Category Archives: Assignments

A New Way to Look at Red-Green Colorblindness

When we cover genetics in our nonmajors biology classes, many of us use red-green colorblindness as a familiar example of X-linked inheritance. We may even ask our students to indicate whether they can see the numbers or symbols in Ishihara … Continue reading

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“BiteScis”: Bite-sized research to promote scientific thinking

Are you looking for biology lessons that promote scientific thinking, are classroom-tested, and are fully customizable to your own needs? On second thought, who isn’t? While reading The American Biology Teacher recently, I learned about a good source: BiteScis, a … 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

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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

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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

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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

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“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

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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

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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

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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

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