Proposal Title

Plenary Address: Learning Science Without Boundaries - More learning with less teaching.

Session Type

Presentation

Room

MC 110

Start Date

10-7-2013 9:00 AM

Keywords

science education research

Primary Threads

Other

Abstract

There is considerable concern in the academic community about how well undergraduate programs are preparing students for future careers in science. Students are most highly engaged in learning scientific information, concepts, and skills when they actively participate in the learning process and see value and relevance in the material they are learning. The Honours Integrated Science (iSci) program at McMaster University has been developed to enhance student engagement and learning in science using an interdisciplinary framework and self-directed, research-based learning strategies. Much of the instruction in the iSci program is team-based and focuses on the process of helping students develop as effective learners rather than on ‘teaching’. Beginning in year 1, students work in research teams, guided by instructors, to investigate a range of interdisciplinary and societaly relevant issues. Students gain scientific knowledge, skills and experiences through their project-based research and also have the opportunity to develop and practice team work and scientific communication skills. The success of the program in preparing students for future careers in science is being evaluated through an ongoing longitudinal study that involves instructors, students and alumni. Our initial results indicate that iSci students are highly engaged in the learning process and are empowered and stimulated by their involvement in program development and evaluation. The first cohort of iSci students are graduating as skilled and accomplished researchers who recognize the role of science and scientists in society, and will serve as ambassadors for scientific literacy wherever their careers may take them.

Streaming Media

Media Format

vimeo

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Jul 10th, 9:00 AM

Plenary Address: Learning Science Without Boundaries - More learning with less teaching.

MC 110

There is considerable concern in the academic community about how well undergraduate programs are preparing students for future careers in science. Students are most highly engaged in learning scientific information, concepts, and skills when they actively participate in the learning process and see value and relevance in the material they are learning. The Honours Integrated Science (iSci) program at McMaster University has been developed to enhance student engagement and learning in science using an interdisciplinary framework and self-directed, research-based learning strategies. Much of the instruction in the iSci program is team-based and focuses on the process of helping students develop as effective learners rather than on ‘teaching’. Beginning in year 1, students work in research teams, guided by instructors, to investigate a range of interdisciplinary and societaly relevant issues. Students gain scientific knowledge, skills and experiences through their project-based research and also have the opportunity to develop and practice team work and scientific communication skills. The success of the program in preparing students for future careers in science is being evaluated through an ongoing longitudinal study that involves instructors, students and alumni. Our initial results indicate that iSci students are highly engaged in the learning process and are empowered and stimulated by their involvement in program development and evaluation. The first cohort of iSci students are graduating as skilled and accomplished researchers who recognize the role of science and scientists in society, and will serve as ambassadors for scientific literacy wherever their careers may take them.