Introducing a Multimedia Educational Tool in the

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					Integration of a Multimedia Educational Tool about Genetics and
       Genomics into the Community College Classroom

                        Sara L. Tobin, Ph.D., M.S.W.
                 Senior Research Scholar, Stanford University

                         Mary Pat Huxley, M.Sc. Ed. D.
   Director, California Community Colleges Biological Technologies Initiative

                             Elaine Johnson, Ph.D.
                              Director, Bio-Link

                              September 11, 2003
Executive summary

        A group of self-selected faculty from California community colleges evaluated an
innovative multimedia educational CD-ROM, The New Genetics, in their classrooms
during the 2002-2003 academic year. These faculty members then came together in the
Spring of 2003 to participate in focus groups. They evaluated the courseware and
considered both improvements and ancillary materials that would enhance their ability to
use this multimedia resource effectively. This report summarizes the results of the focus
groups with regard to their positive evaluation of the CD, their desire to use it in their
respective classrooms, and the improvements and ancillary materials that would enable
them to do so.

Background Information

Courseware Creation
        Dr. Sara Tobin and Ann Boughton created the innovative and user friendly
multimedia, interactive CD-ROM, The New Genetics: Medicine and the Human Genome.
Molecular Concepts, Applications, and Ramifications. Dr. Tobin is a Senior Research
Scholar in the Program for Genomics, Ethics, and Society at Stanford University, and
Ann Boughton is the artist who brought genomic and genetic concepts to life in The New
Genetics courseware. Funding for the creation of this courseware was provided by a grant
from the Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the US Department of
Energy Human Genome Program through Stanford University.
        The original concept for the courseware targeted education of practicing
physicians and other health professionals whose training had been completed before the
new molecular tools were invented. As both the courseware and the first draft of the
human genome sequence neared completion and the time for dissemination approached,
Stanford University decided to opt out of commercialization arrangements because they
had been unable to identify a publisher/distributor of the courseware. In order to ensure
that the courseware would be made available to the public in conjunction with the
genome sequencing announcement, Tobin and Boughton founded Twisted Ladder Media
to receive the license-back agreement from Stanford.
        The courseware was completed in late 2000 and was published by Twisted Ladder
Media in early 2001. A broad array of audiences has used the interactive, multimedia CD,
including a graduate course in the genetics of speech and hearing disorders,
undergraduate genetics instructors and students, high school teachers, attorneys, people in
the biotechnology industry, healthcare managers, medical residents at the Mayo Clinic
and other institutions, physicians, and nurses. A glowing review in the Journal of the
American Medical Association provided validation of the courseware as an innovative
and user-friendly educational resource.

Other Players
        As director of the Bio-Link program, Dr. Elaine Johnson was aware of this
resource and thought that it might be useful to Bio-Link faculty and students. Bio-link is
a nationwide program funded by the National Science Foundation involving 80
community and technical colleges that offer training programs for biotechnology industry
personnel. Johnson and Mary Pat Huxley, Director of the California Community Colleges
Biological Technologies Initiative, arranged to have Tobin demonstrate the capabilities
and content of The New Genetics at a California Community College ―Saturday Special‖
that was held in conjunction with an annual meeting of the California State University
Program and Education in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) in January 2002.
        The demonstration was enthusiastically received, and a spontaneous idea emerged
from the audience that they would like to find ways to use the CD in college courses.
More than twenty community and technical college faculty then volunteered to
participate in an identified program to determine the applicability and appropriate uses
for the CD in their classes and to consider the kinds of ancillary materials that would
support use of the CD. Throughout this report, the ―faculty members‖ or the
―participants‖ refer to this energetic group of California Community College science
faculty members self-selected as being willing to participate in this program.
        As a result of the positive faculty response, Johnson, Huxley, and Tobin drafted a
request for funding that was submitted to the National Science Foundation as a
supplement to the Bio-Link program (see Appendix A). The request proposed distribution
of one copy of the CD to each faculty participant. The faculty members were asked to use
the CD in any appropriate class or classes during the 2002-2003 academic year. Each
faculty participant would agree to attend one of two focus groups to be held in Northern
California or in Southern California at the end of Spring Semester, 2003. The request for
this supplement was granted in the summer of 2002, and the CDs were distributed to the

