Genome Science for Health: Web-Based Curricula for Biology – Phase I & II

Project Audience

High school students and teachers; public.

Subjects Addressed

Cell signaling developmental biology stem cells molecular genetics animal research clinical trials bioethics.

Project Website

http://learn.genetics.utah.edu

Project Description

Goal 1: Educate secondary-level students about the role of NIH-funded basic research translational science and clinical trials in improving health care Objective 1: Develop and produce four web-based curriculum supplement modules on cell biology developmental biology molecular genetics and clinical trials Objective 2: Widely disseminate the Genome Science for Health curriculum supplement modules via the Genetic Science Learning Center website Objective 3: Market the Genome Science for Health curricula to appropriate audiences Goal 2: Engage secondary-level life science teachers in learning about the Genome Science for Health module topics and in drafting the curriculum supplement modules Objective 1: Recruit two two-year cohorts of 15 teachers each for master teacher programs with a focus on recruiting diverse teachers and/or those who teach diverse students Objective 2: Conduct four five-day summer institutes with the master teachers during which they learn about a module topic and draft classroom activities for it Goal 3: Prepare teachers to use the Genome Science for Health curricula through professional development courses and workshops at the local regional and national levels Objective 1: Present at least 15 dissemination workshops in venues across the country Objective 2: Hold a five-day summer institute in Year 5 for 22 teachers from across the United States. They will experience the curricula and prepare to present workshops for colleagues. Objective 3: Support the summer institute teachers in presenting workshops for colleagues


Resources for Sharing

Amazing Cells educational materials address cell structure function and signaling. Include 3-D movies interactive animations and classroom activities. Appropriate for middle and high school. Available at http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/cells/.


Dissemination Strategies

Learn.Genetics website – Educational materials developed as part of the Genome Science for Health project will be disseminated via this site. Workshops for teachers – Workshops will introduce teachers to the materials after they are produced and provide opportunities to experience using them.

Abstract

The Genetic Science Learning Center (GSLC) at the University of Utah will utilize its synergistic expertise in education science and technology to educate secondary-level life science students and teachers about the role of NIH-funded research advances and clinical trials in improving health care. The Genome Science for Health project will develop four web-based curriculum supplement modules on cell biology developmental biology molecular genetics and clinical trials that illustrate the continuum from basic research through translational science to clinical trials and into medical treatments. Regenerative medicine and animal research also will be addressed. The modules will employ interactive learning in a highly visual environment an approach designed to appeal to the tech-savvy digital-age students of today. At the same time they will clearly address content in the national science education standards ensuring that they are used by teachers. Two cohorts of teachers will participate in summer institutes working with the GSLC staff to draft the modules which will be developed using the GSLC’s new innovative Exploragraphic web design and Exploragraphic web-based curriculum development process. Formative feedback throughout the process from students teachers and scientists will help to direct module development from initiation through pilot testing in classrooms and revision. The modules will be widely disseminated via the highly-visible award-winning GSLC website which received almost 3.7 million visits in 2005 from students teachers and the public. Professional development workshops for teachers and a summer institute will support dissemination of the curricula. The Genome Science for Health project goals are to: Educate secondary-level students about the role of NIH-funded basic research translational science and clinical trials in improving health care Engage high school life science teachers in learning about the Genome Science for Health module topics and in developing the curriculum frameworks and learning approaches to address them Prepare teachers to use the Genome Science for Health curricula with their students through professional development courses and workshops at the local regional and national levels The Genome Science for Health project will bring a new level of understanding to students teachers and the public about the process by which medical treatments are developed as well as their potential roles in this process as clinical trial participants. Because the clinical trials module will be disseminated via the web it will be able to support the community engagement activities of NCRR’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards across the United States.


Project Evaluation(s)

Rockman et al an independent research evaluation and consulting firm in San Francisco is serving as the program evaluator and is working in close collaboration with the GSLC. Evaluation Goals – GOAL 1. To provide formative student and teacher feedback throughout the curriculum development process. Procedures: Observations of website use. Evaluators will use a think-aloud protocol to conduct usability tests that identify immediate navigation comprehension and accessibility issues that may affect the impact of an animation or other content – either positively or negatively – for the targeted audience. Procedures: Online comments. Evaluators will solicit comments during module development from master teacher program participants and students participating in their classes via online surveys. Students will be asked about the appeal ease of navigation and clarity of selected content. Teachers will be asked to provide feedback on the same issues as well as the appropriateness of the content activities and assessments for their students. Demographic data (e.g. grade level school type and class standing) also will be collected. Evaluators will use qualitative and quantitative approaches to describe student and teacher responses as well as differences between students with differing demographics (e.g. grade levels gender ability etc.). Reports will include recommendations for improving the materials. GOAL 2. To measure students’ performance in the piloted curriculum modules. Instrumentation. Evaluators in collaboration with GSLC staff will develop a curriculum-embedded assessment to measure student learning in each module. We will develop the instruments using a systematic iterative process of construct identification question creation and instrument review or validation. A limited pilot test student interviews utilizing think-aloud protocols and comparison between students who do and do not use the module will be utilized. Procedures and Design. The embedded assessments will be designed as outcome measures to describe the success of the modules. We will employ a quasi-experimental design to determine whether score changes can be attributable to the curriculum. The assessments will be administered as a pre/post measure in classes of teachers using the module and to a matched control group sample. Score changes will be analyzed fore each module to document learning gains. GOAL 3. To assess teachers’ reactions to the master teacher program (MTP) and summer dissemination institute. Teachers who attend the master teacher program summer institutes and the Year 5 summer dissemination institute will complete daily feedback forms about their satisfaction with the institute. A 25% sample of the MTP participants also will be interviewed a year after the end of their two-year participation about the perceived effect of the MTP on their teaching. GOAL 4. To track dissemination of the curricula via teacher professional development workshops. Participants in all workshops will receive an online follow-up survey several months later inquiring about: Their use of the curricula Perceived benefits and costs to using it Supports and barriers to implementing it Number of students with whom they are using the materials Their student population demographics Survey results will provide data about the success of the workshops as dissemination tools that support curriculum implementation.