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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 L 2013 Science communication to the general public: why we need to teach undergraduate and graduate students this skill as part of their formal scientific training J Undergrad Neurosci Educ 12 E6 E10 24319399 3852879
4. American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011 Vision 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, 2009 Washington, DC
5. Natural Sciences Collections Association 2005 A matter of life and death: natural science collections: why keep them and why fund them https://www.natsca.org/sites/default/files/publications-full/A-Matter-Of-Life-And-Death.pdf
6. Kemp C 2015 The endangered dead Nature 518 292 294 10.1038/518292a 25693545 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/518292a
7. Luckie DB, Maleszewski JJ, Loznak SD, Krha M 2004 Infusion of collaborative inquiry throughout a biology curriculum increases student learning: a four-year study of “teams and streams.” Adv Physiol Educ 287 199 209 10.1152/advan.00025.2004 http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/advan.00025.2004
8. Dorner M 2015 Position posters: an alternative take on science posters Am Biol Teach 77 69 72 10.1525/abt.2015.77.1.10 http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/abt.2015.77.1.10
9. Berry J, Houston K 1995 Students using posters as a means of communication and assessment Educ Stud Math 29 21 27 10.1007/BF01273898 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF01273898
10. Kozeracki CA, Carey MF, Colicelli J, Levis-Fitzgerald M 2006 An intensive primary-literature-based teaching program directly benefits undergraduate science majors and facilitates their transition to doctoral programs CBE Life Sci Educ 5 340 347 10.1187/cbe.06-02-0144 17146041 1681356 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.06-02-0144
11. Mercer-Mapstone L, Kuchel L 2015 Teaching scientists to communicate: evidence-based assessment for undergraduate science education Int J Sci Educ 37 1613 1638 10.1080/09500693.2015.1045959 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2015.1045959

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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1442
2018-03-30
2019-09-19

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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