Enriched Independent Study Unit Program

Categories: Science
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About Course

The Enriched Independent Study Unit program is a unique hybrid model of online and in-person education which allows students to develop their own research projects. Students will complete the stages toward crafting a research proposal online before coming to Toronto to conduct original primary research in their field. This project can be used as the Independent Study Unit (ISU) component of an Ontario secondary school credit course, as long as it meets one or more of the course curriculum’s specific expectations outlined by the Ontario Ministry of Education. These curriculum documents can be found at: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/secondary/subjects.html

Students will be mentored by educators, scholars, and others who have done extensive independent research. This program is based on the rigorous format of these mentors’ post-graduate university experiences. Stages 1 to 4 are flexible and can be completed online in as little as two weeks (or take more than five weeks). For Stages 5 to 6 (in-person delivery formats), the suggested timeline of stay in Toronto is two weeks, though some flexibility will be allowed depending on the research. Students, however, must meet the strict deadline for successful completion before the academic conference / gala. Stage 6 (academic conference / gala) will have a fixed date for all students in the same cohort of the program.

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Course Content

Stage 1: Introduction (VES-CANADA, ONLINE)
In this stage, students will be introduced to what research is, learn how they can be reflective, identify steps in the research method, examine the benefits of conducting research, discuss ethical dilemmas, and set up an organization method.

  • Introduction to Research
  • Steps in the Research Method
  • Benefits of Conducting Research
  • Ethics in Research
  • Organizing Information
  • Stage 1 Assignment

Stage 2: Explore (VES-CANADA, ONLINE)
In this stage, students will explore the topic they want to research, learn to search from reliable sources, generate research questions, understand the severity of plagiarism and academic misconduct, differentiate between primary and secondary sources, and critically evaluate sources through an annotated bibliography.

Stage 3: Literature Review (VES-CANADA, ONLINE)
In this stage, students will learn how to structure a literature review and understand the purpose of summarizing, synthesizing, and critically analyzing information.

Stage 4: Research Proposal (VES-CANADA, ONLINE)
In this stage, students will learn about the significance of laying out their synopsis and plan in their research proposal in the proper format, developing a hypothesis, drafting the background and introduction, selecting a research methodology, and revising their cumulative work.

Stage 5: Subject-Specific Primary Research (IN-PERSON, TORONTO)
In this stage, students will learn about the significance of laying out their synopsis and plan in their research proposal in the proper format, developing a hypothesis, drafting the background and introduction, selecting a research methodology, and revising their cumulative work.

Stage 6: Academic Conference / Gala (IN-PERSON, TORONTO)
In this stage, students will learn to compile their research findings into a presentation format, and showcase this work in a simulated academic conference. Students who are successful in completing all tasks and satisfying the mentor and field experts will receive certificates. Also, an informal gala will be held after the academic conference is over to celebrate the students’ achievements (adhering to COVID-19 guidelines and comfort levels of participants).

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