SS 17 - Implementing ESA’s 4DEE Framework to Transform Your Undergraduate Ecology Course

Tuesday, August 8, 2017: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
B113, Oregon Convention Center
Kenneth M. Klemow, Wilkes University
Alan R. Berkowitz, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies; Carmen R. Cid, Eastern Connecticut State University; Diane Ebert-May, Michigan State University; George Middendorf, Howard University; Teresa Mourad, Ecological Society of America; and Bob R. Pohlad, Ferrum College
Deciding how to organize an undergraduate general ecology course is often a daunting challenge for both new and established faculty.  The Ecological Society of America’s Four Dimensional Ecology Education (4DEE) initiative offers a framework to help instructors organize and transform their undergraduate general ecology courses to increase students’ achievement of course goals and objectives.  The 4DEE framework, developed by ESA members, aligns key ecological topics along four dimensions: fundamental concepts, human dimensions, cross-cutting themes, and science practices.  The system offers a novel way for ecology faculty to approach their course topics, and rethink their strategies for providing a meaningful educational experience to their students.

In this session, developers of the 4DEE framework will provide an overview of the curricular framework, including reference to EcoEd, TIEE, CourseSource, and other educational resources.  Session attendees will then work in groups to identify ways in which the framework can be incorporated into their own courses.  Attendees will be encouraged to critically review the system with respect to their own approaches for teaching ecology, and to use student assessments to guide curricular revisions.

4DEE was developed to align undergraduate ecology knowledge and skills attainment more closely with the ecological research questions and environmental problems that ESA members are facing as ecology practitioners. The framework addresses recommendations from the AAAS Vision and Change report combined with input from an ESA-funded assembly of ecology professionals in academic, government and environmental consulting positions.

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