Online Tools Help Get Scientists and Educators on the Same Page



As part of its effort to foster substantive dialogue between scientists and educators, the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence—Ocean Systems (COSEE-OS), a center in the COSEE network, has developed an applied concept-mapping process and a related suite of interactive multimedia tools that focus on ocean and climate concepts. The resulting maps illustrate connections among concepts related to ocean and climate science. These tools, developed over the past 3 years, help scientists see and graphically display relationships among the concepts in their field, and help them communicate those concepts clearly and logically to educators and other scientists.

COSEE-OS research has indicated that concept mapping benefits scientists by identifying what they do and do not explain well to educators. Evaluation studies conducted by COSEE-OS external evaluator Ted Repa include interviews with scientists and survey responses of the educators who participate in COSEE-OS workshops. By continuously improving its workshop design and suite of interactive communication tools, COSEE-OS strives to increase the levels of collaboration between scientists and educators by fostering peer-to-peer learning environments.