course resources

Sat Mar 19 21:05:40 EST 1994

In the next year some courses are going to be "tryed" out in the department.
The working titles are: 
      o Experimental Design
      o Experimental Techniques
      o Data Analysis and Presentation
        (or Research Reporting)

These courses are intended to provide a sequence of information that will aid
undergraduate students in developing an understanding of how research is 
conducted.  Currently, we work with students individually (chaoticly) to
ensure they have the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research.
The one-on-one with students is the best approach but practically speaking 
we are spreading ourselves too thin.  
The purpose of this post is to summarize each course and request responses, 
advice, comments, the types of resources you might be aware of to assist in 
the development of course materials.  I will summarize responses and repost 
the group if there is interest.
Experimental Design
the group if there is interest.

Experimental Design: Write a research plan that will include: 
                     the question to be answered
                     background on the question
                     current experimental approach
                     experimental approach to be used
                     type of data to be collected 
                     supplies needed 
                     experimental timeline

Experimental Techniques: Ideally students having taken Experimental Design   
                         will carry forth with their work.  The students 
                         meet as a group for 1-2 hr/wk and discuss progress
                         pitfalls, new insights.  This course is not intended
                         to provide specific information but rather deal in a 
                         peer setting with experiment difficulties and 
                         provide weekly interactions between instructor and 
Data Analysis and Presentation: How to write a manuscript, oral presentation
                                and/or poster presentation.  I have two 
                                books for Spring Quarter: How to Write and 
                                Publish a Scientific Paper by Robert A. Day;
                                Writing Papers in the Biological Sciences by
                                Victoria E. McMillan.  One of the major 
                                questions is statistically analysis.  We 
                                have available the following software: 
                                Lotus 123; Cricket Graph; Minitab; Excel 5.
                                Additionally, I have Harvard Graphics but
                                not a lot of experience.  The core problem is
                                a resource that will assist in relating 
                                statistical methods to various types of data.
                                Please don't flame this next comment.  I am
                                not in the position to teach a stats course
                                so we are looking for something what will 
                                provide an understanding of appropriate stat
                                methods without a lot of theoretical 

The purpose is to introduce independent research into the curriculum and go
beyond assuming that students have gained experimental skills from course
that have lab components.  Application of lab course skills to a problem
the student is interested in pursuing may result in enhances understanding.
Thank you in advance.  We are interested in comments from all areas of 
scientific inquire.
David DeGroote
Dept. of Biological Sciences
St. Cloud State University
St. Cloud, MN 56301-4489
phone (612) 654-5293

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