2023 Division Of Research Annual Report

NOVA S OU T H E AS T E RN UN I V E R S I T Y Undergrad Research Arthur Sikora, Ph.D., finds biochemistry and molecular biology fascinating. He thinks students can, too, when combining lessons with research. He and a group of collaborators recently funded by the National Science Foundation are implementing modules that move students away from rote memorization to engagement in the scientific process. The grant investigates course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs). Sikora already introduced a CURE curriculum to his class. Students use in silico tools to predict the function of a protein and then use in vitro methods to study the protein in the lab. This and other CUREs are designed to be adaptable to instructors and course structure variables. They also target commonly assessed learning outcomes. Next steps include meeting with professors across the country to identify barriers to CURE adoption and designing CUREs that can be interdisciplinary to reach more students. 360-Degree Learning The use of 360-degree immersive virtual reality (iVR) videos in higher education is nascent, but already in play at NSU. Martha Snyder, Ph.D., joined forces with Steven Kramer, Ph.D., to implement iVR vignettes in a master’s degree-level Quality Management course. After classroom learning, students entered a furniture store via iVR. Sights and sounds presented around them as store employees assembled chairs. The video could be stopped and started to point out potential areas of waste in the assembly process. Students were able to take notes and participate in breakout sessions—all in virtual-reality spaces. Quantitative data from two surveys and qualitative data through interviews will help gauge how well the videos foster quality management competencies and how students perceive their experience. The goal is to connect theory with technology and technology to people, as well as to understand how to best use iVR to facilitate experiential learning. SIKORA SNYDER 25 Scan for more. Scan for more.