Southeastern Section - 64th Annual Meeting (19–20 March 2015)

Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 1:20 PM


BRANDE, Scott, Chemistry, UAB, CHM-289, Birmingham, AL 35294,

The teaching of evolution is an important component for understanding the development of the geologic time scale and the history of life on earth. However, because of controversies that evolution evokes largely in the K-12 public school system, the teaching of evolution is somewhat more complicated, for example, than the study of rocks and minerals. A traditional treatment of evolution is delivered typically and appropriately as factual content in science. Students learn about the history of Darwin’s intellectual discovery, facts of the fossil record, and integration with the broader understandings of the history of the Earth. Students are typically assessed by demonstrating on examinations a knowledge and understanding of the facts of evolution and the central role the theory plays in modern science.

Although this traditional approach may help a student to achieve a desirable level of competency about the facts of evolution, the relatively passive role for the student in this learning environment fails to exploit advantages of a more active learning environment that requires a greater degree of student participation and feedback. The increasing availability of online multimedia video resources that may be integrated within a classroom presentation (or other web-connected environments) makes possible the presentation of “other voices” (than that of the instructor) that express opinions that invoke controversy, discussion, and analysis. “Video tutorials” created from video content require peer conversation, reaction, and writing, and may be used for formative assessment. I will present a model workflow, toolkit, and examples for the integration of “other voices” into a classroom treatment of evolution, using an online software service,, for making video snips from YouTube. EZSnips is now available for contributions to an online repository of video snips that will help build resources for instructors, and promote the sharing of video assets curated by domain experts. The integrated use of video multimedia snips and video tutorials replaces some of the traditional presentation of evolution with one that requires student engagement and responses, thus broadening potential pathways for active learning of a controversial topic.

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