According to Danish, the goal of this project is to help students productively critique and revise evidence-based models of complex ecosystems. Knowledge building in science involves the complementary practices of construction and critique. Science education has focused mostly on construction of models. However, critique is crucial for helping learners refine their models to be more useful to them.
“One thing I really enjoyed about our prior project was how our MEME software really helped students connect to rich science content in new ways. They didn’t just try and make sense of what they saw, but worked to incorporate it into a model, and used evidence to support their ideas,” Danish said. “I’m really looking forward to this opportunity to take it one step further and help students provide meaningful peer critique so that they can refine and improve all of their work, and appreciate the role of critique in the sciences at the same time.”
The grant is in collaboration with team colleagues Ravit Duncan and Clark Chinn at Rutgers University. The total award amount is $1,499,210; around half will go to IU. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation’s EDU Core Research (ECR) program. This program emphasizes fundamental STEM education research that generates foundational knowledge in the field.