1887

The Delta Cooperative Model: a Dynamic and Innovative Team-Work Activity to Develop Research Skills in Microbiology

    Authors: CARLOS RIOS-VELAZQUEZ1,*, REYNALDO ROBLES-SUAREZ1,†, ALBERTO J. GONZALEZ-NEGRON1,††, IVAN BAEZ-SANTOS1,††
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico 00681-9012.
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Biology, P.O. Box 9012, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Mayagüez, PR 00681-9012. Phone: (787) 832-4040 ext. 2874. Fax: (787) 834-3673. E-mail: crios@uprm.edu.
    • Present address: School of Math, Science and Technology, Ana G. Méndez University System at Yauco, PR 00698
      †† Present address: Upward Bound Math and Science Program, Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Ponce Campus, PR 00715
    • Copyright © 2006, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2006 vol. 7 no. 1 20-27. doi:10.1128/154288106X14285806946057
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    Abstract:

    The Delta Cooperative Model (DCM) is a dynamic and innovative teamwork design created to develop fundamentals in research skills. High school students in the DCM belong to the Upward Bound Science and Math (UBSM) program at the Inter American University, Ponce Campus. After workshops on using the scientific method, students were organized into groups of three students with similar research interests. Each student had to take on a role within the group as either a researcher, data analyst, or research editor. Initially, each research team developed hypothesis-driven ideas on their proposed project. In intrateam research meetings, they emphasized team-specific tasks. Next, interteam meetings were held to present ideas and receive critical input. Finally, oral and poster research presentations were conducted at the UBSM science fair. Several team research projects covered topics in medical, environmental, and general microbiology. The three major assessment areas for the workshop and DCM included: (i) student’s perception of the workshops’ effectiveness in developing skills, content, and values; (ii) research team self- and group participation evaluation, and (iii) oral and poster presentation during the science fair. More than 91% of the students considered the workshops effective in the presentation of scientific method fundamentals. The combination of the workshop and the DCM increased student’s knowledge by 55% from pre- to posttests. Two rubrics were designed to assess the oral presentation and poster set-up. The poster and oral presentation scores averaged 83% and 75% respectively. Finally, we present a team assessment instrument that allows the self- and group evaluation of each research team. While the DCM has educational plasticity and versatility, here we document how the this model has been successfully incorporated in training and engaging students in scientific research in microbiology.

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References & Citations

1. Brown RW1995Autorating: getting individual marks from team marks and enhancing teamwork Budny D, Herrick R1995 ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference Proceedings[Online.] http://fie.engrng.pitt.edu/fie95/3c2/3c24/3c24.htm.
2. Johnson DW, Johnson R2000Teaching students to be peacemakers: results of twelve years of research[Online.]. http://www.co-operation.org.
3. Johnson DW, Johnson R1989Cooperation and competition: theory and researchInteraction Book CompanyEdina, Minn
4. Kaufman DB, Felder RM, Fuller H2000Accounting for individual effort in cooperative learning teamsJ Eng Educ89133140
5. McInerney M2003Team-based learning enhances long-term retention and critical thinking in an undergraduate microbial physiology courseMicrobiol Educ4312
6. Trempy JE, Skinner MM, Siebold WA2002Learning microbiology through cooperation: designing cooperative learning activities that promote interdependence, interaction, and accountabilityMicrobiol Educ32636
7. Suchman E, Smith R, Ahermae S, McDowell K, Timpson W2000The use of small groups in a large lecture microbiology courseJ Ind Microbiol Biotechnol2512112610.1038/sj.jim.7000007 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.jim.7000007
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2006-05-01
2017-07-26

Abstract:

The Delta Cooperative Model (DCM) is a dynamic and innovative teamwork design created to develop fundamentals in research skills. High school students in the DCM belong to the Upward Bound Science and Math (UBSM) program at the Inter American University, Ponce Campus. After workshops on using the scientific method, students were organized into groups of three students with similar research interests. Each student had to take on a role within the group as either a researcher, data analyst, or research editor. Initially, each research team developed hypothesis-driven ideas on their proposed project. In intrateam research meetings, they emphasized team-specific tasks. Next, interteam meetings were held to present ideas and receive critical input. Finally, oral and poster research presentations were conducted at the UBSM science fair. Several team research projects covered topics in medical, environmental, and general microbiology. The three major assessment areas for the workshop and DCM included: (i) student’s perception of the workshops’ effectiveness in developing skills, content, and values; (ii) research team self- and group participation evaluation, and (iii) oral and poster presentation during the science fair. More than 91% of the students considered the workshops effective in the presentation of scientific method fundamentals. The combination of the workshop and the DCM increased student’s knowledge by 55% from pre- to posttests. Two rubrics were designed to assess the oral presentation and poster set-up. The poster and oral presentation scores averaged 83% and 75% respectively. Finally, we present a team assessment instrument that allows the self- and group evaluation of each research team. While the DCM has educational plasticity and versatility, here we document how the this model has been successfully incorporated in training and engaging students in scientific research in microbiology.

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Figures

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FIG. 1

Delta Cooperative Model diagrams. (A) The organization of the DCM research team required the interaction between three students with specific roles: the Researcher (R), the Data Analyst (DA), and the Research Editor (RE). (B) Besides the intrateam interaction (A), the DCM participants also exchanged ideas by holding interteam meetings.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2006 vol. 7 no. 1 20-27. doi:10.1128/154288106X14285806946057
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FIG. 4

Oral presentation rubric used in the UBSM program science fair. The student’s 15-minute oral presentation was assessed by the judges using a rubric with seven categories and a scale that ranged from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent).

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2006 vol. 7 no. 1 20-27. doi:10.1128/154288106X14285806946057
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FIG. 2

Student’s perception of the intensive workshop: effectiveness in developing skills, content, and values. After the 3-day intensive research method workshop, the students assessed 14 criteria based on skills, content, and values using a scale that ranged from Excellent to Poor.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2006 vol. 7 no. 1 20-27. doi:10.1128/154288106X14285806946057
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FIG. 3

Assessment of the Delta Cooperative Model self- and team performance. (A) General perception of team performance at the beginning (R1, DA1, and RE1) and at the end (R2, DA2, and RE2) of the DCM research project. (B–D) These graphs represent specific perceptions of team performance at the beginning of the DCM research project. All the figures show collaborative and teamwork criteria (numbered 1–7) used in the self- (e.g., researcher self-evaluation annotated as R-R) and team assessment (e.g., researcher evaluating data analyst annotated as R-DA). The scale used ranged from 1(poor) to 5(excellent).

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2006 vol. 7 no. 1 20-27. doi:10.1128/154288106X14285806946057
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