Monday, August 4, 2008: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
202 A, Midwest Airlines Center
OOS 1 - Investigating Your Own Teaching: Ecology Faculty as Research Practitioners
This session will demonstrate how a range of ecology faculty have done research on their own teaching and what they have learned about teaching and learning through this research. Recent calls for reform in ecology education have focused on a number of areas, including scientific teaching. In general, scientific teaching asks ecology faculty to treat their teaching practices more like their disciplinary research. That is to say, teaching practices and strategies should be based on outcomes of educational research and faculty should verify learning outcomes through research. Handelsman et al. (2004) contrast how faculty approach teaching and research by asking, “So why do outstanding scientists who demand rigorous proof for scientific assertions in their research continue to use and, indeed, defend on the basis of intuition alone, teaching methods that are not the most effective?” Although more and more ecology faculty employ non-traditional, student-active teaching techniques, few analytically evaluate the effectiveness of these teaching strategies (D’Avanzo et al. 2006). Several ecology education reform projects (i.e., TIEE, FIRST, and FIRST II) have supported ecology faculty, who have little or no prior teaching assessment experience, in successful investigations of their teaching strategies and their students’ learning outcomes. The purpose of this session will be to present several case studies of ecology faculty with little background in education assessment, who have taken the plunge into teaching assessment in their own classrooms. These presentations will show a clear link between research and education in the pursuit of improving student understanding and perceptions of ecology. Just as importantly, we hope that case studies by faculty new to assessment will alleviate concerns of potential research practitioners and motivate them to begin research of their own.
Organizer:Alan B. Griffith, University of Mary Washington
Moderator:Alan B. Griffith, University of Mary Washington
1:30 PMIntroduction: Investigating your own teaching
Alan B. Griffith, University of Mary Washington
1:50 PMConfronting, changing, and assessing ecological misperceptions in the classroom
Chris Picone, Fitchburg State College
2:10 PMChallenging ecological misconceptions and enhancing ecological learning using Power-of-Story-5E teaching units
Weixing Zhu, State University of New York - Binghamton, Nancy E. Stamp, State University of New York - Binghamton
2:30 PMUsing the inquiry approach to teach experimental design concepts
Elizabeth Hane, Rochester Institute of Technology
2:50 PMQuantifying student learning: Type I and type II errors of learning gains
Everett Weber, Murray State University
3:10 PMBreak
3:20 PMTwo case studies of action research: Assessing student graphical interpretation skills and understandings about ecological restoration
Judy Bramble, DePaul University, Margaret Workman, DePaul University
3:40 PMAssessing inquiry-based labs for introductory biology non-majors
Cara L. Gormally, University of Georgia, Brittan Hallar, University of Georgia, Norris Armstrong, University of Georgia, Peggy Brickman, University of Georgia
4:00 PMEvaluating course impact on student environmental values
Robert Humston, VA Military Institute, Elena Ortiz, Phoenix College
4:20 PMEvaluating the efficacy of primary literature as a teaching tool in introductory courses
Jennifer M. Rhode, University of North Carolina at Asheville
4:40 PMUsing inquiry-based learning to improve science literacy and critical thinking in large lecture environmental science courses
Richard A. Gill, Washington State University

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See more of The 93rd ESA Annual Meeting (August 3 -- August 8, 2008)