Undergraduate Students Acquiring Scientific Research Skills: Comparing Two Cohorts of Undergraduate Students for the Same Course Across Two Consecutive Semesters

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Suzana Dragicevic, Department of Geography

Project team: Taylor Anderson, research assistant

Timeframe: August 2016 to June 2017

Funding: $5,000  

Course addressed: GEOG 451Q – Spatial Modeling

Final report: View Suzana Dragicevic's final report (PDF)

Description: This new project builds on findings from an earlier TLDG project, “Developing Learning Materials to Support Scientific Research Skills in Undergraduate Students” >>See Suzana Dragicevic's first project. The results of the previous project found that there was some impact of students’ ability to think and act as a scientist due to their experience of scientific communication and conference attendance. In addition, student responses suggested that more interaction with a scientific audience may lead to an enhanced development of scientific research skills. This new project is now designed to explore the consistency of the previous project results and to further investigate how increased interactions with a scientific audience may impact the development of scientific research skills.

Questions addressed:

  • What are the students’ learning outcomes on the overall knowledge acquired from the course content and on scientific thinking concepts and practical work?
  • What is students’ perception of the scientific process and what have they learned about it?
  • How has students’ experience of scientific communication (poster, oral presentation or written report) and conference attendance reinforced their ability to think and act as scientists?
  • To what extent have the experiences of learning about research processes and taking this particular course influenced students to pursue graduate studies?

Knowledge sharing: Creation of one peer reviewed journal or conference paper publication. Exchange and presentation of the work to SFU colleagues, as well as within the Esri Canada Centre of Excellence (ECCE) network.

Dragicevic, S. (2017, March). Learning spatial modeling: Undergraduate students as scientists. Invited address at the special session, National (ASPRS) and international (ISPRS) geospatial education, training and professional development, of the Imaging and Geospatial Technology Forum (IGTF), Baltimore, MD.

Geography undergraduate students present scientific posters at SFU GIS day 2016 (2016, November 16) Retrieved from: http://www.sfu.ca/geography/news-and-events/news-archives/news-2016/20161120-geog451-posters.html

Dr. Suzana Dragicevic (right) and Taylor Anderson (left)