Paper No. 137-11
Presentation Time: 4:15 PM
CLASSROOM LESSONS FROM GEOSCIENCE UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH AND PRESENTATIONS
The purpose of the talk is to present lessons learned from the classroom to motivate, monitor progress and complete undergraduate student research. In the Spring of each year, Baylor University dedicates a week to celebrate and present undergraduate scholarly work. The week long and campus wide program is called Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA). Student researchers from sciences, mathematics, and social sciences display posters and conduct presentations in the Baylor Science Building. The Geoscience Department participates in URSA week by either making posters or platform presentations. The posters are judged and a winner is chosen by Geoscience faculty members. The following lists our classroom learnings that lead to successful research posters: 1) student chosen topic to motivate research interest, 2) providing students with a PowerPoint poster template with required scientific methods headings, 3) provide guidance documents that describe the scientific method, 4) weekly deadlines clearly communicated for each portion of the poster, 5) classroom presentations each week with peers providing constructive comments and practice to become confident presenting research topic, 6) due to student chosen research topics, the presentations had a diverse range of disciplines not normally found in the classroom, 7) poster can be used as a “portfolio” in job or graduate school application. 8) reaching out to other faculty members to assist with poster/presentation creation when outside of instructor’s expertise. The class challenges were: 1) students writing clear and logical descriptions of their research, 2) balancing teacher’s input and influence on student’s directed work, 3) defining objective and comparative grading criteria, 4) the “dead time” students had with their poster outside of time with judges. In the end, the individual chosen topics produced self-motivated students. Furthermore, clearly defined requirements, monitored work progress and frequent teacher interaction lead to high quality research posters and presentations that were completed on time.