Focus Groups

Arrangements for Focus Groups
        Approximately one week prior to each focus group meeting, the participants were
sent a debriefing questionnaire so that they could begin thinking about the upcoming
focus groups (see Appendix B). This instrument asked questions about the courses in
which the CD was used, how the CD was utilized, and whether or not the CD was also
used outside a classroom context. There were also inquiries about how intensively the CD
was used and whether its use prompted students to seek out other sources of information.
Additional questions asked about whether the CD enhanced the instructor’s ability to
reach his or her teaching goals and which sections of the CD were found to be most
useful. Information on ease of use, potential shortcomings, and ideas for enhancing the
usefulness of the CD were also requested.
        The Southern California focus group met at Huntington Gardens in San Marino
on April 26, 2003, and the Northern California focus group met at the Marriott Courtyard
in San Bruno (near San Francisco International Airport) on May 3, 2003. A total of 19
participants attended the focus groups: 12 in Southern California, and 7 in Northern
California. Please see Appendix C for a full list of participants. Because both groups were
conducted similarly, with similar outcomes, the results have been pooled.

Conduct of the Focus Groups
      The conduct of the focus groups followed a detailed plan based on an
Appreciative Inquiry intervention formulated by Huxley, who also served as the primary
facilitator (See Appendix D). Following a welcome and introductions, pairs of
participants engaged in reciprocal interviews, the first of four processes. These interviews
set the stage for a day of creativity and brainstorming, allowed the participants to become
acquainted, and began the process of gaining perspectives to enhance attainment of the
educational goals. A variety of questions to initiate this process were provided to
participants in the detailed plan.
         Following this exercise, insights were shared with the larger group. The box
below contains some of the comments and observations made by participants.

         The CD promotes active learning and engagement.
         It is useful for everyone to know about their own lives—―Oh, that’s how it
         This project draws/appeals to the ―keep-up-with-the-latest‖ type instructor.
         Our field is rapidly changing—in 2008 this field will be very different, e.g.,
          molecular biology for clergy.
         Re-creating experiences for students heightens their interest.
         In community colleges, there are all levels of students—something in the CD for
         Even my mom thinks it’s interesting.
         All instructors have individual ways to use CD.
         We are all interested in exploring multimedia & new ways to teach science
         We are now incorporating new technologies into our programs.
         Many students not willing to put in effort to extract knowledge from textbooks.
         Issues involving patients and ethics grab student attention and provide
         We are competing for student attention.
         Animations strengthen concepts.
         Enormous enthusiasm in this room!

Graphics Exercise
       Each focus group then was divided into subgroups, and the 3-5 members of each
subgroup were challenged to develop a graphic that expressed their hopes and
perspectives for student educational experiences catalyzed by The New Genetics. Each
group explained their graphic to the focus group. The five graphics are summarized
    1. Basics of science are expressed as complementary bases in the double helix then
       metamorphose with implications represented as amino acids. These images are
       then linked to stages of development from learning facts to gaining concepts to
       attaining the status of critical thinker and finally graduation.
    2. An informed consumer walks the dog in the center of this graphic, with one input
       arrow representing information overload, but the input from The New Genetics
       representing efficient information transfer about science, humanity, and
       technology. The consumer then uses this information for career decisions, health
      care decisions, political decisions, and scientific literacy about such subjects as
      GM foods and biotechnology products.
   3. Scientists and educators are embedded into layers of knowledge that are
      communicated to students through a computer network connected through a
      double helix. The network transmits comparable layers of knowledge to the
      students, and a field of bright ideas flies upwards.
   4. A spider’s web extends out from The New Genetics, with the spider suspended
      from the center of the CD. Words are inscribed along the outer margins of the
      web: multilevel, interactive, animations and graphics, customizable, user (teacher
      and student) contribution, multidimensional, and accessibility. Special web links
      connect contribution, multidimensional, and accessibility with training.
   5. A stylized drawing of a student with questions is surrounded by three guides,
      each of which interacts both with the student and with the other two guides. The
      guides include a Student Curiosity Guide (who what where when why how), a
      Society Guide (ethics morals preconception politics economics) and a Learning
      Resources Guide (inquiry collaboration analysis). The student interacts with the
      guides and eventually graduates as an integrated team member capable of
      dialogue and discourse.

