PRIMER: Authentic Research on Environmental Microbiology

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Title of Abstract: PRIMER: Authentic Research on Environmental Microbiology

Name of Author: Jose Perez-Jimenez
Author Company or Institution: Universidad del Turabo
Author Title: Associate Professor/Director
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Agricultural Sciences, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Ecology and Environmental Biology, Microbiology, Research courses, Virology
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum
Approaches: Authentic Research Experience
Keywords: authentic research, microbiology, bioprospecting, biotechnology, mycology

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Yomarie Bernier, Universidad del Turabo

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The overall goal has been to develop research skills and attitude among undergraduate students that energize them towards academic progress (retention) and success (graduation).

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Puerto Rico Institute for Microbial Ecology Research (PRIMER), as an authentic research experience model, has provide diverse levels for engagement for students. The skills development has three stages: apprentice (help others to conduct protocols and initial understanding), novice (perform protocols with minimal supervision and are capable of explaining the applied scientific method), and fellow (address new questions with the mentor and are capable of scientific writing with supporting literature). Students develop initial expertise in particular protocols that later teach to peers: a community of learning has evolved. Intellectual development is fostered throughout discussion sessions: regular laboratory meetings, oral presentations at local student forum, and poster presentation at scientific meetings (local and national). Participation at SACNAS National Conference is aimed every year.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: We have noticed increase level of personal and academic confidence along the PRIMER process of research, collaboration, and dissemination. We lack a formal evaluation methodology.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Students that took the opportunity with responsibility and dedication (~90%) has experienced academic success: retention, graduation, formal jobs, and pursue of graduate/professional education. In 1998, the undergraduate research experience motivated an interdisciplinary faculty team in biological sciences to strengthen institutional effort with formal dissemination forums and opportunities. Recently, students presentations have become part of the Researchers Forum (originally established for faculty).

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: PRIMER has operated as an extracurricular program that demands a lot of time on mentoring/training by the faculty and research/dissemination by the students. A learning community has evolved from learning protocols among more expert students, recruiting assistant mentors, and regular meeting aligned with dissemination commitments. We have formally proposed to organize research course in fixed schedule for more efficient time management and rigorous evaluations.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Dissemination activities have been based on active participation with presentations at scientific forums (university, state, and nation). Recently, PRIMER was portrayed in the new magazine for the Chancellors office. Additionally, newsletter has been prepared and distributed on campus and NSF ATE-related events.

Acknowledgements: Research was supported in part by 'Richness and endemicity of sulfate-reducing bacteria in Neotropical environments' (NSF-RIG MCB-0615671), 'PRIMER Tropical Bioprospecting Venture at CETA' (NSF-ATE DUE-0903274), and 'PRIMER Bioprospecting for Bioenergy' (US Forest Service 11-DG-11330101-111) to Dr. Perez-Jiminez. We are thankful to Diana L. Laureano, Aracelis Molina, and Darlene Muñoz for administrative assistance. We are especially proud of the students than embraced the opportunity with responsibility and dedication to transform their lives.

Using Authentic Research In Uncontrolled Environments

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Title of Abstract: Using Authentic Research In Uncontrolled Environments

Name of Author: Douglas Causey
Author Company or Institution: University of Alaska Anchorage
Author Title: Professor of Biological Sciences
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Ecology and Environmental Biology
Course Levels: Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: A mixture of the above, Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.)
Keywords: Socioscientific reasoning, authentic research, inquiry learning, ecology, assessment

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Michael P. Mueller, University of Alaska Lauren A. Caruso, University of Alaska

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: When is authentic research in undergraduate biology education too authentic? We may have come close to finding an answer to this question in an experimental course, Exploration Ecology, offered in Fall 2012 at the University of Alaska Anchorage. This was designed as an advanced upper-division lecture and laboratory experience using inquiry-driven learning and authentic research as a means for students to apply socioscientific reasoning skills in ecological contexts. These skills utilize authentic scientific problems that are embedded in social and ethical contexts. They are focused specifically on empowering students to consider how science-based issues and the decisions made concerning them reflect ethical principles applied to their own lives, as well as the physical and social world around them.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Our immediate goals were to enable students to design and undertake research using these skills, and within the context of competing ethics of development, protection, and management prevalent here. We focused on the study and collection of baseline ecological data in nearby remote landscapes where few data exist, under the real constraints of time, resources, and logistics. The constraints were identified through their own consultations with research scientists at state and federal agencies, other professionals, local people, and industry. These and others constituted the community of practice that served as a resource, as an audience, and in a few cases, as participants in student-initiated research. Our pedagogical goals were focused on better understanding the complexity of implementing authentic research in realistic field-based settings, developing a flexible and responsive (‘organic’) instructional design, and in creating relevant assessments of student progress. In practice, students interviewed members of the community of practice to determine which were their highest priorities for research or knowledge discovery within our context. Using these as potential research foci, students self-assembled into interest groups (e.g., plant communities, stream ecology, moose foraging behavior) and worked to design scientific research projects constrained by the factors listed above. We refined the content and delivery of lectures and laboratories throughout the course to match the progress and the maturation of student project activities. This ‘Just In Time’ educational approach provided an immediate relevancy otherwise difficult to achieve in a standard predetermined syllabus.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: We based our assessment of student success by typical self-assessment instruments and surveys, narratives by students and participants, as well as preparation of manuscripts for publication.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: In all, 15 students participated in four distinct projects ranging from an ecological study of juvenile salmonids to foraging behavior in moose. All of these ecological projects were field-based in semi-remote environmental settings, and in every case represented original research never conducted before this class. Students presented the results of their one-semester projects in a public meeting attended by agency scientists, industry representatives (e.g., mining, fisheries), top administrators of the university (Deans, Chancellor), and the general public. Their research results were featured in public media (newspaper, TV), State and Federal agency publications, and industry professional associations. Two of the students received full support fellowships on the basis of their published research, and several are working in paid internships with agencies to continue their particular projects. All of these showed that the approach we describe here succeeded as an effective paradigm for integrative biological science education at advanced levels.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: We did not anticipate how difficult it would be to implement an experimental course of this type. We had planned for the educational challenges and in fact looked forward to them; this is what we do best. But every other aspect of this course was new as well and, consequently, we and the students were confronted with academic and administrative disconnect almost daily that reflected the complexities faced by all professional scientists and researchers. They ranged from a somewhat trivial concern that the credit hours assigned to this course were probably insufficient for the work performed by the students to a substantial set of potential liability issues that nearly cancelled the course mid-semester. Student research results were vigorously debated: each agency, industry group, and stakeholders use and interpret data in ways that reflect their own political realities, not necessarily in synchrony with unfettered academic freedom. Ultimately, all of these challenges were resolved. Students were directly involved in all of these issues and learned how critical scientific research can be in authentic contexts.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: The methodology, curriculum, and outcomes have been published widely within the state of Alaska by news media and traditional means. As a consequence of the excellence in student achievement in this single course, our department is adopting the approach used here as a model for similar upper division courses. Minus, we hope, the controversies.

