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Flying With Swallows – a Model for Undergraduate Research-Based Learning

Author(s): Joanna Werner-Fraczek

Moreno Valley College

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Summary:
Moreno Valley College, a two-year community college in Southern California, experiences an annual migration of cliff swallows. The presence of these birds inspired the development of the undergraduate research program, Flying with Swallows.

Licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 03 Aug 2020 doi:10.25334/G239-8E89 - cite this

Description

Moreno Valley College, a two-year community college in Southern California, experiences an annual migration of cliff swallows. The presence of these birds inspired the development of the undergraduate research program, Flying with Swallows. The assessment of the project indicated significant increases in qualitative student outcomes such as inspiration or global awareness, and in the retention and success rates as compared to courses not participating in the project. The lessons learned from designing, developing, and administering the project for five years are provided as a model adaptable to other institutions, with the following elements: research topic, goals and objectives, faculty, intra- and extra-curricular activities, collaboration, administrative support, assessment, dissemination and sustainability.

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  1. 0 Like

    Tamara Basham @ on   (Edited: @ on )

    Hi Joanna,

    in your poster, you mentioned that assessments showed some positive outcomes for students doing these projects. What tools did you use to conduct these assessments?

    Also, do you have more detailed information about how you implement the project published somewhere?

    I also teach (Environmental Science) at a CC and am interested in the nuts and bolts of building up these types of projects with our demographic.

    Thanks,

    Tamara

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      Joanna Werner-Fraczek @ on   (Edited: @ on )

      Hi Tamara;

      Thank you for viewing my poster. 

      The project Flying With Swallows was assessed by external evaluators using evaluation surveys and focus group discussions that were administered to students participating in the project. Survey questions were derived from the Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) survey and the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS). Further evaluations involved data analysis by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness that compared the retention and success rates between the Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology course with the Undergraduate Research Program (URP BIO-60) at Moreno Valley College (MVC) and a regular BIO-60 at Riverside Community College (RCC) where both colleges belong to the same district and represent similar demographics.

      The FWS project has been described in the publication that is expected to be published in SPUR summer 2020 issue. The poster has a link to this paper.

      If you would like to discuss the project further, please come to the second poster session on Thursday or email me and we can set a Zoom meeting.

      Best,

      Joanna

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