Meeting Abstract

S10.6  Jan. 7  Academic Scientists Involved in Education - A Need for the SICB Digital Library VOGEL, S; Duke University svogel@duke.edu

In most areas represented in SICB, people doing research also teach. We routinely disseminate results of our research; we rarely do the same with innovations in our teaching. And we neither carry out nor report on research without plumbing the literature; in teaching we only occasionally look much beyond selection of a textbook. The inevitable results are reinvention of some wheels and unawareness of the utility of others. Perhaps the major barrier to an equivalently critical literature for teaching is the inappropriateness of the conventional journal- or book-based format. A dedicated, peer-reviewed digital resource base can transcend that barrier. It creates an instantly accessible archive of material derived from the immediate experience of people whose courses cover the particular subject. It can be searched by topic, intended level of use, type of resource, and so forth. Contributions can vary widely in scope and type, including overall course designs, questions for homework and tests, audiovisual and computational items, demonstrations, suggestions for projects, and laboratory protocols. Even research tools with potential for course use can be made available. Material can be downloaded for direct use or easy modification. And both contributors and users can update material previously posted. And fortunately, the system of peer review evolved for research journals—and now commonly done on-line—will work without modification for such digitally-based teaching resources.