Fun Activities from a Project-based On-line Ecology Course

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A presentation to the Massachusetts Environmental Education Society conference in 2009 about activities from BIOL597: Organisms Diversity and Interactions, an online ecology class that is part of Science Education Online.

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Fun Activities from a Project-based On-line Ecology Course

  1. 1. Fun Activities from a Project-based Online Ecology Course Steven Brewer Biology Department University of Massachusetts Amherst Massachusetts Environmental Education Society 2009
  2. 2. Science Education Online On-line Masters Degree in Science Education for in-practice teachers in remote areas to maintain licensure.
  3. 3. BIOL597B: Organisms: Diversity and Interactions Proposed in 2001-2002 Developed in 2003 with Buzz Hoagland (WSC) Taught in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008
  4. 4. Textbooks Bloom, J. 2006. Creating a Classroom Community of Young Scientists 2 nd Edition. Routledge. Eastman, J. 1992. Forest & Thicket: Trees, Shrubs, and Wildflowers of Eastern North America. Stackpole Books.
  5. 5. Online Format <ul><li>Drupal (free content management system) </li></ul><ul><li>Instructor questions & commentary </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs: weekly project updates </li></ul><ul><li>Image-sharing & commentary </li></ul><ul><li>Weekly electronic chat </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative final reports </li></ul>
  6. 6. Project-based Learning <ul><li>Constructivist </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative </li></ul><ul><li>Open-ended </li></ul><ul><li>Hands-on </li></ul><ul><li>Problem-posing </li></ul><ul><li>Problem-solving </li></ul><ul><li>Peer persuasion </li></ul>
  7. 7. Fun with Observations ???
  8. 8. Observation
  9. 9. A Year in the Life of a Tree Find an iconic tree from a native habitat. Conduct weekly observations for 14 weeks. Post observations, measurements, and imagery.
  10. 15. Compost Column Projects Create three “Bottle Biology” Compost Columns 1) Just leaves 2) Vermiculture 3) Research / Collaborative
  11. 20. Schoolyard Enhancement Plan Select area of school-yard to enhance Identify non-native species Propose native replacements to increase wildlife
  12. 25. Final Projects Find an ecology activity Do the activity yourself Describe how you adapted the activity
  13. 29. Fun with Google Maps ???
  14. 40. Acknowledgments Tom Hoogendyk Buzz Hoagland (WSC) Fall 2009 Students of BIOL597B Kathy Davis Steve Schneider George Drake Chris Hoogendyk
  15. 42. Where are they really? <ul><li>1. Hadley, MA, USA </li></ul><ul><li>2. Pouso Alegre, BR </li></ul><ul><li>3. Saint-Mathais-sur-Richelieu, CA </li></ul><ul><li>4. Central China </li></ul><ul><li>5. Kaolack, Senegal </li></ul><ul><li>6. Goehner, Nebraska </li></ul><ul><li>7. Chiba, Japan </li></ul><ul><li>8. Saint Marc, Haiti </li></ul><ul><li>9. Berkum, Germany </li></ul><ul><li>10. Grozny, Chechnya </li></ul>

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