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Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
Wednesday, June 17 • 4:00pm - 5:30pm
POSTER.04 - New interdisciplinary science course for first-year faculty of science students: Overview and results from the pilot

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Transitioning to university can be a daunting endeavour, with student success dependent on a myriad of effects (Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005). Understanding how to navigate university systems, who to meet, how to get help, how to study and what goals to set can be hard to grasp (Valle et al., 2003). This session provides an overview of the new interdisciplinary foundations course, which piloted in Fall 2014, for first-year Faculty of Science students that i) provides a taste of research-based learning and develops essential skills that are important for their undergraduate degree and future academic or career plans, ii) exposes students to a wide range of departments and programs in the Faculty of Science, and iii) invites students to reflect on their academic journey and how it may be changing as a result of the course. This customized approach that intentionally teaches about institutional resources and expectations while offering opportunities to create networks of support is essential for student success and retention (Kuh, Cruce, Shoup, Kinzie, & Gonyea, 2008) and speaks to a number of considerations highlighted in the literature (e.g., Ambrose, Bridges, DiPietro, Lovett, & Norman, 2010). Other factors considered included balancing the needs of the Faculty, the resources available, and the goals, demands and interests of the students. In this poster presentation, we will describe the course’s design, structure and implementation, a key component of the course (week-long mini-research projects completed in small groups with support from upper-level science students), and preliminary results from a pedagogical study looking at student impact and perception.

Ambrose, S. A., Bridges, M. W., DiPietro, M., Lovett, M. C., & Norman, M. K. (2010). How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching (1st ed.). Jossey-Bass.

Kuh, G. D., Cruce, T. M., Shoup, R., Kinzie, J., & Gonyea, R. M. (2008). Unmasking the Effects of Student Engagement on First-Year College Grades and Persistence. The Journal of Higher Education, 79(5), 540–563. http://doi.org/10.1353/jhe.0.0019

Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (2005). How College Affects Students: A Third Decade Of Research. Jossey-Bass Higher & Adult Education.

Valle, A., Cabanach, R. G., Núnez, J. C., González-Pienda, J., Rodríguez, S., & Piñeiro, I. (2003). Multiple goals, motivation and academic learning. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 73(1), 71–87. http://doi.org/10.1348/000709903762869923


Wednesday June 17, 2015 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Bayshore Foyer

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