Integrating Discovery-Based Research Experiences into the Undergraduate STEM Curriculum: A Convocation Report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Monday, 14 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
New possibilities and challenges to providing and scaling up opportunities for large numbers of undergraduates to engage in discovery-based research and related activities reflect both the evidence base and the current systemic infrastructure of higher education. The National Research Council hosted a Convocation in May 2015 on this very topic, inspired by the 2012 PCAST report “Engage to Excel,” which urged the STEM education community and funding agencies to “advocate and provide support for replacing standard laboratory courses with discovery-based research courses.” The Convocation report “Integrating Discovery-Based Research into the Undergraduate STEM Curriculum” on which this session is based explores a number of critical issues: Is our current knowledge base robust enough to recommend best practices? Is offering such experiences actually beneficial for all undergraduates? What institutional changes will be required to make such opportunities available to large numbers of students? Can such programs drive institutional change? How can we manage the cost/benefit parameters of such programs? Exploring these important and connected issues is critical for allowing undergraduates to participate in meaningful and relevant research through their coursework, for faculty and administrators to examine and document the evidence for their impact, and institutions to identify variations in what works at different types of colleges and universities.