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Working with developed models 8/26/2010

          The OMnI Retreat on August 26-27 is a workshop aimed at sharing the progress that the participants have made toward the completion of the modeling module for an introductory class.  The workshop is exploratory and will be a non-judgmental and supportive environment.  Our goal is to add value to the delivery of the modeling content in the modules, and to expose all participants to the work that is being done in other disciplines, which also may improve the modeling content of the modules. 

            The learning curve is steep when the goal is the delivery of new course content; this workshop offers resources to support the teaching of modeling and the application of modeling to convey course content.  So as a theme, think of the OMnI Retreat as a supportive environment to help refine the modules that you bring to the retreat.  No one is expected to have a final product prior to the workshop.

            The “show and tell” sessions for the modeling modules will be held on Friday, August 27.  From conversations with Tony Starfield and participants, we adjusted the structure to limit the "presentation" to 10 minutes. If available, it would be desirable to have a brief demonstration of the model for projection on the screen.  

            We hope that some of the ideas discussed on Thursday will influence what you present on Friday, so there is hope for a free form exchange of ideas throughout the two days.  For your 10 minute presentation, we provide a few questions that should help you in its preparation:

What Would Be Useful In A 10 Minute Presentation Of A Modeling Module?

Describe the problem that you are examining.

Is the modeling example an actual modeling exercise, like the predator-prey models?

Or is it an existing model meant to convey a key concept in the discipline?

Is the model part of the literature of the discipline, or was it derived to investigate a particular issue?

If derived, how was it derived?

What software are you using?  Has it been effective for your application?

Tentative Schedule:  OMnI Retreat/Workshop


  8:30 – 9:00AM      Light breakfast - coffee and pastries

  9:00 -10:30AM      Tony Starfield on modeling and teaching modeling

10:30-10:45AM      Break - more coffee and leftover pastries

10:45-12:15PM       Tony - teaching computational thinking; modeling in course content

12:15 - 1:30PM       Lunch – with coffee


   1:30 -3:00PM       Breakout Session I – discussion of models and Tony’s ideas

How has the production of the modeling modules progressed? 

How Tony’s modeling ideas could affect teaching the modules -- comments/conclusions.


   3:00- 3:15PM       Break – even more coffee and snacks


   3:15- 4:45PM       Breakout Session II – cross-discipline discussion of modeling

1 hour for discussion of models, questions and preparation of summary comments,

What could help improve next year’s procedures? 

            30 minutes for full group delivery/discussion of summary comments/conclusions.


   4:45- 5:30PM       Participants and graduate students discuss the modeling modules



  8:30 – 9:00AM          Light breakfast - coffee and pastries

  9:00 -10:30AM                      3 faculty modules ==

                                                (10 minute presentation, 20 minute discussion)

                                                            Tallman            Economics

                                                            Peterson           Environmental Studies

                                                            Darling Psychology

10:30-10:45                 Break

10:45-12:15                             3 faculty modules

                                                            Frantz               Psychology

                                                            Parkin              Politics (Political Science)

                                                            Salter               Biology

12:15-1:30                   Lunch

1:30- 3:00                                3 faculty modules

                                                            Hubbard           Geology

                                                            John                 Sociology

                                                            Saini                 Economics

3:00-3:15                     Break

3:15-4:45                                 2 faculty modules and more by Rich on NOVA

                                                            Shammin          Environmental studies

                                                            Hanna              Psychology

4:45 – 5:30PM             Comments about where we go from here