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Mentoring Workshop Session 4 – Learning in community and more project design

Session 4 – Learning in community and more project design

Session Outline (Time: ~ 2 hours):

  1. Learning in Community
  2. Project design – the first 3 weeks
  3. Group discussion

1. Learning in Community (10 minutes)

This session opened up with a general discussion of the importance of the laboratory community for the Community of Scholars program and the suggestions for fostering community within the program.

The Community of Scholars program is designed to include many different types of communities, including the interns, the junior and senior mentors, the mentoring groups, lab groups and journal club groups. These nested communities provide a broad support structure for the interns and the mentors alike.

2. Project Design – the first 3 weeks (60 minutes)

Following the conversation about community, participants go back to work in their mentoring groups to return to the issue of project design. Specifically, the groups are asked to do design the first 3 weeks of the intern’s lab experience using a backward design approach.

Project design – the first 3 weeks Spend the next 30 minutes working in your mentor groups, getting more specific about the project your intern(s) will be working on this summer.

Specifically, what will your intern have accomplished by June 24th, after working with you for 3 weeks? What can she do? What does he understand from a procedural and conceptual standpoint? What questions can he answer?

Think about your project from the perspective of June 24th and look back on the proceeding 3 weeks. For example, to get here, what did my intern need to know by June 17th? What are the steps involved?

Enter important tasks and accomplishments on your blank calendar.

While we want you to focus on the first 3 weeks, don’t forget about the 6 weeks after that. What will the accomplishments you define for the first 3 weeks enable the intern to do by the first week in August? What will the intern present at the end of the summer research conference?

Then, find the other members of your cross-lab mentor group and spend about 30 minutes comparing your project plans. Where are they similar, where are they different? What questions or feedback do other members of the team have for you? Are there any important points of intersection between your projects, areas where you could work together?

3. Group Discussion (45 minutes)

  • Mentor groups report out on their projects. What insights, questions, and challenges have emerged from their work to define the first 3 weeks of the intern’s projects?
  • Participants share their experiences and advice based on the previous two summers.
  • Earlier in the day we handed out note cards and asked participants to list any questions, concerns or suggestions they have. We use these cards to help conclude the discussion.
  • Distribute workshop evaluations

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