Here’s a summary of the 8 responses so far to the survey/request for feedback – with some additional information at the end. The survey is still open – feel free to complete it, if you haven’t already. We’ll have some time to discuss in class, as well.
1. What do you like about this course?
• guest speakers
• in-class conversations/discussion/interactions
• blog format
• skills and content
• combination of in-person and online
• expertise in the room
2. What do you DISlike?
• overemphasis on blog (3 people)
• assignments too vague (3 people)
• not enough lead time for assignments or responding to blog posts (2 people)
• blog used for assignments rather than communicating about research
3. What should we continue/do more of?
• guest speakers with diverse expertise (3 people)
• in-person discussions in class (3 people)
• writing for general public, summing up research
4. What should we stop/do less of?
• fewer blog assignments, especially “meta-assignments”
• replace blog with twitter or facebook
• too much time in small group discussions
• workload seems right for 2 credits; can’t think of anything I dislike
5. What might help people participate more?
• post topics earlier so people can fit work into their busy schedules/think more about topics/read other people’s posts (2 people)
• more group discussion where everyone shares a perspective
• have a facebook group
• I would blog more if I received more comments
• having different types of assignments is helpful
• ask people to blog more about their research
6. What is not (yet) on the posted agenda that you’d like to do?
• writing/editing/critiquing exercises (3 people)
• writing grant proposals (2 people)
• oral presentations
• discuss twitter (useful, or not?)
We (VSC and JAB) are working out how to fit in some of these before the end of the semester – knowing that we can’t do everything you, or we, would like, as a matter of both time and emphasis.
For example, this class wasn’t designed to emphasize writing skills or grant proposal preparation…but there are other classes out there that do focus on those critical communication topics. (In fact, we deliberately designed this course to avoid too much overlap with the existing courses.) Check out:
NR 903, Approach to Research
NR 905, Grant Writing (wrong title is listed in catalog! The description is: “The ability to secure financial support for research and outreach activities is becoming increasingly important. This course is intended for graduate and post-graduate level students who need to write proposals for their graduate work or to gain external funding from government agencies. Students will gain in-depth understanding of the proposal writing process through class discussions, insights shared by UNH faculty, and by writing a research proposal following the entire process.”)
MCBS 901, Introduction to Research in the Life Sciences (includes oral presentation and grant-writing)
ZOOL 902, Writing and Publishing Science (focus on scientific writing; ongoing peer reviews and feedback)
If you have already taken one (or more) of these classes and would recommend them to your colleagues, please comment below.