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From Scientific Inquiry to Global Applications- Development of a Two-course Sequence in Integrative Sciences. Amy Jessen-Marshall Chair- Integrative Studies Program, Assoc. Prof of Life Sciences Wendy Sherman Heckler Assoc. Prof of Education Lisa Marr Asst. Prof of Life Sciences.

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slide1
From Scientific Inquiry to Global Applications- Development of a Two-course Sequence in Integrative Sciences

Amy Jessen-Marshall

Chair- Integrative Studies Program, Assoc. Prof of Life Sciences

Wendy Sherman Heckler

Assoc. Prof of Education

Lisa Marr

Asst. Prof of Life Sciences

overview
Overview:
  • Otterbein (Who are we?)
  • Integrative Studies Program: Sciences
  • Role of AAC&U- Shared Futures for Global Learning and LEAP
  • Process of designing a development model in the sciences
  • Models for curricular design implementation and assessment.
  • Examples of courses and learning objectives
  • Recommend strategies for implementation on campuses
    • Professional Learning Communities as a model for faculty and curriculum development
  • Where we are today and where we are going
    • New Mission: Goals and Learning Outcomes
slide3
Comprehensive Liberal Arts college
  • Westerville Ohio
  • Traditional Undergraduate population of approximately 2400.
  • Graduate and Continuing studies approximately 800.
slide4

Integrative Studies is:

  • The core curriculum of liberal learning at Otterbein.
  • Ten courses spread across all four years, conceived sequentially
  • Two required Integrative Studies Science Courses
  • Make integrative connections across disciplines, helping to engage complex problems with interdisciplinary knowledge.
topics for discussion
Topics for discussion:
  • It is increasingly important in today’s global society for all students, including non-science majors, to become scientifically literate and understand the processes and limitations of science and the role of science in a global context.
  • What models for course design are most successful in developing scientific literacy for non-science majors?
  • What themes or content areas are most important to develop scientifically literate global citizens?
first questions
First questions:
  • Is science literacy important for all students?
  • Why?
  • Educated society
  • Consumer issues
      • (quantitative literacy)
  • Journalism/news
      • (Critical evaluation)
  • Voters
      • (Support for science in politics)
      • (NSF funding)
  • Jury of peers
  • Science is COOL!
otterbein s is science curriculum
Otterbein’s IS Science Curriculum:

The Science Division at Otterbein decided to reform

our non-majors science curriculum within our

general education program (Integrative studies) (2004)

We noticed a dichotomy in how we taught science.

Department mission for Life Science:

  • Focus on scientific method.
  • Engage student in the process of science through active inquiry.
  • Create a community of scientists.
  • Create scientifically literate citizens.

Why aren’t we applying this to all students?

Why just our majors?

where we started
Where we started:

Specific goals for new Integrative Studies science courses:

Shared with Majors courses:

  • Focus on scientific method.
  • Engage student in the process of science through active inquiry.
  • Create a community of scientists.
  • Create scientifically literate citizens.

Unique to Integrative Studies courses:

  • Reduce anxiety
  • Focus on science as a “way of knowing” (Mode of inquiry)
  • Team teach courses with an interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary

focus.

  • Engage students to consider the role of science in global context.
is science too hard
Is science too hard?

Rosalind Franklin

Watson and Crick: Structure of DNA

Not meant to be pedantic statement.

(Common complaint of IS science courses

and premise of Emeriti chemistry professor)

slide12

But is it unlearnable and should we give up?

What do we know?

Students have anxiety/avoidance/phobia about science,particularly concerning math.

Sheila Tobias has written since the 1980s about the impact of Math anxiety on students perceptions of science.

Educators in physics have studied anxiety related to this discipline and found math phobia a major indicator.

slide13

2. Students bring misperceptions about science

  • into the classroom.
  • Students tend to approach science as a fact based field that needs

to be memorized, and the language is too foreign.

Content, not process is stressed.

slide14

Students tend to bring information from earlier

experiences into the classroom, that is very difficult to “unlearn.” This sets up blocks to accepting different information.

