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Thursday, June 19 • 11:30am - 12:20pm
CON5.10 – Strategies for Transformative Learning Opportunities at the Course, Program and Institutional Levels (Room A240)

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A report by the US National Academy of Sciences1 lists four attributes for science education: (1) know, use and interpret scientific explanations of the natural world, (2) generate and evaluate scientific evidence and explanations, (3) understand the nature and development of scientific knowledge, and (4) participate productively in scientific practices and discourse.  Although targeted at the K-8 level, a similar set of graduate competencies has been recommended for post-secondary education.  However, post-secondary science education is still mostly lecture-based, particularly in the introductory courses, and really only emphasizes the first attribute.

In this presentation, the new O-COP (Outcome: challenge-opportunity-process) framework for transformational change will be presented and compared to each of the SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat) method components and the grieving process to show how transformation in science learning can be compared to higher education cultural transformation.  Examples employing the O-COP method will be shown from pedagogical initiatives in novel courses in the Faculty of Science at the University of Alberta, including Science Citizenship (a novel community-service learning course) and Science 100 (an interdisciplinary Science program).  Qualitative student and instructor feedback suggests that initiatives which holistically incorporate active- and discovery-based learning from a student-centered perspective are more effective at transformational learning than when each is used individually.  The O-COP framework will also be extended to programmatic and institutional cultures with examples of certificates as new programmatic tools for higher-level learning competencies and outcomes and for developing teaching communities. 

Workshop participants will be taken through exercises to map transformational examples in learning and institutional culture in the three different frameworks.  Examples of transformational experiences and best practices for encouraging transformation in the teaching and learning culture and environment will be discussed amongst participants at the course, program, and institutional level.  Potential pitfalls will also be discussed.  Participants should leave with a well-formed, proven strategy for a process to institute change in their classroom and at their institutions.


Thursday June 19, 2014 11:30am - 12:20pm EDT
A240 McArthur Hall

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