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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.

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.

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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:28 Apr 2017 01:09
Publisher:Springer New York LLC
ISSN:1936-6426
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12052-015-0046-3

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