        The focus group members then shared information about their experiences using
the CD in their educational programs, employing the debriefing questionnaire as a guide.
Their responses are keyed to the questions asked in that document (see Appendix B).

1. What was/were the class(es) in which you used the CD?
Faculty members used The New Genetics was used in a wide variety of classes, including
Cell and Molecular Biology for majors, Introduction to Biotechnology, Biotechnology
and Society, Genetics, Independent Study, and General Biology for non-majors. It was
also used in a faculty lecture on Medicine and Philosophy.

2. How did you use the CD in these classes?
        Faculty members used The New Genetics in the following modes:
     To introduce students to lab techniques.
     To project animations to general biology students.
            o The units on transcription, frameshift mutations, and the Human Genome
                Project were singled out for their usefulness.
            o The PCR animation was complimented for showing the primers bound to
                the middle of the target DNA strand at the beginning of the process.
     To provide a jumping off point for student research related to diseases, with a
        different disease assigned to each student.
     To serve as a supplement to lectures, especially in projections of the interactive
        pedigrees and recombinant and analytical techniques.
     To initiate classroom discussions based on the case studies.
     To use the test questions as the basis for examinations and study guides.
Virtually every faculty member used the CD productively in a different capacity.
3. Did you use the CD outside the context of a class? If so, how?
        Outside the classroom, the focus group members used the CD to update their own
knowledge, to give community talks to groups such as Kiwanis Clubs, talks at high
school career days, and for work with remedial students during office hours.

4. How intensive was your use of the CD? Was it integral to your entire course and used
on a daily basis, like a textbook? Or was it perhaps used as a supplement for a limited
course segment?
       The intensity of use of The New Genetics varied. In one instance, the relevant
images and animations were projected and discussed during the genetics section of a cell
biology course over a four-day period. Another instructor used it as the basis for one
week’s worth of lectures and plans to expand that use in the next academic year. The CDs
were also used during two three hour labs; the instructor purchased 12 copies and
students used them on laptops to carry out exercises. In another case, the CD was used for
one genetics module and then for transcription and translation. Still another faculty
member used the CD about once a week, whenever the topics meshed.

5. Did the use of the CD prompt students to research other sources of information?
         The faculty members reported that the CDs created opportunities for students to
explore topics, find resources, and prepare oral presentations. They found that they could
start students on this CD and then turn the students loose to find additional information.
Therefore the CD functioned as a springboard to help students to get out to other sources
of information. Surprisingly, one faculty member reported that half of the students don’t
know how to use the Internet for information or how to use databases, but that the CD
could be used to begin the transition into computer literacy, information searches, and
bioinformatics. Another instructor reported choosing twelve diseases and starting student
investigations using the disease background on the CD. Another instructor stated that a
major limiting factor was her own genetics knowledge, so the background she gained
through use of the CD will enable her to increase classroom content about genetics in the

6. Did the CD enhance your ability to reach your teaching goals? How well?
        The faculty members reported that use of the CD enabled students to connect with
more than one learning modality. Some students need to hear, while others need to see
and hear (sometimes more than once). Both students and faculty found the health-based
aspects unique and compelling. One instructor had the students do a few sections ―cold,‖
but found that use of the CD was more effective when combined with a framework
delivered by lecture. The faculty emphasized that the CD taught the students computer
skills and tool use, as well as the relevant content.

7. Which sections of the CD were most useful to you? If you used it in different classes,
please indicate which parts were used in which classes.
        In addition to their use of the genetics section and the techniques section,
instructors singled out the section on ethical issues. They felt that the ethical section
provided a ―hook‖ to interest students in the broader implications of genetic technologies.
In their experience, the ethical issues also provided a way to interest non-majors in the
fields of science and technology. Though the original concept for the courseware was the
education of health professionals, the courseware focus serves as an effective inducement
for science and technology students to learn more.

8. How easy was the CD to use for you and your students?
       All participating faculty found the CD easy to use, and several suggestions for
improvement were made that will be discussed below. The glossary and index were
singled out for special commendation.

9. In the best of all possible worlds, how would you have liked to use the CD? What kept
you from being able to use it optimally?
        In the best of all possible worlds, the focus group members would have liked a
copy of the CD for each of their students. They also suggested additional content and
ancillary materials that will be discussed in detail below.

