published December 31, 1969

Seven New Models Added to SENCER Digital Library

This past summer, NCSCE launched the SENCER Digital Library, a system that allows users to access and search all SENCER resources in an intuitive manner. The Library houses a growing collection of courses and programs in the model series, SENCER backgrounders, and will also soon encompass articles from the e-Newsletter, course materials, and short essays.

The most recent additions to the SENCER Digital Library are the seven courses and programs selected to be part of the SENCER Model Series during the summer of 2008. The diverse group of resources includes international collaborations, single courses, and course clusters, and focuses on issues such as sleep, HIV/AIDS, food, and pregnancy. Instead of viewing the course materials in single PDF documents, the models are broken down into sections that may be accessed by clicking on the navigation bar on the webpage for each model. Visitors can now easily navigate the information available on the course background, activities, the civic issues addressed, assessment methods and analysis, and relevant citations. The Digital Library also allows SENCER and the model developers from all years to add updates to documents easily. Not only will it be possible to learn about a course, but users will be able to track the evolution of courses and programs over time and learn from that progress.

The newest courses to be added to the Library may be accessed by clicking on their images on the Models webpage on the SENCER website ( To search all resources in the Digital Library by assessment method, learning strategies, civic issues, and/or discipline, go to the Search page (available on each of the drop-down menus on and click on the red link: "Search the SENCER Digital Library."

  • AIDS Research: Global Understanding & Engagement (Duke University)
  • Food for Thought: Engaging the Citizen in the Science and Politics of Food Information, Food Consumerism, Nutrition and Health (University of North Carolina at Asheville)
  • Introductory Statistics with Community-Based Projects (Metropolitan State University)
  • Life Science in Context: Sub-Saharan Africa & HIV/AIDS (Meredith College, North Carolina Wesleyan College, University of South Carolina Sumter)
  • Ordinary Differential Equations: Mathematical Modeling in Real World Situations (Bryn Mawr College)
  • Pregnancy Outcomes in American Women (Franklin & Marshall College)
  • The Science of Sleep (Kapi'olani Community College)

The SENCER Digital Library was created through the work of teams from Carleton College and Rutgers University, with input from SENCER staff, and coordination by Chuck Gahun. The Library is hosted by the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College, and uses their content management abilities to support searching of all materials. SERC supports educators in a broad range of disciplines by coordinating faculty development workshops, by continuing to develop their extensive web resources, and by engaging in research and evaluating how faculty use the web in teaching. In the future, SERC's resources will allow SENCER to add a form for users to submit materials for review by staff and publication in the Library. Cathy Manduca and Sean Fox of SERC have consulted with SENCER since the beginning of the project and have customized a system based on the needs of our community.

The team from Rutgers University, led by Claire McInerney, identified controlled vocabularies for all resources, defined content categories, and entered the content and metadata into the system. This work determines the information architecture, or how resources are sorted and located in a user-friendly way. The team included graduate students Krista White and Sarah Legins and undergraduates Kerri Hueftle and Melody Townley. Krista, Kerri, and Melody attended SSI 2008 and presented both a poster and a session on the development of the project and the creation of the metadata.