Collaborative Research: Environmental Data-Driven Inquiry and Exploration (EDDIE)

Kristin O’Connell
Senior Evaluation and Education Specialist
SERC at Carleton College

Summarizing, condensing, displaying, and communicating quantitative data remains a persistent challenge in undergraduate science education. The emergence of large, long-term and sensor-based datasets provides an opportunity to engage students with environmental challenges through open-ended exploration and interpretation while improving their quantitative reasoning and understanding of scientific concepts. Project EDDIE (Environmental Data-Driven Inquiry and Exploration) endeavors to engage students in inquiry and exploration using large, publicly-available data sets by providing a large collection of project-developed teaching materials as well as a professional development program that includes workshops, webinars, and other community-building experiences.The three pronged strategy of Project EDDIE aims to 1) Develop a suite of flexible modular curricular materials using large publicly available online datasets that contribute to improved student quantitative reasoning. 2) Develop a community of faculty members engaged with materials and professional development designed to foster pedagogical orientation favoring open inquiry with large datasets. 3) Determine what mechanisms contribute to shifts in instructors’ pedagogical orientation towards inquiry-based teaching.Teaching materials include modules, statistical vignettes, and a set of video tutorials that feature software and statistical concept refreshers. The growing collection of more than 30 project-developed teaching modules are aimed at high school and undergraduate level students and span topics such as ecology, limnology, geoscience, hydrology, and environmental sciences. They can be coupled with project-developed, ready-to-use Statistical Vignettes to bring context to common quantitative skills. The classroom-ready modules include an instructor PowerPoint, instructor guide, student handout, and data set, and follow an A-B-C structure wherein students build toward increasing inquiry and independent exploration through a scaffolded approach. Modules developed through the project’s professional development workshops have undergone a review process and have been tested in the classroom. Modules also have an accompanying “My EDDIE Experience” web page that documents how the module was implemented in the classroom, providing users with ideas for how modules can be adapted to fit their needs.Project EDDIE professional development programming includes webinars, meet-the-author events, a Faculty Mentoring Network, and workshops. These events provide professional development opportunities for those who participate. By design they incorporate strategies that build a community of educators that teach with data, inquiry, and exploration in their classroom. In 2021 close to 40K unique viewers interacted with Project EDDIE materials online and we invite you to check out the teaching materials and to take part in the community professional development events:


Monica Bruckner, Carleton College, Northfield, MN; Brittany Ciancarelli, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; Rebekka Darner, Illinois State University, Normal, IL; Sarah Fortner Carleton College, Northfield, MN; Diana Garcia Silva, Queens College- CUNY, New York, NY, Ellen Iverson, Carleton College, Northfield, MN; Thomas Meixner, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ: Kristin O’Connell, Carleton College, Northfield, MN; Catherine O’Reilly, Illinois State University, Normal, IL; Cailin Huyck Orr, Carleton College, Northfield, MN; Dax Soule, Queens College- CUNY, New York, NY