Type

Presentation

Room

P&A 148

Start Date

5-7-2017 1:45 PM

Keywords

interdisciplinary science, scholarship of teaching and learning, first-year undergraduate, mixed methods

Primary Threads

Evaluation of Learning

Abstract

Undergraduate interdisciplinary science programs exist, in one form or another, at many Canadian post-secondary institutions. However, data is only recently becoming available on the effectiveness of these programs in achieving their stated outcomes. Even sparser is the research on these programs for achieving affective domain learning goals, known to promote life-long curiosity and a civil society. This talk will present the results obtained from two multi-year research programs: one in SCI 100, an interdisciplinary science first-year undergraduate experience, and one in Science Citizenship, a project-based upper-class undergraduate course. Mixed-methods research was used, including pre/post student surveys, instructor and student focus groups, alumni interviews and correlation between SCI 100 grades obtained and grade point averages in later years, with the initial research goal of measuring the efficacy of these two learning experiences. However, by probing student expectations, experiences and perceptions, critical aspects of the learning pedagogy and curriculum were identified that supported affective domain learning and led to higher student engagement. Not too surprisingly, the results show that both the interdisciplinary nature of these courses (curriculum) and the nature of how the activities were structured (active and/or discovery learning, group work, and student choice of topics) all contributed to internalization of a scientific value system and greater internalization of learning motivation. The correlation results will be discussed in terms of the effectiveness of SCI 100 for future learning in science.

Elements of Engagement

This presentation will unfold with audience engagement via straw-polling on anticipated results and one small group discussion on the difference between affective domain learning goals and metacognition. Personal Response Systems (clickers) will be used for straw-polling.

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Jul 5th, 1:45 PM

Interdisciplinary science boosts to affective domain learning and student engagement

P&A 148

Undergraduate interdisciplinary science programs exist, in one form or another, at many Canadian post-secondary institutions. However, data is only recently becoming available on the effectiveness of these programs in achieving their stated outcomes. Even sparser is the research on these programs for achieving affective domain learning goals, known to promote life-long curiosity and a civil society. This talk will present the results obtained from two multi-year research programs: one in SCI 100, an interdisciplinary science first-year undergraduate experience, and one in Science Citizenship, a project-based upper-class undergraduate course. Mixed-methods research was used, including pre/post student surveys, instructor and student focus groups, alumni interviews and correlation between SCI 100 grades obtained and grade point averages in later years, with the initial research goal of measuring the efficacy of these two learning experiences. However, by probing student expectations, experiences and perceptions, critical aspects of the learning pedagogy and curriculum were identified that supported affective domain learning and led to higher student engagement. Not too surprisingly, the results show that both the interdisciplinary nature of these courses (curriculum) and the nature of how the activities were structured (active and/or discovery learning, group work, and student choice of topics) all contributed to internalization of a scientific value system and greater internalization of learning motivation. The correlation results will be discussed in terms of the effectiveness of SCI 100 for future learning in science.