John A. Pollock - How People Learn: Stories from Transmedia for STEM and Health Literacy

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  1. 1. John Archie Pollock, Ph.D. Professor Biological Sciences Co-Director of the Chronic Pain Research Consortium Director of the Partnership in Education How People Learn: Stories from Transmedia for STEM and Health Literacy
  2. 2. Outline Motivation Sharing science with the general public creates learning opportunities But theres a problem Process Why telling stories matters How to focus on Fundamental Principles Knowing your audience What we have learned Narrative matters Visual learning is strong
  3. 3. But what is the problem? Lets think about science literacy in our country. How science literacy impacts health literacy. Motivation ! Two Cultures - C. P. Snow Rede Lecture - Two Cultures, 1959. Scholarship of Integration - Ernest Boyer Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990. The Scientist/Communicator can add a useful dimension to the discussion and teaching of science.
  4. 4. The story is out there: 2009! 1995! Chris Mooney makes the point that: People integrate new information based on their pre-existing worldviews, and that failure to account for this fact will lead to continued failures in science communication.
  5. 5. PISA Programe for International Student Assessment (15 year olds) Average (white) USA 36th 2012!
  6. 6. Let me show you a clip from WAITING FOR SUPERMAN Directed by Davis Guggenheim
  7. 7. Lets talk about reading a bit more.
  8. 8. 2009 Program for International Assessment (PISA) Reading (15 year olds) Average USA 24th
  9. 9. Science literacy among adults. J.D. Miller (2010) Adult science learning in the Internet era - 2010. Curator, 53, 191- 208. But only 28% could read the New York Times - Science or understand NOVA Civic Scientific Literacy, 19882008.
  10. 10. National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL)!! 1992 90 million adults score in the lowest categories 2003 110 million adults score in the lowest categories
  11. 11. Weak health literacy costs the U.S. health care system at least $240 billion/yr. The below basic person is not necessarily below basic in all assessment categories. Below Basic Basic Intermediate Proficient Prose 50 33 15 2 Document 51 29 18 1 Quantitative 61 26 11 2 Percent adults with Below Basic health literacy Health Literacy!
  12. 12. 2 1/2 - 1 million years agoScientific American boisei habilis Scientific American
  13. 13. 2 1/2 million years ago 1 1/2 million years ago Simple Stone Tools Recent discovery of 150 tools from 3.3 million years ago
  14. 14. 1 1/2 million years quality tools and Scientific American
  15. 15. 1 million years ago Control fire! And story telling...
  16. 16. Humans have been telling stories and listening for a million years. Humans love a good story. Lots of time and lots of climate variation.
  17. 17. and Mt. Toba Explodes But there is more than just weather. *!404 ppm! X! So whats next after Mt. Toba & the Genetic Bottleneck
  18. 18. Telling stories with pictures that last a long time that are extremely accurate.! that animate the event.! Bhimbetka, India and make us really wonder.!
  19. 19. Then it warmed up. 10,000 years ago The warm-up gave us a chance to adapt: Cultivation - spreading seeds Selective breeding - desirable traits
  20. 20. Cities atalhyk - a city 9,000 years ago (Turkey) Thousands of people Cultivate wheat This is an artists impression of atalhyk. Image credit: Dan Lewandowski
  21. 21. Things began to happen fast 5,000 to 8,000 years ago an age of invention Riding horse Wheel & plow Sail Written language Beer recipe 5,100 years ago The British Museum
  22. 22. Writing took off: Epic of Gilgamesh (4,100 years ago) Hammurabis laws (3,800 years ago) Egyptian Book of the Dead (3,500 years ago) Torah (Pentateuch) (2,800 years ago) But the Scientific Method by Descartes and others about 400 years ago Muse du Louvre!
  23. 23. So what do I think: With a million years of evolution, our brains are wired to tell and listen to stories. We are not necessarily wired to read. We have to learn that. We are not necessarily wired to think critically about science and health. We have to learn that.