Acknowledgements: We would like to acknowledge assistance and support by the US Forest Service -- Chugach National Forest, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, US Geological Survey -- Alaska Science Center, the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, the Aleut Native Corporation, and the Eyak Native Corporation. We especially thank Cynthia Annett, Sarah Boario, Thomas Case, Tim Charnon, Mark Chilcote, Greg Hayward, Jessica Ilse, Joshua Leffler, Terri Marceron, David Tessler for professional assistance in the classroom, laboratory, and field settings.

Teaching-Research Integration in an Ecological Curriculum

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Title of Abstract: Teaching-Research Integration in an Ecological Curriculum

Name of Author: Tadashi Fukami
Author Company or Institution: Stanford University
Author Title: Assistant Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Ecology and Environmental Biology
Course Levels: Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Adding to the literature on how people learn, Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: inquiry-based instruction, microbial ecology, pollination, research-based laboratory curriculum, student performance assessment

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Sara E Brownell, University of Washington Matthew J Kloser, University of Notre Dame Patricia C Seawell, Stanford University Nona R Chiariello, Stanford University Richard J Shavelson, Stanford University

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: National reports, including Vision and Change (AAAS, 2011), have emphasized the positive impact that a research-based curriculum can have on undergraduate biology students (NRC, 2000, NRC, 2003). However, few research-based curricula have been developed at research-intensive institutions due to logistical challenges and a lack of incentives for faculty to dedicate time to teaching rather than research, with teaching and research often perceived as competing demands. We have designed and implemented an introductory ecology-based lab course at Stanford University (Biology 44Y), a research-intensive institution, that has many of the hallmarks of authentic research - a single longitudinal question that is the focus for the whole quarter, research questions with unknown answers, the use of modern ecological and molecular techniques in the field and in the laboratory, an emphasis on data analysis, and collaboration among lab peers. This lab course is a direct extension of the research platform of a tenure-track professor, synergistically offering students an authentic research experience and contributing to his research (Kloser et al. 2011, Fukami 2013).

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: In this lab course, students used the biotic and abiotic relationships surrounding the sticky monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus), the hummingbirds and insects that pollinate the plant, and the yeast and bacterial communities that assemble in the floral nectar of the plant as a basis for generating and testing hypotheses on ecological interactions.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: External assessment of students was conducted using a mixed methods approach of pre- and post-course Likert-scale surveys, coded open-ended written responses, and a performance assessment task. The assessment revealed that the new course had a significant positive effect on student attitudes regarding authentic research practices and student perceptions of their ability to do lab-related tasks (Brownell et al. 2012). In addition, student perception of the purpose of the course shifted from learning lab techniques to understanding research design and data analysis (Kloser et al. 2013), which was corroborated by significant gains in students’ experimental design and data interpretation abilities measured by a performance assessment. The in-depth teamwork, which included students working with partners and sharing data with the whole class, succeeded in developing students’ collaborative skills.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: The success of this curriculum serves as a case study showing that, by merging research and teaching, a research-based curriculum can provide mutual benefit to undergraduates and faculty. Of note, this curriculum goes beyond its pedagogical functions to provide a source of novel data that has an epistemic function. For example, student-collected data are being used to answer research questions that are the subject of additional research-based manuscripts (Belisle et al. 2012, Peay et al 2012, Vannette et al. 2013).

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: The large number of students that take our course (about 120 students each year) make it necessary to offer many sections to keep the class size small, and it was important to ensure that the team of instructors each teaching different sections are well trained and informed in the subject matter. For this reason, instructors (normally 4 instructors each year), graduate teaching assistants (normally 5 TAs each year), and the faculty member (Fukami) met for a training session that lasted several hours each week during the academic quarter prior to the offering of the course.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Drawing on our experience developing and teaching this course, we have presented seven recommendations that could be applied to develop courses that can provide students with a research-based experience and contribute to the instructor's research platform (Kloser et al. 2011, Fukami 2013). These recommendations include: (1) a low barrier of technical expertise needed for students to collect data; (2) established checks and balances to ensure that student mistakes will not compromise research quality; (3) a diverse set of variables that present many combinatorial choices for students to investigate without overwhelming the instructional team; (4) a central standardized database into which students can upload data and from which they can download data relevant to their hypotheses; (5) assessment measures that are representative of real-world science; (6) involvement of instructors with expertise in the study system; and (7) small lab sections to cultivate a communal environment for collaborative research. For others interested in designing this type of research-based lab course, specific institutional contexts will likely influence the creation of different courses, but it is our hope that these recommendations can be used as a guide for developing high-enrollment courses based on a faculty research program. In addition, we have gone to Bio-Link workshops and have participated in Stanford Summer Teaching Institute to share our experience with high-school and college teachers.