Example: Evolution is defined as “Survival of the Fittest”

The strongest, and fastest survive.

True or False?

slide15

False.

Evolution is gradual change over time.

The mechanism of evolution is Natural Selection.

Natural selection shows that those individuals

most capable of leaving offspring are the most

“reproductively fit.” Not necessarily the strongest

or fastest.

slide16

3. Students bring different skills and histories to the classroom.

In Cross and Steadman’s “Classroom Research,”

a discussion about students prerequisite knowledge and learning

strategies points out that students may be quite successful

in one discipline, yet not have the skills to cross that divide

into a different discipline.

slide17

This raises the very important point, that it is not that general concepts in Science are “Harder” than other subjects, it’s that science is “Different” than other subjects.

  • Students may not have the skill set, or the mindset to see
  • that difference.
  • They get trapped in memorization of unrelated facts.
  • They fear the use of math.
  • They set themselves up for frustration.
slide19

Goals of new science courses:

Introduce science into the Integrative studies curriculum earlier. (Move one required course to the sophomore year.)

Rationale: Reduce science anxiety by modeling that science is not

so “Hard” that a student can’t handle learning college science until

their upper level years.

2. Introduce inquiry based labs into each course.

Rationale: To refocus student learning from fact based science to

the METHODS of science focusing on the principles of scientific

Inquiry.

slide20

3. Team teach courses with faculty from different scientific disciplines.

Rationale: Model how the scientific disciplines approach

related problems from different perspectives and with different

techniques. We want our students to discover that science method is

universal, and that scientific theories are even stronger when

evidence is available from several fields of study.

slide21

Key point:

  • Non-majors won’t have the opportunity to experience multiple fields
  • of science if we are using Introductory Majors courses as the way to
  • fulfill science requirements.
  • Students end up with a small sampling of content in one
  • field, where the level of content is designed for majors.
  • Interdisciplinary courses-
    • Model how the scientific disciplines approach
  • related problems from different perspectives and with different
  • techniques.
    • Science methods are universal
    • Scientific theories are even stronger when evidence is available
  • from several fields of study.
slide22

Courses offered to date:

  • Origins (Paleontology/ Molecular Biology)
  • The Atom (Chemistry/ Physics)
  • Why sex? (Ecology/ Molecular Biology)
  • Exobiology (Physics/ Microbiology)
  • Water (Ecology/ Chemistry)
  • Faculty driven topics-
    • Content is not the driving goal!
slide24

One of our main focuses has been impact on science anxiety.

  • A series of statistical comparisons were made to assess levels of
  • pre-existing Science anxiety in the populations, and to correlate
  • variables related to anxiety.
  • Of the students who responded,
  • 157 reported some level of science anxiety
  • 170 reported no significant anxiety
slide25

Variables considered to determine the underlying

factors that correlate with anxiety.

1. Current GPA

2. Year in College

3. Major (grouped by Academic Division)

4. Previous High School experience in science courses.

5. Gender

gender compared to science anxiety
Gender compared to Science Anxiety

P-value: 0.0001

Statistically significant correlation reported

Udo, M., Ramsey, G., Mallow, J., (2004) “Science Anxiety and Gender in Students

Taking General Education Science Courses”. Journal of Science Education & Technology,

Vol. 13 Issue 4, p435-446

slide27

But did the students actually

learn more about scientific method?

slide29

What have we learned?

Gender is a strong predictor of science anxiety, and is closely

tied to experience in High School science.

Anxiety is difficult to alleviate, as evidenced by both versions

of our non-majors science courses.

2. The majority of students regardless of science background,

see the value of learning about science in today’s society, and

understand that participating in labs is a major part of learning.

3. Focusing on science method and modeling its use

through labs and team teaching does result in

statistically significant improvement in the ability

to define the process of science method.

4. Team teaching is difficult to assess, although overall it has been

reported as positive. Individual courses are more or less successful.

small correlation that women are more critical of team teaching.

All classes are effective at increasing student awareness and

interest in science related current events.

slide30

Where do we go from here?

Focus on upper level courses!

