TABLE 4

Course assessment

Average ± standard deviationaAs compared to before participating in BIO106, after taking BIO106 I noted an improvement in:
4.34 ± 0.61My understanding of technical/scientific concepts (e.g., PCR, molecular cloning).
4.69 ± 0.47My technical skills in frequently performed methods (e.g., pipeting, sterile technique, streaking cells on agar plates, etc.).
4.38 ± 0.62My understanding of how science is done (i.e., the range of activities from asking a biological question to conducting an experiment and interpreting data).
3.83 ± 0.76My technical writing skills (i.e., writing using the format Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion).
3.69 ± 0.71My oral presentation skills (for scientific/technical information).
4.45 ± 0.74My comfort or efficiency in collaborating with a small research team of two to three students.
4.45 ± 0.63My ability to make connections between individual experiments (e.g., by repeatedly discussing the “big picture” of the project).
4.03 ± 0.68My ability to interpret and/or graphically present experimental data.
4.00 ± 0.72My ability to search databases to find relevant scientific information (e.g., PubMed, NCBI Blast, Yeast Genome Database).
4.45 ± 0.69My ability to carry out multiple tasks simultaneously (e.g., multiple experiments).
4.21 ± 0.74My ability to think critically.
3.79 ± 0.56My ability to critically read journal articles.
4.19 ± 0.37Average
Average ± standard deviationaRelative to other more traditional science laboratory courses, I believe:
4.50 ± 0.58The concepts and technical skills I gained while participating in “Research in Genetics” helped me/will help me in my further studies at Drake and/or beyond.
4.29 ± 0.85The concepts and skills I gained while participating in “Research in Genetics” will help me in my future career.
4.48 ± 0.63The inquiry-based approach used in BIO106 helped me better understand genetics concepts and methods (e.g., chromosome segregation, gel electrophoresis).
4.59 ± 0.63The inquiry-based approach helped me to make connections between different concepts/experiments.
4.38 ± 0.62The inquiry-based approach helped me realize that research is interdisciplinary (e.g., a mutation at the level of DNA affects YAC loss at the cellular/biochemical level; methods are required from more than one subject area—e.g., genetics and chemistry).
4.45 ± 0.49Average
  • This survey was completed by 29 students; 14 completed the survey 1–2 years after completing the course (most had already graduated), and 15 completed the survey at the end of the enrolled semester. While the students who responded to the survey were enrolled in the course, 10 were sophomores, 5 were juniors, and 14 were seniors. Students reported the following postcourse plans: 12, health profession (medical school, dental school, veterinary school); 9, graduate school; 1, education; 4, job related to major (e.g., research); 3, unknown. Of the 29 survey responders, 11/29 had participated in a research project prior to the course, and 22/29 participated in a research project following enrollment in the course.

  • a Using the scale 1–5, students were asked to indicate the level to which they agreed with the following statements: 5, strongly agree; 4, agree; 3, neutral; 2, disagree; 1, strongly disagree.