Acknowledgements: Acknowledgements: We thank the students who took the new Biology 44Y class at Stanford in 2010-2013 for their participation and feedback. For their contribution to the development and implementation of the class, we are grateful to the Biology 44Y staff, including N. Bradon, E. Curten, D. Hekmat-Scafe, M. Knope, S. Malladi, B. Pham, N. Zimmerman, as well as teaching assistants, especially M. Belisle and D. Sellis; Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve staff, especially B. Gomez and T. Hebert; departmental colleagues, particularly R. Simoni, T. Stearns, M. Cyert, and D. Gordon; and R. Dunbar and M. Marincovich at Stanford's Center for Teaching and Learning. Work described here has been funded partly by the NSF (award numbers: DEB1149600 and DUE0941984). References: AAAS (2011). Vision and Change: A Call to Action, Washington, DC: AAAS. https://live-visionandchange.pantheonsite.io/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/VC_report.pdf; Belisle M, Peay KG, Fukami T, Flowers as islands: spatial distribution of nectar-inhabiting microfungi among plants of Mimulus aurantiacus, a hummingbird-pollinated shrub. Microb. Ecol. 63, 711 (2012); Brownell SE*, Kloser MJ*, Fukami T, Shavelson RJ. Undergraduate biology lab courses: Comparing the impact of traditionally-based ‘cookbook’ and authentic research- based courses on student lab experiences. Journal of College Science Teaching. March/April 2012. (*these authors contributed equally); Brownell SE*, Kloser MJ*, Shavelson R, Fukami T. An authentic research-based ecology lab course has a significant impact on student attitudes towards authentic research and achievement. Journal of College Science Teaching. January/February 2013. (*these authors contributed equally); Fukami, T (2013) Integrating inquiry-based teaching with research: an ecological example. Science 339: 1536-1537; Kloser MJ*, Brownell SE*, Chiariello NR, Fukami T. Integrating teaching and research in undergraduate biology laboratory education. PLoS Biology. November 2011. (*these authors contributed equally); National Research Council (2003). BIO 2010, Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists, Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Promoting Scientific Reasoning about Matter & Energy

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Title of Abstract: Promoting Scientific Reasoning about Matter & Energy

Name of Author: April Maskiewicz
Author Company or Institution: Point Loma Nazarene University
Author Title: Assistant Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Ecology and Environmental Biology, General Biology
Course Levels: Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Adding to the literature on how people learn, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development, Mixed Approach
Keywords: Introductory Biology Matter and Energy student-centered instruction Inquiry Scientific reasoning

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Over the past few years my research has focused on identifying ways to promote undergraduate student thinking and reasoning about matter and energy transformations and pathways, one of the five core biological concepts identified in Vision and Change (AAAS, 2011). Conservation of matter and energy are central principles that biologists apply when reasoning about dynamic systems in which matter and energy are exchanged across defined boundaries. Biological explanations of living systems also require the additional cognitive challenge of making connections between multiple levels of biological complexity (atomic/molecular/cellular, organismal, and ecosystem). Research shows, however, that when college students try to make sense of or explain biological systems they tend to focus on only one level of complexity at a time and often don’t conserve matter and energy (Maskiewicz, 2006; Wilson et al., 2006; Mohan et al., 2009; Hartley et al., 2011). My goal has been to identify curricular activities that help undergraduate introductory students develop scientific ways of reasoning about matter and energy in biological systems (NRC, 2003; AAAS, 2011).

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: As a teacher and researcher, I collect data in my introductory biology courses to study the effectiveness of various inquiry-based activities to meet the following two instructional objectives: Students will be able to (a) develop explanations about ecological phenomena that are constrained by the principles of conservation of matter and energy, and (b) begin to reason across biological levels of organization. I began this research by compiling a ‘toolbox’ of previously developed data-rich problems and highly collaborative activities that targeted specific confusions with matter and energy identified in the literature or from my prior research. Each of the tasks encouraged students to work together to solve problems, explore relationships, or analyze data at multiple levels of organization (see Maskiewicz, Griscom & Welch, 2012 and Maskiewicz, 2006 for a sampling of activities). Over several semesters I implemented and evaluated the effectiveness of various revisions and combinations of these activities for meeting my learning objectives. I’ve collected data from over 200 students in two different introductory biology courses (GE biology and the first year biology sequence) as well as collaborated with biology education researchers at other universities who agreed to implement many of the same activities (Maskiewicz, Griscom & Welch, 2012).

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: The iterative process of implementation, analysis (both quantitative and qualitative), and revision revealed that students can learn to reason scientifically about matter and energy transformations and pathways in an introductory course (Maskiewicz, Vanderburg & Powell, 2012; Maskiewicz, Griscom, & Welch, 2012). The quantitative data show an average normalized gain (g) of 24%. Quantitative analysis was augmented by the use of the Ecology Diagnostic Question clusters (DQCs) (www.biodqc.org) which focus on conservation of matter and energy, and scales of organization. Using application questions, as opposed to questions on the details of biological processes, the results from the ecology DQCs illuminate reasoning patterns that are consistent for a student or even for an entire class. Qualitative data collection included pre- and post-interviews, student written work, and video recordings of both whole class and small group discussions. The qualitative and quantitative data together suggest that as a result of engaging in several specific inquiry tasks, the introductory students can learn to apply the principles of conservation of matter and energy when explaining ecological phenomena. Students begin to reason across multiple scales after only a few specific targeted activities; however, their progress is not linear or stable, but episodic. We also found that an instructor's teaching method had a highly significant effect on students’ reasoning about matter and energy.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: The student centered activities that were found to promote principled reasoning about conservation of matter and energy are now implemented in all of the introductory ecology courses at PLNU, and an inquiry approach to instruction has ‘spilled-over’ into companion introductory biology courses. Department wide instructional changes are occurring for two reasons: (1) the university supports and encourages student-centered instructional practices, and (2) the 11 full-time biology faculty participate in weekly ‘brown bag’ faculty development lunches for the past few years. Most of our biology faculty have modified their lecture classes to include student-centered activities as a result of these lunch sharing sessions. Our lunch discussions have also led to a major revision to our introductory biology course sequence in an effort to cover fewer concepts, but cover them in greater depth (we created a 4 course introductory sequence: cell & molecular biology, ecology & evolution, genetics, organismal biology). As a group, the biology faculty read and discussed Handelsman et al's 'Scientific Teaching' book (2006) with the goal of reflecting on and being intentional about our instructional approaches in both our lower and upper division courses. Finally, all of our non-science major introductory biology courses have been transformed to focus less on coverage and more on the five core themes of biology as identified by Vision and Change (AAAS, 2011).

