Hoatlin:New Model for Graduate Science Education

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  • The class website containing participants, materials, discussion, student web pages, class format and discussion can be found at the following link: BMCB625
  • Slides from a 10 min talk to the graduate council in pdf format

Notes on OWW/New Class Format

Postdoctoral fellows, and several faculty members of the Biochemistry Department and CROET participated in specific topic areas presented by the students in the class.

What is innovative about this class format?

  • (note: list is in progress and not in any order)
  • Students receive feedback from peers, science faculty, and faculty mentors expert in communication/presentation
  • Each student has a chance to: lead the class, formally evaluate peers, present main topic and background
  • Two chances were given for each student to perform each role to reinforce lessons and demonstrate improvement
  • Papers, references, bonus materials and student slides presentations are posted on class wiki as a lasting reference
  • Democratic and cumulative contributions to the class wiki
  • Students enjoyed competing to find and post the best bonus materials for the topic
  • Any deficiencies identified in student presentations were corrected by the students and posted on wiki
  • Papers covered were very recent so that students and faculty were both learning together, enhancing student “ownership” over the material
  • Topics had a theme so that each session typically built on previous knowledge
  • Format included informal class discussion before the formal presentations
  • Students were videotaped during their final presentation; viewed tapes to get perspective on their presenting styles
  • Each student had to prepare and contribute to the class website before the class met. This preparation enhanced participation in the class
  • Students had control over major aspects of the class content and web site
  • Instructors can easily monitor the class web site, quantify and track each student’s contribution and revert content if necessary
  • Students had to work together ad hoc to reduce work-load, and to coordinate the presentations of background and main topic
  • Students and teachers in other locations world wide observed the OHSU class via the Web
  • Individual student and faculty contributions can be tracked and quantified on the class wiki documenting effort for grading (students) and (faculty) promotion & tenure.
  • The excellent OWW course template makes the class very easy to develop and organize
  • Other courses running on OWW contain stimulating examples of new ideas and teaching tools specific for science education
  • It would be possible to invite and engage the authors of selected topics or journal articles directly in discussion points

The Stated Goals of the Class

  • Encourage students to seize every available resource for sifting and apprehending scientific matter (e.g., Nature podcasts, social bookmarking, RSS feeds, faculty, each other)
  • Develop an appreciation for the molecular machines that duplicate nucleic acids
  • Become familiar with collaborative web-based tools (OWW and wiki)
  • Create ambassadors for open science
  • Improve presentation skills, both in form and scientific content
  • Engage in active group-based learning
  • Gain leadership and organizational experience
  • Build a shared web resource for information obtained in the class
  • A detailed description of the class format can be found by clicking on the following link: