"The goal was to implement more inquiry-based and experimentally-based lab activities into multiple courses in the neuroscience curriculum," says Professor of Medical Education, Biochemistry, and Cell Biology Bob Maue. Maue and a team of colleagues were recipients of a 2017 Experiential Learning Seed Grant, which supported the development and implementation of these curricular components.
Some of the experiences integrated into the undergraduate curriculum this year include hands-on dissection of sheep and human brains, and experiments using physiological recording kits called iWorx, which take electrical readings of the students' brains and muscles as they move.
"The inquiry part is that they have to work with what we;ve given them in terms of approaches and experiences, then start asking questions, collect the information, and interpret it," explains Maue.
Claire Alcun ’18 reflects on her experience of this curricular approach. “I appreciate the they don’t baby you into it…it’s really more ‘Just get into it, if you mess up, that’s alright. We’ll talk about it and see what you did,'" she says. "It’s that process, where they’re there to help, answer questions, and explain things, but it’s really an experiential learning class where they’re expecting that you are going to make these discoveries on your own.”
View the video above.