Center For Ocean Sciences Education Excellence COSEE Ocean Systems
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Drawing in a New Crowd of Ocean Science Literate Citizens

Bob Khederian kayaking
Bob Khederian, a COSEE-OS Educator of oceanography for non-science majors
Robert (Bob) Khederian, a faculty member who teaches oceanography at the New England Institute of Art in Brookline, MA, found out about the COSEE-OS multimedia tools and the concept mapping process in October 2008 at the Ocean Literacy (OL) Summit - hosted by the New England Ocean Sciences Education Consortium (NEOSEC). Bob teaches non-science major college students earning bachelor degrees in graphic and web design, interactive audio & media technology, etc.- a completely new audience for COSEE-OS!

Bob is an electrical engineer by training who worked in industry for many years before deciding to pursue a career in teaching at the university level. Rather than let an oceanography course be dropped in his department, Bob decided to teach himself the material and draw upon his physical sciences knowledge to carry the course forward over the last three years. His passion in education is to infuse students from all walks of life with an appreciation of ocean science in order to build an informed and active citizenship – he constantly stresses how the natural world affects their everyday lives.

Rubric concept map
Rubric concept map created by Bob as a guiding example for his students before they tackled their final exam
Before attending the COSEE-OS workshop at the OL Summit, Bob was not familiar with concept mapping, but afterward realized this educational technique would allow him to “step out of the box” in his course by utilizing a creative tool that appealed visually to his students. He does not like giving long finals stocked with questions requiring “regurgitation” of answers only, so he decided to pose a concept map based question for their final exam to assess the students’ ability to connect concepts presented throughout the entire semester oceanography survey course.

Bob hoped this type of higher-level assessment would contribute to his students’ enjoyment and appreciation of how core concepts fit into the “big picture.” Also, because of their technical coursework, he wanted the students to learn and use another software package to increase their real world experience.