NSTA Press: STEM Research Handbook: Harland


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This is a ppt I used for my presentation at NSTA Seattle area conference in December 2011. It is geared to teachers who are considering implementing my NSTA Press book, the STEM Student Research Handbook. We talked various ways to organize student-designed research projects; providing deadlines and meaningful feedback, how to support students working in groups, how web 2.0 tools can be used to organize and streamline the research process, and how to teach literacy aspects of research. Science teachers CAN do this! :)

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  • I know how valuable your time is, so right here in the beginning, I’d like to let you know what we’ll be discussing during our hour together. Use this slide and the handout provided to help you determine whether or not you want to stay for the session. NSTA conferences are invaluable and if this session doesn’t meet your needs, go find another one! I won’t be offended if you leave…I could talk on each one of these area for an hour, so I’d like to know from you which of these you want me to focus on. Raise your hand if…
  • There are many ways to describe the spectrum of inquiry levels.According to this model, WHO poses the question, who plans the procedure, and who formulates the results determine the level of inquiry.
  • The STEM Student Research Handbook is written directly to the student.Although there is no teacher edition of this text, everything you need to facilitate research with students is found in this book. I have included what I call “teacher cues” throughout the text. These are phrases like, “Your teacher will either ask you to do this, or that.” That way you can take this as your cue to have this discussion with your students. After each chapter there are questions that align with the chapter objectives. You could use these as homework questions or as discussion starters. The Chapter Applications help students take what they just read and apply it to their own research topic. It reminds them what they should be working on. Sample rubrics are included for a research paper, oral presentations, and posters.
  • My handbook is designed to help students move through the research process. These are the chapter in the handbook. Chapter 2 “Research Design” is what is available for free on the NSTA Press Website.
  • Networking is one of the most valuable things about coming to conferences. I assume that you all choose this session because of your interest in facilitating student research. Therefore, I want you give you 2 minutes to introduce yourself to someone around you and answer these 2 questions. Why are you here today? Whole group questions…raise your hand if:You have your students do student-directed researchYou are interested in trying to do research?Saw the cover of my book, and wanted to buy it? (he-he)
  • In context of my handbook, STEM research is:The book is written so that it could be used for teachers who are doing research with student in a variety of contexts. For example after school clubs, a research component of an existing class, an entire course dedicated to research, or even home schooling.
  • The first topic I’d like to address is the topic of providing students with deadlines. Research is a PROCESS! And deadlines are not meant to interrupt the process, only provide structure for students as they move through the process, many of them for the first time. Each of you may be organizing STEM research projects that span different amounts of time. Some teachers start out by doing a 4 week unit, while other teachers have students do semester-long, or year-long projects. It doesn’t matter how long the research process takes, deadlines accomplish several things. 1. You and your student to feel organizedDeadlines will also keep students from being overwhelmed by keeping them focused on one task at a timeIt also provides accountability; to make sure students are accomplishing the tasks they’ve said they needed to accomplish4. Deadlines become checkpoints at which they receive feedback from you and/or their peers. By having common deadlines that all students meet, they are able to help one another through the process.
  • This is one version of the scientific method. As you know, the process of research can be categorized and titled a number of ways, however, these are the stages that I decided to use within the STEM handbook.I suggest that your deadlines align with these stages. You will have a minimum of one deadline per stage, and you could have several in others. The STEM Student Research Handbook, contains handouts that could be used for deadlines.
  • The second topic I’d like to discuss is how to provide meaningful feedback. Again….STEM research is a process, and need to continually remind students of this. Things will not always go according to plan, and remaining flexible is important. It is very likely that students have never completed a project of this magnitude. Providing feedback for students is important for several reasons:Affirms student’s abilitiesIf done correctly, feedback can emphasize the process, not the final product. Meaning, students understand that feedback is not solely to get a grade in the grade book, but a way to communicate with others and to receive support during the project.Correct misconceptions—either with the research process or the content the students is learning.Your feedback can help redirect or focus a student who has lost the “forest for the tree”
  • The tone of feedback whether it be verbal or written must be supportive and encouraging. I’ll never forget the first semester I returned first drafts of my student’s proposals. I had spent hours writing comments in the margins, asking them to clarify certain aspects of their methods. Their proposals were dripping with ink. But in my mind, it was all done in love! I was helping them to become better writers, better researchers, and better students. THEY did NOT see it that way. I since have learned to communicate the role feedback has in the PROCESS of research. Always find something good to say! That’s not always easy, but students need confidence boosters along the way. Don’t give them specific details of what changes to make. Instead ask them more questions so they can flesh out the ideas themselves. (This also means that they may not end up exactly where you wanted them content-wise. You need to become ok with that.!)
