Abstract Detail



Education and Outreach

Smith, Karagan [1], Garcia, Cristian [2], Grinovich , Brandon Reed [3], Fiallo, Samantha [4], Brewster, Jay [5], Swift, Cheryl [6], Davis, Stephen [7].

Engagement in Authentic Research during the First Semester in College: A Student’s Perspective.

Pepperdine University and Whittier College jointly initiated a new first-year seminar series that engaged students in authentic research, their first semester on campus. The goals were 1) to transcend students from simply being consumers of knowledge to become co-creators of new knowledge with faculty mentors, 2) to test hypotheses that would potentially advance scientific understanding, 3) to inform freshmen of the many career options in biology, 4) to justify the rationale for the basic scientific skills learned in concurrent scientific courses, 5) to increase retention and satisfaction among first-year students within their STEM major. Assessment of these goals included both qualitative focus groups and quantitative survey questionnaires administered by an outside assessment agency, WestEd.org, as well as internal assessment at Pepperdine University that included a comparison of authentic research seminars to 40 conventional first-year seminars. Authentic research seminars scored the lowest on “often felt lonely” but highest on “very easy to develop friendships,” and “met frequently with a faculty mentor outside of class.”  Ninety-two percent of students reported that their first-year seminar improved learning in concurrent courses and ninety to ninety-three percent of students said their first-year seminar increased their interest in STEM. In addition, students self-reported a significant improvement in all aspects of their ability to plan and conduct research, in their ability to synthesize scientific information and collaborate on scholarly research projects, and broadened their perspective on careers in science. Students at both Pepperdine University and Whittier College regarded all components of the seminar in a largely positive fashion. Students expressed that their seminar was more student-driven and experiential in nature than other courses, a difference unanimously viewed as positive.


1 - Pepperdine University, Natural Science Department, 515 Linden Court, Northville, MI, 48167, United States
2 - Pepperdine University, Natural Science Department, 24255 Pacific Coast HWY , Malibu, CA, 90263, United States
3 - Pepperdine University
4 - Pepperdine University, Natural Science Division, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA, 90263, United States
5 - Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast HWY , Malibu, CA, 90263, United States
6 - Whittier College
7 - Pepperdine University, NATURAL SCIENCE DIV, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA, 90263, United States

Keywords:
First year students
Undergraduate
Stem
assesment.

Presentation Type: Poster This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PEO011
Abstract ID:853
Candidate for Awards:None


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