At UPR-Cayey we are trying to substitute the traditional recipe-type laboratory exercises with research projects that have the elements of scientific inquiry. One idea is to identify and define two or three semester-long research projects that are easy to do in terms of cost-effectiveness, materials, etc. Students would work in groups of 4-5 and present their results in a seminar at the end of the semester. There would be lab meetings, article discussions, etc.
We plan to pilot-test this idea with two lab sections (approx. 16 students each) of General Biology I next year (2013). Among the challenges we may face are how to scale-up, the nature of the projects, integration with the lecture, and assessment, among others.
Any ideas, comments and suggestions are welcome.
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