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December Assignment

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Julie's update  Here are the highlights:

*  Got IRB approval, but I am amending our protocol again to include yet another department.  Lesson learned:  write protocols to be as broad as is realistic.

*  I am collaborating with a statistician and with faculty in many other departments.  I am learning that at this stage of the research, one of the most important skills I can have is the ability to herd cats!  Actually, everything is going very well, just more slowly that I would like. 

Miriam's update:

  • Submitted the application for IRB approval. I haven't heard back from the committe yet, and I just emailed a member who's in my Department to see how that's going. I hope it gets approved!
  • I met with a faculty member in my Dept. who's an expert in statistical analysis, and we went over the data we hope to collect, and how to analyze it. My head was spinning afterwards!
  • We got funding from the Dean to order the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (as well as the Disposition towards Critical Thinking Skills survey). We're using this as an assessment. I'll let you know how it goes!
  • I'm excited to start the project!


Lisa's update:

  • I hate to use text language but OMG!!!!!  We finished finals and then I had to pack my lab as we are moving to a new science building in another week.  I swear everything keeps multiplying - I pack a drawer and there is another!!  But I am about 3 boxes away from being done.  Then on to my office ...


  • I think I mentioned I did a blog Fall semester for my biotech class.  Two other faculty members were doing this too.  We had IRB approval and did pre and post assessments re: attitudes towards blogging and the usefulness of bloggin in a class.  VERY INTERESTING RESULTS FROM MY CLASS!!  I was expecting a HUGE attitude change.  I LOVED the blog.  Not so with the students.  They were really ambivalent.  This has taught me so much regarding what I want to ask on pre and post assessments.  It has given me other ideas about how to assess if the intervention is "working" or the students just see it as more work.  Sometimes I wonder if telling them I am assessing the usefulness of this makes them think this is not worthwhile?????  This type of research is so interesting and what I love is the data is the data.  So different from my research where we are working to "prove" a hypothesis and when it doesn't "work" you think you didn’t design the experiment right and it seems more like a never ending saga.  I love the fact that this is it - I can improve it - I can add more students / classes - but this is the data.  Not that it provides all the answers but I feel that it is so much more straight forward than lab-bench-research. 
  • So, I am totally pumped to get my next attitude survey through IRB.  For my next study we are going to use .  This is a site that you can post a PDF (think primary journal article) and the students can add comments (like sticky notes) to annotate and discuss the paper.   
  • My overall BIG SoTL research goal is to find ways to create "virtual" group work.  At UCD, our students are non-traditional and commuters.  I have heard about the positive power of group work, but I have hesitated to assign it because (1) I hated group work as a student due to lazy or dominating people and (2) I don't feel comfortable asking my students to find time to get together outside of class.  I was hoping the class blog would foster that type of interaction, but I don't think it did.  So, I am trying a.nnotate this Spring. 
  • Other projects regarding the use of rubrics and writing scientific articles for my lab class will be underway this Spring but they are still in the development phase.


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