Discipline: Science and Mathematics Education
Room: Exhibit Hall A
Amy Acosta - Florida International University
Co-Author(s): Kiana Kasamii and Melissa McCartney
BACKGROUND/SPECIFIC AIM: Primary scientific literature (PSL) is a great source of information of what scientists are researching. PSL is also a way to highlight the scientific process. Most universities do not require students to read PSL as part of the curriculum, despite previous work showing the educational benefits of teaching with PSL. How can we best integrate PSL into undergraduate biology classrooms as a way for students to learn the scientific process? Our lab has partnered with AAAS’ Science in the Classroom project and the Journal of Animal Ecology weekly podcast as a way to further explore novel methods for integrating PSL into classrooms. Previous work in our lab has shown that students who engage with PSL by writing annotations to accompany PSL have increased gains in research skills and increased engagement in the scientific community. Building off of this study, we will further examine whether students who read PSL and develop a short audio segment (podcast) about the content found within PSL see similar gains. Previous research has shown that audio recordings accompanying classroom materials support student learning (Voelkel et al., 2016; Sivapalan et al., 2009). We predict that by combining these two techniques (annotating and podcasting) into one classroom project, students will have more success with reading PSL and feel a stronger science identity. METHODS: Florida International University (FIU) students enrolled in either an evolution or genetics course were provided instructions on how to annotate a PSL article and how to create a podcast recording based on their assigned PSL. We developed a pre- and post-questionnaire measuring student self efficacy in PSL, interest and performance in PSL, project ownership, science identity, and sense of belonging to the scientific community.
RESULTS: Data collection for this project is in progress during the Fall 2019 semester. We have analyzed the pre-questionnaire results and have found baseline measures for the metrics described previously. Participants report a science identity score of 5.2 out of 6, which is already high, suggesting that we may have trouble measuring gains in this category. However, scores for competence in reading PSL are 3.14 out of 5, and interest in reading PSL is 3.2 out of 5, suggesting we will be able to measure gains in this category.
CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK: We are still collecting data for this project through the Fall of 2019. The post-questionnaire will include short- answer responses allowing for a deeper analysis of student Liker-scale responses. We predict that students will increase their competence and interest in reading PSL as a part of this project.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Melissa McCartney, email@example.com
Role: I designed the questionnaire and was involved in all data analysis.