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Promoting Good Scientific Communication Habits by Leveraging the Community of Practice within a Single Research Group

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Integrating Experiential Learning into the Curriculum

Tagged Division

Cooperative and Experiential Education

Page Count

13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30906

Download Count

11

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Paper Authors

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Félix Langevin Harnois École de Technologie Supérieure

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Librarian at École de technologie supérieure, an engineering school in Montreal, he works on developing information literacy skills for undergraduate and graduate doctoral students. He also works, in collaboration with 3 professors and a researcher, on a service that uses peer-support to help graduate students who have to write a thesis, a journal article or who want to develop their scientific communication skills.

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Jerome Harrison École de Technologie Supérieure

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Jerome is a M.A.Sc. student at the Imaging and Orthopaedics Research Laboratory at ÉTS. He specializes in medical image processing, analysis and visualization.

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Prasun Lala École de Technologie Supérieure

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Prasun Lala is a member of SARA’s team at the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), in Montréal, where he focuses on helping graduate students learn skills related to scientific communication, through group activities involving writing and reviewing their own scientific work. He holds a M.Sc. in Neurophysiology from the Aerospace Medical Research Unit (AMRU) at McGill University and is part of the research support staff in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Centre for Intelligent Machines (CIM) at McGill

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Ghizlane El Boussaidi École de Technologie Supérieure

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Ghizlane El Boussaidi is a professor at the department of software and IT engineering at Ecole de Technologie Supérieure (University of Québec). Her areas of research and interest include software design, model-driven engineering, safety-critical systems, software modernization and software engineering education. She has cumulated over 15 years of industrial experience with various software and IT companies.

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Christian Desrosiers École de Technologie Supérieure

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Christian Desrosiers obtained a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Polytechnique Montréal in 2008, and was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Minnesota on the topic of machine learning. In 2009, he joined ÉTS Montréal as professor in the Dept. of Software and IT Engineering. His main research interests focus on machine learning, image processing, computer vision and medical imaging. Dr. Desrosiers is codirector of the Laboratoire d’imagerie, de vision et d’intelligence artificielle (LIVIA) and is a member of the REPARTI research network.

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Catherine Laporte École de Technologie Supérieure

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Catherine Laporte obtained her Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at McGill University in 2010. Since then, she has been a professor of electrical engineering at École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), where she teaches undergraduate courses in algorithms, biomedical instrumentation and medical imaging. Her research focuses on medical ultrasound image analysis, and aims to address problems relating to image acquisition, image segmentation and registration, 3D reconstruction, tracking and shape analysis using statistical methods. As an adjunct researcher at Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Centre, she is currently developing applications of ultrasound image analysis for non-invasive follow-up of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and the analysis of tongue motion for the study of speech production.

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Abstract

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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