The BDI’s comprehensive and innovative biomedical education programme has been in development since early 2007. The programme is far reaching and enables BDI educators and scientists to interact with students of all ages. To date, 18,500 students have participated across the various initiatives of the BDI’s E & O programme, exposing them to the excitement and wonder of biomedical research.
Programme activities take on a multitude of formats and cover a variety of aims and objectives. Due to their innovative format, standard assessments are not available. The solution is programme evaluation that is tailored to the activity and provides meaningful insight. Programme evaluation, enables the E & O team to monitor and amend ongoing programmes and to gauge impacts. New programmes are set up with the insight gained from ongoing evaluation of prior initiatives.
The emphasis in data collection lies on age appropriate methodologies. For example with younger audiences, data gathering is carried out in an entertaining way that contributes to the enjoyment of the activities.
A mixed-methods approach is applied to all programme evaluation. Evaluation data is collected in focus groups, one-to-one interviews, pre and post intervention questionnaires, open-ended questionnaires, observational methods and digital long term follow up.
Ethical guidelines are strictly adhered to and programme evaluation complies with the DCU standards of research with human subjects and child protection policies.
For evaluation purposes we have divided our activities into three distinctive thematic areas:
Science and Me – BDI programmes and workshops for younger audiences which place an emphasis on personalising the relevance of science and highlight the applications of science in everyday life.
Experiencing Science – BDI programmes for 12-17 year old students including science clubs, investigative workshops and internships. These activities expose participants to the real-world application of scientific research and provide the opportunity to explore and investigate in a laboratory setting.
Living Science – BDI programmes for undergraduate and masters level students. Culminating in an independent but guided research project this provides an authentic research experiences for participants with exposure to the challenges and enjoyment of scientific research. Participants become actively engaged in the scientific process.
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