Supporting the Transition from Geoscience Student to Researcher Through Classroom Investigations Using Remotely Operable Analytical Instruments
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Bringing research training activities into the classroom through course-related uses of research instrumentation is a widely used strategy for improving student engagement, retention, and learning in undergraduate science courses. However, such strategies present a range of logistical challenges in terms of instrument access for a large number of students, the time commitment involved in learning instrument use, and in ensuring a sufficient level of exposure for students such that the experience can actually help develop key technical and intellectual skills. I have sought to minimize the logistical challenges of classroom instrument use through integrating remotely operable instruments (electron microprobe and scanning electron microscope) into course activities in a junior-level geology majors course and an introductory-level science course for non-majors. Our outcomes to date point to increased student interest in course materials and activities due to their hands-on instrumentation experiences. Geology majors showed an increased willingness to undertake and complete mentored undergraduate research projects. Non-majors showed no greater inclination to undertake further science courses and research experiences, an outcome that may be partly related to the constraints of their selected degree curricula.
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Geoscience Research and Education, v. 20, p. 149-162
Scholar Commons Citation
Ryan, Jeffrey G., "Supporting the Transition from Geoscience Student to Researcher Through Classroom Investigations Using Remotely Operable Analytical Instruments" (2014). School of Geosciences Faculty and Staff Publications. 887.