Writing Activities Embedded in Bioscience Laboratory Courses to Change Students’ Attitudes and Enhance their Scientific Writing
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Griffith University, Nathan, AUSTRALIA
Publication date: 2011-06-21
EURASIA J. Math., Sci Tech. Ed 2011;7(3):193-202
We introduced writing activities into a project style third year undergraduate biomolecular science laboratory to assist the students to produce a final report in the form of a journal article. To encourage writing while the experimental work was proceeding, the embedded writing activities required ongoing analysis of experimental data. After formative feedback from peers and teaching staff, the revised work was incorporated directly into the prepared journal framework. Surveys of student attitudes showed significant improvements in confidence in their ability to write an introduction, produce figure legends, distinguish results from discussion and generate a logical flow of information. Attitudes towards report writing became significantly more positive and the training was highly rated. Key factors that contributed to the perceived benefits were use of the student’s own data, the chance to incorporate revised work directly into their reports and the realisation that they were performing tasks of direct relevance to their future careers.
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