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9 May 2023 Fish Cam: An Online Program to Deliver Behavioral Experiments to the Classroom
Alison Kloiber, Scott P. McRobert
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First pioneered in 2010, Fish Cam provides the opportunity for students to engage in novel behavioral research without the need for extensive materials or for leaving the classroom. Fish Cam utilizes a robust behavioral paradigm, shoaling behavior in fish, and enables students to collect information from simple, easy-to-understand observations, allowing for student-led experimental design, data collection, analysis, and discussions on the scientific process. In these ways Fish Cam removes the cost and time-intensive aspects of doing this sort of work in the classroom. Shoaling behavior, which is well represented in the scientific literature, refers to social aggregations of fish. Almost all species of fish form shoals, and this process is easy to study under laboratory conditions. An evolutionary adaptation, shoaling provides individuals better access to resources and decreases the risk of predation. In its initial launch, Fish Cam was highly successful as a learning tool but suffered from difficulties associated with delivering the information online in 2010. Now, with the rapid development of online communication tools associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have the second iteration of Fish Cam. The flexibility of new delivery platforms enables partner organizations to view experiments and adapt the experience to their specific educational goals. Here we present an overview of Fish Cam, including lesson plans, a description of shoaling behavior in fish, and the results of Fish Cam studies run in the fall of 2020.

Alison Kloiber and Scott P. McRobert "Fish Cam: An Online Program to Deliver Behavioral Experiments to the Classroom," The American Biology Teacher 85(4), 192-196, (9 May 2023).
Published: 9 May 2023

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behavioral ecology
Data collection
experimental design
social behavior
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