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Since my goal has been to identify instructional activities that help undergraduate introductory students develop scientific ways of thinking about matter and energy in biological systems, I needed an effective way to measure students’ reasoning. One of the most effective approaches is to conduct interviews, however interviews are labor and time intensive, and the population size of a qualitative study utilizing interviews tends to be small. While concept inventories can be used with large numbers of students to reveal patterns in students’ reasoning, they are not as effective as interviews in uncovering student thinking. Furthermore, limited funding in biology education research has had an impact on our ability to conduct multiple interviews or refine concept inventories that set out to reveal reasoning patterns. I have been working with undergraduate students to teach them how to conduct and begin to analyze interviews, but this process is only partially effective as most undergraduate students remain with a project for only one or two semesters and work only a few hours per week. I continue to search for funding sources that will support small in-depth approaches to identifying the instructional interventions that are most effective for promoting student thinking and reasoning.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Dissemination has included one publication in CBE-Life Sciences Education (Maskiewicz, Griscom, & Welch, 2012), multiple presentations at the Ecological Society of America conferences (ESA 2012, 2010, 2009), and one presentation at the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER, 2012). Currently I am working on validating the ecology DQCs using interviews from students in my courses. I hope to publish these findings in a science education journal.

Acknowledgements: I would like to thank all of the students in my introductory biology courses over the past few years for allowing me to conduct surveys, analyze their inventory responses, video record class sessions, and for volunteering to be interviewed. I would like to thank several undergraduate students for helping me conduct this research (Naomi Delgado, Maria Holman, Lindsay Powell, and Kelsey Alexander). Finally, I would like to thank the administration at Point Loma Nazarene University for supporting the transformation of biology instruction and all that this entails.

Integrating Statistics into the Life Sciences Curriculum

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Title of Abstract: Integrating Statistics into the Life Sciences Curriculum

Name of Author: Edward Bartlett
Author Company or Institution: Purdue University
Author Title: Associate Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Ecology and Environmental Biology, Evolutionary Biology, General Biology, Integrative Biology, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Organismal Biology, Physiology & Anatomy, Virology
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Faculty Development, Introductory Course(s), Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: undergraduate research, modules, faculty learning community, secondary school teachers.

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): James Forney, Purdue University-West Lafayette Ann Rundell, Purdue University-West Lafayette Kari Clase, Purdue University-West Lafayette Stephanie Gardner, Purdue University-West Lafayette Omolola Adedokun, Purdue University-West Lafayette Dennis Minchella, Purdue University-West Lafayette

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Our program has 4 components: 1) Summer undergraduate research program 2) Faculty learning community 3) Curriculum development 4) Secondary school teacher development and research. The objective of our HHMI-funded summer research program is to bring together faculty and undergraduate students from an array of academic institutions and disciplines to provide a facilitated ‘hands-on’ experience focusing on experiment design and statistical analysis within the context of life science-related research projects. The objectives of the faculty learning community are twofold. First, it brings together interested faculty, graduate students and postdocs to discuss advances, innovations, and best practices in teaching and curriculum. Second, it facilitates the design of course modules that will be used for curricular development. The objective of the Curriculum Development component is to introduce experimental design, statistical and quantitative analysis, and critical evaluation of data throughout the life science curriculum through “plug and play” modules that are incorporated into existing courses. The objective of the teacher-scientist component is to provide secondary school teachers with research experiences as well as to provide training and ideas for incorporating statistical and data analysis into their life science courses.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Eighteen undergraduate students (Purdue University WL, Purdue Calumet, Purdue University North Central, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Franklin College, Morehouse College, and Saint Mary’s College) were hosted within 18 different research laboratories on the West Lafayette Purdue University campus for an 8 week long research experience in 2011-2013. Our second Faculty Learning Community (FLC) began in September of 2011 with twelve members drawn from the departments of Statistics, Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Industrial Technology, Horticulture, and Forestry. The group contained two postdoctoral researchers, seven tenure track faculty and two staff members (one from the Purdue Center for Instructional Excellence). Roughly half of the meetings were focused on statistics/learning module development and the other half on student learning (e.g. active learning, student development, learning and memory). During 2012, six new modules have been completed, bringing the total number of available modules to twelve. An additional five are being developed by the most recent cohort of FLC members (2013). Modules now cover a broad swath of the life sciences at Purdue, such as new modules in Forestry and in Speech, Language and Hearing Science. The new modules have covered statistical concepts such as the chi-squared test and Bayesian statistics and techniques in data analysis using confocal images of plant samples collected by the students. used STEMEdHub (https://stemedhub.org/groups/hhmibio). These are publicly available, and users may download the modules and provide feedback on them. In April 2012 the four teacher-scientists from the Summer Institute in 2011, presented a workshop at the Annual Meeting for the National Science Teachers Association in Indianapolis, IN, to approximately 30 teachers. The materials are available at: (https://www.nsta.org/conferences/schedule.aspx?id=2012ind).

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: For the summer research program, assessments were a combination of assessments of competency, such as portions of Garfield's Statistical Reasoning Assessments, as well as interviews. Assessment of the faculty learning community was mainly via interviews with participants. Assessments for curriculum development have largely been based on the individual modules themselves, taking the form of a written report by the students, a poster presentation, or exam questions for example. Assessments of the teacher-scientist program were mainly using interviews.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Summer research has resulted in at least 2 journal publications with students as co-authors. Students rated the summer research very highly, including the quantitative training sessions during each week as a group, as well as the students' interactions with their mentors. Over 12 faculty members, 4 postdocs, and 2 graduate students have participated as learning community members. They have rated the interactions within the community quite highly, and their participation has resulted in the bulk of the available modules. The 'plug and play' modules have been incorporated into many of the introductory and intermediate level courses in Biology, Biochemistry, and Biomedical Engineering. In addition, the modules are publicly available through a hosted site at Purdue. Over 6 teacher-scientists have been trained and have acted as role models within the community, holding larger outreach events.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: For the summer research program, things we will improve for will be to continue to transform the quantitative training sessions towards effective problem based learning and to reinforce the link between the statistical analysis and the student research experience. For the faculty learning community, finding enough interested postdocs and willing advisors was difficult. We then permitted graduate students to join the faculty learning community, and they have been equally helpful in facilitating discussions of teaching and development of modules. For curriculum development, now that a large number of modules have been initially created and implemented in classes, but more or less piecemeal, it is important to make the modules more seamlessly integrated throughout the life sciences curricula. To do this, we have engaged new faculty of introductory courses and permitted them to attend a teaching workshop (SI Institute) as well as gathered syllabi to find common topics taught across courses. Following two summers of teacher-scientist training, the evaluation team recommended that the ?teachers receive focused training/instruction in very basic statistics?data representation, probability, etc from a plain spoken source. This instruction should be combined with pedagogical sessions wherein teachers brainstorm or work with each other to translate basic statistical concepts into classroom activities in life science contexts.? In order to address this recommendation the summer institute was revised to include two master math teachers that could provide: exemplar lessons from their classrooms, resources that would be appropriate to use with students, advice and insight during data analysis discussions and planning sessions for translating workshop topics into the classroom.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Dissemination of summer student research has taken the forms of journal articles and posters at national meetings. Dissemination of the modules developed by faculty learning community members has taken the form of links to a website through Purdue's STEMEdHUB: STEMEdHub (https://stemedhub.org/groups/hhmibio/). Dissemination of findings and discussions of teachers is available at: https://hhmipurdue.wikispaces.com/ In addition, the first year research course has resulted in journal articles on the course design of such a course. Future dissemination will focus on publishing results from the various components of the program separately in journals, as well as a publication describing the overall program and its results and impact.

