Category Archives: Assignments

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

Help for Students Struggling with Evolutionary Trees

Introductory biology students have a lot of trouble reading evolutionary trees. On last fall’s final exam, I picked up an image that I found online (see right; it is figure 15 in this article), labeled the species in it, and asked … Continue reading

Posted in Assignments, Evolution, Instructional technology, Learning at home, Teaching, Videos | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Teaching Experimental Design: The Ongoing Struggle

About two years ago, I wrote a blog post about my continuing efforts to teach experimental design in my nonmajors biology class. That post (Little Changes, Big Difference) detailed my use of the “Marshmallow Test” film clip to generate questions … Continue reading

Posted in Active learning, Assignments, Collaboration, Engaging students, Experimental design, Teaching | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Brainstorming about Human Movements

Regular readers know I’m a sucker for attractive, thought-provoking videos. I just found this one, called Thousands of Years of Human Migration in Five Minutes. When I saw the title I expected to see humanity spreading across a map of … Continue reading

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

“Citizen Science” That Could Save Lives

If a few minutes of your time could help researchers discover a new antibiotic or cancer treatment, wouldn’t you willingly devote that time? It really might turn out to be that easy! Recently, my class was fortunate enough to visit … Continue reading

Posted in Active learning, Assignments, Citizen science, Collaboration, Engaging students, Laboratory activities, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making “Reptilobird” Babies: An Action Center Success Story

I have frequently struggled to help students connect the events of meiosis with the adaptive value of sexual reproduction; it’s hard to get students to look away from the stages of meiosis to see the “big picture” of genetic variability. … Continue reading

Posted in Active learning, Assignments, Collaboration, Engaging students, Evolution, Laboratory activities, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 62 Comments

Final Quiz, Part II: What I’ll Never Forget

In last week’s post I described the final pop quiz I give to my nonmajors biology class. To recap, the quiz asks three questions: What was the most important thing you learned about biology this semester? What is something you … Continue reading

Posted in Active learning, Assessment, Assignments, Engaging students, Evolution, Student writing | Tagged , , , ,

Final Quiz, Part I: The Most Important Thing

Last Thursday was the last class of the semester for my nonmajors biology class. For their last pop quiz, I asked three questions: What was the most important thing you learned about biology this semester? What is something you think … Continue reading

Posted in Assessment, Assignments, Engaging students, Teaching | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

The Incredibly Stretchy Condom: A Lab Success Story

In my nonmajors biology class, our first lab of the semester is about the process and tools of science. Students get to practice with hypothesis-testing, the elements of an experiment, showing data in graphs, and metric units of measure. The … Continue reading

Posted in Active learning, Assignments, Collaboration, Engaging students, Instructional technology, Laboratory activities, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Teaching Natural Selection the YouTube Way

One of the hardest parts about teaching evolution is helping students get over their misconceptions about how natural selection works. In a search for “natural selection” on YouTube, I discovered something striking: there are no 1- or 2-minute videos on … Continue reading

Posted in Active learning, Assessment, Assignments, Collaboration, Engaging students, Evolution, Student writing, Teaching | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment