SCI10010 Principles of Scientific Enquiry

Academic Year 2023/2024

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.

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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 3
Monday or Wednesday – 1pm: Preparing to engage in the module – this lecture will cover the key tasks that you will be required to undertake in SCI10010.

Friday – 9am (1st half of students only): 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 4
Monday or Wednesday – 1pm: This session will a presentation regarding the student advisory service and a workshop on active consent.

Friday – 9am (2nd half of students only): 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.

NOTE: Online resource - Using the library for success in SCI10010. This is a very important recorded 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.

Week 5 onwards - Tutorials
Students are assigned to a tutorial group with ~7-8 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 5. The purpose of the tutorials is to engage you in scientific discussions and guide you through a number of assignments as follows:
• Undertake group project research
• Make presentation on the project (Week 11)
• Submit project report (Week 12)

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:
After two weeks of introductory lectures, students are assigned to a tutorial group with ~7-8 members within one of 5 subject areas (biology, physics, chemistry, maths, geology). Within this setting, students will participate in a series of task-based learning exercises. During these, students will learn how to search for information, discuss the structure of scientific papers, develop critical writing skills, participate in group work, perform a group self-assessment and develop their presentation skills. 
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 In Module Component Repeat Offered
Attendance: Engagement and Participation Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No

25

No
Group Project: Group Project Report Week 12 n/a Graded No

50

No
Presentation: Group Presentation Week 11 n/a Graded No

25

No

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?

The module is tutorial-based and your tutor will provide written and/or oral 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. There will also be a peer review process to establish the level of contribution of different individuals in each group to the group's activities.

Name Role
Ms Edel Caraway Lecturer / Co-Lecturer