Evaluation of Teaching and Research Experiences Undertaken by Botany Majors at N.C. State University1

By Coker, Jeffrey Scott; Van Dyke, C. Gerald | NACTA Journal, March 2005 | Go to article overview

Evaluation of Teaching and Research Experiences Undertaken by Botany Majors at N.C. State University1


Coker, Jeffrey Scott, Van Dyke, C. Gerald, NACTA Journal


Abstract

Many science departments require undergraduate students to complete either a teaching or research experience. We developed a survey instrument to measure outcomes of teaching and research experiences from the student perspective. Results in the Botany Department at North Carolina State University demonstrated that those doing research are involved mainly in data collection and analysis, whereas those who are teaching are mainly involved with hands-on laboratory instruction. Nearly all students rated their experiences as very good overall and would recommend them to other students. Several positive educational outcomes were rated especially high, including a greater appreciation for teaching/research, greater initiative towards pursuing a career, an increase in skills, and greater consideration for attending graduate school. Students found that the experiences were effective at building five "leadership skills" that included team-work, problem-solving, getting along with others, analytical skills, and time-management, and somewhat effective at developing four others which included writing, speaking, work ethic, and integrity. Students rated academic-related outcomes relatively low overall, suggesting that motivation to make better grades or to take different courses changed little as a result of research or teaching experiences.

Introduction

Experiential learning in the forms of teaching and research can be extremely rewarding for undergraduate students. These experiences allow students to put classroom knowledge into practice and explore potential career paths. Teaching and research settings frequently present rich opportunities to build leadership skills such as team-work, problem-solving, getting along with others, analytical skills, time-management, writing, speaking, work ethic, and integrity. Perhaps most importantly, both teaching and research pose significant, open-ended challenges to students that provide opportunities for high achievement and excellence.

An increased emphasis has been placed on experiential learning in recent years, resulting in a greater need for assessment. Funding agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation have expanded student research opportunities (Service, 2002) and consider "integration of research and education" as one of four criteria for reviewing scientific research grants (NSF, 2004). Furthermore, a number of national organizations have recommended expansion and improvement of efforts to include undergraduates in college/university research (NSF, 1996; Boyer Commission, 1998; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 2002). Similarly, the concept of student-assisted teaching has been strongly advocated (Miller et al., 2001), as most laboratory instruction at U.S. universities is performed by teaching assistants (Sundberg and Marshall, 1993).

Recently, there have been surveys of student researchers in chemistry and biology (Mabrouk and Peters, 2000), medicine (Solomon et al., 2003), and psychology (Landrum and Nelsen, 2002), as well as a national survey of mentors in plant biology (Coker and Davies, 2002) and an institutional survey of liberal arts colleges (Research Corporation, 2001). Also, student research projects in particular courses have been described (Chaplin et al., 1998; McLean, 1999; Henderson and Buising, 2000). We are unaware of any recent survey of undergraduate teaching assistants in the sciences which sought to determine educational outcomes. Nevertheless, the role of graduate teaching assistants in the sciences has been examined (Druger, 1997; Sundberg et al., 2000), and surveys of teaching assistants have been performed in communications (Socha, 1998) and sociology (Fingerson and Culley, 2001).

Many science departments nationwide require that students complete an out-of-classroom experience in order to graduate. Undergraduates majoring in Botany at N.C. State University are required to complete either a teaching or research experience as part of the required departmental curriculum. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Evaluation of Teaching and Research Experiences Undertaken by Botany Majors at N.C. State University1
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.