Category Archives: Active learning

Calling on students at random: What are the keys to success?

Lofty principles of equal opportunity guide our country and our schools, but the truth is that not everyone is treated fairly, and not everyone’s voice has an equal chance of being heard. As instructors, we must confront the painful idea … Continue reading

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Natural Selection in Tortoises: A (Homemade) Video

[Doug Gaffin and Marielle Hoefnagels worked together to develop the materials used in this post.] A while back, I wrote a post on an activity that connects genotype, phenotype, and natural selection. In a nutshell, the activity uses colored chips … Continue reading

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Raise Your Hand: How Do You Start the Semester on the Right Foot?

Years ago, I published my best idea for semester prep, a checklist that has proved to be an audience favorite. Over the past 5 years, many readers have asked for my checklist, which I have freely shared. I was knee-deep … Continue reading

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Trail cam images and data for your lab

Earlier this month, I went to my favorite conference of the year: the one for the Association for Biology Laboratory Education. If you don’t know about it, check it out. Each conference follows a workshop format, so you don’t sit … Continue reading

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One Good Clicker Tip

The end of the semester is not a great time to introduce a tip for using clickers; I am sure this post would have been more useful in January! But I can’t control when ideas for blog posts drop into … Continue reading

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Teaching cell chemistry with Legos

Behold, my trusty bag of Legos … well they’re not actually Legos because I couldn’t find a bag of plain old Legos. All of the Legos nowadays are sold in kits with wheels and roofs and other things I don’t … Continue reading

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Flashcards, but with a Twist

I have had a fondness for index cards for quite a few years, if my 2012 series on the subject is any indication (for a flashback, visit part 1, part 2, and part 3). Flashcards are of course a tried … Continue reading

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Boost your evolution IQ: An evolution misconceptions game

A guest post by Matt Taylor Last Spring, Mariëlle and I spent some time reading education articles about student struggles learning evolution. In particular, we were interested in which misconceptions about evolution students might bring to introductory biology classes. We … Continue reading

Posted in Active learning, Assignments, Engaging students, Evolution, Instructional technology, Laboratory activities | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Return of the “Clever Cockroaches”

Longtime followers of my blog may remember that nearly two years ago I wrote a post about the misrepresentation of natural selection and evolution in headlines and news stories. In the study that prompted the post, researchers found that coating … Continue reading

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Protein Synthesis with Candy: I Won’t Take Credit, but It Worked

We have been studying protein synthesis over the past couple of weeks. In my experience, students find the details of the process difficult to remember; the role of tRNA (and its mysterious anticodon) seems especially hard for them to grasp. … Continue reading

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