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MERLOT II


    

Learning Exercise


Material: The American Physiological Society Archive of Teaching Resources
Submitted by: Nancy J. Pelaez on Jul 11, 2005
Date Last Modified: Jul 11, 2005
Title: Blood Circulation Labs Online
Description: For this assignment, experienced science teachers reviewed exemplary online lessons for teaching human blood circulation at the middle school level. MERLOT resources with practical labs about cardiovascular physiology were examined. Faculty compared and contrasted resources with labs appropriate for instructing secondary school science. Three sources were examined: Harvard Project Zero’s Active Learning Practices for Schools, University of California at Berkeley’s Web-based Inquiry Science Environment, and the Archive of Teaching Resources of the American Physiological Society. Findings show diverse perspectives on what constitutes quality for practical cardiovascular labs.
Time Required one week unsupervised activity
Topics: Human Blood Circulation, misconceptions, inquiry-based science
Course: Life Science for Teachers
Prerequisites Skills: web navigation including registration with login and password procedures, science teaching methods; blood circulation misconceptions.
Learning Objectives: This assignment asks science teachers to demonstrate knowledge, experience, and confidence regarding a process called assessment-driven design, also termed backwards design by Wiggins and McTighe (1998). The central goal is to communicate with others for curricular design - to identify learning objectives and use the objectives to guide all phases of curriculum and activity design, continuously evaluating whether the activities are aligned with the target objectives. Materials on MERLOT are assessed according to the driving question and other criteria of sound pedagogy drawn from the analytical procedure from Project 2061 (Kesidou & Roseman, 2002), such as taking account of students’ prior conceptions, providing first hand inquiry experience with phenomena, and providing a sense of purpose connected to the target science in each activity.
Technical Notes: The assignment requires developing an electronic portfolio created using the KML Snapshot Tool™, a part of the KEEP Toolkit™, developed at the Knowledge Media Lab of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Text of Learning Exercise:

Select and review an online description of a lesson for teaching human blood
circulation at the middle school level. As you examine the lesson, prepare to
discuss what characteristics you think are essential for a high quality
practical cardiovascular lab.


  • Describe the collection that houses the blood circulation learning material.
    What is the purpose for the online collection? Is it easy to find the material
    of interest?
  • What Core Concepts or skills should students know as a result of using the
    learning material?
  • What Driving Questions engage students and helps establish their prior
    knowledge of the material?
  • What Claims are made about student learning from the material and does the
    Evidence provided support those claims?
  • Describe Examples of Student Work. What tasks did the student try to
    accomplish, what was valued, what skills does the student demonstrate, or what
    content was the student on the verge of understanding?


Prepare to describe what you learned from the work in terms of Strengths and
Concerns. How well did the material work in terms of the driving question and
other criteria of sound pedagogy drawn from the analytical procedure from
Project 2061 (Kesidou & Roseman, 2002)? Does the material take account of
students’ prior conceptions, provide first hand inquiry experience with
phenomena, and provide a sense of purpose connected to the target science in
each activity?

  1. Kesidou, S., & Roseman, J. E. (2002). How well do middle school science
    programs measure up? Findings from Project 2061’s curriculum review. Journal of
    Research in Science Teaching, 39(6), 522–549.
  2. Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (1998). Understanding by design. Alexandria,
    VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Additional Information URL: http://conference.merlot.org/conference/2003/program.php#sess-73
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