Proposal Title

An Evaluation of the Elements of Scientific Inquiry Present in an Authentic Research Experience in an Online Psychology Course

Primary Faculty Mentor’s Name

NA

Proposal Track

Faculty Affinity Network (FAN)

Session Format

Paper Presentation

Abstract

Experience conducting scientific research is a primary objective of the undergraduate degree in psychology. Curricula contain topical courses which include research components and stand-alone courses that are completely research based within a particular topical area. As online courses are become increasingly effective tools in completing the undergraduate degree programs, it will be important to incorporate high-quality research experience in online psychology courses.

Scientific research experience involves learning the research methodology within a field and practice executing authentic research projects. To evaluate the rigor of research experience projects in psychology and other social sciences, we can employ an evaluation method designed for natural and applied science research projects developed by Mawn, Carrico, Charuk, Stote, & Lawrence (2011). Based on instructional design and science-based evaluation literatures, Mawn et al. proposed a set of 16 Elements of Scientific Inquiry. These elements constituted a rigorous and effective evaluation set for the design and implementation of research experiences in the natural and applied sciences’ courses. Mawn et al. extended the use of The Elements to the design and implementation of research experiences in online courses.

As research experiences are developed for online psychology and social science courses, Mawn et al.’s Elements of Scientific Inquiry would be an effective rubric for evaluating the effectiveness of the experiences. To this end, we developed an authentic research project embedded in an online developmental psychology course. In this paper, we describe the semester-long project. It guides and scaffolds students through each step of an authentic research project in developmental psychology. Students complete modules on literature search and review, hypothesis and methodology development, execution of the research, data analysis and interpretation, and finally presentation of the project in both peer-review style papers and conference-style presentations. Our goal in this paper is to apply Mawn et al.’s Elements of Scientific Inquiry to the project to demonstrate its authenticity and the rigor necessary for an online research experience in the social sciences.

Keywords

Online teaching, Psychology research, Course-embedded research

Location

Room 2901

Presentation Year

2014

Start Date

11-15-2014 8:30 AM

End Date

11-15-2014 9:30 AM

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Nov 15th, 8:30 AM Nov 15th, 9:30 AM

An Evaluation of the Elements of Scientific Inquiry Present in an Authentic Research Experience in an Online Psychology Course

Room 2901

Experience conducting scientific research is a primary objective of the undergraduate degree in psychology. Curricula contain topical courses which include research components and stand-alone courses that are completely research based within a particular topical area. As online courses are become increasingly effective tools in completing the undergraduate degree programs, it will be important to incorporate high-quality research experience in online psychology courses.

Scientific research experience involves learning the research methodology within a field and practice executing authentic research projects. To evaluate the rigor of research experience projects in psychology and other social sciences, we can employ an evaluation method designed for natural and applied science research projects developed by Mawn, Carrico, Charuk, Stote, & Lawrence (2011). Based on instructional design and science-based evaluation literatures, Mawn et al. proposed a set of 16 Elements of Scientific Inquiry. These elements constituted a rigorous and effective evaluation set for the design and implementation of research experiences in the natural and applied sciences’ courses. Mawn et al. extended the use of The Elements to the design and implementation of research experiences in online courses.

As research experiences are developed for online psychology and social science courses, Mawn et al.’s Elements of Scientific Inquiry would be an effective rubric for evaluating the effectiveness of the experiences. To this end, we developed an authentic research project embedded in an online developmental psychology course. In this paper, we describe the semester-long project. It guides and scaffolds students through each step of an authentic research project in developmental psychology. Students complete modules on literature search and review, hypothesis and methodology development, execution of the research, data analysis and interpretation, and finally presentation of the project in both peer-review style papers and conference-style presentations. Our goal in this paper is to apply Mawn et al.’s Elements of Scientific Inquiry to the project to demonstrate its authenticity and the rigor necessary for an online research experience in the social sciences.