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My project will involve introducing my 25-40 freshman students in Honors Foundations of Biology 1 class to the network-like nature of cell signaling.

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I understand that the learning goal is to have the students understand the networks involved in cell signaling. So is your question ... does creating network analagies, improve student understanding of cellular networks? edited 16:08, 17 Jul 2009
Posted 16:08, 17 Jul 2009
-Redefine your question? It seems you are testing whether working with the literature affects their knowledge of signaling? Is that the intervention?
-It sounds like your pretest is short answer, so you will be having to CODE all their responses or characterize them in some way so that you can actually compare their responses to the posttest.
-Same comment with evaluating your other data points as well--all of these are short answer or diagram answers, you will have to either grade each one with a rubric or code all the responses. Perhaps you can ask some multiple choice questions too, so that you have a chance to collect some quantitative data as well?
Posted 16:08, 17 Jul 2009
When you have the students create their network analogies, you will need a rubric for grading.
Posted 16:08, 17 Jul 2009
It seems that you've figured out a good strategy to teach the "network" concept. Though I like the analogy, perhaps you could ask them to take all of their analogies and create a general model or general network.
Posted 16:09, 17 Jul 2009
have you thought of using concept maps to have student map out the cell signaling pathway? I have done this with students, and they reveal a lot about what they do not know! You could assess (score?) concept maps created at the beginning of the semester then again at the end, in addition to other assessment approaches

I also thought about Freeman et al's paper -- you might use that as a model for how to organize your study, that seems to have several interventions
Posted 16:09, 17 Jul 2009
you could also view the network analogy assignment as data to gain insight into their understanding of the networks... kind of like a concept map assignment.
Posted 16:09, 17 Jul 2009
I can relate to your interest in wanting to help students understand the concept of networks and complex systems- kidos
. Just not clear about what your specific intervention is- is it the analogy? the lecture emphasis?
Posted 16:13, 17 Jul 2009
I feel that this is going to be lots of work, interesting concept though. Me too, I feel I am not clearn in regards to the experiment design.
Posted 16:37, 17 Jul 2009
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