Research-Inspired Learning Revitalises the Curriculum for First-Year Science

Les Kirkup, Catriona Bonfiglioli


We describe a curriculum innovation designed to engage first-year students in science research and enhance their written communication skills. We have devised an activity for science majors which connects them to research through audio and video interviews made with senior researchers, early career researchers (ECRs), post doctoral fellows and PhD students. We report evaluations from students and academics on the introduction of this research-inspired communication activity and the steps taken to embed, sustain and enhance the activity. Findings over three semesters show students consistently judge the activity to be a positive learning experience. Issues of sustainability of the innovation and academics' comfort with the activity and its assessment remain to be fully resolved.

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