Research encounters: Seeding a research culture in first year
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This project was designed to engage and enhance the learning of first year students of biomedical science and allied health by introducing research based learning into the curriculum of the foundation year program. The project was highly organised to accommodate the interdisciplinary cohort of approximately 550 students, but allowed and encouraged creativity, inquiry and autonomy on the part of the students. The primary aim of the project was to demystify the university research culture for the students by allowing first-hand experience in the form of a 'research encounter'. The research encounters ranged from face-to-face interviews with academic researchers to designing a pilot study based on research questions within the faculty. Resources and support were readily available to help the students in all aspects of the project. The students worked in groups to develop the assessment item in the form of a poster, which is presented in the final week to their peers. The project was evaluated by pre- and post-encounter surveys that were analysed for significant differences in student perceptions. The interdisciplinary nature of the research poster presentations prepared students for future careers in allied health in which they will certainly work within interdisciplinary teams. Overall students developed a clearer understanding of the research culture within the university, made deeper connections with their peers, and clarified their career paths.
Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-disciplinary Journal
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Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy