American Chemical Society
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A Cocurricular Context-Based Enrichment Program to Enhance Scientific Skills Development

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-06, 08:07 authored by Kate L. Nixon, Eleanor M. Crabb, Michael K. Seery
We describe the implementation of an optional, noncredit bearing, context-based enrichment program delivered in a predominantly asynchronous manner over summer break. The program was designed around a series of context-based investigations related to real-world applications, to provide students with an additional opportunity to develop their scientific skills (investigative, data analysis, communication skills) and technical awareness of experimental techniques as well as extend their scientific learning beyond that in their qualification. Students completed three to four investigations with an optional poster activity. We discuss the general design principles of the enrichment program as it has developed over the last four years, detailing the structure and means of engagement for our students, who are typically part-time learners balancing other work, home, and life commitments. We were particularly interested in the student experience and perceived benefits of this enrichment program. We consider the evaluation of a recent iteration of the program to explore this and uncovered positive sentiments from students in relation to both scientific skills as well as broader themes relating to completing learning activities outside the taught curriculum.

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