Becoming a scientist: The development of students’ skills in scientific investigation and communication through a vertically integrated model of inquiry-based practical curricula

Farrand-Zimbardi, Kirsten, Colthorpe, Kay L., Good, Jon P. and Lluka, Lesley J. (2010). Becoming a scientist: The development of students’ skills in scientific investigation and communication through a vertically integrated model of inquiry-based practical curricula. In: 2010 Annual Conference of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL 2010), Liverpool, U.K., (). 19 - 22 October.

Author Farrand-Zimbardi, Kirsten
Colthorpe, Kay L.
Good, Jon P.
Lluka, Lesley J.
Title of paper Becoming a scientist: The development of students’ skills in scientific investigation and communication through a vertically integrated model of inquiry-based practical curricula
Conference name 2010 Annual Conference of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL 2010)
Conference location Liverpool, U.K.
Conference dates 19 - 22 October
Publication Year 2010
Sub-type Oral presentation
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Inquiry-based curricula help students develop a range of skills (Kuhn, 2005), however specific outcomes have been shown to depend on the instructional design of inquiry curricula (Kirschner et al 2006). Across three courses of vertically integrated inquiry-based practical curricula, we have identified clear developmental trajectories in the scientific inquiry and communication skills of students, as they move from novice to expert, and gain an understanding of how new knowledge is created in their discipline. Abstract: Internationally, inquiry-based curricula are highly recommended as a form of student-active learning (Abd-El-Khalick et al 2004), thought to help students develop skills in lifelong learning and the evaluation of evidence in complex settings (Kuhn 2005). However, the degree of guidance and ownership provided to students during inquiry classes has been shown to have a significant impact on the learning outcomes that students achieve (Kirschner et al 2006). In the context of a series of three undergraduate courses with vertically integrated, inquiry-based practical curricula, across which there is a reduction in the guidance provided to students, and an increase in the complexity of skills required of students, we have investigated the development of students’ scientific inquiry and communication skills. To determine the gains in scientific inquiry and communication skills attained by students, we examined the assessment artefacts from a sample of students (n=22) who took all three courses consecutively. The hypothesis and figure legends from three assignments in the first course, and one assignment from each of the second and third courses, were analysed for the degree of specific details included in each written statement, as well as the clarity, accuracy and relevance of the statements in each context.
Formatted Abstract/Summary

Keyword Scientific Reasoning
Inquiry-based learning
practicals
writing skills
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown
Additional Notes Conference theme - Global Theories and Local Practices: Institutional, Disciplinary and Cultural Variations. Abstract ID 62139.

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 23 Mar 2011, 13:37:09 EST by Dr Kirsten Zimbardi on behalf of School of Biomedical Sciences