GS 325: Inquiry and Design for Educators


Frequently Asked Questions about GS 325:
What is the textbook?
How can I find out my grade?
What do I need to do to pass this course?
What's the course project?
How can I get help if I need it?
What if I miss a class?

What is the textbook?

The text for this term is Mixing It Up: Integrated, Interdisciplinary, Intriguing Science in the Elementary Classroom, NSTA Press, ISBN 0-87355-231-8 (I may also provide short readings to be downloaded on a regular basis).

How can I find out my grade?

Your grade is calculated based on the percentage of points you've earned out of the total possible. You can keep up with both the number of points you have earned, and the number of possible points by adding together your assignments as you receive them back or by visiting the grade update site. You can keep up with your grade by checking in on Moodle, and you can come to office hours to check on your grade.

What do I need to do to pass this course?

First, you need to be aware of the Course Learning Outcomes. These are the expectations that you must meet to earn a passing grade.

Our focus in GS 325 will be on both the pedagogical process and essential content of biology science teaching at the elementary level. Students successfully completing GS 325 will:
1) demonstrate understanding of key biological content outlined in the National and Oregon State Science Education Standards
2) demonstrate knowledge of science teaching pedagogy as outlined by the National Science Teachers Association Professional Development Standards
3) demonstrate an ability to cohesively combine content and process by conducting and reflecting on scientific inquiry, engineering, and teaching activities

Your grade includes:
Class Activities, including regular online forum posts, journaling, and inquiry and engineering projects.
Quizzes on class content.
A short book development project on the scientific content of your choice
Lesson plan project developed throughout the course of the term.

You will want to make sure you prepare yourself to demonstrate your mastery of our learning outcomes by visiting the course website (on Moodle) on a regular basis, downloading (and using) the available resources and completing assignments, reading the assigned text (before class), and studying. About one quarter of your grade is completion of a course project (lesson plan), so you will want to keep up with that! There is a definite correlation between attendance rate and course performance, not to mention that if you miss class, you may miss assignments or quizzes along with important discussion, so regularly attending class is essential!

What's this lesson plan project?

You will develop a short lesson plan grounded in relevant science education research that teaches a concept or skill connected to the Oregon Content Standards for Science. Your lesson plan will be developed throughout the course of the term, and should reflect your personal philosophy of science teaching. You will have a checklist of required components to complete over the course of the term as a scaffold for completing the full lesson plan, so you won't fall behind!

How can I get help if I need it?

If you are feeling challenged by material, or you'd like to discuss your project, visit office hours. These are posted on my home page and are on your syllabus. I strongly recommend you see me as early as possible if you feel you are struggling.

I wasn't in class- Did I miss anything?

Yup. We've got something going on every day and that doesn't stop if you're not here. You must complete all quizzes and classwork during the scheduled time. Acceptable excuses for missing a class are official school events and physician-documented illness. If you know you will miss a class due to an official school activity, you must contact me as far in advance as possible to arrange make-up work. In the event of illness, please contact me as soon as you are able to arrange for make-up work and be prepared to provide documentation of your illness. All make-up work must be submitted within one week of the missed quiz, exam or assignment. In the event of a prolonged illness, please contact the Vice-President for Student affairs for assistance with verification and notification of your professors. Computer/Technology problems do not constitute an excuse for late work; plan ahead and don’t procrastinate so you can contact the Technology Resource Center for assistance in a timely fashion if an issue arises.

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