10. What ideas have occurred to you for materials to accompany the CD that would have
enhanced its usefulness for you and your students?
        The focus group members provided feedback and creative suggestions for
additional content areas for the CD, for navigation or programming alterations, and for
additional materials to support their educational goals for their students. Each category
will be discussed below:

Additions to CD Content
       Participants requested expansion or modification of the CD with addition of the
following elements:
     Expansion of the genetics unit, with the addition of interactive Punnet squares and
       pedigree construction.
     Additional animations, including an animation on translation and on protein
       structure and function, such as protein folding or enzyme-substrate interactions
       (both normal and mutant versions). This could then lead to a focus on a particular
       protein and how an alteration results in a genetic condition.
     Additional units centered on a single disease like cystic fibrosis, in which the
       condition would be approached from all angles: how the protein works, how
       drugs may (or may not) provide relief, and how the condition might be alleviated
       through gene therapy or targeted pharmaceutical interventions.
     Case-based situational units that start with a family or medical situation and move
       to specific tests and effective interventions. One participant requested an ethical
       unit illustrating the dilemmas that can be created by scientific advances, such as in
       vitro fertilization, that do not always have technological solutions.
     Several focus group members requested customized versions of the CD which
       would tailor the courseware to their particular instructional specialties, such as a
       protein CD or a tissue engineering CD. Such suggestions included ―social
       responsibility‖ forensic applications related to environmental assessments.
       Examples cited were forensic analysis of caviar, or of whale meat to track
       endangered species, or of fish to detect cheating in fishing tournaments, or of Bt
       corn. Other suggestions included studies of speciation, ecology, or endangered
       species with correlations to social change. More units on biotechnology in society
       were requested.

Navigational or programming changes
      The following items were suggested:
    More options for display of the courseware; participants were delighted to hear
      that these options had already been included in an updated version of the CD.
    Access to the subject matter of each page, perhaps using a rollover that would
      bring up a chapter heading whenever the mouse moved over a page number in the
      navigational bar.
    Greater flexibility of use with a more hierarchical structure, rather than the linear
      form that was used.
    Incorporation of the content of the sidebars into the main content of the
    Elimination of a glossary bug that appears in some system configurations in
      which the first few definitions in the glossary are not displayed.
    Increased adaptability so that the CD is compatible with a wider variety of
      operating systems.
    Additional copies for all their students, since the CDs were designed for
      individual use.

Ancillary materials
        The focus group members were asked to develop a ―wish list‖ of ancillary
materials to support the use of The New Genetics in their classrooms. They were then
requested to list these resources in order of priority. The top six items on the list, in order
of priority, are presented below:
     1. workbook/study guide
     2. page content rollovers
     3. image bank
     4. annotated links
     5. additional animations
     6. web site with archivable bulletin board
Additional items, but at a lower priority level, were a test bank, a virtual laboratory, ways
to track student performance, accessibility to diverse populations, and a supplemental
unit on tissue engineering.
        The overwhelming request from the members of both focus groups was for a
workbook/study guide that would fulfill several roles. They wanted a framework for
structured exercises, such as ―fill in the blank‖ pedigrees and genograms, problem sets,
take-home and classroom exercises, learning objectives, practice problems with answers
in an appendix, ideas for research projects and research papers, debate questions, and
personalized exercises such as asking students to write about ―what this means to me.‖
They also wished to have quantitative exercises, such as probabilities relative to pedigree
analysis or quantifying microarrays or risk factor analysis. Others wished for exercises
that would lead students into bioinformatics through guided exercises using public
databases and links. Such a resource would include ideas for research projects and
papers, with ―starter‖ resources and references. Extensive links to research articles and
updates were also requested, such as OMIM and Genetests.
         The faculty members felt that students should not construct their own family
pedigrees as part of any classroom exercise, expressing their commitment to ensuring that
their students did not encounter personally embarrassing or confidential information
through the proposed educational units. They recommended instead that personal genetic
scenarios in exercises or role-plays could focus on scenarios involving partners, such as
public health screening for cystic fibrosis carrier status. The participants also suggested
that the process of content development should avoid personal genotyping exercises that
might reveal adoption or misattributed paternity. Scenarios involving model genetic
counseling sessions with fictitious families could illustrate some of these issues for

Cost and Dissemination
       Participants emphasized that any materials to be developed must be affordable for
both instructors and students.
       Participants discussed the possibility of developing a flexible dissemination
mechanism was discussed, perhaps involving Bio-Link, commercial publishing
companies, and industrial sponsors.