Three years ago- Otterbein selected by

American Association of Colleges and Universities

to be one of sixteen schools in a joint project:

“Shared Futures: General Education and Global Learning.”

Piloting courses throughout our INST Core curriculum

focused on Global Learning. (Not just science)

two inst science courses developmental model
Two INST Science Courses: Developmental Model

Lower level course: Fundamentals of scientific inquiry…

Upper level course: The main theme of this course is to show how science and scientific data are foundational to society, through the exploration of a current global issue. The course will explore how science is applied to the issue, and how other influences also impact the issue.

inst upper level courses with a global focus
INST upper level courseswith a global focus

Definitions and Learning Objectives

Initially adopted AACU’s definition from Diversity Digest:

“To produce global thinkers - students who reach beyond the classroom to apply their developing analytical skills and ethical judgment to concrete challenges in the world around them.”

inst upper level courses with a global focus1
INST upper level courseswith a global focus
  • Interested science faculty interested in developing a pilot class formed a Professional Learning Community (PLC).
  • Nine faculty, Four Departments

(Life and Earth Science, Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Education-Science Ed)

  • Goals:
      • Definitions of Global Learning
      • Common Learning Objectives
      • Curriculum Implementation and Assessment
  • Met biweekly throughout the academic year 07-08.
  • Shared our ideas / efforts / syllabi / activities
  • Presented: Common Hour, Center for Teaching and Learning, e-portfolios
inst upper level courses with a global focus2
INST upper level courseswith a global focus

Definitions and Learning Objectives

Current Working Definition:

“To foster student understanding and appreciation of science and its cultural significance. To empower students to develop and apply scientific and analytical skills both in further understanding of themselves and human nature and in an ethical context towards solving global, national and local problems.”

inst upper level courses with a global focus definitions and learning objectives
INST upper level courseswith a global focusDefinitions and Learning Objectives
  • Common “Global” Objectives :
  • Understanding of
    • data as the foundation of course topic
    • the active building of scientific body of knowledge: new advances, future challenges
    • how the issue differently affects parts of the world
    • how cultures react to the global issue differently
    • how student decisions/actions impact the issue (locally and globally)
    • ethical considerations
we chose a global issue as the focus of each course
We chose a global issueas the focus of each course
  • Each professor free to choose own issue.
  • Each course will apply scientific principles to an issue facing the world today.
  • Each course will also explore how other non-scientific influences also impact the issue.
global issues
Global Issues?
  • Share your ideas of possible topics
global focus courses offered to date
Global Focus Courses offered to date:
  • INST 350: Biological Sciences-Plagues and Pandemics
    • Course is in its 5th offering this quarter
  • INST 400: Earth Science & Society- Coral Reef Resources
    • Course is in its 3rd offering this quarter
  • INST400: Earth Science & Society-Energy Resources
    • Course will be offered for the 2nd time winter quarter
  • In development: INST 360: Energy and Society
  • Others ?
course example 1 inst400 earth science and society coral reefs
Course Example 1 :INST400: Earth Science and Society –Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are at the same time one of the most beautiful and one of the most endangered biomes on earth. They have historically provided food, shelter, and other resources for people, yet they are now facing world wide decline. This course examines reef issues from the vantage points of different countries and regions.

This course explores the science of coral reefs, including the physical (oceanography, mineralization) and biological (diversity, community ecology) aspects. Then we apply this scientific understanding to learn about the value of reefs, the current challenges facing reefs, and the potential actions we could take to conserve reefs.

course example 1 specific objectives from the syllabus
Course Example 1 : Specific objectives from the syllabus

To understand/ learn about…

  • the science behind coral reefs and that several different fields contribute to that science.
  • the services provided by reefs and the current trends in coral reef health.
  • how reef issues affect various regions of the world differently.
  • a specific country in depth and complete assignments about that country and its reefs.
  • how one’s own actions have impacts on this

global biome.

course example 2 inst350 biological sciences plagues and pestilence
Course Example 2 :INST350: Biological Sciences- Plagues and Pestilence

