Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 31 Issue 01

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Volume 31, No. 1
Pages 138 - 146


Education and Public Engagement in OOI: Lessons Learned from the Field

By Janice McDonnell , Annette deCharon, C. Sage Lichtenwalner, Kristin Hunter-Thomson, Catherine Halversen, Oscar Schofield, Scott Glenn, Carrie Ferraro, Carla Lauter, and James Hewlett 
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Article Abstract

The Ocean Observing Initiative (OOI) was designed to advance understanding of complex oceanographic processes by acquiring large quantities of data at six key locations in the world ocean. The OOI Education and Public Engagement (EPE) Implementing Organization has built an educational cyberinfrastructure and developed interactive tools targeted for undergraduate-level learners that enable easy access to OOI data, images, and video. To develop the suite of OOI education tools, EPE used an iterative design process, including needs assessment, tool prototyping, and usability testing in undergraduate classrooms. Data visualization and concept mapping tools were envisioned as a way to help undergraduates link concepts students see in oceanography textbooks to real-world phenomena. A Data Investigation Builder (DIB) was constructed to assist professors in designing data activities. During the usability testing, professors provided valuable feedback that allowed EPE to improve the tools. Based on the lessons learned from EPE, in 2016 we developed a new prototype set of Data Explorations that were more modular and easier to integrate into an undergraduate lecture or problem set. This paper reviews how the EPE toolset was developed, including establishment of requirements for the tools and incorporation of lessons learned from the user needs assessment and the results of usability testing of prototype tools.


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