Solutions Needed for Successful Completion of Project:
   1. Develop a browser-based programming interface to minimize compatibility
       issues, permit flexible creation of both CD and Internet modes of use, enhance
       flexibility of content, and permit on-line resource delivery;
   2. Integrate page content rollovers into the design;
   3. Establish an Internet site to support development, perhaps a password-protected
       section on the Bio-Link web site;
   4. Create content as required, including annotated links and additional animations;
   5. Develop a programming interface for the image bank to make it easy to integrate
       graphic elements and animations into custom presentations, either by
       downloading files or from a CD;
   6. Create flexible web-based communications tools that can be used for individual
       classes and for regional or national programs;
   7. Carry out ongoing formative evaluations with end-users;
   8. Assemble publishing and dissemination partners and plan for nationwide

Focus Group Roles:
Mary Pat Huxley       Primary Facilitator
Elaine Johnson        Facilitator
Sara L. Tobin         Facilitator
Andrea Cortez         Reimbursements and focus group arrangements

Appendix A:   Supplement Request submitted to NSF

Appendix B:   Debriefing Questionnaire

Appendix C:   List of Participants

Appendix D:   Detailed Plan for The New Genetics Focus Groups
Appendix A:

Supplement Request Submitted to the National Science Foundation

June 28, 2002

Elaine Johnson, Ph.D.
Director, Bio-Link Program

I am requesting a supplement to the Bio-Link Grant (DUE-0118933) for the specific
purpose of providing multimedia educational materials to serve as effective educational
tools for the presentation of current genetic and genomic science, including case studies,
ethics, and molecular techniques.
Bio-Link is committed to building a quality well-prepared technical workforce for
biotechnology. It is evident that people have heard about the human genome project and
know that biotechnology is an emerging field, but few have a basic understanding of
molecular genetics and what biotechnology means to them. Bio-Link would like to
provide tools to assist in this understanding and, in so doing, also provide the kind of
information that will assist our recruitment efforts for biotechnology programs at
community and technical colleges.
Over the past few years, we have begun to partner with individuals and companies that
share this goal. We have been privileged to have Dr. Sara (Sally) Tobin present a CD
called The New Genetics: Medicine and the Human Genome. This CD was produced
with major funding provided by grant DE-FG-ER67128 from the Office of Biological
and Environmental Research, US Department of Energy. The CD presents basic
genetics, current molecular techniques, with their clinical applications and implications,
and seems appropriate for use by students at community colleges. Bio-Link has
showcased the CD at several workshops and has gained the support of a group of excited
and dedicated two-year faculty members who would like to create some ancillary
materials and pilot the use of the CD at community colleges. Dr. Tobin has agreed to
work with our group if we can obtain funding to carry out this pilot. She is currently the
president of a company called Twisted Ladder Media and is a Senior Research Scholar in
the Program for Genomics, Ethics, and Society at the Center for Biomedical Ethics at
Stanford University. Mary Pat Huxley, the State Economic Development (ED>Net)
Director for Biotechnology in the California Community Colleges, would assist in
coordination, facilitation and report writing.

Throughout this proposal, the ―faculty members‖ or the ―participants‖ refer to California
Community College science faculty members self-identified as being willing to
participate in supporting this NSF proposal. These faculty members signed up to indicate
their interest at a ―Saturday Special,‖ where Dr. Tobin demonstrated the capabilities and
content of ―The New Genetics.‖ [This California Community College ―Saturday
Special‖ was held in conjunction with an annual meeting of the California State
University Program and Education in Biotechnology, January 2002.] If any of these
faculty members are not available, Ms. Huxley has access to more than 110 California
community college faculty on her biotechnology email distribution list to solicit
replacements and ensure a full complement of biotechnology-related two-year college
faculty for the participants.