This course is focused on the global nature of infectious diseases. Discovering how plagues and pandemics, both historical and emerging, impact human health and play a role in shaping societies is an important piece of understanding your role as a global citizen. Infectious diseases do not recognize state or national boundaries. The interconnected relationship among microbiology, virology, medicine, epidemiology, sociology, economics, politics and history provide a framework for making decisions in today’s world. This course will engage you in issues that affect your personal health, the health of your community and the health of people across the planet.

course example 2 specific objectives from the syllabus
Course Example 2 : Specific objectives from the syllabus

By the time you complete this course you should be able to:

  • Identify and describe what types of microbes are considered pathogens.
  • Describe historical plagues and pandemics that shaped civilizations.
  • Identify key advances in medicine and technology that contain or prevent pandemics.
  • Describe newly emerging and reemerging infectious agents that influence current societies.
  • Compare historical events to current events and draw inferences for future pandemic risks.
  • Identify current challenges in human health care and treatment of infectious disease that impact future pandemic risks.
  • Consider how society and culture recognize and respond to pandemic threat, based on societal practices and resource availability.
  • Reflect on how your major and other courses integrate into these topics and what role you play in human health, personally and as a global citizen.
surprising insights
Surprising Insights…
  • Some students don’t know what are countries.
    • Chosen countries included: Africa, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Guam, Virgin Islands, and the Caribbean.
  • Many students don’t know global geography.
    • Chose to study coral reefs in Germany, Japan and other countries without reefs or even land-bound.
  • Many students have a distorted view of US and world
    • Some students think 25%-50% of US Budget goes to foreign aid
    • Most students think the US pop is 15-20% of global pop

(range 5-33%)

coral reef course interactive exercises
Coral Reef Course:Interactive Exercises
  • Country project (handout)

Application of material to a new setting

Global Perspectives

Research, oral presentation, and writing skills

    • Each student gives five 1 min presentations on country chosen: country intro, organisms, uses of reef, reef health, country’s policies + plans re reef
  • Bingo exercises: invertebrates, fish, countries, human use of reef resources uses (8 am class: first 6 to bingo get donuts)
plagues and pestilence interactive exercises
Plagues and Pestilence: Interactive Exercises
  • Jig Saws (sample in handout)
  • Rationing vaccines + meds during an epidemic/pandemic: ethical considerations
  • Epidemiology: figure out patient zero
  • Characteristics of the perfect pathogen for bio-warfare
  • Selection pressure lab: Colored M+Ms (prey) and silverware (predators)
    • still trying to design simple pathogen/host lab
writing in the plagues and pestilence course
Writing In the Plagues and Pestilence Course
  • Initial Reflection Essay: Background knowledge of and personal experience with infectious diseases.
  • Historical ID Paper: Each student chooses a book to read: Barry’s Great Influenza or Fenn’s Pox Americana
  • Emerging Disease: Each student chooses a disease --factors affecting emergence: land use, climate change, human travel, cultural activities, pathogen details
  • Position Paper:Avian Flu – should we devote resources now to prevent excess deaths in the future, or is the risk of an avian pandemic too distant?
  • Final Reflection Essay:Effect of course on student’s perspective, life, etc…
use of dvds to aid in global learning
Use of DVDs to aid in Global Learning
  • In order for students to experience other cultures – to go places, see things, and learn more about the diseases within the context of the communities.
  • In addition, some historical events/ case studies are less dry (more alive) when seen on the screen as opposed to read in a book.
dvds seen in coral reefs class
DVDs seen in Coral Reefs Class
  • Grouper Moon (grouper over fishing),
  • Silent Sentinels (global warming and reefs)
  • Stewards of the Reef (sharks and shark finning /fishing)
  • Blast fishing (film by anthropologist re dynamite fishing )
    • FYI: dynamite in water kills fish but also destroys coral structure. 
  • Marine Debris:  the stuff that washes up on remote atoll, dissect bird guts and see all the netting and plastic. 
dvds seen in plagues and pestilence
DVDS seen in Plagues and Pestilence
  • Rx for Survival, by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Pandemic Facing AIDS : 5 individuals’
  • stories with HIV in 5 different countries
  • Influenza 1918
  • The Plague
  • Typhoid Mary
  • Ebola Hunters
  • Avian Flu
  • Malaria Fever Wars
student comments on dvds
Student comments on DVDS
  • “I think that as a white, middle class American it is very easy to separate people living in other countries from myself, to ‘other’ them, to dissimilate our coexistence entirely, particularly when you only hear about them. Statistics, numbers, graphs: these things do not adequately describe human suffering the way the Farmer’s novel and images do. The AIDS video in particular struck me, because the people in it were not so unlike me…”
  • “Seeing how other people’s lives were devastated by disease caused me to feel a sense of connection with them on a very fundamentally human level.”
  • “As a student, I appreciated the world perspective ….to watch first hand accounts from people who live or treat infectious diseases daily in different countries.”
several specific case examples
Several specific case examples
  • Reefs:Tuvulu Atoll--Global warming raising sea level, crops failing, citizens ultimately will have to leave, but are not “Refugees" as no war involved.
  • Reefs:Shark fins-- increased market due to increased affluence, but as shark reproduction similar to seals, population being decimated (soup-weddings, fins dried)
several specific case examples1
Several specific case examples
  • Plagues:1991 Outbreak of Cholera in Peru traced to Chinese Ship emptying of bilge water off coast ….Ship brought cholera-laden plankton from China
  • Plagues:teeth from several mass grave sites provide DNA to identify Yersinia pestis in all 3 pandemics was the same strain
    • Reference: Drancourt et al. Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol.13, No.2, Feb 2007 (332-333)
  • Plagues:experiment in Uganda on HIV transmission to hetrosexual partners….volunteers weren’t told HIV status
    • Reference: Paul Farmer’s Pathologies of Power
student feedback plagues
Student feedback: Plagues

