Category Archives: Collaboration

Jamboard: A great tool for collecting student questions and ideas

I am back in the nonmajors biology classroom after a long departure. COVID-19, a sabbatical, and some unexpected administrative duties took their toll, but it’s good to be back. I have been trying to reduce the amount of superfluous content … Continue reading

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Inhabiting the Anthropocene: Art Meets Biology

This week I had to opportunity to contribute to a great blog called Inhabiting the Anthropocene. My friend and colleague Zev Trachtenberg hosts the blog site, which is “dedicated to exploring the intellectual and ethical challenges raised by the Anthropocene” … Continue reading

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Node-Counting Is Alive and Well

In a previous post I offered help for students struggling with evolutionary trees. In that post, I talked about a particularly difficult final exam question requiring students to interpret an evolutionary tree (a labeled version of the image to the … 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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“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

Posted in Active learning, Assignments, Collaboration, Engaging students, Evolution, Laboratory activities, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 98 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 , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Roadkill as a Teaching Tool

Years ago, as I walked home from work, I saw a dead squirrel on the road; the poor thing had just been run over by a car. Each day as I passed that same spot, I watched as the animal’s … Continue reading

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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

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Milk, Food Coloring, and Detergent: An Active Learning Activity

In searching for quick science videos I stumbled across the Sick Science! YouTube channel. The videos posted there are short and to the point, they are of very high quality, and they show how to do a wide variety of … Continue reading

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