There are four overarching learning goals that we hope to address with Project EDDIE modules.
In order to assess the efficacy of Project EDDIE modules in achieving these goals, we are employing an iterative design process. During the 2014-2015 academic year, we administered pre/post-tests comprised of questions that measured the first three constructs of interest. To measure inquiry ability, we modified open-ended items on the Experimental Design Ability Test1 so that questions were more proximal to content taught in modules. To measure quantitative reasoning, we used the Distributional Variation Subscale (DVS) and additional items from a previously developed instrument that examines statistical ideas2 and items that asked participants about their comfort using Excel. To measure nature of science understanding, we administered items from the Views on the Nature of Science, form C3. We recorded three student groups as they collaboratively completed a module to examine the discourse that was inspired by the module.
Open-ended responses of Year 1 pre/post data were coded by a team of three researchers. Categories of responses were used to create response options for close-ended versions of the same questions. These resulting close-ended items, in which the answer options reflect common responses provided by students, are being administered in the same pre/posttest fashion during the 2015-2016 academic year.
Recordings of students collaboratively completing modules revealed that students do not engage in much discourse while completing modules unless explicitly prompted to do so. Because much module completion is performed on a computer, if it is done in pairs, only one student can do the work on the computer at a time, relegating the other to the role of onlooker.
Based on Year 1’s data, we suggest the following tips to instructors to maximize teaching efficacy when using Project EDDIE modules:
1 Sirum, K., & J. Humberg. (2011). The experimental design ability test (EDAT). Journal of College Biology Teaching 37:8-16.
2 Watson, J.M., B.A. Kelly, R.A. Callingham, & J.M. Schaughnessy. (2003). The measurement of school students' understanding of statistical variation. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology 34:1-29.
3 Lederman, N.G., F. Abd-El-Khalick, R.L. Bell, & R. Schwartz. (2002). Views of nature of science questionnaire: Toward valid and meaningful assessment of learner's conceptions of nature of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 39:497-521.