Student and Faculty Views on Process of Science Skills at a Large, Research-Intensive University

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Date
2018-01-01
Authors
Addis, Elizabeth
Powell-Coffman, Jo Anne
Powell-Coffman, Jo Anne
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Genetics, Development and Cell Biology
Abstract

The Association of American Colleges and Universities ranks multiple process of science (POS) skills among the top-10 skills employers seek in college graduates. As part of an effort to explore and align the emphasis on POS skills in our science departments, we sought three things: (a) to determine if faculty and students felt enough time was devoted to POS skills, (b) to identify the skills that science students and faculty felt were important to acquire from an undergraduate education, and (c) to evaluate whether there were differences in these views among disciplines. We found that faculty and students agreed on the amount of time spent in class on POS skills, but students thought that amount of time was sufficient, whereas faculty did not. Further, students and faculty placed a high importance on the POS skills of problem solving/critical thinking, communicating results, and interpreting data. We did not find differences among faculty of different science disciplines on the most highly ranked POS skills, but we did in students. The findings of this study have informed curricular discussions and decisions.

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This article is published as Addis, E.A. and Powell-Coffman, J.A. Student and faculty views on process of science skills at a large, research-intensive university. Journal of College Science Teaching 47 (2018): 72-82. doi: 10.2505/4/jcst18_047_04_72. Posted with permission.

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