Enhancing the teaching-research nexus in the undergraduate curriculum through assessment

Bertolo, E., Capelo, J., Harvey, S.C. and Lodeiro, C. (2012) Enhancing the teaching-research nexus in the undergraduate curriculum through assessment. In: III Encuentro Gallego de Cinética y Catálisis, 13th-15th January, Ourense, Laias, Spain.


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Successful linkages between teaching and research in the undergraduate curriculum are strongly dependent on academics’ ability to encourage and facilitate an inquiry based approach to learning. An assessment strategy in which students become active participants in the assessment process is crucial to facilitate the development of this inquiry based approach. Developing this so-called research-mindedness is central to helping students' to become independent learners and to be more effective professionals in their future careers. This paper describes a distributed systems approach to assessment implemented in the undergraduate module Molecular Biology. The assessment comprised a series of sequence identification, database use and analysis steps, with each student being given a different starting gene. In combination, the students analysed an entire genetic pathway. This approach allows the assignments generated to be combined and used to address a single larger question, which can be either teaching or research based. This is then fed back into the teaching. This direct link between the assessment outcomes and the learning process increases student engagement with the subject and sense of ownership of the work carried out. This approach to assessment, in which students undertake a small part of a larger task, is ideal for various technical, skills-based, assignments, such as those central to the many types of bioinformatics analyses. However, it can be adapted to various types of meta-review. The paper discusses the details for the implementation, as well as the benefits and potential pitfalls of the approach.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Research Informed Teaching, undergraduate assessment, student research-mindedness
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Geographical and Life Sciences
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Depositing User: Users 2 not found.
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2012 14:21
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2018 10:11
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/10439

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00