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What do you feel is your most significant achievement with regards to the 2009-2010 Research Residency project?

 

Kathleen Archer

Getting enough data collected and analyzed to present as a poster at ASMCUE.  It's been a whirlwind to try and pull out the information I needed from exams and evaluations AND analyze the data in time.  I spent winter break and spring break doing what I could, but look forward to summer when I have sufficient time to devote to analyzing all the data I've collected.  In terms of my teaching, I have seen in my preliminary look at data support for the notion that groups exams do help students, and hints about how to tweak the group exam idea to improve its execution in the classroom.

 
James Bader
On the upside, going through the process really helped me clarify the question I wanted to investigate and I was able to use this experience to generate baseline data that I will compare to next fall's class. I am excited about that opportunity and I also have a small amount of funding to launch another investigation related to the impact of science fairs. I fully expect to pick everyone's brain in San Diego on how to put that study together.
 
Janet Branchaw
The baseline data I collected, though incomplete, have given me a leg to stand on when I negotiate how I will be spending my time in the future. I think the data will help me to argue that this is something I should continue to do and that my Institute should support me to do. It will be relatively straight-forward to expand the study I've initiated to non-honors students and the potential to learn about how our students' metacognitive awareness and study skills develop over their four years with us will be valuable to many on my campus.
 
Ann Cheeptham: I truly think that this is just a beginning to a great achievement in my career as an educator, the experience at the BSP in Washington DC and the entire 2009-2010 RRP have changed the direction and approaches towards my teaching, mentoring, and undergraduate supervising as a whole.  I found that I have more confidence not only in thinking about but conducting research in teaching in science at this level.  It is still a great and steep learning curve I need to go through but I am liking it.   Most improtantly, I felt that I am becoming more skillful at this as I am going along and it has been such a great path to have joined a community such as this to learn and help each other.
 
Karen Curto
By committing to the requirements for the Biology Scholars program, I was committed to creating, implementing and evaluating a project I thought about for a long time. Two achievements resulted from this project. The first was successfully changing student's perceptions about how signals work in cells. I want to build on this foundation of integrating signals as a general pattern that reoccurs in cellular life, in for example,  gene expression, homeostasis and in a number of processes during development. The second achievement was learning about the processes and resources related to the scholarship of teaching/learning with an appreciation of what is necessary to carry through on a project. I now want to build on this experience with publications related not only to this work, but future projects as well. Because I value what I learned from my fellow scholars and mentors this year, I am motivated to tell my colleagues about this program, especially when they come to me with innovative ideas and enthsusiam about some approach they hope will improve student comprehension.
 
Jonathan Davis: I don't know that I have any significant achievements with regard to the project. Sure, *I* enjoyed investigating how students learn (I was already investigating student learning BEFORE I joined BSP), but I'm not sure what the students as a whole have gotten out of it. There is, no doubt, that instructors can have a negative impact on learning and retention and so need to evaluate whether students are learning or not. And yet there is, equally no doubt, that even an instructor who tries to transform his/her classroom will still have most factors stacked again him/her, at least, at a community college, and that most programs aimed at teaching reform do not seem to consider the characteristics of students...or the administrators who lead institutions, write our grants and are filling up our institutions with students who are not prepared to engage in serious study.
 
Lianna Etchberger
My most significan achievement as a Biology Scholar is having started a research project. Now that I have created a poster, I feel like I actually accomplished something even though it a messy start. I have confidence to move forward; to research, prepare (IRB), and question how my students learn and how best to teach them.
 
Ron Gerrits: My most significant achievement has been a change in the way that I veiw my profession. I have come to the realization that even though I hold degrees in engineering and science, my profession is that of an educator. Although I have always believed that to some extent, the Scholars program has guided me in becoming a better "professional" in this area; by exposing me to a greater degree of educational literature, convincing me that it holds meaning, and introducing me to others who are active in this area, and who I have developed a lot of respect for. I hope to continue such projects and work with other faculty members to improve the education at our institution. This year I nominated a fellow faculty member to join the Scholars program, and he has been accepted. Steps like these should aid me in developing a core group of educational researchers on my campus.
 
Trudy Gillevet
 
Brinda Govindan
My most significant achievement has been understanding how to approach a SOTL project and to have collected and analyzed data (on 160 students) on my first project of this kind.  I am very glad that I finished my abstract even with all of the other demands on my time.  Although several tragedies prevented me from presenting my poster at ASMCUE this year, I feel confident that I am going to continue on this path and that I will have future projects and data to present next year.  In addition, I feel that I am now much better equipped to propose more focused research questions since I have more insight (compared to last July!) on how to conduct SOTL research.  I am very excited about belonging to this community of research scholars and I have learned so much from everyone here.
 
Wendy Heck Grillo: My most significant achievement with regards to my Biology Scholar Research Residency Project has been generating and analyzing data to present 2 posters within 6 months.  The first poster entitled "Evaluating the Students' Motivation to Learn Science in an Introductory Biology Course" was presented at the Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching at Greensboro.  The second poster entitled "The Use of Daily Quizzes In An Introductory General Biology Course For Majors" will be presented at the ASMCUE meeting.  My participation in this program has further solidified my decision to pursue research in Undergraduate Science Education.   It has also provided me with a network of colleagues with similar interests who can serve as great resources for constructive criticism, literature, etc.  I believe my participation in this program also aided in my colleague and I being awarded to participate in the HHMI Science Education Alliance, in which we will be teaching a genomics lab course next year. 

