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Fostering computer supported collaborative learning with cooperation scripts and scaffolds
The study investigates collaborative learning of small groups via text-based computer-mediated communication. We analyzed how two approaches to pre-structure communication influence participation, individual knowledge transfer, the convergence of participation and the convergence of knowledge among peers. We varied the factor scripted cooperation and the factor scaffolding in a 2x2-design. 105 university students of Educational Psychology participated. Results show that scripted cooperation was
Author(s): Weinberger Armin,Fischer Frank,Mandl Heinz

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Supporting Teachers Intervention in Collaborative Knowledge Building
In the context of distributed collaborative learning, the teacher's role is different from traditional teacher-centered environments, they are coordinators/facilitators, guides, and co-learners. They monitor the collaboration activities within a group, detect problems and intervene in the collaboration to give advice and learn alongside students at the same time. We have designed an Assistant to support teachers intervention in collaborative knowledge building. The Assistant monitors the collabo
Author(s): Chen Weiqin

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Examples of Gallery Walk Questions
This site from SERC's Starting Point presents examples of Gallery Walk questions on various topics. The examples include learning goals, teaching notes and tips, material lists, resources and references.
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Examples of Campus-based Learning
This site provides several examples of campus-based learning. Topics include environmental assessment, the nitrogen budget, campus greenhouse gas emissions, eco-houses, and biodiversity.
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Evaluating How Our Students Think and Learn: Research Results from the Trenches
This PowerPoint presentation addresses research on the thinking and learning processes of students and how increased knowledge of these processes can be used to structure lectures in a manner that will change the way students learn. It covers methods for course redesign, classroom assessment techniques, levels of learning and goals in general education courses. Among other things, it was found that student success is predictable, all students benefit from active learning, and group work is impor
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European Starlings and Woodpeckers
In this Starting Point investigative case, students will explore niche competition and population ecology by developing plans for species density studies. They will also develop a plan to re-establish a species (the woodpecker) in an area where there are almost none left. Users can access information regarding learning goals, context for use, teaching notes and tips, teaching materials, assessment hints, references and topics covered.
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Environmental Assessment Course
This semester-long project on conducting an environmental audit of a college campus can be done by an individual or by groups of students working in teams. Each group will research a different aspect of campus operations; they will collect data, analyze their findings, and make recommendations for improvements. This SERC Starting Point site includes learning goals, context for use, teaching tips and materials, assessment, and references.
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Earth's Radiation Budget: Part 1
In this activity students explore the Earth's radiation budget using Earth radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) data archived at the IRI/LDEO Climate Data Library. This archive is complete with visualization tools for easy assessment and visualization of large data sets. Students also use photometers and light sources to work through several hands-on activities related to basic radiation concepts. On this Starting Point page, users can access information about the exercise's learning goals, contex
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Developing a Local Stratigraphy
In this lab activity students describe rock types in a variety of exposures to construct a regional stratigraphy. Learning goals, teaching notes and materials, equipment lists, and assessment recommendations are all provided on this website. Additionally, there are links to useful references and resources, including related field labs.
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Coral Bleaching: Making Our Oceans Whiter
The Coral Bleaching: Making our Oceans Whiter lesson was developed by National Geographic. This lesson plan deals with coral reefs and the recent increase in coral bleaching. The students will be learning about the ecology of reefs, the habitats they create, the algal symbiosis that ends with bleaching, and the role of human impact. The plan also outlines a role-playing debate for the students, and an in-character written assignment to come up with a compromise to protect the reefs and the econo
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Cooperative Learning
This site from SERC's Starting Point features cooperative learning, a method that incorporates interdependence, interaction, individual accountability, interpersonal skills, and group processing. Information and links on reasons this is an efficient teaching method, how to include it in the classroom, related resources, and examples are also included.
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Computational Geophysics and Geoinformatics Home Page
The Computational Geophysics and Geoinformatics homepage contains online data and software tools for paleomagnetism and plate tectonics. The page includes information on paleomagnetic data, gravity anomalies, satellite altimetry, GOTOPO 30 topography tools, plate tectonic reconstructions, Mediterranean reconstructions, current research, a plate tectonic modeling tutorial and links to additional information. Each subject is explained in detail in order to assist users in learning to use the compu
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Classtalk: A Classroom Communication System for Active Learning
This pdf file is an article describing the advantages of using Classtalk technology in the classroom to enhance classroom communication. Classtalk technology cab facilitate the presentation of questions for small group work, collec the student answers and then display histograms showing how the class answered. This new communication technology can help instructors create a more interactive, student centered classroom, especially when teaching large courses. The article describes Classtalk as a v
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Campus Nitrogen Budget
This semester-long project uses the nitrogen budget to link campus operations with local ecology. Students can work independently or in groups to research the inputs, outputs and subsystem transfers of nitrogen on their campus. The data could be used to evaluate the effect of campus sustainability efforts, energy efficiency options, and other campus policies. This SERC Starting Point site includes learning goals, context for use, teaching tips and materials, assessment, and references.
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Campus-Based Learning
This Starting Point module provides information and links on what campus-based learning is, why it should be used, and how to implement it in a course. Links to campus-based learning examples and references are also included.
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Calibrated Peer Review: Petroleum Geology of the Persian Gulf Region
In this assignment, students explore the origin and distribution of oil and gas in a region of global significance. Also included are the geologic history and the socio-political and environmental issues associated with hydrocarbon exploration and production. Students then walk through an online case study and write an essay addressing important points that they have learned. The Calibrated Peer Review interface is then used to give feedback on the essays. On this Starting Point page, users can
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Calibrated Peer Review: Kerguelen Plateau, Southern Indian Ocean - Geologic History of A Large Igneo
This activity explores the significance and geologic history of the Kerguelen Plateau Large Igneous Province, as revealed by Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Legs 120 and 183. After examining all the source material, the students write an essay addressing the important points that they have learned. The Calibrated Peer Review interface is then used to give feedback on the essays. On this Starting Point page, users can access information about the exercise's learning goals, context for use, teaching
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Calibrated Peer Review: Discovering Dinosaurs
In this activity, students write an essay on the history of scientific discoveries in the field of dinosaur paleontology. The essays are then evaluated via Calibrated Peer Review. On this Starting Point page, users can access information about the exercise's learning goals, context for use, teaching notes and tips, teaching materials, assessment ideas, references and topics covered.
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Training Educators to Design and Develop ODL Materials
Welcome to this facilitator’s guide. It contains exciting materials for conducting a workshop to train educators to develop Open and Distance Learning (ODL) resources. As you navigate through this document you will find materials needed for planning and conducting sessions for training educators in the development of ODL learning resources. These materials have been designed so that they can be used for professional development as well as for personal knowledge. This facilitator’s guide is
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An Activity to Introduce the Geoscience Perspective
This exercise is intended to connect students to geology and to remind them of the diverse ways in which people, including geoscientists, relate to rocks. Groups of students are asked to examine rock samples from specific perspectives such as sculptors, landowners or geologists, and then present relevant observations and questions. Next, individuals write one-minute papers summarizing what they have learned and evaluating the activity. On this Starting Point page, users can access information ab
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