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Student Learning II: Case Studies,
Problem
-
Based Learning and the 3 Ps


Ben Scholars Institute

December 8, 2006



Overview


Brief Introduction to BioQUEST and 3Ps


Small group activity addressing the
potential impact of technologies on teaching
and learning


Cases and Problem Spaces as instructional
strategies


Challenges as we move forward

The BioQUEST Curriculum
Consortium Community

BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium’s








3 P’s:


Problem Posing

Problem Solving

Persuading Peers



Michael is a structural biologist at Stanford University

Quote is from
Naturejobs

389
, 25 September 1997, 420 (1997)


Using Technology To Solve
Problems

Technological advances support progress
because they remove barriers to traditionally
difficult tasks.

What are the primary teaching/learning
problems that you see technology helping you
overcome? How does technology allow you to
teach better and allow students to learn more
effectively?

Activity Structure


Groups of 3 (heterogeneous)


3 minutes on individual brainstorming


5 minutes on group brainstorming

(not serial presentation)


5 minutes on collaborative production of a
representation of your ideas


3 minutes on individual reflection


Sharing

Task

Represent your “model” of the
teaching/learning process and indicate ways
that uses of technology can contribute to
student understanding.

Technology supports pedagogical strategies.

Pedagogy reflects our assumptions about
teaching and learning.


Thus
-

if we don’t revisit our assumptions
about teaching and learning it is very
different to update our pedagogy.

Creating inquiry opportunities

Biological

Principles

Data

Sets

Analysis

Tools

Establishing a Problem Space

Creating problem
spaces that provide a
rich context for using
bioinformatics data
and tools allows
students to focus on
using their
understanding of
biology to investigate
meaningful questions.

Biological

Principles

Data

Sets

Analysis

Tools

Problem

Space

Investigative Cases


Opportunities to engage students with
applications of biological knowledge


A variety of format exist for structuring
tasks and providing information.


They share several features including:


Contextualizing applications of knowledge


Provide multiple/flexible solution paths


Shift responsibility for learning to students

Open Funnel Case Model

Rich

Scenario

Tools

Data resources

Perspectives

Divergent

Outcomes

Epistemic discourse vs. epistemological practices

Hogan, 2000; Sandoval & Morrison, 2003

Scaffolding argumentation

Sandoval & Reiser, 2004

Invention to support future learning

Schwartz & Martin, 2004

Misconceptions/conceptual change

Posner, Strike, & Hewson, 1982


Foregrounding epistemology

Technology is not a solution

Technology is an amplifier



There is a danger that the integration of new
technologies will further reify practices that
have been shown to be ineffective.

Technology should be used to
make learning easy and fun



We all learn to “code
-
switch” so that we can
participate in multiple cultures. We have the
responsibility of establishing the science
classroom culture.

Technology makes it easier to
present information in a way that
students understand



The logic of disciplinary understanding that
we have internalized is a rational
reconstruction and does not necessarily
represent the process of learning. It is a
product of learning

Challenge for BEN:

Balance the twin goals of
providing easy access and
transformative tools



One involves working within our existing
assumptions and the other involves
challenging them.

Take away points

Teaching for understanding involves explicitly
addressing features of disciplinary practice.

Important features of disciplinary practices are tied
to the details of making knowledge claims.

Technology itself does not shortcut the challenge of
teaching for understanding.

Moving in this direction will require
epistemological, methodological and ontological
insights into the discipline (faculty and students).