BioQUEST Notes 3.1

Applicants Sought for BioQUEST Summer Workshop

BioQUEST has received support from the National Science Foundation's Undergraduate Cur-riculum and Course Development Program for the BioQUEST Learning Tools Development Program. The purpose of this project is to promote: 1) curriculum and instructional materials development, 2) materials dissemination and 3) the establishment and maintenance of a viable communication network among biologists, science educators, software developers, and other interested individuals.

As part of this project, BioQUEST is hosting a curricular materials development workshop June 5-13 at Beloit College. The intent of this workshop is to bring together a group of college faculty who will develop and disseminate materials and approaches that support the BioQUEST problem solving, long-term research approach to the teaching and learning of biology (the "3P's" approach - problem posing, problem solving and peer persuasion). The workshop will be divided into two types of development efforts: 1) development of a curriculum of learning tools and approaches in the area of ecology and evolution education built around BioQUEST simulations and tools and 2) The planning and initiation of new development projects in other areas of biology. We would like to invite you to submit an application to participate in the BioQUEST Learning Tools Development Project.

A minimum of thirty participants will receive support to attend the summer development workshop. Two-thirds of the workshop participants will develop materials related to four of BioQUESTÕs modules: Environ-mental Decision Making (EDM), Biota, Evolve and Model Building. Participants who are selected to attend the development workshop will receive all four modules during the 1993 spring semester. Each participant will be surveyed in advance to elicit their ideas and interests for projects. Their ideas will be shared with other workshop participants to facilitate the formation of small work groups prior to the development workshop. Each participant will be asked to do some preparation work regarding project ideas prior to arrival at Beloit College. During the development workshop, participants will work in small groups an as a whole to develop a cohesive set of materials that expand on the existing module materials. For example, some participants will be developing field and wet-lab investigations that can be used in conjunction with EDM, Biota and Evolve. Others may develop new libraries of ecosystem models along with guides to aid students in posing problems using EDM. Others may create additional problems and ways Biota or Evolve can be used with students. Some participants may wish to design examples of how EDM, Biota, Evolve, Model Building and a 3PÕs approach to teaching ecology and evolution can be accomplished in a large lecture situation. Others may wish to design alternate ways to assess student learning (better "exams", the use of portfolios). Development projects are not limited to the examples listed here. Each development team will be asked to consider the implementation issues that other colleagues must address if they are to use the materials and approaches developed by the workshop development teams.

Examples of Implementation issues:

a) Size - large lecture vs. small class section situations
b) Facilities - computer accessibility, laboratory materials, location and climate variation (for field work).
c) Student interest and needs - majors and non-majors, two-year and four-year students
d) Communication - possibilities regarding communication and uses of communication means (traditional and electronic) between students, between students and faculty, between students on other campuses, between campuses and research labs and/or science-based businesses.
e) Assessment - If we want students to believe that an understanding of how scientists pose problems, solve problems, and persuade others of the validity and usefulness of their conclusions is important, then the evaluations and assessments that we use in our courses must reflect this concern. Assessments should give students the opportunity to test the ideas they have developed concerning peers and in the world. In addition, students must feel that the assessment system and materials accurately reflect their knowledge and thinking. Most traditional exams do not address these concerns.

The group will field test the materials during the 1993-94 academic year. The resulting materials will be disseminated in a variety of ways. All materials are eligible for publication in the BioQUEST Library CD, an electronic "journal" of curricular materials to be published on an annual basis by the Academic Software Development Group at the University of Maryland. In addition, each participant will be expected to play a role in the dissemination process either by giving a convention presentation, conducting a local workshop, or writing an article for submission to a journal typically read by community college, college, and university biology faculty, and/or contributing an article to the BioQUEST newsletter. We hope to reach a variety of communities within the broad areas of science, education, and computer science by promoting a multifaceted approach to dissemination.

The remaining third of the workshop participants will be primarily concerned with initiating the development of new projects in content areas where software tools and simulations would enhance the teaching of university/college biology. It is not expected that each project conceived and worked on during the nine day workshop will be completed in the span of a summer or single academic year. The participants establishing these new projects will plan both the scope of the project and how they will seek funding to complete the project. These projects can be in areas of biology other than ecology and evolution, but all must support a 3PÕs approach to teaching and learning. We will provide these participants with a framework: our knowledge, expertise and experience, and a means of communication with other biology instructors and software developers. We can also aid in the selection of appropriate field test sites and provide a model for the field testing of new material. In addition, BioQUEST can support the work of new projects by providing a way to effectively disseminate the results of their work via the BioQUEST Library. The project staff will continue to function as consultants to these new projects over the course of the entire year. We foresee that the implementation issues implicit in these new projects will ultimately be addressed by future learning tools development workshops. Annual development workshops function as a way to effectively create innovative materials and teaching approaches that can be shared on a large scale basis.

If you are interested in participating in the June 5-13 development workshop, please complete the enclosed form and return it by March 1. If you are not able to participate in the workshop, but know of colleagues who may be interested, please feel free to pass this information on to them. Participants will be selected based on their commitment to creating and implementing open-ended, investigative materials for learning, innovative teaching, and expertise in topic areas. Faculty will also be selected with consideration to the representation of a diversity of campuses and student populations. We are able to provide participants with travel expenses, room and board, and a stipend.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call. We look forward to hearing from you.

Patti Soderberg
Project Coordinator
(608)363-2743 = Beloit College
(608)263-4637 = U of WI-Madison

Application for the BioQUEST Learning Tools Development Workshop

June 5 - 13, 1993 at Beloit College; Beloit, WI

Please return this application by March 31, 1993 to:

Biology Department
Beloit College
700 College St.
Beloit, WI 53511

So we can consider you for participation in our Summer 1993 Program.


Phone no.
1. Have you reviewed or used BioQUEST software or attended a BioQUEST workshop or demonstration? How familiar are you with BioQUEST modules and the 3PÕs philosophy of BioQUEST? Please describe briefly.

2. If you participate in the 1993 summer development workshop, which of the following interests you the most?

Developing materials around Environmental Decision Making ______

Developing materials around Biota _____

Developing materials around Evolve ______

Developing materials around Model Building ____

Beginning work on a new BioQUEST module _____

I am not familiar enough with the modules to decide at this point in time _____

3. If you are interested in beginning work on a new BioQUEST module, what is your area of interest? If you are currently working on a project or have ideas for a project that supports a 3PÕs approach to teaching and learning, please elaborate below or enclose a separate description of your project or ideas.

4. Is it possible that your institution would be willing to support travel expenses for follow up work on a project with other team members after the summer workshop (this could be done in conjunction with attendance at a national or regional professional meeting)?

Yes _____ No ______ Maybe ______

5. Are there other individuals who you feel we should contact regarding this summer's development workshop?

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