Event Details

Investigative CASES: Contexts for Active Students Engaged in Science
Grand Valley State University
NSF Chautauqua Short Course
Allendale, MI
May 22, 2005 - May 24, 2005

When applying, select the PITT field center and Course #9

This highly interactive workshop will engage faculty in learning and teaching science using Investigative Case Based Learning (ICBL). Faculty will develop their own cases that utilize realistic, meaningful and contemporary problems to engage students in scientific investigation. ICBL focuses on decision making in situations where science informs the process, such as:

  • investigating the genetics and spread of West Nile Virus,
  • controlling gull populations,
  • conserving food-stained artifacts,
  • identifying illegal whale meat products using bioinformatics.

There are three phases in ICBL. In the first phase, problem posing, students read the case and work collaboratively to analyze the case, to structure their own learning of both science process and content, and to identify areas they need to learn more about. In the second phase, problem solving, students define and undertake investigations in which they use observational skills, propose hypotheses, design experiments, gather data, use models, interpret graphs, and support their conclusions with evidence. In the last phase of ICBL, peer persuasion, they present their findings to others using a wide variety of potential formats. This three phase process: problem posing, problem solving and peer persuasion (the BioQUEST “3P’s”) follows closely the activities of practicing scientists.

Participants will have opportunities to:

  • try out investigative case based learning,
  • explore online investigative case modules developed by faculty from over sixty different institutions and departments,
  • use computational tools and modeling to investigate biological problems,
  • develop their own case module,
  • access web-based biology materials for their own courses, and
  • plan for implementation and assessment of student learning in their own classrooms.

We will introduce several case module examples from a variety of sources as examples. Depending on participants’ interests, cases will be selected to show use of ICBL in biology, chemistry and earth science. The use of online computational tools, data, and models to support student inquiry in these cases will be emphasized. Our book “Biological Inquiry: A Workbook of Investigative Cases” (2005, Benjamin/Cummings) that accompanies the introductory majors’ text, Biology 7e (Campbell and Reece, 2005) will be distributed at the workshop.
Host Organization's Web Site:
Our Event Web Site:
BioQUEST Staff Attending:
Ethel Stanley    Margaret Waterman

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