Go to the Nano Education Research Page
This group contains a collection of content that focuses on how to develop teaching materials. The content provides a broad introduction to two main categories of research: Pedagogy and Content and Assessment.
We welcome and encourage contributions and discussions.
You can contribute substantial resources to nanoHUB.org through the resource contribution process, and then send a message to the group manager so that links to those resources can be added to this group.
The NCN Education Research team has developed some materials for a course in Purdue’s First-Year Engineering Program. Some course content can be seen in the following groups:
Summary of Research Categories:
Impact on nanoHUB users
nanoHUB.org is a collaborative community for researchers, educators, and learners. This group discusses some fundamental concepts for developing effective curricula, learning objectives, and assessment tools. Using these methods will increase the effectiveness of creation, implementation, and revision of teaching materials from nanoHUB.
Pedagogy is discussed from several different perspectives.
Professor Brophy summarizes a report of How People Learn, which is one perspective on pedagogical methods that lead to learning.
Another approach to developing pedagogy is Backward Design for Instruction; this is discussed by Professors Madhavan and Brophy.
The seven principles of teaching based on David Perkins' (2009) book, Making Learning Whole, establish a way of addressing pedagogy. This brief summary discusses components of Perkins’ (2009) framework.
- Play the Whole Game: The first component to Perkins’ (2009) framework is that the course must be connective. There should be some context-setting element with individual questions that show application to real life scenarios. The idea of context is one of the six principles of the Models and Modeling Paradigm (Lesh et. al., 2003), so it is already a component implemented into MEAs.
- Make the Game Worth Playing: The second component to Perkins’ (2009) framework is to have some element of motivation through demonstrating importance of learning. This can be done by focusing on skills and content that are important for students’ future careers, and should be established in the introductory course materials to ensure students understand the importance of the course.
- Work on the Hard Parts: The third component of Perkins’ (2009) framework is to concentrate on the difficult aspects of the course. The Content and Assessment Category focuses on understanding concepts that have been identified as complex for students to understand.
- Play out of Town: The next aspect of Perkins’ (2009) framework is to challenge students to transfer their knowledge to a more complex scenario after it is well-established within their well-defined, original setting. One way this can be done is through peer feedback. Peer feedback assignments enable students to utilize their knowledge to help progress other students’ work that may be headed in a completely different direction. Analyzing peer work forces students to look at a problem through another lens, and critiquing work encourages students to transfer knowledge gained from their own solution.
- Uncover the Hidden Game: This element of Perkins’ (2009) framework encourages instructors to give students a sense of direction by enabling students to understand the learning objectives, assessment dimensions, and general timeline of the course goals. Supplying an informative syllabus and assessment tools can help fulfill this need.
- Learn from the Team: This aspect of Perkins’ (2009) framework supports Vygotsky and social learning theories by requiring some type of engagement pedagogy. Teams encourage continuous interaction between students to develop and improve solutions. Peer feedback opportunities encourage teams to learn from individuals in other teams.
- Learn the Game of Learning: This element encourages self-reflection and fosters metacognition (Perkins, 2009). An emphasis on reflection in the curriculum can fulfill this call.
Perkins, D. (2009) Making learning whole: How seven principles of teaching can transform education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
This resource is helpful for implementing simulations in the curriculum while developing classroom instruction. It includes case studies that describe in detail specific ways in which instructors have incorporated nanoHUB simulation tools into their courses.
Instructional Design Process (from NCN Simulation-based Learning Workshop - participation packet)
Content and Assessment
Assessment consists of three major components:
1. Cognition – a model of how students represent knowledge and develop competence in the subject domain,
2. Observation – tasks or situations that allow one to observe students’ performance, and
3. Interpretation – a method for drawing inferences from the performance evidence thus obtained (National Research Council, 2001).
The type of assessment most commonly discussed and used in Purdue’s First-Year Engineering Program is assessment to assist learning, also referred to as formative assessment. Research in this category investigates specific content knowledge with the purpose of understanding how students progress their understanding of these concepts. These developed frameworks can be used to assess and scaffold student learning.
National Research Council. 2001. Knowing what students know: The science and design of educational assessment. Committee on the Foundations of Assessment. Pellegrino, J., Chudowsky, N., and Glaser, R., editors. Board on Testing and Assessment, Center for Education. Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Additional materials that are helpful for developing learning objectives:
Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Objectives (from NCN Simulation-based Learning Workshop - participation packet)