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Appears in:
Page: 3327
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain

BEYOND THE LECTURES: APPLYING A HYBRID METHOD TO TEACH EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

F. Molina

University of Extremadura (SPAIN)
Quoting the Nobel Prize winner F. Jacob: “there are many generalizations in biology, but precious few theories. Among these, the theory of evolution is by far the most important ... ; it unites all the disciplines concerned with living beings, …; in short, it provides a causal explanation of the living world and its heterogeneity”. Thus, the very nature of evolutionary biology might explain why the result of the teaching of evolutionary theories is not generally positive [1, 2]. However the tendency is to continue teaching as we were taught. The traditional teaching style is focused on the instructor and solely the teacher determines what is to be taught. Furthermore, many evolutionary concepts are often just taught but rarely learned. On the other hand, the rise of Google and Wikipedia has changed the teaching techniques but favors the copy-paste culture and a false sense of wisdom. Here a hybrid system; which comprises traditional lectures, virtual learning, computer simulations and cooperative learning techniques, is devised for undergraduate students. The main goals of this system are: 1) set the foundation of critical thinking required to discuss evolutionary theories, 2) reinforce the “elusive” abstract thinking, and 3) provide flexibility for responding to student’s schedules and interests. Briefly, the proposed distribution of resources is as follows:
1) Lectures on microevolutionary mechanisms and Hardy-Weinberg theory. Although rather abstract, and therefore difficult to comprehend by the students, these concepts constitute the core of the evolutionary thinking and somewhat the starting point before the students can learn autonomously.
2) Virtual resources, which include a wiki and a forum, intended to provide flexibility to the topics chosen. The students must choose the topic from a list but they can also provide new topics. Besides the lecture slides are uploaded to the platform but not the lectures notes so that the students are assigned to write cooperatively a manual.
3) Computer-assisted Problem Based Learning: students are encouraged to make answers rather than just find them.
4) Computer-assisted Case Based Learning: to stimulate significant learning, computer simulations are used to establish and test alternative hypothesis.

References:
[1] Aleixandre, M. P. J. (2007). Teaching evolution and natural selection: a look at textbooks and teachers. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 31(5), 519-535. doi:10.1002/tea.3660310507
[2] Passmore, C., & Stewart, J. (2002). A modeling approach to teaching evolutionary biology in high schools. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39(3), 185-204. doi:10.1002/tea.10020
@InProceedings{MOLINA2011BEY,
author = {Molina, F.},
title = {BEYOND THE LECTURES: APPLYING A HYBRID METHOD TO TEACH EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY},
series = {3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN11 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-0441-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {3327}}
TY - CONF
AU - F. Molina
TI - BEYOND THE LECTURES: APPLYING A HYBRID METHOD TO TEACH EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY
SN - 978-84-615-0441-1/2340-1117
PY - 2011
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2011
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN11 Proceedings
SP - 3327
EP - 3327
ER -
F. Molina (2011) BEYOND THE LECTURES: APPLYING A HYBRID METHOD TO TEACH EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, EDULEARN11 Proceedings, p. 3327.
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