Abstract Detail

Education and Outreach

Ahedor, Adjoa [1].

Individual undergraduate research (IUR), a strategy for promoting botany with remarkable broader impacts in 2-year colleges.

Interest in botany has diminished over the past decade especially when many health science programs no longer require botany as a prerequisite. Enrollment in undergraduate botany courses has drastically decreased across the nation to a point that botany is no longer offered by some colleges with prominent biology programs. Many community colleges are currently struggling to offer at least one botany course due to a preference for more health science required courses. Furthermore, most students of community colleges are commuters and work full-time jobs, therefore, they cannot participate in field-based courses typical of botany. Some community colleges have gotten rid of greenhouses due to low budgets. The lack of an inquiry-based botany course has impacted other related disciplines in the Environmental and Natural Sciences. The need to attract students to botany required a drastic transformation of the General Botany course to incorporate flexible and inquiry-based lab activities, as well as provide individual undergraduate research (IUR) that are conducted partially or completely outside of class.  Results of the learning outcomes of this IUR transformational teaching strategy over several years surpassed the primary objective of attracting students, to include unanticipated broader impacts for both students and the discipline. These broader impacts for students include a better appreciation for botany, improved terminology vocabulary, critical thinking, ability to formulate a testable hypothesis and conduct studies with minimal supervision, good presentation skills both oral and on a poster, enhanced self-confidence, heightened interest in research and publication in peer-review state journals. For a two-year college, other benefits of IUR include better skills in microscopy, data analyses, and scientific writing.

1 - Rose State College, Engineering And Science Division, 6420 S.E. 15th Street, Midwest City, OK, 73110, United States

Undergraduate research
Inquiry-based study
Community Colleges.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: EO3, Education and Outreach III: Diversity & Inclusion in Botany
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Thursday, July 30th, 2020
Time: 3:30 PM
Number: EO3003
Abstract ID:102
Candidate for Awards:None

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