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Abstract Detail

Teaching Section

Dertien, Joseph R. [1].

Making it work: lessons learned from integrating research and teaching.

Establishing and maintaining a research program in the plant sciences can be difficult for new faculty. There are particular challenges at smaller colleges and universities that are not heavily research based, where there is often a jarring juxtaposition to the research Universities where one has earned their Ph.D. or gained post doc experience. Some of these challenges include limitations on facilities, budget, equipment, and time for research.   
Research projects in the undergraduate classroom is a growing trend that can serve as an effective teaching tool as well as increase the rate of data collection significantly. However, these projects can also help alleviate some of the other common limiting factors to research by increasing budgets, allocating time for data collection, and utilizing teaching resources and equipment.  At Saint Xavier University, integrating elements of a plant DNA barcoding project into Genome Biology, Genetics, and Plant Adaptation and Diversity courses has been a successful way to alleviate some of these challenges, and may help facilitate long term and ongoing projects.
To integrate the project into the classroom in a manner that produces useful data, the following strategies have been identified as being effective in facilitating skill development and increasing data collection: 1) students set up their own experiments from start to finish rather than having the experiment partially set up by a teaching assistant or instructor to save time 2) The same experiment is repeated several times to allow better mastery of lab techniques and reinforce understanding of the experiment. 3) A tiered methods system is used so that students who are successful in their experiment are allowed to practice more advanced techniques.
In addition to teaching and research objectives, an added benefit of this research integration has been an increase in recruitment of students into individual research projects, an increase in recruitment into the plant sciences and interest in graduate education, and a greater appreciation for the plant sciences among the general student population.

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1 - Saint Xavier University, Biological Sciences, 3700 W 103rd Street, Chicago, IL, 60655, USA


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 19
Location: Cottonwoods North/Boise Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Time: 11:45 AM
Number: 19015
Abstract ID:843
Candidate for Awards:None

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