Session: Expanding the Field in Fieldwork: Connecting the Practice of Fieldwork with the Human Dimensions of the 4DEE Framework
A 4DEE approach to evaluating ecological literacy in an environmental science course using citizen science projects
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
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Zakiya H. Leggett, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, Luanna B. Prevost, Dept. of Integrative Biology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, Porche L. Spence, Natural Resources & Environ Design, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC and Natasha N. Woods, Department of Biological Sciences, Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA
Background/Question/Methods One of the main goals of environmental science education is to enhance ecological literacy. The Four-Dimensional Ecology Education (4DEE) Framework provides a structure for eco-literacy instruction that encompasses ecological and cross-cutting concepts, practices, and human dimensions. The framework can be used as a benchmark and/or guide for instructors teaching undergraduate courses. Our project involves utilizing the framework to design an assessment tool for an Introduction to Environmental Science course designed for science and non-science majors and will develop into a collaborative effort for assessment among a range of courses among multiple universities throughout the US. Results/Conclusions Three different modules were provided to students; each module was multidimensionally focused on at least one ecological concept and practice. Additionally, students completed a citizen science project where they were required to test their water quality. Modules were assessed with a range of unidimensional and multidimensional assessments utilizing questions that align with the 4DEE framework. The assessment included multiple choice and short answer questions. Based on the results of the assessment, these modules will be adjusted as needed to ensure the learning objectives are achievable and inform the design of the larger collaborative project.