Presentation Title

Blending the classroom to allow student research with online publication

Presenter Information

Robert MorrisFollow

Streaming Media

Submission Type

20-minute Presentation

Abstract

Blending a course can create class time for students to perform independent research culminating in student-peer-reviewed publications that are searchable and available online in perpetuity. By creating online learning resources and online exchange forums, students in Wheaton College (MA) science courses participate in all the stages of research from hypothesis formation, thru experimentation to data analysis, paper writing, student-peer-review, and publication. The blended setting allows students to create quality preliminary research that becomes a resource for their job searches and a legacy for future students. Students show high engagement in, and express great enthusiasm for, these authentic research experiences.

Start Date

5-24-2018 9:40 AM

Description

Framework and goals for work, connection to conference themes: Creating authentic independent research experiences for undergraduates is an increasing challenge as more students seek close interactions with limited faculty. Through blended teaching at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, I have expanded independent research projects in science courses, both seminar courses and lab courses, to include the entire process of research from idea generation to final publication. With online resources created for the course, students propose and refine their hypotheses online, generate budgets as teams online, and learn research techniques outside of class or lab. Class time is devoted to team meetings between students and with the professor. Online resources grow and evolve throughout the semester from contributions of students and professor. After settling on their hypotheses, students carry out their own research to test their own hypotheses, analyze their own data, draft their own original research papers on their preliminary results, and submit them for peer review. I serve as editor for the particular Wheaton Journal of Student Research pertinent to that course, and I assign pairs of anonymous peer-reviewers among the students in the class. Online materials instruct students in the process of peer review. After receiving their reviews, student authors revise their manuscripts based on their reviewers’ and editor’s feedback and submit a rebuttal letter along with their final revised manuscript. Although Wheaton Journals of Student Research were hosted on a local server for their first 8 years, current student work is submitted to a digital repository to which Wheaton subscribes and which is scalable and maintained outside of Wheaton. After 16 years of Wheaton Journals of Student Research being published in the biological sciences, 20 volumes are now available online. Student authors show high engagement in the projects, utilize the online papers as demonstrations of their accomplishments when seeking employment, and express great enthusiasm for this authentic, blended, research experience. As an example, the ten volumes of the Wheaton Journal of Neurobiology Research are available at https://digitalrepository.wheatoncollege.edu/handle/11040/23917.

Outcomes for participants: Understand steps necessary to create a blended research project for students that culminates in publication of student-peer-reviewed work, available and searchable online in perpetuity.

Outline of session activities: Powerpoint presentation, with pair/share exercise, followed by question-and-answer exchange.

Plan for interaction: Pair-share exercise to brainstorm projects that might be suitable for this model of student research and publication. Reporting back on ideas will allow the presenter to address the question of applicability to all disciplines. Q&A will allow interaction to wrap up the session as well.

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May 24th, 9:40 AM

Blending the classroom to allow student research with online publication

Blending a course can create class time for students to perform independent research culminating in student-peer-reviewed publications that are searchable and available online in perpetuity. By creating online learning resources and online exchange forums, students in Wheaton College (MA) science courses participate in all the stages of research from hypothesis formation, thru experimentation to data analysis, paper writing, student-peer-review, and publication. The blended setting allows students to create quality preliminary research that becomes a resource for their job searches and a legacy for future students. Students show high engagement in, and express great enthusiasm for, these authentic research experiences.