Putting an Emphasis on Research in the Curriculum:
Putting an Emphasis on Research in the Curriculum: A year-long capstone research course serves as the keystone for the neuroscience minor program at Hope College Leah A. Chase and Christopher C. Barney Neuroscience Minor program Developed in 2005 Initiative of the Biology, Chemistry and Psychology Departments Original funding from HHMI and the Towsley Scholar program at Hope College Graduate between 10-12 students/year Who are our students? Declared Majors of Neuroscience Students (2007-2013) other; 17.07% chemistry;
14.63% biology; 19.51% psychology; 48.78% Other majors include 2 English 2 math 1 biochemistry/molecular biology (new major in 2012) 1 biomedical engineering 1 kinesiology 1 music 1 philosophy 1 physics 1 political science 1 nursing 1 religion 1 social work 72 total students with 10 students completing double majors Who are our students?
Postgraduation destinations of minors (2007-2013) Number of Alumni Current Position/Job Title Graduate programs [Neuroscience (7), Clinical 23 Psych (5), Cognitive Psychology (3), Biomedical sciences (4), Biostatistics (1), Public Health (2)] 8 Medical School or in Residency programs High School Teachers (teach AP Psych) 2 2 Physician Assistants 3 Research Technicians/Research coordinators 1 Lead Pharmacy Tech 1 Account Manager Social Worker 1 1 RN Emergency Room 2
Unemployed Total 44 Neuroscience Minor Program Original Curriculum Program Objectives: Students will obtain an understanding of the fundamental principles of neuroscience. Students will obtain an appreciation/understanding of the multidisciplinary aspect of neuroscience. Students will be able to develop hypotheses, design experiments, carry out these experiments and interpret data for a question related to a neuroscience problem. Students will discuss ethical issues related to scientific research. Students will be able to access, read and gain insight from reading the primary neuroscience literature. Introduction to Neuroscience (4 credits) Journal Club Taken 2 times (1 credit) 3 NeuroscienceFlagged courses
(12 credits) Advanced Neuroscience Research I (2 credits) Advanced Neuroscience Research II (1 credit) Neuroscience Capstone Course Neuroscience Research I (1 hour class discussion, 3 hours lab/week) Identify research question Write NSF-style research proposal Peer review Complete at least 75% of the experiments Research group meetings Student Assessment
Class participation 50 points Weekly lab assignments/ data reports (20 points each) 280 points Final NSF-style proposal 120 points Total 450 points Neuroscience Capstone Course Neuroscience Research II (1 hours class discussion/week) Complete experiments Prepare and present poster at Hope College Annual Celebration of Research and Performance Research group meetings Write manuscript summarizing results for appropriate journal Student Assessment Class participation 100 points Final Research paper
100 points Total 200 points Student Assessed Learning Gains SALG Results Statements in which there was a significant increase (p<0.05) Statement Mean Mean (Pre) (Post) p value Make an argument using scientific evidence from more than one discipline 3.750 4.750
0.007 Determine what isand is notvalid scientific evidence in an area that is not my major 3.375 4.125 0.048 Understand the role of uncertainty in scientific data 4.375 4.875 0.033 Find scientific articles from several disciplines using library/internet databases 4.000
4.750 0.048 Pose questions in one discipline that can be addressed by collecting and evaluating scientific evidence 4.375 5.000 0.011 Pose questions from more than one disciplinary perspective that can be addressed by collecting and evaluating scientific evidence 3.500 4.375 0.021
Communicate my research results to students not in my major(s) 3.571 4.571 0.018 SALG Results Statements in which there was a significant increase (p<0.05) Statement Mean (pre) Mean (post) p-value I have the factual knowledge to be successful at neuroscience research
3.750 4.250 0.033 I know the experimental techniques I need to know to be successful at neuroscience research. 3.125 4.250 0.002 I am interested in a career as a research neuroscientist 2.250 3.250 0.018
Neuroscience research is primarily something that is done by neuroscientists working alone. 1.750 1.250 0.033 I am able to make decisions and recommendations based on neuroscience research even though there is uncertainty about the data/information 3.125 4.000 0.006 I am confident in my ability to prepare and make presentations about neuroscience research I have performed
3.875 4.625 0.048 However.students were not demonstrating significant gains in some fundamental research skills I am confident in my ability to prepare a neuroscience research grant proposal. I am confident in my ability to communicate the results of my neuroscience research in a written report suitable for publication in a neuroscience journal. I am confident in my ability to work productively and collegially with other individuals as part of a
neuroscience research team. Other concerns about the course Course sequence/continuity with journal club Insufficient weekly discussion time Literature Mechanics of writing Workload/credit inequality Instructor concerns Quality of writing No peer review Need to incorporate multiple drafts Modifications to Neuroscience Minor Curriculum NEW Introduction to Neuroscience
(4 credits) Advanced Neuroscience Research I (4 credits) Advanced Neuroscience Research II (3 credits) Advanced Neuroscience Research I (2 credits) Advanced Neuroscience Research II (1 credit) 3 NeuroscienceFlagged courses (12 credits)
OLD Introduction to Neuroscience (4 credits) Journal Club Taken 2 times (1 credit) 3 NeuroscienceFlagged courses (12 credits) Modified Neuroscience Capstone Course Neuroscience Research I (3 hours class discussion, 3 hours lab/week) Identify research question Read literature 10 written summaries of journal articles (posted to Moodle) 1 presentation Write NSF-style research proposal Peer review Write IACUC proposal if required
Complete at least 75% of the experiments Research group meetings Student Assessment Journal Article Summaries 100 points Journal Article Presentation 50 points Weekly data entry 30 points Class participation 50 points Lab notebook 40 points Data analysis and data reports 50 points Research proposal drafts 120 points Peer review feedback 80
points Final NSF-style proposal 200 points Total 720 points Neuroscience Capstone Course Neuroscience Research II (3 hours class discussion/week) Complete experiments Research group meetings Data presentations Prepare and present poster at Hope College Annual Celebration of Research and Performance Read literature Write manuscript summarizing results for appropriate journal Student Assessment Journal Article Discussion 100 points Weekly data entry 50 points Data analysis and data reports 50
points Research paper drafts 120 points Peer review feedback 80 points Final Research paper 200 points Total 500 points Assessed Learning Gains using the RISC Survey Developed by David Lopatto and Leslie Jaworski Pre-course/Post-course survey Assess learning gains from experiential learning (research) in interdisciplinary courses
13 students completed the survey (pre: September, 2013, post: May, 2014) Compared to 1574 students nationally completing the survey (Jan., 2010-May, 2014) RISC Assessment: Hope Neuroscience minors have similar pre-course scores RISC Assessment: Minors now show gains in writing and collaborative research skills RISC Assessment: Minors now show gains in writing and collaborative research skills RISC: Learning gains of neuroscience minors relative to SURE
* > 1.0 S.D. * * * * * * * * * Summary/Final thoughts Integrated full-year capstone experiences may lead to student gains which are comparable to, and in some instances greater than, summer research experiences
Must be intentional about development of writing skills Need to improve peer-review skills Research capstone courses may be a mechanism to involve more students in undergraduate research during the academic year, but it is costly in respect to faculty time (9 contact hours/year) Mechanism for faculty to pilot research projects Occasionally result in student/faculty publications and presentations Acknowledgements Joanne Stewart (SALG) David Lopatto/Leslie Jaworski (RISC) HHMI Hope College Neuroscience Program Dr. John Shaughnessy
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