IMPLEMENTING RESEARCH IN THE CLASSROOM IN BIOLOGY COURSES AS A HIGH IMPACT PRACTICE
Queensborough CC, CUNY (UNITED STATES)
Undergraduate Research (UR) is considered as one of the most effective High Impact practices (HIPs) in undergraduate education. Students involved in research-based courses are more likely to complete their courses, show greater appreciation and inclination towards and pursue STEM careers as compared to those taking traditional courses. QCC’s Biology faculty are incorporating Undergraduate Research (UR) in a diverse range of Biology classes. The research projects incorporated are relevant to the course curricula, align well with course learning objectives and keep students engaged and motivated. We incorporated Authentic Research Experience in Microbiology (AREM) in two classes- Microbiology and Environmental Health. This hands-on research project introduces the undergrads to most modern technologies of metagenomics such as Genomic DNA extraction and analysis of microbial communities from their environment by Next Generation Sequencing. Student teams were also asked to research a course related topic and generate a report in scientific report format. They also have an opportunity to present it to college community at QCC’s Honors conference. Students are encouraged to write their reflections of the overall research experience along with their research data. When surveyed, students participating in the research–based classes exhibited independent thinking, enhanced analytical reasoning skills, team work abilities and increased scientific literacy.