Acknowledgements: The authors gratefully acknowledge the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for providing funds for this project.

Teaching Continental-Scale Ecology with EREN

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Title of Abstract: Teaching Continental-Scale Ecology with EREN

Name of Author: Laurie Anderson
Author Company or Institution: Ohio Wesleyan University
Author Title: Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Ecology and Environmental Biology, General Biology
Course Levels: Faculty Development, Introductory Course(s), Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: authentic research across multiple study sites, Encouraging collaborative
Keywords: ecology, research, continental, collaborative, network

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN) is a five-year project funded by the National Science Foundation Research Coordination Networks-Undergraduate Biology Education Program. Created by a team of faculty from 14 undergraduate institutions, EREN’s mission is to create a model for collaborative ecological research that generates high-quality, publishable data involving undergraduate students and faculty across a continental-scale network of research sites. EREN embodies several of the recommendations of the 2009 Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education Report, particularly (1) engaging students as active participants in authentic research, (2) facilitating learning in a cooperative context through student participation in collaborative research with their peers at multiple institutions, and (3) supporting faculty development by providing opportunities for hands-on training to incorporate EREN projects into ecology teaching.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: EREN invites faculty in the network to propose research projects that are scientifically interesting, collaborative across sites and institutions, appropriate for undergraduate participation, and feasible for institutions with limited research resources. EREN facilitates online communication between the lead scientists and network members, who then volunteer to become collaborators on the project. EREN also provides funding for annual meetings where project ideas, research protocols, pedagogical strategies, and project data are discussed. As a Research Coordination Network, EREN provides funds for networking and idea generation, not for research support. Project ideas that emerged within EREN have been developed into grant proposals to other funding sources, or have been carried out using the resources of the individual institutions involved. EREN currently has five projects in the data collection phase, and two others that are starting data collection during the 2013-2014 academic year.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: EREN uses online surveys of its members (faculty join EREN through a free, online application process) and post-meeting surveys to assess the effectiveness of network events and EREN as an organization. Individualized assessment tools are being developed to measure student learning goals within each of the unique EREN projects.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: There are currently 214 members of EREN representing over 180 different institutions, most of which are primarily undergraduate institutions. The response to EREN through surveys of members has been overwhelmingly positive, with people finding particular value in the annual meetings of EREN and citing interactions at these meetings as important opportunities for professional development. EREN faculty also have an excellent record of using EREN research projects as teaching tools: a 2012 survey of members indicated that 1,349 students have been involved with data collection or used data from an EREN project in courses, independent studies or summer research experiences. We are continuing to develop targeted assessment tools within each project to measure student learning.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Coordinating research across multiple sites and participants adds a layer of complexity to any experiment. We continue to work on improving EREN’s online tools and services, and investigating existing data archives, to make communication and data-sharing as easy as possible for project participants. We also continue to encourage project leaders to budget additional time and personnel for project management and coordination, in addition to resources for data collection and analysis. Quality control of student-collected data is also an ongoing concern. We are consulting with our colleagues who run large-scale citizen science projects on this issue.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: EREN has an active and frequently-updated website at www.erenweb.org, an active Facebook page, a LinkedIn account, and a Twitter account that is used during EREN events. EREN is also a regular presence at the Ecological Society of America meetings, and has held a Special Session and two Networking Lunches at the meetings since 2011. EREN Lead Scientists have also presented posters at the last two meetings showcasing preliminary results of EREN projects. At EREN’s 2012 All Members Meeting, EREN invited members of partner organizations to attend as guests and present posters to educate EREN members about these opportunities. EREN will be submitting an application for an organized oral session at the next ESA meeting and will hold its next All Members meeting in the summer of 2014.

Acknowledgements: EREN is run using a distributed leadership model, where critical decisions are discussed by the EREN Leadership Team, currently composed of founding members of EREN, RCN grant PIs, and lead scientists of EREN projects. The EREN Leadership Team members are Laurel Anderson (Ohio Wesleyan University), David Bowne (Elizabethtown College), Jerald Dosch (Macalester College), Amy Downing (Ohio Wesleyan University), Tracy Gartner (Carthage College), Martha Hoopes (Mount Holyoke College), Daniel Hornbach (Macalester College), David Johnson (Ohio Wesleyan University), Karen Kuers (Sewanee: The University of the South), Erin Lindquist (Meredith College), Kathleen LoGiudice (Union College), Jose-Luis Machado (Swarthmore College), Timothy McCay (Colgate University), Bob Pohlad (Ferrum College), Carolyn Thomas (Ferrum College), Kathleen Shea (St. Olaf’s College), and Jeffrey Simmons (Mount Saint Mary’s University).

Vision and Change in a Reformed Biology Curriculum

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Title of Abstract: Vision and Change in a Reformed Biology Curriculum

Name of Author: Richard Cyr
Author Company or Institution: Penn State
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Cell Biology, Ecology and Environmental Biology, General Biology, Organismal Biology, Physiology & Anatomy
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Faculty Development, Introductory Course(s), Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Adding to the literature on how people learn, Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development, Mixed Approach
Keywords: Large Courses Pedagogy Training Learning Communities Post-doctoral Teaching Fellows Faculty Workshops

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Denise Woodward, Penn State

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The Penn State Department of Biology considers Vision and Change (V&C) a roadmap for the future in education in the Life Sciences and our long-term goal is to fully integrate all Core Concepts and Competencies into Biology’s curriculum. Initially our efforts are and will continue to be focused on the freshman/sophomore curriculum, but there will be spillover into the junior/senior (and graduate) levels. The intended outcome is a reformed Biology curriculum that better retains students in their first two years, focusing on matriculating metacognitive undergraduates who have a solid grasp of how science is done and how this knowledge can help solve problems facing society.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: All V&C Core Concepts and Competencies have been adopted as Biology’s goals. Scaling learner-centered approaches in large classrooms is a challenge and our strategy involves experimenting with techniques in one course, then transferring effective techniques to others. Learning communities are essential to scaling and a ‘Peer Learning Corp’ has been created along with a pedagogy course that focuses on what the current research reveals about how students learn, along with applications of this knowledge to specific courses learning activities. A need for formal pedagogy training of graduate students was recognized and a graduate student-level pedagogy program was developed. In the first semester students participate in a discussion-based classroom, while in the second semester they help in a teaching lab and receive feedback that helps them improve their classroom effectiveness. A ‘V&C Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellows Program’ has been developed, which provides pedagogical training as well as a mentored teaching experience for post-docs. The pedagogy training consists of either the graduate-level pedagogy course and/or participation in workshops. Once pedagogy training is completed, they teach a small class, where a mentor reviews their course materials, attends classes and provides feedback. To better educate our faculty about the value of learner-centered instruction, a one-week workshop was developed. Freshman/sophomore labs have been reformed to a more inquiry-based format. With College of Education assistance, our labs have become more relevant to the problems that face society. Several faculty members now introduce their own research questions into the freshman/sophomore labs. In addition, our large courses are now used as test beds to gain insights into student learning, resulting in co-published papers with Education faculty.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: Using V&C as a roadmap, a matrix was created of how our freshman and sophomore courses aligned. This process identified gaps, and steps have been taken to fill these curricular voids. We are currently developing a systematic approach to assess learning outcomes that are aligned with V&C. In the coming year, we plan to map each question from all freshman and sophomore course exams to the V&C Content and Competencies. Once done, student performance data on each question will be collected. This will allow us to track student exam performance in a categorical matrix. In future years, we also plan to assign some type of Bloom taxonomy scale to each question so that insight is gained into the depth of learning that is taking place. Student attitude surveys are being administered to reformed introductory labs, both at the beginning and at the conclusion of each course.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Using Learning Assistants, large lecture halls have been transformed into communities of 25 neighborhoods, with Learning Assistants helping students understand complicated worksheets and problems posed by their instructors. There has been an increase in the number of freshman/sophomore courses that are taking a deliberate, learner-centered approach. All four of Biology’s core courses plan to expand their learner-centered activities. The number of students in the Peer Learning Corp has similarly grown. Course material developed in Biology for pedagogy training is now in use around the College. In the coming years, we plan to engage more faculty members in learner-centered instruction and to make further improvements in Biology’s freshman/sophomore lab courses. Our Peer Learning Corp is essential for scaling, and next year we anticipate having 210 participants. Students taking our pedagogy courses say it helps them not only work more effectively with their own students, but it also reveals to them how their own learning works. Although envisioned as a program to help students enrolled in a biology course, evidence reveals that this peer-learning engagement helps the leaders too. We have found that students who participate in the Peer Learning Corp are retained in science majors at a higher frequency, compared to the general student population. The faculty workshop (sponsored by the College’s Center for Excellence in Science Education; CESE) was held for the first time this year. Five sessions were presented by 6 faculty members (from PSU and elsewhere), with 43 Penn State registrants.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Not all students welcome learner-centered instruction, which is exhibited in various ways. In the coming year, students’ resistance will be addressed by being more transparent as to why they are asked to engage in various activities. In addition, we will strive to take a more proactive position in identifying these resistant students early and, with the help of our experienced Learning Assistants, these students will be targeted for interventions.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: As mentioned, Biology’s pedagogy course material has been shared with faculty in the Eberly College of Science. In addition, faculty members at other institutions have been given access to the materials. The CESE webpages contain materials used in the workshop described earlier herein. Information on the Peer Learning Corp is being collected and will be posted on the Biology website. Penn State is a system that comprises 22 locations. (A total of about 50,000 student credit hours of biology instruction are delivered system-wide.) The Biology faculty members throughout the system meet annually and the activities described herein will be shared with them at our next meeting and via a discussion group that is available to Biology faculty throughout the system.

Acknowledgements: Howard Hughes Medical Institute Eberly College of Science

New Tools for Learning about Biological Energy Transfer

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Title of Abstract: New Tools for Learning about Biological Energy Transfer

Name of Author: Ann Batiza
Author Company or Institution: Milwaukee School of Engineering
Author Title: Director, The SUN Project
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Ecology and Environmental Biology, General Biology, Plant Biology & Botany, Teacher In-service
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Introductory Course(s), Teacher In-service, Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development, Mixed Approach
Keywords: cellular respiration photosynthesis models analogy energy

