Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Cooperative and Experiential Education
Large university research groups are communities of practice within which graduate students are expected to learn and research new ideas, but also write and publish scientific articles on these ideas. Lab members have varied experiences, and have mastered different skills related to scientific communication, thus mentoring among lab members is often seen as a good system to transfer knowledge on scientific communication. However, a lack of organization and an uneven distribution of interactions typically limit this transfer of knowledge to students. We aimed to leverage the framework of an existing community of practice within a lab to formalize activities targeted at promoting group active learning related specifically to scientific communication.
Beginning in the spring of 2017, we integrated various activities aimed at helping students with scientific writing and publishing, into a research group consisting of more than 10 professors and over 30 graduate students and research staff.. These activities included communal Writing sessions, Peer support writing groups, and Journal clubs among others. Even with voluntary participation, many lab members participated in the activities, with large group activities attracting on average about 35% of the students in the lab. We also discovered that many of them were willing to get involved in the organization and creation of activities. Anonymous surveys indicated respondents found the activities were a good use of their time and addressed a need in their lab. These findings indicate that support for scientific writing and publishing can be provided in a regular and organized way within research groups using a model based on mutual help and peer assistance. University services that already offer support for scientific writing and communication can integrate their existing activities within the community of practice of a research group by involving lab members and working on a basis that involves knowledge exchange.
Langevin Harnois, F., & Harrison, J., & Lala, P., & El Boussaidi, G., & Desrosiers, C., & Laporte, C. (2018, June), Promoting Good Scientific Communication Habits by Leveraging the Community of Practice within a Single Research Group Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30906
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