MOST RECENT ARTICLES

Brownfield Action Online

Winter 2015 /
Brownfield Action (BA) is a SENCER Model that is a web-based, interactive, three-dimensional digital space and learning simulation in which students form fictitious geotechnical consulting companies and work collectively to explore problems in environmental forensics. Created at Columbia University's Barnard College in conjunction with Columbia's Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, BA has a 12-year history of use at Barnard as a full semester activity in a two-semester Introduction to Environmental Science course. Each year more than 100 non-science majors take BA as an option to satisfy the College's undergraduate science requirement. The pedagogical methods and design of BA are grounded in a substantial research literature focused on the design, use, and effectiveness of games and simulation in education (Bower et al. 2011). The variety of ways in which the BA simulation is used at Barnard and nine other educational institutions in the United States is described in Bower et al. (2014).
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Flipping an Introductory Science Course Using Emerging Technologies

Winter 2015 /
Today's faculty members have tools available that enhance the learning experience of modern digital learners. Emerging technologies and innovative teaching practices update the STEM education learning process and facilitate student retention. In today's hybridized educational world, the classroom stretches far beyond the traditional four walls, and students should be producers of content, rather than merely passive acceptors of information. This article explains how several emerging technologies were implemented and tested in a General Education marine science course for non-majors, describes the role of technologies in "flipping" the classroom, and summarizes student feedback on the learning experience.
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CCSS NGSS Pilot for Library Summer Reading Club: Informal K-8 STEM Learning as a Bridge for Formal Scholastic Learning

Winter 2015 /
The applied research pilot project of this report seeks to advance K-8 STEM learning by bridging in-school, scholastic learning sessions with informal, out-of-school, summertime learning at public libraries. Professional library programming for children and families around reading and learning is already an integral component of meeting community needs, especially during the summer months when skills can be lost.
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Life in and Around the Chicago River

Winter 2015 /
By the year 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) aims to make the Chicago River an area designated for primary contact recreational use, where people can swim in the water without being harmed by waterborne pathogens from raw sewage contamination (EPA 2011). In recent years, recreational use of the Chicago River has been increasing. Currently only three of the Chicagoland area's water reclamation plants disinfect their wastewater (Oh 2012). The focus of this research project was to determine the coliform count and identify the bacteria within the Chicago River. This mission was performed by undergraduate students enrolled in a microbiology research course centered on project-based learning (PBL) at Harold Washington College (HWC).
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The Northern Forest Canoe Trail Course

Winter 2015 /
It is commonly assumed that "distance learning," or education that is asynchronous and non-residential, involves a substitution of the on-line version of traditional pedagogies—lectures, assignments, discussions, etc.—for live, in-class experiences, often at the cost of student engagement in the social and experiential aspects of learning. However, new technology can also allow faculty to design independent, unscripted, and embodied learning experiences that deepen students' engagement with their own learning. The innovative course described below used simple and widely available technological tools to empower students to become self-directed learners while contributing to the body of public knowledge about an important environmental resource.

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