BioQUEST Notes 2.2 Part 5

1989-90 Beta testing

By August 1989, BioQUEST had eight simulations developed and ready to enter Beta testing. The evaluation process was intended to have two distinct portions. The first phase, the technical review, will be a critique of the software itself addressing concerns such as clarity of instructions, suitability of graphics, screen layout, programming bugs and content inaccuracies. Results from this phase contributed to fine-tuning the simulations.

After the test-sites became familiar with the simulations, they were also used in the classroom for the second part of the testing. In this phase we hoped to determine the classroom situations in which each simulation is most effective. We will continue to examine aspects of the classroom/laboratory use that are most conducive to successful use of BioQUEST software -- factors such as academic level, major vs. non-major course, class size and student/instructor ratios.

Further we continue to seek information on the kinds of scientific work and learning accomplished by the students. Do they engage in problem posing, problem solving and peer persuasion? Do the simulations add to their understanding of the specific content? Does the material give them a feeling for scientific research?

1989-90 Beta-test sites

These sites could be contacted by persons interested in seeing BioQUEST materials first-hand:

  • Community College of Baltimore Contact: Tom N. Hooe Baltimore, MN 21215
  • Drexel University Contact: Presley F. Martin Phila., PA 19104
  • Franklin and Marshall Contact: Jack McMillen Lancaster, PA 17604
  • Macalester College Contact: Kathy Parson St. Paul, MN 55101
  • North Carolina State University Contact: Charles F. Lytle Raleigh, NC 27607
  • Rutgers, State Univ. of New Jersey Contact: William Sofer New Brunswick, NJ 08903
  • University of Chicago Contact: Martin Feder Chicago, IL 60637
  • University of Oregon Contact: Dan Udovic Eugene, OR 97403

  • Addison-Wesley Selected as BioQUEST Publisher

    Addison-Wesley has been selected through a competitive bidding process by Annenberg/CPB and Beloit College to publish BioQUEST. A final agreement is in the process of being negotiated. In anticipation of the parties reaching a final agreement in the near future, Addison-Wesley is conducting a field test of the BioQUEST materials during the 1990-1991 academic year.

    Addison-Wesley is a leading publishing company that develops textbooks in the areas of biology, health sciences, computer science, mathematics and engineering. The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, a subsidiary of Addison-Wesley, has published numerous biological textbooks such as Campbell's Biology, Watson et al.'s Molecular Biology of the Gene, and Hood et al.'s Immunology. In addition, Addison-Wesley is a leader in educational software, with student editions of Lotus 1-2-3, Aldus Pagemaker and Minitab, to name a few.

    With their expertise in both book and software publication, Addison-Wesley is an excellent candidate for a publishing project as broad as BioQUEST. We welcome Addison-Wesley into negotiations and look forward to a rewarding relationship with them in the future.

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