On January 7-9th at NIMBioS headquarters in Knoxville, TN, the Data Nuggets working group brought together a diverse team of leaders in curriculum reform (K-12 and undergraduate), education resource assessment, education researchers, mathematicians, biologists, and a high school teacher. This working group served as a mechanism to bring NIMBioS resources and leaders in science education research and reform together in an effort to develop a national resource focused on integrating mathematics and science, particularly in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology. The group has three objectives:
- Identify skills necessary for progression towards quantitative literacy and discuss the role of Data Nuggets in acquiring these skills
- Assess the efficacy of Data Nuggets as an educational tool
- Build a library of resources for use alongside Data Nuggets in undergraduate classrooms
The group discussed common difficulties experienced by students when performing tasks that merge science content with quantitative skills, and how Data Nuggets can alleviate these difficulties. Based on these discussions, our next steps are to identify specific quantitative skills we want students to develop by using Data Nuggets. These learning outcomes will inform the development of a preliminary assessment tool that we will use to examine student gains after using Data Nuggets. Additionally, we hope to extend Data Nuggets to the undergraduate classroom and will be piloting Data Nuggets in introductory biology and math courses. We will organize professional development sessions for faculty to learn about and create Data Nuggets.
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