“After this class, I am much more informed on the understanding of how new discoveries are made in the field of sciences. Even though it sounds strange and a bit naive, I always had the thought that scientists knew everything and could figure everything out if not the first time around, then definitely the second. However, I now know that there is a lot of trial and error that goes into new discoveries, and that there is a lot science can not answer.”

more student feedback
& More Student feedback:

“I really enjoyed the class. I thought it was pleasantly different than anything else I had taken at Otterbein. It really broadened my view of the world and made me feel privileged for my education and

environment. I would recommend the class to anyone at Otterbein.”

more student feedback1
& More Student feedback:

“I knew there were viruses and bacteria, but I had no idea what the difference was between the two, I also didn’t understand prions and parasites…Not only did we learn about these pathogens, but we learned about how they reproduced, how our body responds, how antibodies are created (and how they work), and pathogens’ hosts, reservoirs, and vectors. Before this class I had not even heard of those terms. Now, I can explain how the whole process works….”

more student feedback2
& More Student feedback:

“I think we learned just as much about infectious diseases and the healthcare systems of other nations as we did about the US. I think having this global focus was very beneficial because the majority of the time, we are concerned only with our lives, which means our nation.”

more student feedback3
& More Student feedback:

“I adored this class. I felt that it has been the most effective INST class I have taken. I feel it achieved its main goals by causing us to think critically about issues outside ourselves while helping us to think of ourselves as ‘world citizens’. This class was incredibly effective in connecting ‘me’ to ‘them’ and allowing me to realize that as an educated global citizen I have a responsibility to be informed, pay attention, care, and take action. This is the first class that has caused a personal change of view in my life. The class, and others like it, are what the INST program should really be about and are definitely valuable assets that the college needs to pursue further. I am thrilled, as a senior, that I was able to have this experience before graduating”

more student feedback4
& More Student feedback:

“I used to pay little or no attention to epidemics and such occurring in other parts of the world. I simply saw it as ‘their’ problem and felt, because I lived in the US, that I had nothing to worry about. However, after taking this course, I have come to realize that there is nothing ‘us’ or ‘them’ about infectious diseases”

more student feedback5
& More Student feedback:

“It was a pleasant surprise for me to be able, in this class, to learn about science through a variety of other subjects (history, economics, etc. ) because it made the concepts easier for me to comprehend. I surprised myself when I learned that by understanding the basics of biology I was able to understand ideas and processes that originally seemed complicated and intimidating.”

how to assess inst goals
How to Assess INST Goals?

