Experiments to teach ecology (Volume 2): A new ESA-sponsored web site and CD-ROM for undergraduate ecological education.
GRANT, B.W.* 1, C.D'AVANZO 2 and S.MUSANTE 3
Widener University, Chester, PA USA, 1
School of Natural Sciences, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA, USA, 2
Ecological Society of America, Washington, DC, USA. 3
For more than a decade many ecological educators within ESA have dedicated their efforts to increasing the quality and availability of undergraduate laboratory activities to teach ecology. In 1993, the ESA published a collection of peer reviewed, field-tested, and commonly formatted Experiments to Teach Ecology (Volume 1) edited by Jane Beiswenger, and hundreds of copies of Volume 1 sell each year. In response to this demand, we have new NSF support to create a CD-ROM and ESA-linked website. We are currently compiling and editing a Volume 2 of additional experiments. Each new lab activity (1) follows a common inquiry-based template with downloadable *.PDF files for lab handouts, data sheets, assignments, and student assessments, (2) includes keyword lists on "Ecological Content," "Science Methods Skills," and "Pedagogy" which are hot-linked to ESA-linked resources (and/or on the CD-ROM), (3) includes links to an interactive HELP board to discuss questions, suggestions, etc., about the content, methods, assessment, evaluation, and other aspects of the lab (to help others with implementation challenges across a variety of educational scales), (4) includes an interactive repository of student-collected data, analyses, and comments (and we note that comparisons of data among geographic locations, seasons, years, etc., could themselves become activities), and (5) includes links to specific methodologies, analytical designs, and other resources for faculty to download and use that would enable and encourage faculty to engage in rigorous formative and summative evaluation of their use of each activity. Currently we have more than six new labs in the editorial pipeline all of which are undergoing field testing and peer review prior to an anticipated December 2000 publication date. The Experiments Volume 2, is actually nested within our larger NSF funded project "Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology (TIEE)," which will include web and CD-ROM resources to teach current issues in ecology (global warming, coral reef loss, exotic species, etc.) and a digital library of pedagogical resources. We are presently seeking faculty to field test and review submitted experiments as well as submissions to its companion Issues to Teach Ecology.
Keywords: ecological education, experiments to teach ecology, active-learning, inquiry, pedagogy.
This abstract is being presented at: 10:15 AM in session:
Oral Session #24: Ecological Learning Activities.