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Collaborative Posters Develop Students’ Ability to Communicate about Undervalued Scientific Resources to Nonscientists

    Authors: Teresa J. Mayfield1,*, Jeffrey T. Olimpo2, Kevin W. Floyd2, Eli Greenbaum1,2
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    Affiliations: 1: Biodiversity Collections, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968; 2: Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. March 2018 vol. 19 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1442
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    Abstract:

    Scientists are increasingly called upon to communicate with the public, yet most never receive formal training in this area. Public understanding is particularly critical to maintaining support for undervalued resources such as biological collections, research data repositories, and expensive equipment. We describe activities carried out in an inquiry-driven organismal biology laboratory course designed to engage a diverse student body using biological collections. The goals of this cooperative learning experience were to increase students’ ability to locate and comprehend primary research articles, and to communicate the importance of an undervalued scientific resource to nonscientists. Our results indicate that collaboratively created, research-focused informational posters are an effective tool for achieving these goals and may be applied in other disciplines or classroom settings.

References & Citations

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3. Brownell SE, Price JV, Steinman L2013Science communication to the general public: why we need to teach undergraduate and graduate students this skill as part of their formal scientific trainingJ Undergrad Neurosci Educ12E6E10243193993852879
4. American Association for the Advancement of Science2011Vision and change in undergraduate biology education: a call to action: a summary of recommendations made at a national conference organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, July 15–17, 2009Washington, DC
5. Natural Sciences Collections Association2005A matter of life and death: natural science collections: why keep them and why fund themhttps://www.natsca.org/sites/default/files/publications-full/A-Matter-Of-Life-And-Death.pdf
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7. Luckie DB, Maleszewski JJ, Loznak SD, Krha M2004Infusion of collaborative inquiry throughout a biology curriculum increases student learning: a four-year study of “teams and streams.”Adv Physiol Educ28719920910.1152/advan.00025.2004 http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/advan.00025.2004
8. Dorner M2015Position posters: an alternative take on science postersAm Biol Teach77697210.1525/abt.2015.77.1.10 http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/abt.2015.77.1.10
9. Berry J, Houston K1995Students using posters as a means of communication and assessmentEduc Stud Math29212710.1007/BF01273898 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF01273898
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11. Mercer-Mapstone L, Kuchel L2015Teaching scientists to communicate: evidence-based assessment for undergraduate science educationInt J Sci Educ371613163810.1080/09500693.2015.1045959 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2015.1045959

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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1442
2018-03-30
2018-08-16

Abstract:

Scientists are increasingly called upon to communicate with the public, yet most never receive formal training in this area. Public understanding is particularly critical to maintaining support for undervalued resources such as biological collections, research data repositories, and expensive equipment. We describe activities carried out in an inquiry-driven organismal biology laboratory course designed to engage a diverse student body using biological collections. The goals of this cooperative learning experience were to increase students’ ability to locate and comprehend primary research articles, and to communicate the importance of an undervalued scientific resource to nonscientists. Our results indicate that collaboratively created, research-focused informational posters are an effective tool for achieving these goals and may be applied in other disciplines or classroom settings.

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