SCI10010 Principles of Scientific Enquiry

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module introduces students to the principles of scientific enquiry through lectures and group work. Working in small groups, students in conjunction with their academic mentor will identify a scientific problem, research the literature and produce a review. The work will develop students independent study skills. This module involves staff from all disciplines within the Science Programme and students are encouraged to undertake their project work in a discipline that is of particular interest to them. Using a project based approach; students will learn communication and presentation skills, methods of sourcing scientific information, scientific writing and analysis. Formal direction on teamwork, communication, presenting, sourcing and appraising information, scientific reading and writing, and critical thinking will be central to this module.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On sucessful completion of this module, students should have improved their skills in
(1) analysis and appraisal of scientific research work
(2) planning and managing a project
(3) communicating scientific ideas, both verbal and written
(4) understanding the ethics relating to ownership of ideas and discoveries and how to correctly acknowledge scientific work
(5) becoming an independent learner
(6) understanding the value and impact of scientific research on society
(7) working as part of a team.

Indicative Module Content:

Week 1
Monday or Wednesday – 1pm: Introduction to the philosophy and structure of the module.

Friday – 9am: Introduction to career development and issues around group work. You must be mindful of your career development throughout your studies in UCD and this lecture will raise that awareness and give you some useful guidance.


Week 2
Monday or Wednesday – 1pm: Preparing to engage in the module – this lecture will cover in more detail some of the key tasks that you will be required to undertake. It will cover how to learn, making observations, report structure, referencing sources of information & making presentations.

Friday – 9am: Using the library for success in SCI10010. This is a very important lecture as it will show you how to effectively use library resources to source information for the project (described below) that is the key task in this module.

Tutorials
Students are assigned to a tutorial group with 5-6 members within one of 5 subject areas (biology, physics, chemistry, maths, geology). A tutor (scientist) will be in charge of each group and tutorials will begin in Week 3. The purpose of the tutorials is to engage you in scientific discussions and guide you through a number of assignments as follows:
• Prepare a summary of a scientific paper (submit by Week 6)
• Undertake group project research
• Prepare project report (submit Week 12)
• Make presentation on the project (Week 11)
• Prepare 2 Learning & Reflective Journal entries

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Lectures

4

Small Group

70

Tutorial

12

Autonomous Student Learning

30

Total

116

Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module has 2 introductory lectures and students are then assigned to a tutorial group with 5-6 members within one of 5 subject areas (biology, physics, chemistry, maths, geology). A tutor (scientist) will be in charge of each group and tutorials will begin in Week 3. The purpose of the tutorials is to engage you in scientific discussions and guide you through a number of assignments in scientific enquiry that will begin to build a range of skills.
• Prepare a summary of a scientific paper
• Undertake group project research
• Prepare project report
• Make presentation on the project
• Prepare 2 Learning & Reflective Journal entries 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
 
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Group Project: Group Project Report Week 12 n/a Graded No

40

Assignment: Individual Research Paper Summary Week 5 n/a Graded No

15

Presentation: Group Presentation Week 12 n/a Graded No

20

Attendance: Engagement and Participation Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No

25


Carry forward of passed components
Yes
 
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be provided on the individual continuous assessment components within 20 days of their submission. The module is tutorial-based and your tutor will provide written and/or oral feedback on your individual research paper summary and reflective journals and initial feedback on drafts of your group presentation and report prior to presentation/submission. Feedback on final presentations and group reports will be available within 20 days of presentation/submission. If engagement in tutorials and group work is unsatisfactory during the semester, you will be advised by your tutor. Grades for engagement will be recorded by your tutor and oral feedback will be available. There will also be a peer review process to establish the level of contribution of different individuals in each group to the the group's activities.

Name Role
Ms Edel Caraway Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
 
Autumn
     
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 3, 4 Fri 09:00 - 09:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 3, 4 Mon 13:00 - 13:50
Lecture Offering 2 Week(s) - 3, 4 Wed 13:00 - 13:50
Autumn