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Source: McMaster University

History and biology departments awarded $100,000 grants

November 8, 2006

History and biology students are enjoying better learning opportunities thanks to a $100,000 Departmental Learning Innovation Grant that was awarded to both departments in June. Funded by the Imperial Oil Charitable Foundation, the grants are worth $100,000 over three years.

The biology department is using its $100,000 grant to restructure its Level I and Level II curriculum so that students can learn how to integrate and apply their knowledge between different levels of biological organization from the molecule to the ecosystem.

Biology professor Roger Jacobs said the grant is being used to "get students more engaged in research aspects of biology."

He added that the grant will also promote active learning through smaller labs that expose students to the "breadth of biology." Students will have the opportunity to strengthen their ability to develop, test and present their hypotheses.

The history department is using its $100,00 grant "to enhance enquiry-based learning" through the development of a new required course in second year that will provide students with the skills they will need in fourth year, said Ken Cruickshank, chair of the department of history.

The grant will also be applied toward experiential learning opportunities that will allow students to learn outside the classroom by collaborating on projects with local schools, heritage institutions and community organizations.

Students will have the opportunity to design projects in Level II through Level IV courses that will help them develop research questions and communicate their findings.

The department will also use the grant to create practical models of teaching and learning, as well as inspire faculty to work with students and colleagues in developing new projects and learning opportunities in the future.



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