Group-effort Applied Research: Expanding Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Through Original, Class-Based Research Projects
Abbreviated Journal Title
Biochem. Mol. Biol. Educ.
laboratory; mentoring; molecular biology; training; undergraduate; research; RESEARCH EXPERIENCES; BENEFITS; Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Education, Scientific Disciplines
Undergraduate research clearly enriches the educational development of participating students, but these experiences are limited by the inherent inefficiency of the standard one student-one mentor model for undergraduate research. Group-effort applied research (GEAR) was developed as a strategy to provide substantial numbers of undergraduates with meaningful research experiences. The GEAR curriculum delivers concept-driven lecture material and provides hands-on training in the context of an active research project from the instructor's laboratory. Because GEAR is structured as a class, participating students benefit from intensive, supervised research training that involves a built-in network of peer support and abundant contact with faculty mentors. The class format also ensures a relatively standardized and consistent research experience. Further-more, meaningful progress toward a research objective can be achieved more readily with GEAR than with the traditional one student-one mentor model of undergraduate research because sporadic mistakes by individuals in the class are overshadowed by the successes of the group as a whole. Three separate GEAR classes involving three distinct research projects have been offered to date. In this article, we provide an overview of the GEAR format and review some of the recurring themes for GEAR instruction. We propose GEAR can serve as a template to expand student opportunities for life science research without sacrificing the quality of the mentored research experience. (C) 2014 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
"Group-effort Applied Research: Expanding Opportunities for Undergraduate Research Through Original, Class-Based Research Projects" (2014). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 5855.