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: All of our work is motivated by the desire to increase understanding of 'what powers life.' Our previous work, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences and called The SUN (Students Understanding eNergy) Project, was recently published in CBE-Life Sciences Education (Batiza et al., 2013). It provides causal evidence through a randomized, controlled trial of immediate and long-lasting (year later) effects of a new way to teach biological energy transfer. Large, significant effects on knowledge and self-efficacy were reported for 19 regular biology teachers (vs. 20 controls) who attended a two-week workshop about cellular respiration (CR) and photosynthesis (PS). The workshop introduced a series of physics and biology-based mental-model-building experiences to help the teachers understand both the 'why' and the 'how' of biological energy transfer. Our approach uses a hydrogen fuel cell and physical and digital manipulatives to emphasize the flow of electrons as the basis for biological energy transfer. A mechanical ATP synthase demonstrates how the concentration of protons originally stimulated by electron movement allows for the production of ATP. Now, with NSF funding we are adapting those materials for the undergraduate level and we have created additional materials including the SUN Chloroplast eBook, which can be accessed at https://www.msoe.edu/academics/research_centers/sun/about.shtml. We are currently pilot-testing adaptation in a variety of undergraduate institutional settings and in a variety of courses that range from an introductory cell biology course for ~115 honors biology students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to a small bioengineering course at Milwaukee School of Engineering for 14 participants. This year we will follow up regarding long term effects on UW-Madison students and also test the adapted materials in an intimate Energy and the Environment Physics class for non-majors at UW-Milwaukee and in a large biochemistry class.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Our original work on these materials, as stated above, used a randomized, controlled trial to study effects upon high school regular biology teachers (Batiza et al., 2013) and a cluster, randomized controlled trial for effects on their students (paper in preparation). Importantly, we found moderate to large, significant effects in both populations. Teacher-level data in terms of a drawing with written explanation, a multiple choice test, and an established survey of self-efficacy modified for biological energy transfer were gathered not only before and immediately after the workshop, but also one year later. In addition, teachers deposited implementation data online every two months. Student data in terms of a drawing with written explanation and a multiple choice test was also collected. At the undergraduate level we have continued use of the drawing with written explanation as a pre and post test and at the various institutions we have included some appropriate multiple choice and/or short answer pre/post content questions. Pre and post surveys provide for ethnographic and self-efficacy data as well as evaluation of the various instructional materials used. We are also developing a script to videotape a subset of students whom we will follow up for long term effects of these materials.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: For the original biology teacher effects, the pre/post gains of teachers who took the workshop were tested for significance using the paired-samples t-test. In addition, scores between groups were tested for significant differences using analysis of variance (ANOVA). Similarly, the multiple-choice and likert-scale survey responses of the UW-Madison Treatment and Control groups were analyzed using a paired samples t-test and ANOVA. The achievement and self-efficacy of the small bioengineering group was tested for significance using the paired samples t-test. Overall ratings of materials and ratings of materials by students for learning particular concepts are reported as response frequencies. In addition, student comments will be noted. We have not yet graded the undergraduate drawings with explanation assessments administered in common to each group. Besides testing for significant growth and comparing Treatment and Control groups within each setting where appropriate, we will analyze the responses in terms of conceptual achievement according to the 35-item rubric with a .90 inter-rator reliability (Batiza et al., CBE-Life Sciences Education, 2013) used earlier to analyze the teacher responses.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: As described above, our previous work provides causal evidence through a randomized, controlled trial of large, significant, immediate and long-lasting (year later) effects of a new way to learn about biological energy transfer. These effects on knowledge and self-efficacy were reported for 19 regular biology Treatment Group teachers who attended a two-week workshop about CR and PS vs. 20 Control teachers (Batiza et al., 2013). A paper regarding significant effects on their students is in preparation. Preliminary analysis of the UW-Madison honors biology trial shows no significant difference in achievement by the Treatment and Control groups, but it must be noted that ALL STUDENTS used SUN study guides and therefore were exposed to SUN concepts. The major difference was the use of SUN manipulatives by the Treatment group for half of each of two 50-minute discussion sections. Nonetheless, the Treatment group scored significantly higher that the Controls in terms of confidence in their knowledge (T 27.65 +/- 4.26 vs. C 25.00 +/- 5.26 out of a possible 32). The small MSOE trial, which had only 14 students in a Treatment Group, showed a significant gain in self-efficacy pre-to-post. Preliminary analysis of the evaluations of the SUN materials by students indicated that students valued the materials for learning concepts predicted by their expected affordances. For example 70% of students indicated that the nested trays with movable components were useful for understanding the path of electrons in photosynthesis. 75% of the MSOE students rated the hydrogen fuel cell and animations as 'Extremely' or 'Very' useful. 54-62% of the MSOE students and UW-Madison students put the mechanical ATP synthase into these categories. The majority of students in Treatment groups at both schools also found that the SUN mitochondrial and chloroplast eBooks and the nested trays configured as these organelles to be more useful than not.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Once the TAs in the UW-Madison trial were trained in use of the SUN materials, we felt that it would be impossible for them to provide a ‘business as usual’ condition for the controls. Therefore we decided to test only the manipulatives in this trial; however, that is not a fair test of the entire SUN Project. In the upcoming large biochemistry trial, only half of the teaching assistants will be trained with the SUN materials. One of the PIs who found herself overcommitted resigned; although we will miss her participation, we were able to replace her with a distinguished professor at her institution. We aborted one trial because we felt that exposure to the pre-test would unfairly advantage study participants when they encountered these same questions on the final. When we implement that trial with a comparable group this year, we will administer the pretest to all students in the course. Another trial suggested that the post assessment needs to be a high stakes test and so in future trials all post tests will be either part of a quiz, unit test or final exam.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Professor Carol Hirschmugl of the UW-Milwaukee physics department and Dr. Ann Batiza, the PI of this project, gave a 'Science Bag' presentation on 'Fuel Cells, Cellular Fuels: What Powers Life?' at UW-Milwaukee for ~1000 members of the public. The presentation included the SUN materials and the SUN Mitochondrial and Chloroplast eBooks as well as a 6-foot mechanical ATP synthase into which kids from 5-15 threw tennis-ball 'proton' fuel. The alpha/beta subunits were opened and closed by a rotating central shaft to simulate ATP production. At the NSF-PI meeting, Dr. Ann Batiza of MSOE and Professor Bo Zhang from the Educational Psychology Department at UW-Milwaukee gave a workshop on materials development and also presented a poster from the entire research group. At the 2013 National Association for Science Teachers, Ann Batiza co-presented a workshop for 28 teachers with Pat Deibert of MSOE on use of the SUN materials and eBooks at the high school level. In addition, Professor David Goodsell of Scripps Research Institute has presented the SUN Chloroplast eBook at three national or international meetings.

Acknowledgements: Acknowledgements: We thank then MSOE undergraduate Heather Bobrowitz for earlier development of the microbial fuel cell. Other undergraduate and graduate research assistants who have provided technical and clerical support for this project include Elise Pinkerton and Lindsey White. This material is based upon work supported by the Institute of Education Sciences under award number R305B070443 and by the National Science Foundation under award number DUE-1044898. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Institute for Education Sciences nor the National Science Foundation.

