A lot of emphasis is given on introducing research in undergraduate curricula. On the other hand, there is little to no discussion about how to introduce the students to reading primary literature critically, or how to assess their understanding of it. Can there be a structured way of getting a regular undergraduate, who may or may not be interested in a research career, enthused about reading a research paper? How to test whether they have understood what they have read? These were the questions dealt by the educators of the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), Mumbai, while developing a three-day module for reading research papers. In this article, one of the facilitators of the module walks us through their process.
The pandemic and the consequent lockdown have disrupted classes and access to labs at educational institutions across the country. However, for the undergraduate students of the CUBE program, the lockdown has been a boon. Instead of losing hope, these students have set a precedent by finding creative ways to continue working and learning along with their peers by developing the CUBE home labs and the CUBE chatShaala.
Undergraduate research experience has the potential to suit the needs of learners. A recent study analyses the attitudinal outcomes of college students taking up bench and digital research. Termed Course-based Research Experience or CURE, this pedagogical approach takes the student through a journey of discovery-via-inquiry.
What if playing or trading cards had information of the natural world? Educators suggest that it could induce "tree-thinking" - the understanding of evolution using phylogenetic trees. This article discusses the use of playing cards as teaching tools to piece together key events in plant evolution.
What happens when you expose fruit flies to low temperatures? Like many insects, they go into a chill coma - a sleepy state. Analysing the phenomena of coma recovery could help teach the concepts of rapid evolution, and the impact of climate change on it. How? A team of scientists and educators created a wholesome teaching module of fruit fly experiments using the phenomena of "chill coma recovery".