INST goals: Understanding of…

  • data as a foundation of the course topic (societal issue or problem)
  • the active building of a scientific body of knowledge: new advances, future challenges
  • how a global issue affects different parts of the world differently
  • how different cultures react to the global issue in different ways
  • how student decisions/actions (in the role of scientist or citizen) impact the issue
  • ethical considerations
slide63

Preliminary understanding 1:

Nature of scientific practice and knowledge

  • Science is an active and contemporary practice; while it encompasses more-or-less stable ideas, science is not a collection of dead facts. There is no one definitive scientific method, but scientists tend to solve problems in systematic ways and operate under shared beliefs about the ways in which the natural world operates.
slide64

Preliminary understanding 2:

Relationship between science, society, and technology

  • There is a relationship between science as a human practice, and the larger society. On the one hand, this implies that the people who practice science are influenced by and influence the society in which they live. There is a practical relationship in the sense that society at large helps determine what scientific research questions get asked and funded, and how results get applied. In the broadest sense, the relationship between science and society can be described as: the natural world constrains society, and understanding the natural world (the broad goal of science) gives us more possible directions for human society (through technology).
slide65

Preliminary understanding 3:

Application and limitations of science to address societal issues and problems

There is a relationship between science and societal problems and issues. Science can be a powerful means of explaining and predicting natural phenomena. However, natural phenomena are typically only one aspect of a societal problem or issue, and so solutions often require that scientific understandings are integrated with other kinds of human knowledge.

slide66

Preliminary understanding 4:

Relationship between science and global society

  • Many contemporary societal issues and problems are global in scope. This means that many human actions need to be understood beyond their local implications; decisions made one place impact and are impacted by decisions made in many other parts of the world. In another sense, the global scope of societal issues and problems means that scientific knowledge meant to inform solutions to issues and problems may get integrated with other kinds of knowledge differently in different parts of the world.
how to assess inst goals1
How to Assess INST Goals?

INST Goals

  • Understanding data as a foundation of the course topic (a societal issue or problem)
  • Understanding of the active building of a scientific body of knowledge: new advances, future challenges
  • Understanding of how a global issue affects different parts of the world differently
  • Understanding of how different cultures react to the global issue in different ways
  • Understanding of how student decisions/actions (in the role of scientist or citizen) impact the issue
  • Understanding of ethical considerations

Preliminary Understandings

3. Application and limitations of science to address societal issues and problems

1. Nature of scientific practice and knowledge

4. Relationship between science and global society

4. Relationship between science and global society

2. Relationship between science, society, and technology

2. Relationship between science, society, and technology &

3. Application and limitations of science to address societal issues and problems

science course assessment
Science Course Assessment
  • Views on Science-Technology-Society (VOSTS) assessment (Aikenhead & Ryan, 1992): Pool of 114 multiple-choice items addressing
    • Students’ conceptions of the nature of scientific knowledge and practice
    • Students’ acceptance of sociological descriptions of scientific practice
    • Students’ ideas about the interrelatedness of science, technology and society
slide69

VOSTS

  • Definitions
    • Science
    • Technology
  • External Sociology of Science
    • Influence of Society on Science/Technology
    • Influence of Science/Technology on Society
    • Influence of School Science on Society
  • Internal Sociology of Science
    • Characteristics of Scientists
    • Social Construction of Scientific Knowledge
    • Social Construction of Technology
  • Epistemology
    • Nature of Scientific Knowledge
otterbein survey questions
Otterbein Survey Questions
  • Definitions
    • Science (1)
    • Technology
  • External Sociology of Science
    • Influence of Society on Science/Technology (3, 4)
    • Influence of Science/Technology on Society (7, 8, 9)
    • Influence of School Science on Society
  • Internal Sociology of Science
    • Characteristics of Scientists
    • Social Construction of Scientific Knowledge (5, 6)
    • Social Construction of Technology (10)
  • Epistemology
    • Nature of Scientific Knowledge (2)
slide71

