Event Title

Where is Conservation Science in Local Planning? Collaboration in a Multi­ Institutional and Interdisciplinary Course

Location

Latham Ballroom A/B

Event Website

http://www.cpe.vt.edu/cuenr/index.html

Start Date

26-3-2010 1:05 PM

End Date

26-3-2010 1:10 PM

Description

Multi‐institutional approaches to graduate education are emerging to better prepare graduate students for future collaborative work. In this presentation we will describe a graduate course designed to integrate inquiry‐guided, collaborative, and computer‐mediated learning across multiple universities. Our collaborative course, “Where is Conservation Science in Local Planning?,” included students from multiple disciplines at three institutions (Iowa State University, North Carolina State University, and University of Washington) who investigated the application of conservation biology principles by local land use planners. We used a wiki for brainstorming and collaborative writing, a virtual classroom for work meetings, and video‐conferencing for building community and making complex decisions. Pre‐ and post‐ course questionnaires were administered to students to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach for improving skills in collaboration, use of collaborative technologies, and subject‐area knowledge. Participants reported that they gained knowledge about collaboration, increased their mastery of communication skills and use of collaborative technologies, and gained knowledge about course subject matter. Participants also gained a fuller understanding of the benefits (collective creativity and enhanced accountability) and drawbacks (time required to build relationships and engage in deliberation) of collaborative research. Faculty and students co‐created several products based on our work in the course: two peer‐ reviewed conference presentations and two peer‐reviewed articles. One of the faculty (Stokes) worked with a new group of students on an extension of the research, which resulted in an additional follow‐on article. We also learned valuable lessons about course administration (e.g. working across time zones and quarters/semesters), the benefits and limitations of teaching technologies, and about definition of course objectives and research methods. Overall, participating students and faculty agreed that in spite of organizational challenges the course was a very worthwhile experience.

Comments

Citation: Thompson, J.R., G.R. Hess, M. Groom, J.R. Miller, D.L. Stokes, T.A. Steelman. 2010. Where is conservation science in local planning? collaboration in a multi institutional and interdisciplinary course. UENR Biennial Conference, Poster Session, Paper Number 2. http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/Sessions/Poster/2/.

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Mar 26th, 1:05 PM Mar 26th, 1:10 PM

Where is Conservation Science in Local Planning? Collaboration in a Multi­ Institutional and Interdisciplinary Course

Latham Ballroom A/B

Multi‐institutional approaches to graduate education are emerging to better prepare graduate students for future collaborative work. In this presentation we will describe a graduate course designed to integrate inquiry‐guided, collaborative, and computer‐mediated learning across multiple universities. Our collaborative course, “Where is Conservation Science in Local Planning?,” included students from multiple disciplines at three institutions (Iowa State University, North Carolina State University, and University of Washington) who investigated the application of conservation biology principles by local land use planners. We used a wiki for brainstorming and collaborative writing, a virtual classroom for work meetings, and video‐conferencing for building community and making complex decisions. Pre‐ and post‐ course questionnaires were administered to students to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach for improving skills in collaboration, use of collaborative technologies, and subject‐area knowledge. Participants reported that they gained knowledge about collaboration, increased their mastery of communication skills and use of collaborative technologies, and gained knowledge about course subject matter. Participants also gained a fuller understanding of the benefits (collective creativity and enhanced accountability) and drawbacks (time required to build relationships and engage in deliberation) of collaborative research. Faculty and students co‐created several products based on our work in the course: two peer‐ reviewed conference presentations and two peer‐reviewed articles. One of the faculty (Stokes) worked with a new group of students on an extension of the research, which resulted in an additional follow‐on article. We also learned valuable lessons about course administration (e.g. working across time zones and quarters/semesters), the benefits and limitations of teaching technologies, and about definition of course objectives and research methods. Overall, participating students and faculty agreed that in spite of organizational challenges the course was a very worthwhile experience.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/Sessions/Poster/2