  24. 24. What to do? Tell stories Use great visuals (scientifically accurate) Follow fundamental principles that relate to your audience Reinforce the message across media platforms Challenge your audience to actually read
  25. 25. Process Why telling stories counts How to focus on Fundamental Principles
  26. 26. Example #1: Here is the challenge: Kids who receive an organ transplant frequently fail to take their medicines. 32% among kidney recipients 31% among liver recipients 16% among heart recipients Many kids die. Dobbels et al Pediatr Transplant (2005) Nevins Pediatr Transplant (2002) Griffin Elkin Pediatr Transplant (2001) Rianthavorn et al Transplantation (2004) Focus on Fundamental Principles
  27. 27. Example #1: Understanding medications significantly increases self-responsibility among heart recipients. McAllister et al Prog Transplant (2006)
  28. 28. Example #1: Teach patients about Prograf (anti-rejection drug). Among other things, they need to know about: IL-2 T-Cells Immune System relevant cell biology Central Dogma DNA RNA Protein
  29. 29. What we did. Lawrence, Stilley, Pollock, Webber, Quivers (2011) Promoting Independence and Adherence in Pediatric Heart Transplantation. Progress in Transplantation, vol. 21, 1, March 2011, pg 61-66. PMID: 21485944
  30. 30. What we did. Started with a booklet designed by university hospitals. Create a patient survey based on booklet In the form of a comic book Flip Books for things that move or change Places to write comments and questions Places to doodle The comic book was then turned into a simple animated video story.
  31. 31. The comic book:
  32. 32. The iPad video:
  33. 33. What we have learned. Children Average Improvement 64% Range of improvement -8% to 300% Parent Average Improvement 7% Range of improvement -19% to 53.8% Before! After! 1! 2! 3! 4! 5! 6! 7! 8! 9! 1.0! 2.0! 1.5! 0.5! 0.0! 2.5! Question No.! Meanscore! Whats Next: A new video game on the immune system.
  34. 34. Video Games on the Immune System Its NOT a Battle Zone! The immune system is a vast distributed intelligence. The immune system collects information and makes decisions. Example #2:
  35. 35. the video game!
  36. 36. Audience Testing & Evaluation
  37. 37. game should have progressive difficulty students want more complex objectives splinter is boring What we have learned. Whats Next: A new video game on the immune system take 2.
  38. 38. Audience Testing - Formative Evaluation 7th Grade Example #3:
  39. 39. Winning game levels 1 - 3 ! clears Bennys acne.!
  40. 40. Level 4 - viral infection!
  41. 41. Level 4 viral infection!
  42. 42. game is fun because it is really difficult students appreciated being able to pause and read about their characters (the immune cells) and then got better at game play students learned about the immune system What we have learned. Whats Next: A board game.
  43. 43. You dont always need an App. A board game with Gerra Bosco and others
  44. 44. Something new: Do kids learn when they watch a digital dome show? Example #4:
  45. 45. An Experiment: Wilson, Gonzalez, Pollock (2012) Evaluating learning and attitudes on tissue engineering: A study of children viewing animated digital dome shows detailing the biomedicine of tissue engineering. Tissue Engineering (Part A), vol 18, no. 5 576-586. PMID: 21943030
  46. 46. Knowledge item: Item type: % Correct Before Show: % Correct After Show: 1. What is a stem cell? Multiple choicea 28 763. Is there blood in your bones? Yes/No 41 976. What does extracellular matrix mean? Multiple choicea 13 68Did children learn from the film? Childrens drawings on the survey. Wilson, Gonzalez & Pollock (2012) Evaluating learning and attitudes on tissue engineering: A study of children viewing animated digital dome shows detailing the biomedicine of tissue engineering. Tissue Eng Part A. 2011 Sep 26. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 21943030
  47. 47. children learned from a single exposure children learned equally well from both styles Though they prefer animated characters telling the story children learned to visualize and draw new complex systems What we have learned. Whats Next: Facing the fundamental principles of evolution head-on.
  48. 48. Part of Darwin2009: A Pittsburgh Partnership Art and Science: Spiral of Life Example #5:
  49. 49. Example #5: The challenge: Influenced by religion and politics: 43% of Republicans believe in evolution versus 67% of Democrats Public Views About Human Evolution
  50. 50. Script by David Lampe Developed with ETC Darwin Synthetic Interview Also used in Pittsburgh Public School (enrollment ~27,000)
  51. 51. Did you learn anything? 69%Would you recommend this to a friend? 76%Darwin Synthetic Interview
  52. 52. Post-Survey Total respondents: n=3954 Ask Darwin! A Synthetic Darwin Interview. A museum interactive kiosk installed in the Carnegie Science Center.
  53. 53. First depiction of a tree-like diagram. Charles Darwin's notes 1837. Darwin had one: All Life is connected by common ancestors We need an image for Evolution
  54. 54. In the top 20 of the most downloaded papers from Leonardo (MIT Press) for 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015.
  55. 55. SpiralofLifeV:AnimalEvolution App.18f