  • Checking for understanding. This type of feedback is to make sure that students understand either a STEM content topic or something about the research process. For example: SH #4: Practicing Writing Hypotheses, will make sure that students know how to write hypothesesChecking for completion: This type of feedback provides accountability for students in that they know that by a certain date something needs to be done.For example: You may have students turn in their background notes after they’ve spent one day in the library. This allows you to spot check to make sure they are writing enough, and that they’ve organized their resources so that they can properly cite. 3) DUA: Do Until Accepted, means that students must produce “A” quality work, and they have the opportunity to redo the assignment until it is. This type of feedback is good when the success of the project hinges on this part of the process being done thoroughly. For example: DUA works great for the proposal process, where students are describing the methods by which they will test a hypothesis. This type of feedback is not always feasible, but is invaluable if you are able to swing it. 4) Class Brainstorming: Allow time for students to get ideas from one another. Students can summarize their research so far, explain problems they’ve had, and even ask for help in obstacles they have some up against. Keep these times student-centered, only interjecting when absolutely necessary. These can become wonderful learning moments for students.5) Peer Editing: Allowing students to carefully check one another’s writing will not only save you time, but will help your students become better communicators. Students can often see flaws in others work better than their own. I provide two Peer editing handouts in the text, one for evaluating data tables and graphs, and the other for the research paper.
  • The next topic I’d like to discuss is how to support students who are doing research in pairs or in groups. While having students complete projects in groups may reduce the amount of projects you manage, allowing students to work in groups introduces another set of issues that you will need to manage. These issues include: The roles students have within the groups. Personality conflicts may abound, and individuals may not feel appreciated for what they bring to the group. The division of labor; as teachers we want to make sure all students are active within the research process; that one students isn’t able to highjack a project or another sit back and do nothing.Communication: helping groups to communicate with one another to manage a project of this size is important to their success. Evaluation: Deciding on how a group should be assessed.
  • Throughout the handbook, I address issues that apply to groups, highlighted by the group graphic shown here. You’ll need to view “functioning as a group” as part of the curriculum. If you address teaching group work like you do your content, you’ll be less likely to be annoyed with the issues that will inevitably come up. This means you need to TEACH them how to work with one another. Don’t assume they know how! Therefore, regularly schedule time for groups to get together, not to talk about the project, but to talk about how the group is functioning. Encourage each of them to talk about how they feel they are helping the group; to evaluate their own, and maybe their peer’s contributions to the tasks so far. There are many technology (Web 2.0 tools) that can help coordinate group work. Several times throughout the research process; in order to meet the next big deadline, have them break the large task into smaller tasks, and assign each group member a task. After they agree on tasks, they turn this in for your approval…and we call this our contract. Make it a big deal…an important official, grade. But remain flexible, and allow students to make changes to task assignments if they have good reason to request these modifications.
  • The next topic I’d like to address is how Technology can be used to streamline the process. There are a lot of web 2.0 tools that can help your students organize themselves, as well as organize you as you monitor and assess student projects.
  • Wikis are websites that allow their members to have webpages that are easily edited. Then for each page within the wiki there are “tabs” that allow members to see the history which shows the time, date, and what edits each member has made. Another tab is a discussion tab which allows members to talk about the page as they are constructing it.
  • Here is a sample Wiki page I put together for students completing semester-long research projects. (I actually use a wiki as a course management system, so research projects are only a part of what I put on the wiki.) The organization for the wiki is along the left hand side of the page. The wiki name is TeachingBiologyLabs, and the name of this particular page is “IRP” which stands for Independent Research Project. At the top of the page you’ll notice various tabs. The on on the far left is the title of the page you are currently looking at.The next is the discussion tab, which is where members of the wiki canThe edit tab, on the far right is how members edit the page.
  • Clicking on the editing tab, pulls up a page that looks similar to word document. You can insert links, embed videos, upload images and files. My students each post links to everything they do for their project here in our class wiki.
