290-1 Retaining Students and Supporting Instruction in Science-Intensive Undergraduate Programs Through Innovative Media.

Poster Number 1615

See more from this Division: S05 Pedology
See more from this Session: Soil Science Education Trends for the 21st Century: II
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Duke Energy Convention Center, Exhibit Hall AB, Level 1
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Matthew Alcala, April L. Ulery, Barbara Chamberlain and Jeanne Gleason, Plant & Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
Many agricultural and environmental science undergraduates consistently struggle with key scientific and math concepts used in classes.  This is due largely to a lack of conceptual understanding in pre-requisite science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills.  Many students enter college under or poorly prepared for science and math-intensive majors and this deficiency in STEM-related skills deters students, especially under-represented minorities, from completing coursework in agricultural and environmental majors, thus decreasing potential graduates in these fields.  Our project is designed to assist students in understanding STEM concepts that frequently deter many from continuing science-based majors.  After conferring with STEM faculty and employers to generate a list of learning objectives, our team created educational animations and games to supplement instruction, refine educational objectives based on needs of core science courses, reviewed existing tools, and developed innovative media proven effective with this target group to enhance science and math conceptual understanding.  Some of the multimedia products will be integrated into coursework, with quantitative test results compared to previous semesters.  Qualitative measures will indicate instructors’ assessment of the tools, with recommendations on future use.  Students exposed to the educational materials should have greater success with key STEM test items compared to previous years, feel greater confidence in their skills at the end of the semester, and more confident about entering science-intensive agricultural careers. Instructors should feel their students are better prepared for instruction and applying conceptual understanding.  All modules will be posted online for use nationally, and promoted through journals and conference presentations.
See more from this Division: S05 Pedology
See more from this Session: Soil Science Education Trends for the 21st Century: II
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