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Engaging students in paleontology: the design and implementation of an undergraduate-level blended course in Panama


Pimiento, Catalina (2015). Engaging students in paleontology: the design and implementation of an undergraduate-level blended course in Panama. Evolution: Education & Outreach (Print), 8(19):online.

Abstract

Despite the fact that Latin-American countries present ideal environments to train young scientists, most of these countries lack local scientific capacity. Here I describe the design and implementation of an undergraduate-level blended course on paleontology. The course was taught in 2012 to 10 biology majors from the University of Panama and it had three main foci: (1) a design grounded in a theoretical framework that supports meaningful learning; (2) the application of concepts and skills to the region where the students live, making the learning experience relevant and authentic; and (3) a strong research and science-communication component that allowed students to experience real-life situations (i.e. those commonly faced by scientists throughout their careers). These components contributed synergistically to engage students with paleontology, a field not formally taught in their country. This work can be applied to different disciplines in science and to different levels in students’ scientific training.

Despite the fact that Latin-American countries present ideal environments to train young scientists, most of these countries lack local scientific capacity. Here I describe the design and implementation of an undergraduate-level blended course on paleontology. The course was taught in 2012 to 10 biology majors from the University of Panama and it had three main foci: (1) a design grounded in a theoretical framework that supports meaningful learning; (2) the application of concepts and skills to the region where the students live, making the learning experience relevant and authentic; and (3) a strong research and science-communication component that allowed students to experience real-life situations (i.e. those commonly faced by scientists throughout their careers). These components contributed synergistically to engage students with paleontology, a field not formally taught in their country. This work can be applied to different disciplines in science and to different levels in students’ scientific training.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:09 Oct 2015 17:01
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:26
Publisher:Springer New York LLC
ISSN:1936-6426
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12052-015-0046-3
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-113263

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