  • This is in my course wiki page, and helps me to manage where students post their assignments. It also encourages students to look at one another’s work.
  • After clicking on the discussion button, you get a page “behind the page” that allows for interaction about the content on the “front page.” For students working in groups, it allows them to talk about the PROCESS.
  • Here is a student example of a student group who posted their Library Research Questions to a wiki. They had to add me as an “editor” so that I could add my comments. You’ll see mine in red.
  • Google Docs is a place where students can keep documents up in the “cloud.”For those of you not familiar with this service, it is a place where files (not just Word documents) can be saved online, and then “shared” with others. For example a student working on a research project can post their proposal, and then add you, the teacher, as an editor. This allows you to view the document at any time and insert comments, highlight using colors and “mark up” the document like you would if you were grading a paper copy. This is especially great for groups because you can see which students are doing a lot of the work, you can see which students add what content etc.. It is invaluable to see how a group is functioning.I found that during the proposal process, having students post to Google Docs was very helpful.
  • Ok, this is an example of how I use Google docs for grading. Sometimes I insert my comments right in the student work, in red text, or if my comments are more general, I insert a comment. Students can then delete them after they see them (however they can always be seen again by going to revision history.)
  • By going to “File” then “View Revision History” you can see the time, date, and actual changes made by each editor. This is particularly good for group work.
  • Google docs is also a great place for students to post their data.
  • The last topic I’d like to discuss is the literacy component. Students will be encountering all types of literacy learning during the process of doing a research project. They’ll be reading (decoding) journal articles, learning new vocabulary, summarizing what they’ve read, dealing with issues of plagiarism, and of course the final product of a scientific paper and/or presentation.
  • You can do it!!!!!! Even if you feel ill prepared to teach the literacy aspects of a research project, you can do it. I believe because of my background as a a Science and English teacher, my handbook does a good job of supporting science teachers in the literacy aspects of completing a research project.
  • Once students have a basic topic idea, its time to really begin doing library research….consider taking students on a fieldtrip to a university library.Make friends with your librarian!!!!!!!!!!
  • When talking to students about the paper or poster, talk about how scientific writing is similar and different than the writing they do for English class.
  • “In this present report, the results of an experiment are described in which coffee and tea drinkers were tested to see whether…”“We tested coffee and tea drinkers to find out whether…”The debate between active and passive voice is still strong today. Some journals require passive voice, in all section but the methods. In methods sections then, STEM scientists can either choose to write in 1st person, or use the term “researcher.”
  • Consider the STEM Student Handbook as a resources for you and your students in this endeavor.
  • NSTA Press: STEM Research Handbook: Harland

    1. 1. NSTA Press: ImplementingResearch Projects as Part of theSTEM CurriculumDarci J. HarlandIllinois State UniversityCeMaST(Center forMathematics, Science, andTechnology) CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    2. 2. About MeFormer high school teacher: English & biologyFacilitated research with high school and preserviceteachersExpanded my own teaching resources to write this NSTAPress handbookCurrently work at ISU & volunteer at Salem Children’sHome as the science lab coordinator. CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    3. 3. Topics We’ll Discuss• Overview of the Handbook• STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Research• Tips on Organizing students in student-designed research projects – Deadlines – Providing meaningful feedback – Supporting students working in groups – Using technology – Teaching literacy aspects of research CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    4. 4. Levels of Inquiry Demonstration Activity Teacher- Student- Initiated InitiatedPosing the Teacher Teacher Teacher StudentQuestionPlanning the Teacher Teacher Student StudentProcedureFormulating Teacher Student Student Studentthe Results From: D. Llewellyn. 2002. Inquiry within: Implementing inquiry-based science standards. Thousand Oaks, Corwin Press. CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    5. 5. About The HandbookWritten directly to thestudentGeared to high school &undergraduate students“Teacher Cues”Chapter Questions &Chapter ApplicationsSample rubrics CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    6. 6. Chapters1: Beginning a STEM Research Project2: Research Design3: Background Research4: Writing Hypotheses5: Proposal Writing6: Organizing a Laboratory Notebook7: Descriptive Statistics8: Graphical Representations9: Inferential Statistics and DataInterpretation10: Documentation11: Writing the STEM Research Paper12: Presenting the STEM Research Project CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    7. 7. About YouShare:• What experience you have in facilitatingstudent research projects.• Something you want to get out of today’spresentation CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    8. 