Defining science is difficult because science is complex and does many things. But MAINLY science is…

    • Students in global courses moved toward defining science as a body of knowledge, rather than as a process or societal institution

(41% on pre-survey and 54% on post-survey)

    • Students who confused science and technology (application of science) was small to begin with and did not change (7%)
slide72

When scientists investigate, it is said that they follow the scientific method. The scientific method is:

    • Majority of students defined the scientific method as “questioning, hypothesizing, collecting data and concluding”; trend only increased (59% on pre- and 70% on post)
    • No student (pre- or post-) said that “there is no such thing as the scientific method” (2% of high school students responded this way in the original study)
slide73

A country’s politics affect that country’s scientists. This happens because scientists are very much a part of a country’s society (that is, scientists are not isolated from their society). Your position is:

    • A majority of students said that politics affects scientists, for various reasons (78% pre- and 89% post-); Very few said politics does not influence scientists (8% pre-; 4%-post)
    • Most common reasons chosen for why ‘politics affects science’ was that it would dictate policy and funding, and that politics affects everyone in society generally, including scientists
    • The number of students who said that politics affects scientists because scientists “try to help society” – while small – nearly doubled from pre- to post- (7% to 12%)
slide74

Some cultures have a particular viewpoint on nature and man. Scientists and scientific research are affected by the religious or ethical views of the culture where the work is done. Your position is:

    • The percentage of students who agreed that scientists are affected by religious or ethical views increased from 58% to 82% in the global courses
    • Most students saw the individual (rather than cultural norms) as the most important determinant of how these religious/ethical views would affect scientific research
slide75

Scientists trained in different countries have different ways of looking at a scientific problem. This means that a country’s education system or culture can influence the conclusions which scientists reach. Your position is:

    • Students in the global classes changed their answers from pre- to post- survey: most students disagree to most students agree
    • Students agreeing with this statement (for various reasons) increased pre- to post- from 45% to 62% of global classes
    • Students disagreeing with this statement (or, saying it depends) decreased from 47% to 27% of global classes
slide76

A team of scientists in any part of the world (for example, Italy, China or Nigeria) would investigate the atom in basically the same way as a team of U.S. scientists. Your position is:

    • Most students said that a scientist’s country would affect the way he/she would approach a scientific problem (57% pre- and 68% post-)
    • However, most students said the reason for this would be because of the technology that would be available, not because of any difference in societal norms or values
slide77

Heavy industry has greatly polluted North America. Therefore, it is a responsible decision to move heavy industry to underdeveloped countries where pollution is not so widespread. Your position is:

    • Most students said that moving pollution was not a responsible solution; we should reduce or eliminate our own pollution (45% pre-; 47% post-)
    • The percentage of students who said that industry should not be moved because “these countries have enough problems already” increased from 0% to 9%
    • The percentage of students who said that moving the industry was irrelevant because pollution is global decreased from 26% to 14%
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Science and technology offer a great deal of help in resolving such social problems as pollution and overpopulation. Your position is:

    • Students’ positions on this question changed little from pre- to post- surveys
    • Most students responded with qualified agreement (61% pre-/64% post-)
    • Some students responded with enthusiastic (possibly simplistic) agreement (19% pre-/22% post-)
    • Few students responded with disagreement or outright pessimism (7% pre-/5% post-)
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Science and technology can help people make some moral decisions (that is, one group of people deciding how to act towards another group of people). Your position is:

    • Majority of students felt that scientific and technological knowledge had some role to play in informing moral decisions (58% pre-/64%- post)
    • More than a fifth of the students felt that scientific or technological knowledge had no role in moral decision making (28% pre-/22% post-)
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When a new technology is developed (for example, a better type of fertilizer), it may or may not be put into practice. The decision to use a new technology depends on whether the advantages to society outweigh the disadvantages to society. Your position is:

    • Most students identified a technology’s advantages/ disadvantages with its costs and efficiency (45% pre-/47% post)
    • Small number of students felt that “advantage” and “disadvantage” were relative terms, and this number decreased in the global classes (20% pre- to 7% post-)
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Our VOSTS Conclusions

INST goal: Understanding data as a foundation of the course topic (societal issue or problem)

  • In general, students were optimistic (but not blindly so) about the possibility that science had something to contribute in devising solutions to societal problems
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INST goal: Understanding of the active building of a scientific body of knowledge: new advances, future challenges.

