Preprints and post printing peer review are relatively recent additions and twists to the scientific process and traditional approaches to communicating research. Below are some resources to get you started thinking about if this is an approach you should adopt and how you might go about starting.
I am a curriculum developer at Michigan State University where my work mainly focuses on how to teach science to non-scientists. Much of my work is trying to elaborate on the overlap of art, science, education, and technology. Two conceptual frameworks I often use are TPaCK and the STEM to STEAM movement. Many times in my work I am wrestling with how to leverage technology and pedagogical theory in communicating and improving learning in scientific disciplines, and how are the artistic and scientific endeavor similar and different.
Recent projects are looking at using social media tools to link teaching assistants, iterative improvement of images in curriculum, and best practices for ALT Text. Explore the tabs at the top to see some of these projects.
I made a children’s book for my niece over a decade ago when she was born because I wanted her to feel like she could do whatever she set her mind and heart to. I very much want to continue to believe that, so I’m telling the universe again (isn’t that the Secret? 😛 )..
Currently the most common practice in education to find images to use in class is to either search the internet or use images from the textbook company. Typically in either case you are unable to edit those images to better align the instruction with your objectives, which means that you end up often saying, “ignore this part of the picture” or “sorry this part is incorrect.” Instruct 2020 aims to help build and share resources within educational communities, so that we can build free common resources and create shared visual literacy around those images.
Don’t reinvent the wheel…just change the hubcaps:
By using images that have been created by the community and uploaded in an editable format, instructors save time and can have more accurate material for their instruction. Over time a community of practice can iterate towards effective visual communication that is free and available to wider audiences.
Many faculty who are diving into either flipped classroom models or developing for online/hybrid courses are sometimes a-drift because they do not know what resources or steps they should take in the process and when they should think about interacting with the different resources…Should they talk to IT Services before they develop content? Before the course is offered? Where can they find recording facilities? Are there groups on campus that can help them think about creating digital resources? Where/when does accessibility come into play and what are the expectations and guidelines?
To help faculty at MSU (with some specifics about the College of Natural Sciences), I have collated some resources into the following resource guide.
Recently I and colleagues have been looking at Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a philosophy to approach accessibility. Much of the framing around accessibility from top-down systems has been around minimizing the risk of lawsuits. With administration laying out the expectations for faculty in meeting accessibility requirements, the phrase, “unfunded mandate” often gets tossed around. Ultimately faculty want to be effective communicators to all of their students, so is UDL the answer? Reframing the question of what additional work do faculty need to do to meet accessibility standards? into how can faculty from the start create content that impacts all students?
Here is part of a workshop we offered to support this conversation. (open speaker notes for more information about each slide)
For the past few years, I’ve been collaborating with Scott Schopieray and Brian Adams in the College of Arts and Letters at MSU in the development of a mobile app, TourGuide, that can be used in and out of the classroom to connect information to location. The app works similarly to geocaching, except that when a person is at a specific location, they do not find an object, but they can get additional information for that location. What is powerful about this type of experience is that students can build a tour while they are out in the field. In one instance, we have a plant systematist using it in her classes where she has students identifying the plants that help to define an ecosystem (e.g. swamps, marshes, etc.). Students can take a picture and make a “stop” on their tour that explains the importance of the plant. This approach is a constructivist approach that can be combined with guided inquiry in the classroom. One of the take home messages of this experience for this class is the importance of natural history collections and their use in identifying plant species.
One use for this app could be the flipping of the concept of natural history collections. So, instead of their being a central store house of collected specimens. The specimens can be virtually returned to the area they were collected from, adding more context than could be captured on its identification tag. We are still working out the implications for this app in both formal and informal settings.
For this project we were challenged with how do you use games in museum settings where you may only have a minute or two to engage visitors. This constraint along with conveying concepts of evolution without fostering misconceptions proved to be the big challenge in this project. In the end, two games were created for touch-screen kiosks that allow museum-goers a chance to explore the evolutionary concepts of mutation and natural selection. The actual coding, development, and design was done by Adventure Club Games. This projected was funded by BEACON, an NSF Center for evolution in action. You can view the current prototypes for the games below.
Much planning went into the development of an augmented reality experience to create an engagement activity that teaches concepts of evolution. This project was funded by the Society for the Study of Evolution and Layar. A couple of years ago a silky anteater was stolen from one of the dioramas in the museum. Was it really stolen? Or did it just evolve camouflage? The goal of this project was for visitors to be able to explore and connect the current exhibits and web resources to solve this mystery.