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Reaching Students: What Research Says About Effective Instruction in Undergraduate Science and Engineering (2015)

January 21, 2015 Comments off

Reaching Students: What Research Says About Effective Instruction in Undergraduate Science and Engineering (2015)
Source: National Research Council

The undergraduate years are a turning point in producing scientifically literate citizens and future scientists and engineers. Evidence from research about how students learn science and engineering shows that teaching strategies that motivate and engage students will improve their learning. So how do students best learn science and engineering? Are there ways of thinking that hinder or help their learning process? Which teaching strategies are most effective in developing their knowledge and skills? And how can practitioners apply these strategies to their own courses or suggest new approaches within their departments or institutions? Reaching Students strives to answer these questions.

Reaching Students presents the best thinking to date on teaching and learning undergraduate science and engineering. Focusing on the disciplines of astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, geosciences, and physics, this book is an introduction to strategies to try in your classroom or institution. Concrete examples and case studies illustrate how experienced instructors and leaders have applied evidence-based approaches to address student needs, encouraged the use of effective techniques within a department or an institution, and addressed the challenges that arose along the way.

The research-based strategies in Reaching Students can be adopted or adapted by instructors and leaders in all types of public or private higher education institutions. They are designed to work in introductory and upper-level courses, small and large classes, lectures and labs, and courses for majors and non-majors. And these approaches are feasible for practitioners of all experience levels who are open to incorporating ideas from research and reflecting on their teaching practices. This book is an essential resource for enriching instruction and better educating students.

New Report Says No Technological Replacement Exists for Bulk Data Collection; Software Can Enhance Targeted Collection and Automate Control of Data Usage to Protect Privacy

January 16, 2015 Comments off

New Report Says No Technological Replacement Exists for Bulk Data Collection; Software Can Enhance Targeted Collection and Automate Control of Data Usage to Protect Privacy
Source: National Research Council

No software-based technique can fully replace the bulk collection of signals intelligence, but methods can be developed to more effectively conduct targeted collection and to control the usage of collected data, says a new report from the National Research Council. Automated systems for isolating collected data, restricting queries that can be made against those data, and auditing usage of the data can help to enforce privacy protections and allay some civil liberty concerns, the unclassified report says.

The study was a result of an activity called for in Presidential Policy Directive 28, issued by President Obama in January 2014, to evaluate U.S. signals intelligence practices. The directive instructed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to produce a report within one year “assessing the feasibility of creating software that would allow the intelligence community more easily to conduct targeted information acquisition rather than bulk collection.” ODNI asked the Research Council — the operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering — to conduct a study, which began in June 2014, to assist in preparing a response to the President. Over the ensuing months, a committee of experts appointed by the Research Council produced the report.

National Academies Press — Most Downloaded Reports in 2014

January 13, 2015 Comments off

Exploring Opportunities for STEM Teacher Leadership: Summary of a Convocation (2014)

January 12, 2015 Comments off

Exploring Opportunities for STEM Teacher Leadership: Summary of a Convocation (2014)
Source: National Research Council

Many national initiatives in K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education have emphasized the connections between teachers and improved student learning. Much of the discussion surrounding these initiatives has focused on the preparation, professional development, evaluation, compensation, and career advancement of teachers. Yet one critical set of voices has been largely missing from this discussion – that of classroom teachers themselves. To explore the potential for STEM teacher leaders to improve student learning through involvement in education policy and decision making, the National Research Council held a convocation in June 2014 entitled “One Year After Science’s Grand Challenges in Education: Professional Leadership of STEM Teachers through Education Policy and Decision Making”. This event was structured around a special issue of Science magazine that discussed 20 grand challenges in science education. The authors of three major articles in that issue – along with Dr. Bruce Alberts, Science’s editor-in-chief at the time – spoke at the convocation, updating their earlier observations and applying them directly to the issue of STEM teacher leadership. The convocation focused on empowering teachers to play greater leadership roles in education policy and decision making in STEM education at the national, state, and local levels. Exploring Opportunities for STEM Teacher Leadership is a record of the presentations and discussion of that event. This report will be of interest to STEM teachers, education professionals, and state and local policy makers.

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Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (2015)

January 9, 2015 Comments off

Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (2015)
Source: National Research Council

A Framework for K-12 Science Education and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) describe a new vision for science learning and teaching that is catalyzing improvements in science classrooms across the United States. Achieving this new vision will require time, resources, and ongoing commitment from state, district, and school leaders, as well as classroom teachers. Successful implementation of the NGSS will ensure that all K-12 students have high-quality opportunities to learn science.

Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards provides guidance to district and school leaders and teachers charged with developing a plan and implementing the NGSS as they change their curriculum, instruction, professional learning, policies, and assessment to align with the new standards. For each of these elements, this report lays out recommendations for action around key issues and cautions about potential pitfalls. Coordinating changes in these aspects of the education system is challenging. As a foundation for that process, Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards identifies some overarching principles that should guide the planning and implementation process.

The new standards present a vision of science and engineering learning designed to bring these subjects alive for all students, emphasizing the satisfaction of pursuing compelling questions and the joy of discovery and invention. Achieving this vision in all science classrooms will be a major undertaking and will require changes to many aspects of science education. Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards will be a valuable resource for states, districts, and schools charged with planning and implementing changes, to help them achieve the goal of teaching science for the 21st century.

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Research Priorities to Inform Public Health and Medical Practice for Ebola Virus Disease— Workshop in Brief

November 23, 2014 Comments off

Research Priorities to Inform Public Health and Medical Practice for Ebola Virus Disease— Workshop in Brief
Source: Institute of Medicine

The current epidemic of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), cause by a filovirus, has spread internationally, now affecting multiple continents, and has become the worst EVD outbreak in history since its discovery in 1976. While the Ebola viruses have typically been studied in laboratory settings, additional biomedical and public health research in real world settings can best prepare the United States to safeguard the public and at-risk workers.

At the request of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in collaboration with the National Research Council, convened a workshop on November 3, 2014 with key stakeholders and experts to discuss the research priorities that could guide medical and public health practice. Discussions included the degree of transmission and biopersistence of the virus under a range of conditions and on a variety of materials, as well as issues of handling potentially infected materials, decontamination, and the training and personal protective equipment and usage of traditional and nontraditional workers involved in the full spectrum of this response.

Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains and Measures in Electronic Health Records: Phase 2

November 21, 2014 Comments off

Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains and Measures in Electronic Health Records: Phase 2
Source: Institute of Medicine

Determinants of health—like physical activity levels and living conditions—have traditionally been the concern of public health and have not been linked closely to clinical practice. However, if standardized social and behavioral data can be incorporated into patient electronic health records (EHRs), those data can provide crucial information about factors that influence health and the effectiveness of treatment.Such information is useful for diagnosis, treatment choices, policy, health care system design, and innovations to improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs.

With this goal in mind, a committee was convened to conduct a two-phase study, first to identify social and behavioral domains that most strongly determine health, and then to evaluate the measures of those domains that can be used in EHRs.

In Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains in Electronic Health Records: Phase 1, the committee identified 17 domains that they considered to be good candidates for inclusion in EHRs. The second report, Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains and Measures in Electronic Health Records: Phase 2, pinpoints 12 measures related to 11 of the initial domains and considers the implications of incorporating them into all EHRs.

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