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Major Models for NonMajors Science Courses


The Current Events Model. The Thematic Approach. The Fundamentals of ... Current Events Model ... similar to Current Events Model. e.g. 'Ecosystem of Walden ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Major Models for NonMajors Science Courses

Major Models for Non-Majors Science Courses
  • Course Design Assessment Workshop
  • Rollins College
  • January, 2004
  • Preston Miles, Centre College, Danville, KY

Considerations in Course Design
  • institutional context
  • course goals
  • pedagogy
  • content
  • course structure the topic of this discussion
  • assessment

Six Models Currently Utilized for Non-Majors
Science Courses
  • The Science Majors Model
  • The Current Events Model
  • The Thematic Approach
  • The Fundamentals of Science Model
  • A Disciplinary Approach Designed for General
    Education Students
  • The Science-Technology-Public Policy Model

The Science Majors Model
  • Strengths
  • high uniform expectations (rigor)
  • cohesive material
  • process skills (critical thinking skills)
  • can catch potential majors
  • available resources (instructors textual)
  • Limitations
  • does not address the differing learning goals of
    major and non-major students
  • material important for students not continuing
    in the field is often not included in the first
    course taken by disciplinary majors

The Current Events Model
  • Description
  • the hot topics approach, e.g. HIV-AIDS, or
    genetic engineering
  • Strengths
  • stimulates student interest
  • science process skills
  • relevance
  • Limitations
  • breadth and balance of coverage
  • limited lifetime
  • resources

The Thematic Approach (a.k.a. case study or web
  • Description
  • similar to Current Events Model
  • e.g. Ecosystem of Walden Pond
  • Strengths
  • allows tailoring to institutional setting
  • begins with narrow topic and explores outward,
    the web approach
  • currency and timeliness are less essential
  • Limitations
  • can be instructor-specific

Fundamentals of Science Model
  • Description
  • built upon major concepts of science, c.f.
    National Science Education Standards
  • Strengths
  • illustrates connections between concepts
  • science literacy
  • avoids the cafeteria choice dilemma
  • Limitations
  • danger of becoming too thin
  • background of instructors
  • availability of resources

Disciplinary Course Redesigned for Non-Major
  • Strengths
  • a familiar approach
  • allows separation of major and non-major students
  • availability of resources
  • Limitations
  • science literacy
  • validity of the cafeteria model

The Science-Technology-Public Policy Model
  • Description
  • structured around issue of critical
    importance, e.g. energy policy
  • could be described as the newspaper headlines
  • Strengths
  • almost assures that connections be made
  • Limitations
  • demanding of instructor
  • breadth of coverage

Other Models
  • The great books approach
  • History of science format
  • Philosophy of science
  • these approaches tend to be about science and
    may not meet institutional goals for science