A set of vertically integrated inquiry-based practical curricula that develop scientific thinking skills for large cohorts of undergraduate students

Zimbardi, Kirsten, Bugarcic, Andrea, Colthorpe, Kay, Good, Jonathon P and Lluka, Lesley (2013) A set of vertically integrated inquiry-based practical curricula that develop scientific thinking skills for large cohorts of undergraduate students. Advances In Physiology Education, 37 4: 303-315. doi:10.1152/advan.00082.2012


Author Zimbardi, Kirsten
Bugarcic, Andrea
Colthorpe, Kay
Good, Jonathon P
Lluka, Lesley
Title A set of vertically integrated inquiry-based practical curricula that develop scientific thinking skills for large cohorts of undergraduate students
Journal name Advances In Physiology Education   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1043-4046
1522-1229
Publication date 2013-12-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1152/advan.00082.2012
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 37
Issue 4
Start page 303
End page 315
Total pages 13
Place of publication Bethesda, MD, United States
Publisher American Physiological Society
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract Science graduates require critical thinking skills to deal with the complex problems they will face in their 21st century workplaces. Inquiry-based curricula can provide students with the opportunities to develop such critical thinking skills; however, evidence suggests that an inappropriate level of autonomy provided to underprepared students may not only be daunting to students but also detrimental to their learning. After a major review of the Bachelor of Science, we developed, implemented, and evaluated a series of three vertically integrated courses with inquiry-style laboratory practicals for early-stage undergraduate students in biomedical science. These practical curricula were designed so that students would work with increasing autonomy and ownership of their research projects to develop increasingly advanced scientific thinking and communication skills. Students undertaking the first iteration of these three vertically integrated courses reported learning gains in course content as well as skills in scientific writing, hypothesis construction, experimental design, data analysis, and interpreting results. Students also demonstrated increasing skills in both hypothesis formulation and communication of findings as a result of participating in the inquiry-based curricula and completing the associated practical assessment tasks. Here, we report the specific aspects of the curricula that students reported as having the greatest impact on their learning and the particular elements of hypothesis formulation and communication of findings that were more challenging for students to master. These findings provide important implications for science educators concerned with designing curricula to promote scientific thinking and communication skills alongside content acquisition.
Keyword Scientific reasoning
Laboratory teaching
Written communication skills
Student autonomy
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 18 Dec 2013, 14:24:58 EST by Kay L Colthorpe on behalf of School of Biomedical Sciences