Taking University Science Education Online

Taking University Science Education Online

Kevin F. Downing (DePaul University, USA) and Jennifer K. Holtz (DePaul University, USA)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-986-1.ch004
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Abstract

While distance education in various forms has existed for many years, the exponential growth of computer-based, especially web-based, education has presented a challenge for instructors who learned to operate in a traditional classroom environment. Not only must they design engaging, effective learning modules with authentic assessments, promote interaction and gauge understanding throughout the term, they must now do so without being able to see their students and without the students’ ability to participate in typical classroom activities (Edelson, 2001). This is especially problematic for subject areas such as science and mathematics, where demonstration and experiential activities are essential. Despite these complexities, there is tremendous potential for effective, engaging science instruction through distance learning, but also a pronounced, crippling disconnect between the technology being used in other disciplines—computer modeling, for example—and instructional design. Online faculty and instructional designers typically do not collaborate with computer science colleagues who have the equipment required to design sophisticated learning modules. Such sophisticated modules would move beyond the context and resource focused modules that are common—and acceptable, while not ideal, for citizen science-level learning—to those that provide tools and scaffolds that meet the needs of all science learners. A wide range of relevant technologies exist, including games, simulations, modeling, virtual instrumentation and animation (Elgamal, Fraser & McMartin, 2005; Kin, 2004; Young-Suk, 2004). This chapter presents original research that investigates current uses of these web-based instructional technologies.

Complete Chapter List

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Dedication
Kevin Downing, Jennifer Holtz
Table of Contents
Foreword
W. Franklin Spikes
Preface
Kevin Downing
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1
Kevin F. Downing, Jennifer K. Holtz
In this chapter, we provide an overview of the state of global science capacity and online science education initiatives designed to increase that... Sample PDF
Online Science: Its Role in Fostering Global Scientific Capital
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Chapter 2
Kevin F. Downing, Jennifer K. Holtz
The practical application of theory, or praxis, in science education is arguably less straightforward today than it has been in preceding... Sample PDF
Controversies and Concurrence in Science Education
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Chapter 3
Virtual School Science  (pages 30-48)
Kevin F. Downing, Jennifer K. Holtz
In this chapter, we examine the character and extent of science learning at virtual schools and explore the current deliberations concerning the... Sample PDF
Virtual School Science
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Chapter 4
Kevin F. Downing, Jennifer K. Holtz
While distance education in various forms has existed for many years, the exponential growth of computer-based, especially web-based, education has... Sample PDF
Taking University Science Education Online
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Chapter 5
Kevin F. Downing, Jennifer K. Holtz
There are many educational strategies to achieve learning objectives to prepare students to adapt and survive more effectively in life. Many of... Sample PDF
The Role of Practical Work in Online Science
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Chapter 6
Kevin F. Downing, Jennifer K. Holtz
Technological innovations in the area of digital media have opened up the possibility for a great number of inventive ways to share and transfer... Sample PDF
Knowledge Transfer and Collaboration Structures for Online Science
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Chapter 7
Kevin F. Downing, Jennifer K. Holtz
Distance learning modalities in the natural sciences range from simple notes and discussion online (e.g., PowerPoint and asynchronous discussion... Sample PDF
Online Science: Contemporary Approaches to Practical Work
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Chapter 8
Kevin F. Downing, Jennifer K. Holtz
The evolution of online education will continue to be coupled to and constrained by innovations in Communication and Information Technologies (CIT).... Sample PDF
The Cutting Edge: Promising Technologies and Strategies for Online Science Education
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Chapter 9
Kevin F. Downing, Jennifer K. Holtz
Assessment of student learning is integral to design of curricular experiences, a reality which is often purported to be more complex in online... Sample PDF
Assessing Science Competence Achieved at a Distance
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Chapter 10
Kevin F. Downing, Jennifer K. Holtz
Our focus in this chapter is to present a more discipline-centered review of representative and sound practices published examples from math and the... Sample PDF
Online Mathematics and Physical Science (Mathematics, Astronomy, Chemistry and Physics)
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Chapter 11
Online Geoscience  (pages 242-264)
Kevin F. Downing, Jennifer K. Holtz
Complimenting the geoscience examples reviewed in the Online Science Strategies section of this book, our focus in Chapter 11 is to present a more... Sample PDF
Online Geoscience
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Chapter 12
Online Life Sciences  (pages 265-289)
Kevin F. Downing, Jennifer K. Holtz
In some ways, the life sciences have surpassed other fields in adoption of instructional technologies, although coverage is by no means uniform. In... Sample PDF
Online Life Sciences
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Chapter 13
Kevin F. Downing, Jennifer K. Holtz
In our final chapter, we present a didactic model for online science instruction based upon best practices in both science education and online... Sample PDF
A Didactic Model for the Development of Effective Online Science Courses
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About the Authors