BioLogica™ is a a hypermodel for teaching high school genetics, developed over the last four years with support from the National Science Foundation. The software runs on both Windows and Macintosh computers. BioLogica enables students to manipulate processes at different, but dynamically related levels of life function. Like its predecessor program GenScope™, BioLogica includes tools and representations that focus on genetics. Building on that foundation, BioLogica has developed modules and student activities that embody increasingly elaborate models of the parts, processes, and mechanisms of genetics. The hypermodel, which embeds curriculum and assessment functions within a computer-based manipulable model, is a powerful tool for the development of educational activities that embody a model-based learning approach.

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Our research is focused on what happens when we introduce BioLogica into classrooms. We are interested in cognitive, affective, behavioral and social effects. However, we also want to know how the teachers’ and students’ experiences with the technology affect their opinions with regard to what constitutes success in learning science, what abilities, behaviors, or attitudes predispose one to such success, and how success may be identified and measured.

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Field Trials

By the end of the current school year (2000-2001), together with our collaborators at the National Classroom, we will have piloted BioLogica in a total of six public high schools: two urban, two suburban, and two rural. In April we brought together a total of 24 middle school students from three different schools on Martha’s Vineyard for a three-day intensive trial during a school vacation week.  In addition, teachers in three middle schools and a private high school chose to try it out in their classes. In all, nearly twenty teachers and approximately 700 students will have used various versions of BioLogica by the time school is out. 

Preliminary Findings, Updated Weekly

We are currently analyzing the data we've collected. We must stress that analysis is still preliminary and the bulk of the data remain to be analyzed. We expect to complete data analysis by the end of the summer. Please click on the dates below to read our weekly summaries.

June 8, 2001

June 15, 2001

June 22, 2001

June 29, 2001

July 6, 2001

July 13, 2001

School Profiles

Students as Design Partners

Instructional Design for Understanding

Teacher Feedback on BioLogica

July 27, 2001

September 6 Update