[FUN_Mail] Study participants needed: Comparing lessons for impact on student learning outcomes

Kaitlyn Casimo kaitlync at alleninstitute.org
Mon Apr 18 20:35:28 UTC 2022

Hi all,

The Allen Institute and Google are partnering on a study on the learning impact of including code in an experiment-based lesson, looking at student neuroscience knowledge, attitudes towards science and science careers, and other learning outcomes. We are looking for faculty interested in including an assignment in their courses and having their students complete surveys about their experience.

See below for more details. Contact me (Kaitlyn Casimo, kaitlync at alleninstitute.org<mailto:kaitlync at alleninstitute.org>) to sign your class up. We are trying to collect all data by July 29, so spring and summer session courses would be able to participate!



  *   Assignment details: You’ll be given one of two versions of an assignment, which covers topics in neuroanatomy, gene expression, and connectivity using open data from the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas and Allen Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas. You will randomly be assigned to either a version that uses the Allen Institute’s online data portal or uses code to complete the same experimental activity. Both lessons cover the same content. We recommend this lesson for students who have already had some neuroscience classes – sophomores at the end of the school year through seniors. Both assignments are fully self-guided and students can complete it as in-class or out-of-class work.
  *   Time commitment (faculty): We’ll send you links to the pre-assignment and post-assignment survey and the PDF of the assignment. The minimum commitment is to distribute the surveys and assignment to students. You may want to collect the assignments as part of your course, but you don’t have to for your students to participate in the study. We recommend assigning it as extra credit!
  *   Time commitment (students): Both versions of the assignment should take ~3 hours, plus ~20 minutes for each survey.
  *   How it works for students: Students will fill out a pre-assignment survey and quiz on their attitudes towards science, feeling of belonging in the world of science, and knowledge of the subject matter covered in the assignment (20 minutes). After they complete the assignment (~3 hours), they will fill out a second survey with similar questions (20 minutes) and upload their completed assignments. Student emails will be collected on the survey to link their pre and post-assignment responses and send the gift card, but will not be distributed, shared, or used for any other purpose.
  *   Benefit of participating to you and your students: Students benefit from learning the material in the lesson, but there is no direct learning benefit to students of participating in the study. Students who complete the assignment and both surveys will be entered in a drawing to win a $20 gift card.
  *   Study outcomes: We will share the results of the study widely via an SfN abstract/poster, on the Allen Institute’s website, and in a publication.

Kaitlyn Casimo, PhD
Training and Outreach Specialist
T: 206.618.2786
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