Title

Pretest/Posttest Plus Prompts: Tools for Research and Evaluation

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-1-2012

Department

Center for Science and Math Education

Abstract

We conducted a series of summer workshops on bioinformatics to increase educators’ knowledge of this new field of inquiry with the assumption that their knowledge will, in turn, impact student achievement. The workshops incorporated experiential learning and self-reflection (Loucks-Horsley et al. 1998). Educators demonstrated significant increases in knowledge as revealed by pretest and posttest scores on the same test that was used during the field-testing of the module, Bioinformatics and the Human Genome Project, a component of the workshop. Qualitative analyses revealed that the workshop introduced methodologies (including guided inquiries, hands-on, problem-based and role-playing activities for teaching bioinformatics) that educators valued and planned to incorporate into their own classrooms. The only area in which teachers expected more than they received was in laboratory experiences. This exception may be explained by the fact that the nature of biological experimentation has now broadened to include computer-based or “in-silico” experiments (Bloom 2001). Biology educators, like research biologists, must learn the new language of biology and embrace a new tool for biological research.

Publication Title

Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching

Volume

31

Issue

2

First Page

175

Last Page

204

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