FROM PROTOCOL TO INQUIRY: BLENDED LEARNING FOR WORKFORCE EDUCATION IN BIOTECHNOLOGY
1 West Virginia University (UNITED STATES)
2 Charles University (CZECH REPUBLIC)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:This virtual presentation summarizes the instructional and research activities of two science educators who have been incorporating biotechnology inquiry activities into classroom science teaching and learning on two continents. The perspective that connects these efforts is commitment to inquiry-based teaching and learning and the desire to effectively prepare students for employment in biotechnology-related fields.
The perspective that science learning is most effective when it is based on student inquiry has had great influence on practitioners’ reform efforts in both the USA and in Europe. For cognitive and learning scientists inquiry consists of exploring a domain by searching for data by designing experiments, evaluating outcome data and reasoning about what may have brought these data about so as to fit the results with prior theories or to build new understandings. In the first part of the presentation we will illustrate how learners with diverse abilities and experiences can engage in inquiry at a variety of levels. Next we will illustrate how two professors on different sides of the Atlantic used different levels of inquiry in different processes of biotechnology teaching and learning. In addition to providing details on the pedagogical implementation of inquiry learning in biotechnology, the presenters will also illustrate how they used software tools and virtual laboratories combined with hands-on learning. The authors describe their own instructional design decisions towards effective innovation in science learning in the domain of biotechnology. In specific we will elaborate on the experimental design and investigation opportunities that existing software tools support and discuss the blended learning opportunities practitioners are able to create for different processes of biotechnology laboratory learning. Additionally, we will summarize our own research data on students’ understanding of these processes as they prepare for employment in biotechnology fields.
Keywords: Inquiry-learning, ISBE, biotechnology.