 

Caron Inouye

My greatest achievement fostered by our BSP is a two-parter.  Part I:  I was able to apply the skills/tools/ reources I gained from the program to design and implement an effective (and hopefully publishable) research project.  Part II: I was able use these skills to quickly identify and pursue another viable project when, due to circumstances beyond my control, my originally proposed project went belly up.  I've been sharing my experiences in faculty "learning communities" across campus, and everything that has come out of my involvement with the BSP has been positive and encouraging.  But, wait, there's one more part!  My greatest personal achievement was getting my poster done in time for our Media & Tech dept. to print it out before ASM CUE.  Now, if I can just get the poster to the meeting in its pristine condition, that'll be yet another major achievement worth noting! 
 
Lisa Johansen
 I am with Jonathan - I have always enjoyed trying to figure out what works in a classroom and that has not changed.  I don't think the students really appreciate all that goes in to designing a course and assessment and trying new things out.  And that is fine - they are at a different place than we are.  On the one hand, it is important to KNOW - through formal assessment - student perceptions - and on the other hand - as I said in my challenges statement: I am really torn between "I know what's best for you - so do this" and "OK - you figure out how you learn best - take care of the learning strategies yourself".
 
I am not sure if formal evaluation is my thing.  Currently I teach small courses (10 - 25) students and so I can tweak things easily as I perceive changes are necessary.  Perhaps if I teach larger classes I will want to more formally evaluate my teaching strategies.
 
Jodie Krontiris-Litowitz

My most significant achievement with regards to Research Residency was learning how  valuable it is to make connections and start conversations with   other faculty who do SoTL.

Mary Mawn
Looking back over this past year, my most significant achievement relates to going through the overall BSP residency process: designing a new research project, setting up and conducting a study, and presenting preliminary findings all within a ten-month period!  This work provides a solid foundation upon which further research will be developed and conducted.  In addition, while this may not necessarily be classified as an “achievement,” a positive outcome that I attribute to participation in the 2009-2010 BSP Research Residency is being connected to a community of biology faculty who have similar interests in the scholarship of teaching and learning.  There are possibilities for continued discussions, the sharing of resources, and future collaborations.  To me, this is a significant achievement.
 
Kristina Obom
I agree with Iglika, the BSP experience solidified my intent to do evidence based teaching and continue to pursue the scholarship of teaching learning.  Although I had done some educational research before becoming a scholar, BSP gave me a structure and some tools to continue with the scholarship of teaching.  I also have the confidence to share SoTL with the many faculty members in my program.  When we asked our faculty if they were interested in learning about evidence based teaching, over 50% responded yes.  
 
Iglika Pavlova

I feel completely energized by the BSP experience and excited to pursue more seriously education research. Like Jim, I have always payed closed attention and evaluated and re-evaluated my coursework, but not in a way that I can publish, just focused on the students. And so, since I give 200% of my time to my students, it is nice to be able to work on my other professional goals (education research and sharing what I have learned and what I am thinking with a professional community) without sacrificing my teaching, in fact improving it, and the BSP was ESSENTIAL in helping me take off. Thanks!

 

Julie Reynolds
As hoped, participation in the BSP has helped me take my research to the next level.  I have gone from dreading the IRB process to feeling like I can navigate it quickly and productively.  I also have learned new approaches to analyzing my data, in no small part thanks to new collaborations.  This summer, I plan to submit a manuscript describing my research to the CBE -Life Science Edu journal.
 
Miriam Segura-Totten
I feel that my greatest achievement was to bring a SoTL project from the point of just having a question or challenge to analyzing data generated through assessments that I designed or picked. Of course, the BSP program was absolutely essential for my success so far, but it feels so good to have a handle on a field of scholarship that I was so intimidated by when I started the program. Like Iglika, I'm also energized by being involved in a different type of research project!
 
Conrad Toepfer
 
Honestly, I think my greatest achievement has been to gain the confidence to think outside the box in my teaching.  I have long been a proponent of case studies, think-pair-share, etc. but didn't feel like I was doing much beyond adapting those techniques to my particular students.  I was starting to feel somewhat stagnant in my teaching since I wasn't coming up with anything original.  I don't think that I'm at the stage yet to start writing about what I've been trying but I think that I might be onto something that other teachers might want to read about.  There have been a couple of times that I've felt close to burning out and this program has definitely given me a renewed enthusiasm for what I do.
 
Jacqueline Washington

My greastest achievement has been the commitment to education research to bring a project from conception through gathering enough data to present a poster at ASMCUE.  The Biology Scholars Program has truly changed my career as an educator by not only providing the tools and resources to succeed in education research, but also a very supportive community of like minded professionals.  This could not have happened at a better time for me as our institution recently went through accredidation review and much emphasis is placed on assessment.  Some important questions we are addressing are: How do we know that our students are learning?  How can we improve learning?  Involvement in BSP has allowed me to try to answer those types of questions and take it one step further by sharing my results with a wider community.

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