-Students saw science as a body of knowledge rather than a method or societal institution

-Students identified a basic set of practices as ‘the scientific method’

-In general, students did not seem to confuse science with the application of science, although there was some movement toward identifying scientists as “wanting to help society”

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INST goal: Understanding of how a global issue affects different parts of the world differently.

  • Not clear; for example, in the fertilizer question, students seemed to believe that a technology had absolute advantages and disadvantages (relative to costs and efficiency) rather than advantages and disadvantages that could be relative to a society
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INST goal: Understanding of how different cultures react to the global issue in different ways.

-Not clear from the VOSTS assessment; but it does seem to be the case that students recognize that scienceitself is affected by various societal factors; also, the global courses seemed to play some role in developing this understanding.

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INST goal: Understanding of how student decisions/actions (in the role of scientist or citizen) impact the issue.

-Seemed to be more awareness of others’ suffering in the pollution question

-Understanding that one is accountable for one’s own problematic behavior (pollution question) but decrease in pointing out global connectedness

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INST goal: Understanding of ethical considerations.

  • Certainly seemed to understand that scientists may be affected by their individual or cultural ethical standards
new directions for integrative studies
New Directions for Integrative Studies
  • Newly adopted mission:
  • The Integrative Studies program aims to prepare Otterbein
  • undergraduates for the challenges and complexity of a 21st century world.
  • It foregrounds interdisciplinary and integrative skills, competencies,
  • and ways of knowing and is committed to the premise that one’s learning
  • should serve and shape one’s responsibilities in and to the world.
  • Goals and Outcomes based on AAC&U-
  • LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes
  • Assessing Global Learning: Matching Good Intentions with Good Practice
  • Caryn McTighe Musil
goals and learning outcomes
Goals and Learning Outcomes

GOAL ONE: To inspire intellectual curiosity about the world as it is

and a deeper understanding of the global condition.

Outcomes:

Students grasp the significance of past and present global

interconnections and interdependences in the human,

natural and physical worlds.

Students recognize the interactive and dynamic relationship

of global and local issues or problems.

Students understand sustainability as an economic, social and

environmental practice.

Students imagine and explore likely and alternative

global futures.

goals and learning outcomes1
Goals and Learning Outcomes

GOAL TWO: To assist students in cultivating intercultural

knowledge and competencies.

GOAL THREE: To promote active and critical reflection on the

human self and its place in the world.

Outcomes:

Students study the self and the ways in which self is situated in

human, physical and natural worlds.

goals and learning outcomes2
Goals and Learning Outcomes

GOAL FOUR: To challenge students to critically examine their

ethical choices and responsibilities for a global context.

Outcomes:

Students affirm the value of an enlarged ethical responsibility

to other persons, the natural world, and future generations.

Students explore and engage their relationship to the

global public good.

Students explore and engage the larger goals of

human and ecological flourishing.

Students appreciate sustainability as an economic,

social and environmental value.

goals and learning outcomes3
Goals and Learning Outcomes

GOAL FIVE: To encourage purposeful public engagement

and social responsibility.

Outcomes:

Students acquire intellectual and practical skills necessary

for meaningful work and active participation in the local community

and the larger world.

Students explore multiple and evolving forms of civic identification

and belonging, with particular attention to the practice of citizenship

in local, national and global contexts.

Students explore the purpose of responsiveness and value of

action in the face of the pressing problems of the 21st century.

Students come to see themselves as responsible, engaged

and informed persons, capable and willing to act in ways that

will improve or reshape the world.

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Acknowledgments:

Otterbein College Science Division

Department of Life Science

Department of Education

The Integrative Studies Program

Otterbein Center for Teaching and Learning

The McGregor Fund

National Science Foundation Grant # 0536681

AACU Shared Futures FIPSE Grant