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Research Journal

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Thursday, July 21, 2011 - One week after our intense but extremely productive workshop, I find one of the most useful experiences was writing my reflections after each presentation. Thanks to that exercise, I  was able to recall some important aspects of the meeting I otherwise would have forgotten. As a result, I've decided to keep a journal of my progress with my research problem. My comments will be brief but will hopefully serve as a reminder of things I have done and need to do.

Since the meeting, I have continued my search through the educational literature that would apply to the teaching and learning of DNA structure and gene expression. I have an ever growing pile of papers and additional references, including some potentially useful websites. To date, I have yet to find a research project that is directly asking my question. This is encouraging since I do not want to have a project that is placed in the "But, we already knew that" category.

I have a meeting at 3pm with Elizabeth Evans, a colleague who is very interested in assessment and was attending an assessment workshop while I was at ASM.

I discovered that my Department Chairman, Dr. Don Korte, is still Chair of the IRB committee. I will be sending him my little powerpoint and see what he says about what I need to put together for the IRB committee later today.

I rewrote the objectives for my science major microbiology course and identified 4 broad objectives that I want the students to have at the end of the semester. I will write more specific objectives for the DNA portion of the course this academic year, but leave other refinements in the course for subsequent years. 

Will write more later.

Quick update: Meeting with Evans went very well. She had some good ideas about how to ask questions and is willing to review my assessments. She loves to go through qualitative data. I think I've found a valuable collaborator.


Thursday, August 11, 2011. Three weeks later and I have completed putting together all surveys, tests, labs and lab reports required for the project. I have completed the IRB report and will submit it tomorrow. Preliminary comments from the Chairman of the IRB Committee is good. I should have approval before classes begin. Good news! Several other faculty members are interested in using both the survey and lab. I will potentially have a signifcant amount of data for my poster if all who expressed an interest come on board. Bad news! I have to pick up the undergraduate, health science Chemistry course again this Fall. But, I can use these students as well.

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