Paper No. 8
Presentation Time: 10:15 AM


MORRISON, Deb, School of Education, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO 80305, BUHR, Susan M., Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309 and KELLAGHER, Emily, CIRES Education and Outreach, University of Colorado, Research Laboratory 2, UCB 449, 1540 30th St, Boulder, CO 80309-0449,

This presentation will explore the research and evaluation of Climate Science 101, an innovative online course involving weekly webinars, online assignments, and online small group meetings with the goal of improving participants understanding of the essential principles of Climate Literacy and translating this knowledge into educational practice. The course has run twice, once in the fall of 2012 and once in the spring of 2013, with increased and greatly diversified participation in the second iteration. It used a problem based instruction model for curriculum development to promote both content and process learning for students. During this presentation we will discuss the overall structure of the course, illustrate modifications given during the course as well as between the two iterations, and explore research and evaluation findings about the project.

Research and evaluation data will be presented about several aspects of this project. We will explore the virtual learning community, which was developed in weekly webinars, during small group meeting time, and during ongoing online discussion forums. We will also examine the curriculum development process and products, illustrating how participating educators experienced the construction of interdisciplinary inquiry science educational experiences for their target student populations centered around the essential principles of climate literacy. Finally, we will examine suggested improvements arising from our research and evaluation for educator professional development efforts in the virtual arena directed at K-12 teachers, informal educators, and college or university faculty that integrate both content learning and curriculum development work, such as was the goal of Climate Science 101.