Understanding Interventions 2017

San Antonio, TX
Mar. 3–Mar. 5, 2017
Conference Website

The conference is designed to create a dialogue among behavioral/social science and education researchers, evaluators, and faculty in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields who participate in intervention programs. The reciprocal translation of research into practice and practice fueling research is an ongoing conference objective.

Friday, March 3

Frieda ReichsmanGame-based learning: Using a digital game as an alternative approach to teaching genetics, from middle school to undergraduate courses.

Frieda Reichsman, Kiley McElroy-Brown

9:00–10:30 AM, Workshop 2

This workshop will introduce you to game-based learning using the digital game Geniverse, a genetics learning environment that we previously developed and used successfully to help high school and college students learn genetics and genomics. Geniverse is used in biology classrooms with students ranging from an upper-level Genetics and Molecular Genomics course at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, to thousands of high school students in introductory through AP bio, to middle school students in life science classes.

Workshop learning objectives:

  • Participants will be introduced to the fundamentals of using game-based learning in classrooms and OST environments.
  • Guided by workshop facilitators, participants will play and experience Geniverse at levels from beginner to advanced.
  • Participants will engage in small group discussions about broadening participation in game-based STEM learning environments.
  • Participants will have the opportunity to provide feedback on game approach, content, and presentation.

Saturday, March 4

Kiley McElroy-BrownGeniConnect: Game-based learning, connections with scientists, and laboratory experiences—a model for industry/after school partnerships

Frieda Reichsman, Kiley McElroy-Brown

5:30–8:30 PM, Poster Reception

To gauge the effectiveness of GeniConnect in stimulating readiness for and interest in STEM and STEM careers, we are developing instruments to assess genetics content learning and motivation. Our iterative development of these instruments is based on Evidence Centered Design (ECD). ECD was developed to improve the validity of assessments by requiring an explicit framework of targeted knowledge and skills as well as evidence of proficiency for each targeted learning goal. Given the success of ECD in supporting development of valid assessments, we have broadened its application to inform both the design of our assessments and our intervention program components, e.g., the game component, contact with volunteer “coaches”, and other afterschool learning activities.

GeniConnect PosterClick image for a high-resolution version of the GeniConnect poster.

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