A photo of a lego car built by a student in the Invention by Design course, as part of an online lab.
Laboratory experiments are often considered the defining characteristic of science courses. Engaging CDL students in active scientific experimentation as part of their distance learning coursework not only fosters scientific cognition, but provides evidence for the effectiveness of the design and delivery of online science courses that include a lab component.
Exploring how experimentation can be integrated with content in distance learning courses for non-science majors, a research team comprised of CDL faculty and instructional design staff is currently analyzing selected activities from three online science courses that have been developed by an interdisciplinary team at the center.
Each of these courses – Invention by Design , Contemporary Environmental Issues, and Energy: the Issues and the Science – are designed to promote scientific literacy and provide students with direct, hands-on experiences with science, all while using an online delivery platform.
In Discovering Math Across Generations, students learn by teaching. Hands-on activities like active game playing, practical problem solving, and fun math experiments engage students in expanding their mathematical knowledge as they teach math concepts to a child. A student-centered approach facilitates the understanding and application of topics in algebra, geometry, number sense, estimation, logical thinking, probability and statistics as the student works with other family members and children.
Activities with the Math Exploration Partner (MEP) are divided according to the child’s age range, and each week students do several activities with their partner according to their grade level. For example, during week 3, one of the activities includes “Clean Your Plate.” Here students teach their partner how to count using a numerical manipulative, like dry beans. The child rolls a set of dice and pulls aside the corresponding amount of beans until there are no more beans on the plate. (See video below.)
Discovering Math Across Generations was developed under the Science and Math Project (SMP) funded by the Charitable Leadership Foundation. To learn more about the project visit ESC’s SMART Site.
|Above: Lisa Snyder and her 3-year old daughter learn how to count using beans (Video: Betty Lawrence).