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ERIC Number: EJ898119
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1931-7913
Evaluating a Modeling Curriculum by Using Heuristics for Productive Disciplinary Engagement
Svoboda, Julia; Passmore, Cynthia
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v9 n3 p266-276 Fall 2010
The "BIO2010" report provided a compelling argument for the need to create learning experiences for undergraduate biology students that are more authentic to modern science. The report acknowledged the need for research that could help practitioners successfully create and reform biology curricula with this goal in mind. Our objective in this article was to explore how a set of six design heuristics could be used to evaluate the potential of curricula to support productive learning experiences for science students. We drew on data collected during a long-term study of an undergraduate traineeship that introduced students to mathematical modeling in the context of modern biological problems. We present illustrative examples from this curriculum that highlight the ways in which three heuristics--instructor role-modeling, holding students to scientific norms, and providing students with opportunities to practice these norms--consistently supported learning across the curriculum. We present a more detailed comparison of two different curricular modules and explain how differences in student authority, problem structure, and access to resources contributed to differences in productive engagement by students in these modules. We hope that our analysis will help practitioners think in more concrete terms about how to achieve the goals set forth by "BIO2010." (Contains 1 table, 3 boxes, and 1 footnote.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A