8. What is STEM Research?Experiments conducted to address problemsin STEM fields that can be tested using thescientific method. CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    9. 9. Providing Students with Deadlines CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    10. 10. CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    11. 11. Sample Deadlines• Focusing Preliminary Research Ideas (SH#1)• Research Design Table (SH#2)• Background Research Questions (SH#3)• Evidence of library background research• Writing Hypotheses (SH#4)• Research Proposal• Organizing Laboratory Notebook CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    12. 12. Sample Deadlines (cont.)• Evidence of Data Collection• Organize Data into Tables & Graphs• Peer Editing of data tables & graphs (SH#5)• Rough Draft of Paper• Peer Editing of Paper (SH#6)• Oral Presentation CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    13. 13. Providing Meaningful Feedback CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    14. 14. Tone of FeedbackOral and WrittenSupportive and EncouragingFind positive things to say/write.Don’t give them changes to make, ask them more questions. CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    15. 15. Types of FeedbackChecking for understandingChecking for completionDo Until Accepted (DUA)Class BrainstormingPeer Editing CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    16. 16. Support StudentsWorking in Groups CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    17. 17. Tips For Successful GroupsTeach “functioning in a group”Schedule Time for Group Meetings• Determine strengths• Assign tasks• Write contractUse Technology CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    18. 18. Using Technology CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    19. 19. Wikis• Easily editable webpages• Multiple contributors• Upload files and images• Tabs “behind the page” – History-who made what edits – Discussion CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    20. 20. Sample Wiki Homepage CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    21. 21. Editing a Wiki CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    22. 22. CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    23. 23. CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    24. 24. Using a Wiki for Grading CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    25. 25. • Introduce Google Docs for sharing & collaboration – Word Documents – Excel spreadsheets• Assignments – Proposal (Word) – Data recording (Excel) CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    26. 26. Using Google Docs for Grading CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    27. 27. Google Docs: Revision History CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    28. 28. Google Docs: Data Collection (Excel) CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    29. 29. Social Bookmarking• Bookmark-online and share with others• Mark up webpages, – highlight – make sticky notes• Photo Sharing Websites – Flicker, Picaso – Share photos, tag them, CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    30. 30. Teaching the LiteracyComponents of Research CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    31. 31. Confidence to Teach Literacy• Writing across the curriculum – Science teachers teaching library research skills? – Science teachers teaching note taking skills? – Science teachers teaching writing skills?• Talk to English department – Work within the methods they use – Documentation style (MLA/APA) & note taking strategies CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    32. 32. Background Research• vs. – Basic search engine vs. database search• Identifying reliable resources• Free Open Access – Scholarly research articles for free! – See pg. 39 for a listing CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    33. 33. Note Taking• Have students write 5 overarching questions they will need to answer – Entity, independent variable, dependent variable, connections between the 2 variables – Organize background research within these areas• Old fashioned 3x5 notecards• Research Pages• Online tools: Easybib, NoteStar, SpringNote, Noodletools CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    34. 34. Scientific Writing• Similar to writing in English class – Proper grammar & spelling – Topic Sentences & paragraph organization – Transition words for organization• Different than writing in English class – Succinct writing is preferable CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    35. 35. Passive vs. Active VoiceVoice & Pronoun Sample SentenceActive Voice “I will remove the ball bearing.”1st Person (Future tense)Active Voice “I removed the ball bearing.”1st Person (Past tense)Passive Voice “The ball bearing will beNo pronoun (Future tense) removed.”Passive Voice “The ball bearing wasNo pronoun (Past tense) removed.”2nd Person “Remove the ball bearing.”Directive (Assumed You) CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    36. 36. Summary: You CAN do this!• Provide deadlines• Give meaningful feedback• Support students working in groups• Allow technology to support students as they collaborate and research• Emphasize literacy aspects of the process. CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    37. 37. My Websitehttp://darciharlan d. wordpress.com Place for teachers to share their tips for teaching research. Please drop by and make a post! CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology
    38. 38. Thanks for coming…• NSTA Bookstore book signing today 1:30• ISU online course for Teacher Professional development for teaching research (summer 2012)• http://darciharland.wordpress.com• djharland@ilstu.edu CeMaST: Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology