2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


SAVARESE, Mike1, DEMERS, Nora2, EVERHAM, Edwin M.1, VOLETY, Aswani1 and KAKAREKA, Joe2, (1)College of Arts and Sciences, Florida Gulf Coast Univ, Division of Ecological and Social Sciences, 10501 FGCU Blvd South, Fort Myers, FL 33965, (2)College of Arts and Sciences, Florida Gulf Coast Univ, Division of Mathematics and Science, 10501 FGCU Blvd South, Fort Myers, FL 33965, eeverham@fgcu.edu

Florida Gulf Coast University opened in 1997. As part of the curriculum development, we had a rare opportunity to work together in defining learning outcomes and developing the curriculum to meet these outcomes. The resulting curriculum includes a core course in scientific methodology, Scientific Process, that is required for all science majors. This course was developed, is delivered, and has been assessed and refined as a collaborative faculty effort. We report on the course content, the assessment instruments, and the impact this course has had on undergraduate student research and collaborative faculty research efforts.

Scientific Process is a Junior-level course organized to introduce students to the philosophy, methods, and ethics of the scientific endeavor. The final course project is development of a research proposal, often leading to the students’ required senior research. Faculty from across the science disciplines are invited to give research presentations in class, and a team of faculty read and grade the student research proposals. Students also complete a science attitudes survey at the beginning and end of the course. Each semester the assessment of the research proposals and the results of student evaluations are utilized for a collaborative effort of revision of the course. We believe this shared effort of instruction has lead to increased opportunities for collaborative research and a stronger, more interdisciplinary science department.