June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.1385.1 - 23.1385.8
Starfish Schoolhouse: Development of a Story Based E-Learning Module to Teach Regenerative Medicine Concepts to Middle School Students and TeachersRegenerative medicine’s potential to revolutionize today’s health care treatments offers greatpromise as a cutting-edge, multidisciplinary field that could excite the next generation ofscientists and engineers. Unfortunately, many of the noteworthy websites on regenerativemedicine have been assembled utilizing a traditional textbook style format. In spite of amazingscientific images, pictures and graphics with accurate and informative text, such sites often comeacross as less appealing to the middle school audience (grades 7-9). In an effort to inspire andinform middle school students about this dynamic field, we have created the StarfishSchoolhouse through supplemental funding received from the NIH Science EducationPartnership Award (Grant# 3R25RR023286-05S1). This web-based platform, hosted as part ofthe Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative’s (PTEI) “If a Starfish Can Grow a New Arm thanWhy Can’t I?” project featuring interactive, permanent and travelling science center exhibits,classroom curricula and teacher professional development, provides middle school students andteachers an immersive, web-based, story-driven approach to learn about regenerative medicine.The focus of this publication will be on the development of the first story based, e-learningmodule on stem cells entitled. “Professor Regen and the Nemesis Hunt”. The learning objectivesfor this module were three fold: (1) to allow students to be able to differentiate between thedifferent types of stem cells; (2) have students identify methods used to isolate these stem cells;and (3) enable students to be able to list both advantages and disadvantages of the use of eachtype of stem cell in regenerative medicine practice.In an effort to make this module satisfy these learning requirements, while also further ignitingand retaining the attention of our middle school target audience, we partnered with OpenArc whohelped take the concept ideas presented and transform them into a suspense based plot withcharacters that engage the participants. The storyline for the module follows Professor Regen ona hunt around “Anyville” while she tries to locate her missing stem cell lines that were stolen bya former colleague, Dr. Nikos Nemesis. The module consists of seven distinct chapters of whichsix relay scientific information related to stem cells while assessing students’/teachers’understanding of this material through small, randomized chapter quizzes. In addition, the storybased e-learning module allows students/teachers the flexibility to choose which direction theywould like to take the story by the integration of a map where participants select which area of“Anyville” they would like to look into next for the missing stem cells. Upon completion of thee-learning module, participants are presented with a mastery quiz to determine their overallcomprehension of the material presented.In partnership with the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC), the first modulewill be piloted in the winter of 2012-2013 with middle school teachers and then students for itsease of use and ability to engage, inspire and inform the target audience about stem cells.
Bodnar, C. A., & Schanck, J. F., & Raghavan, K., & Smith, N. G., & Hess, K., & Buirge, B. M., & Melvin, R., & Hackett, B. (2013, June), Work in Progress: Starfish Schoolhouse: Development of a Story Based E-Learning Module to Teach Regenerative Medicine Concepts to Middle and High School Students and Teachers Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22770
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