Through the ED>Net network and Bio-Link we wish to accomplish the following:

1. Build on an existing resource (The New Genetics CD) by developing curriculum and
   ancillary materials;
2. Develop a pilot program to see how The New Genetics can be used in California
   Community College classrooms;
3. Conduct two focus groups (Northern CA and Southern CA) drawn from enthusiastic
   faculty members who have already expressed interest;
4. Collate the results from the focus groups into a report that summarizes suggested
   uses/improvements/ancillary items to supplement the CD;
5. Use the results to serve as a basis for consideration of further dissemination and
   materials development.

 The ancillary materials include but are not limited to:
       A workbook with problem sets
       Classroom projects or lab exercises to accompany the CD Courseware
       Guided discussions of ethical issues growing out of molecular technologies
       Suggestions for combining courseware elements to cover subjects such as cancer

We want to encourage the creative range of the participant fresh ideas that build on the
New Genetics Courseware with four major content areas:
     Genetics (Mutations and Inheritance Patterns)
     Techniques (Recombinant Analysis of DNA Inheritance)
     Clinical Applications (Molecular Genetics in Medical Practice)
     Implications (Standards of Practice and Patient Concerns)


Enlistment of 20 participants for two focus groups                             100
Provision of 22 CDs                                                  1,430
       (one for each participant & 2 facilitators, $65 each)
Classified Project Management & Workshop Materials Prep              1,400
Benefits                                                                       644
Travel for two workshops
       10 participants plus 3 facilitators at $200 each X2               5,200
        Facilitators are Elaine Johnson,
                         Sally Tobin
                         Mary Pat Huxley
        Lodging for 1 night for 13 at $100 each X 2                      2,600
        Food at $45 per day for each of 13 x 2                           1,170

Stipends for each participant for preparation, workshop
      participation, and classroom trial and feedback @ $1,000          20,000

Stipend to Sally Tobin for creating the report                           4,000

Stipend to Mary Pat Huxley for coordination and facilitation,
and for consultation on the report                               2,000

Supplies, telephone, postage                                      516

Evaluation                                                                 500

Indirect                                                                   940

                                    Total Request                    40,500
Appendix B:

Bio-Link Focus Group Instrument
Final Version
April 21, 2003

To:            Participating Faculty
From:          Focus Group Organizers
Subject:       Debriefing Questionnaire

        We are delighted that you will be participating either in the Southern California
Focus Group (April 26) or the Northern California Focus Group (May 3), and we are
looking forward to your feedback and creative ideas. After we introduce ourselves to
each other, we’ll be asking for information about how you used the CD-ROM, ―The New
Genetics: Medicine and the Human Genome.‖
        We designed this little questionnaire to jump-start your thinking about the kinds
of information we would like before we take off into creative territory. Feel free to use it
to jot down some notes and bring it with you to the focus group.

What was/were the class(es) in which you used the CD?

How did you use the CD in these classes?

Did you use the CD outside the context of a class? If so, how?

How intensive was your use of the CD? Was it integral to your entire course and used on
a daily basis, like a textbook? Or was it perhaps used as a supplement for a limited course

Did the use of the CD prompt students to research other sources of information?
Did the CD enhance your ability to reach your teaching goals? How well?

Which sections of the CD were most useful to you? If you used it in different classes,
please indicate which parts were used in which classes.

How easy was the CD to use for you and your students?

In the best of all possible worlds, how would you have liked to use the CD? What kept
you from being able to use it optimally?

What ideas have occurred to you for materials to accompany the CD that would have
enhanced its usefulness for you and your students?
Appendix C:

List of Participants

Southern California
Professor Marty Ikkanda – Los Angeles Pierce College, Los Angeles
Dr. Melody Ricci – Victor Valley College, Victorville
Dr. Nouna Bakheit Bakhiet– Southwestern College, Chula Vista
Dr. Ana-Esther Escandon – Los Angeles Harbor College, Los Angeles
Dr. Becky Green-Marroquin – Los Angeles Valley College, Los Angeles
Professor Jim Wolf – College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita
Dr. James Harber – Ventura College, Ventura
Dr. Beta Meyer – Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut
Dr. David Mirman – Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut
Dr. Sandra Slivka – Miramar College, San Diego
Dr. Calvin Young – Fullerton College, Fullerton
Dr. Christine Bilicki – Pasadena City College, Pasadena

Dr. Wendie Johnston – Pasadena City College, Pasadena

Northern California
Professor Jim Dekloe – Solano College, Suisun City
Dr. Janice Toyoshima – Evergreen College, San Jose
Dr. Ken Kubo – American River College, Sacramento
Dr. Ann Wright –Hartnell College, Salinas
Dr. Karen Erickson – Foothill College, Los Altos Hills
Dr. Doug Kain –Merced College, Merced
Dr. Crima Pogge – City College of San Francisco, San Francisco

Dr. Leslie Williams, Yuba College, Yuba, provided her answers to the questions in print

Faculty member volunteers for any potential ongoing project:
Dr. Nouna Bakheit, Southwestern College
Dr. Melody Ricci, Victor Valley College
Dr. Beta Meyer, Mt. San Antonio College
Dr. Becky Green–Marroquin, Los Angeles Valley College
Dr. Sandra Slivka, Miramar College
Dr. Christine Bilicki, Pasadena City College
Dr. Doug Kain, Merced College
Dr. Jim Harber, Ventura College
Dr. Calvin Young, Fullerton College

Dr. Elaine Johnson
Dr. Sally Tobin
Ann Boughton
Mary Pat Huxley
Appendix D:

          Plan for The New Genetics Focus Groups
                  April 26 and May 3, 2003

                 Saturday April 26 – Huntington Gardens in San Marino
             Saturday May 3 – Marriott Courtyard by San Francisco Airport

 Sponsor: Bio-Link, the National Science Foundation Advanced Technology Education
           Center for Biotechnology in Technical and Community College

                               SUMMARY SCHEDULE

8:45 – 9 AM – Meet and Chat - each person as well as the means of setting the tone for
the day.
9-9:15 Welcome and Introductions
9:15-9:35 – ―Discover‖ – Setting the stage – Interviews in pairs
9:35 – 9:45 – Sharing of some insights with larger group
9:45 – 10:30 AM – ―Dream‖ – what’s possible – entire group
10:30 AM – 11:00 AM – Sharing graphics and lists.
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM – ―Provocative Propositions‖ – what could be – entire
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM – lunch
12:30 PM to 4 PM – ―Action Steps‖ what we create
                                DETAILED SCHEDULE

8:45 – 9 AM – Meet and Chat
9-9:15 Welcome and Introductions
Using the New Genetics in the Classroom: how using it will change what we do in
science teaching and what/how students learn.
        We are gathered to make meaning of our experiences with the New Genetics and
move in a direction of change with this CD. To help set the thinking for the day, to help
shrug off the concerns of the week, and to shift our framework for what we need to do,
we have some exercises. The first one is called ―Discover,‖ and it done in paired
interviews. This is easy and fun: some questions may seem a bit over the top for what we
are doing here today, but play along – this exercise sets up a means of tapping into the
knowledge base about what’s possible, and that’s what we want as we discuss the further
uses of the New Genetics CD. It’s about the fact that we all make meaning out of our
lives, so we set the tone for the day by this exercise. I’ve tried to shorten it as much as
possible from a one-hour interview – please allow yourself to answer thoughtfully and
quickly, we are allotting just 20 minutes for this exercise, ten minutes for each person in
the pair.
        After ―Discover,‖ the next exercise is ―Dream.‖ Using the subject matter from the
―Dream‖ exercise, we create ―Provocative Propositions,‖ which then lead us to the
―Action Steps‖ exercises.

9:15-9:35 – “Discover” – setting the stage – Interviews in pairs
Using the New Genetics in the Classroom: how using it will change what we do in
science teaching and what/how students learn.
Theme: The New Genetics as an agent of benefit to science education.

Paired Interview questions
Topic #1. Moments of Meaning Making. All of us at some level wonder what possible
good – new understanding awareness, energies, relationships, insights, and perspectives –
will come out of these moments of meaning making and change. Surely there are many
answers, most of which are not yet visible. Feel free to move at an easy pace through the
questions, no need to spend lots of pondering.
         What attracted you to be involved with The New Genetics Project?
         What were your initial excitements and impressions when you joined?
         What do you value most about yourself and your work with the New Genetics
Topic #2. Exploring moments of leading positive change. You have been part of many
change experiences in organizations, educational and otherwise, that have had ups and
downs, peaks and valleys.
         As you think about the many change experiences you have had, select one
           moment that stands out as something of a high point. Tell me the story about
           a time you felt engaged in something meaningful, a time you felt effective,
           alive, and found yourself learning new things about change. What happened?
           When? Where? Who else was involved? Why were they significant?
          What feelings and/or insights did you experience?
          What made it an exciting experience? Who were the most significant other
           people? Why were they significant?
          If we now had a conversation with people that know you the very best and
           asked them to share what they see, the three best qualities or capabilities that
           you bring to science education – what would they say?

Topic #3. Leading exemplars that offer images of possibility and strengths you want to
        You probably know some educational group or organization that operates at
           peak performance – that create practices to nurture the human spirit, are
           successful economically and ecologically, and are serving as catalysts for
           educational and societal betterment. Can you share a story of one ―golden
           innovation‖ that you see emerging that demonstrates building the capabilities
           to move in the direction of your vision?
        Continuity: We know that science education and the community colleges will
           have to change in our changing future. We are focusing on a small part of that
           change. But there are some things right now – best practices, innovations,
           values, ways of working – that are good and should be nourished and kept.
           What are three things about the science/genetics/molecular biology education
           in the California Community Colleges as it exists right now (or from the past),
           that are best – things we should consider keeping even as we change in the
Topic #4. This exercise is about your vision of a better world, and your images of the
New Genetics as an agent in better science education.
        Pretend that tonight, you go into a sound sleep and when you awaken it is 5
           years into the future – the year is 2008. While we were asleep, many small
           and large miracles happened - the learning from using the New Genetics CD
           and science education in the community colleges changed and the world was
           constituted in ways you would most like to see it – for you, your students,
           your advisory committee, your colleges, and for nature. You awaken; you see
           the kind of science teaching you most want to be part of. So now, share
           highlights of what you see: what do you see happening that is new, better,
           healthy, and good? In science education, people, technologies, and
           community? What do you see in your vision of a better world and a better
           educational model?

What is the most important thing stirring in you right now, and how do you sense it
relates to your future work or larger sense of purpose, both for you personally, for science
education and for The New Genetics’ place in that science education?

9:35 – 9:45 – Sharing of some insights with larger group

9:45 – 10:30 AM – “Dream” – what’s possible – entire group
Imagining the ideal future toward which we want to work – our dreams for the New
Genetics as an agent of benefit to science education.
Building on the stories, themes, images and dreams from the interviews, describe the
ideal vision of the New Genetics as an agent of benefit to science education. Be guided
by your deepest hopes and highest aspirations. What is it doing? What are all the
relationships? How is this science education organized, designed, and led? What are the
practices that are helping bring out the best in human beings and the best for science
education? Jot down some ideas.

Now, in a small group of three or four, gather around a flip chart and using what has been
percolating, create both a list and a graphic. Envision your ideas as if they were
happening now. As a group, create a graphic image (picture, drawing) that illustrates
your dream of science education and the New Genetics as an agent bringing that benefit.
On a separate piece of paper, list five to seven key elements of your dream.

10:30 AM – 11:00 AM – Sharing graphics and lists.

11 AM to 11:30 AM – “Provocative Propositions” – what could be –
entire group/individuals
Writing provocative proposition for key elements of the type of ancillary materials we
plan to create to accompany the New Genetics CD.

Purpose: to lift up our hopes and dreams for the New Genetics, it’s use in the classroom,
and other materials to go with it by imagining the ideal architecture and elements – the
ideal purpose, relationships, practices, structures, and systems to bring life to our dream.

What is a provocative proposition? It is a clear short word picture describing the ideal
state of the use of the New Genetics.

Great provocative propositions are exciting (not ho-hum), are desired (people want to
create them), describe what is wanted versus what is not wanted, and are written in the
present tense, as if they are already happening. They can be statements or can be in the
form of a ―What if?‖ question.

(Create some examples of Provocative Propositions.)

11:30 AM to 12:30 PM – lunch

12:30 PM to 4 PM – “Action Steps” – Entire group (use the questions sent out
by Dr. Sally Tobin) Use flip chart paper to capture ideas.

For each provocative proposition, determine why this is important and then what action
steps to be taken to fulfill it.
What items from the provocative propositions do we want to take forward?
What are we doing that we should stop doing?
What are we not doing now that we should start doing?
What part am I/are we willing to play in creating the preferred future? How do I/we want
to do it? What help do I/we need?

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