Learning Gains from Guided-Inquiry Labs with Bean Beetles

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Title of Abstract: Learning Gains from Guided-Inquiry Labs with Bean Beetles

Name of Author: Lawrence Blumer
Author Company or Institution: Morehouse College
Author Title: Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Ecology and Environmental Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Neuroscience, Organismal Biology, Physiology & Anatomy
Course Levels: Faculty Development, Introductory Course(s), Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: guided inquiry, assessment, bean beetles, Callosobruchus, faculty development

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Christopher W. Beck, Emory University

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The aims of this project were increasing the use of guided-inquiry in undergraduate laboratory courses and to foster the development of new guided inquiry experiments with the bean beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus, model system in physiology, neurobiology, genetics, molecular biology, and developmental biology. Guided-inquiry is a student-centered inquiry method that aligns with the Vision and Change report recommendation that students learn science by doing science.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: We conducted four annual faculty development workshops that were attended by a total of 81 faculty from 40 different institutions. Participants were selected to represent a diversity of institution types including 12 minority-serving institutions (24 participants) and eight community colleges (16 participants). Participants, in teams of two from each institution, learned how to work with bean beetles, how guided-inquiry learning may be conducted, and developed a new laboratory activity with bean beetles that they class tested at their own institution.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: We conducted an Instructional Practices assessment on our workshop faculty participants both prior to our workshop and after implementing their new guided-inquiry laboratory activity. Students in the classes in which a new laboratory activity was implemented also were surveyed on their perceptions of their faculty Instructional Practices. These assessments were conducted to determine whether our workshops changed faculty instructional practices. Furthermore, students were assessed in a pre-test, post-test format on their confidence to conduct scientific research, their knowledge of the nature of science, and their problem solving skills. These student assessments were conducted to determine the effectiveness of guided-inquiry learning.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: In the first three years of the project, approximately 481 students at 11 institutions were directly affected. They conducted guided-inquiry bean beetle experiments in 37 different courses. The faculty development workshops we conducted were successful in changing teaching practices and those changes were reflected in student perceptions of how they were taught. Students participating in guided-inquiry activities experienced significant gains in confidence to conduct scientific research and these gains were greatest among students whose pre-test confidence was in the lowest quartile. Similarly, the greatest gains in knowledge of the nature of science and problem solving skills were among those students in the lowest pre-test quartiles. These findings indicate that guided inquiry laboratories provide the greatest benefits for students whose needs are the greatest. Our findings provide strong support for the transformation of undergraduate laboratory instructional methods recommended in the Vision and Change report.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Not all the faculty who attended our workshops successfully completed their development of a new laboratory activity. This challenge was not entirely unexpected and we withheld two-thirds of their stipend as an incentive for them to complete their work. This incentive was sufficient for the majority of our workshop participants.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: The new guided-inquiry laboratory activities that our workshop participants developed are being posted on the bean beetle website, www.beanbeetles.org. The open access content for these laboratory activities consists of a student handout, instructor notes, sample data, and image and data slides. This website will be maintained for a minimum of 10 years after the end of this project. We continue to collect data from faculty teams that are in the process of completing their work. The results of the Instructional Practices surveys of faculty and students, and the student pre-test, post-test student assessments of confidence to conduct scientific research, knowledge of the nature of science, and problem solving skills will be prepared as manuscripts for publication in peer reviewed journals.

Acknowledgements: We thank Dr. Tom McKlin of the Findings Group for his external evaluation of our project. We also thank the faculty and students of the participating colleges and universities. This project was supported by the National Science Foundation DUE-0815135 and DUE-0814373.

Creating a Coherent Gateway for STEM Teaching and Learning

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Title of Abstract: Creating a Coherent Gateway for STEM Teaching and Learning

Name of Author: Diane Ebert-May
Author Company or Institution: Michigan State University
Author Title: Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: 1468, 1487, Cell Biology, Ecology and Environmental Biology, Evolutionary Biology, General Biology, Genetics, Math, Organismal Biology, Plant Biology & Botany
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Mixed Approach, Research driven
Keywords: assessment, learning communities, introductory science and math courses, change models, retention

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Tammy Long, Michigan State University Robert Pennock, Michigan State University Mark Voit, Michigan State University

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: At Michigan State University, we are focusing on the reform of gateway courses in not only in biology but also in chemistry, physics and mathematics involving over 4000 students in a typical semester. Using a model of change that depends upon a shared vision, teams of faculty from the disciplinary departments will come together to identify the disciplinary and cross-disciplinary core ideas and scientific and mathematical practices that, together, we will blend to develop performance expectations. We are developing assessments that emphasize both these core ideas and scientific or mathematical practices, which in turn will require that faculty change their classroom practices. In this way, we focus on the important ideas and practices of the STEM disciplines, and emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of modern science and mathematics. Learning communities composed of faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students will be supported as they contribute to the shared vision of the reformed gateway courses. This project is complementary to an existing project funded by AAU and was proposed to the recent NSF-WIDER competition, intended to lead to reform of gateway courses and changing the culture of research universities to emphasize the importance of teaching and learning.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: The reform of these courses is based both on current theories of teaching and learning, and on a change model that emerges from the shared vision of all the stakeholders and that evolves based on feedback from assessments about how we are meeting our goals.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: Our reform efforts are driven by the following research questions: 1. In what ways do faculty transform their practices across the STEM gateway courses as new common outcomes and expectations are developed based upon core disciplinary ideas blended with scientific practices? 2. How does student understanding of core disciplinary ideas and science practices change, over time and across disciplines? 3. Are student changes in understanding and use of knowledge correlated with faculty practices, assessments and learning materials? 4. How does student retention, both in courses and majors, change as courses are redesigned?

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: As we answer these four research questions, we will develop a model for sustainable change in targeted gateway courses based on collective faculty engagement. This model will be transferable to other institutions.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Although it is not unexpected, faculty commitment and willingness to change is always a challenge.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: The AAU project began in June. The reform of Organismal and Population Biology (see T. Long abstract) is complete (but always a work in progress) and disseminated to a number of faculty across colleges.

Acknowledgements: To all the faculty and administrators who are involved in the reform of the STEM gateway courses.