Active learning in the science communication classroom

Active learning in the science communication classroom

Author: Mark Sarvary – Cornell University, United States


  • Kitty Gifford – Science Communication consultant, United States

Teaching science communication can happen in many different formats: one-day-long workshops, activities embedded into science courses or semester-long courses dedicated only to communication. Regardless of the format, the science communication classroom is transforming, following the newest trends in education research. With the advancement of education research, it is clear to all instructors that students learn better by doing, and science communication has many applied components that can be taught using these active learning techniques. In this demonstration, the co-presenters want to share some of the active learning techniques they have been using the past years in their applied science communication course at Cornell University and at Shoals Marine Laboratory. Ideas about how to teach information literacy, encourage storytelling, assess audiences or use social media will be shared. They will also discuss curriculum development using Bloom’s Taxonomy. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own teaching techniques to share and help build an “inventory” of active learning methods that instructors who teach science communication can use. The focus of this demonstration will be hands-on activities. Attendees will walk away with this “inventory” that they can implement into their own classes and workshops.

Mark Sarvary is an instructor in biology and science communication at Cornell University and conducts discipline-based education research. Kitty Gifford is an independent communication consultant and brings her real-life experience of working with clients into the classroom. They co-teach a course titled “Applied Science Communication: digital platforms and public engagement” and have been teaching science communication workshops to undergraduate researchers, postdocs and faculty members at Cornell and at other institutions. They look forward to bringing useful tools to this demonstration and gaining new ideas from the attendees.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Time