ERIC Number: EJ756278
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
The Virtual Scientist: Connecting University Scientists to the K-12 Classroom through Videoconferencing
McCombs, Glenn B.; Ufnar, Jennifer A.; Shepherd, Virginia L.
Advances in Physiology Education, v31 n1 p62-66 Mar 2007
The Vanderbilt University Center for Science Outreach (CSO) connects university scientists to the K-12 community to enhance and improve science education. The Virtual Scientist program utilizes interactive videoconference (IVC) to facilitate this connection, providing 40-50 sessions per academic year to a national audience. Scientists, defined as research faculty members, clinicians, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and medical students, and professional staff, participate through conventional volunteer recruitment and program announcements as well as outreach partnership efforts with other Vanderbilt centers. These experts present 30- to 45-min long, grade-appropriate content sessions from the CSO IVC studio or their own laboratory. Teachers register for sessions via an on-line application process. After the session, teachers, students, and experts are requested to complete an anonymous on-line evaluation that addresses both technical and content-associated issues. Results from 2003 to the present indicated a favorable assessment for a promising program. Results showed that 69% of students (n = 335) and 88% of teachers (n = 111) felt that IVC improved access to scientists, whereas 97% of students (n = 382) and teachers (n = 126) and 100% of scientists (n = 23) indicated that they would participate in future videoconferences. Students and teachers considered that the Virtual Scientist program was effective [76% (n = 381) and 89% (n = 127), respectively]. In addition, experts supported IVC as effective in teaching [87% (n = 23)]. Because of the favorable responses from experts, teachers, and students, the CSO will continue to implement IVC as a tool to foster interactions of scientists with K-12 classrooms.
Descriptors: College Faculty, Scientists, Elementary Secondary Education, Distance Education, Outreach Programs, Science Education, Teleconferencing, Program Effectiveness, College School Cooperation
American Physiological Society. 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3991. Tel: 301-634-7164; Fax: 301-634-7241; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://advan.physiology.org/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Tennessee