Category Archives: Course design

This might just be my new favorite book about teaching…

Last month, I bought and read Terry McGlynn’s excellent new book, The Chicago Guide to College Science Teaching (published 2020). It is one of those books that hits the rare combination of being informed by educational research without dwelling on … Continue reading

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On Obstacles, part 2

My last blog post described three questions we asked students in my nonmajors biology class a few weeks ago. That post described some of the responses to question 1 (“What do you feel is your greatest obstacle in achieving the grade … Continue reading

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On Obstacles, part 1

A couple of weeks ago, I asked my lab TA’s to have our students write their answers to these questions: What do you feel is your greatest obstacle in achieving the grade you want in this class? What is one … Continue reading

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Defending Darwin in Introductory Biology

James Krupa, a professor who teaches introductory biology at the University of Kentucky, published an outstanding article in Orion Magazine about using evolution as a cornerstone in his courses. Find it here. Krupa defends the importance of teaching nonmajors biology courses … Continue reading

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End-of-Semester Advice from Students: 2014 edition

Last fall I wrote a three-post series about the questions I asked my students at the end of the semester: What was the most important thing you learned about biology this semester? What is something you think you’ll never forget? … Continue reading

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Should We Teach for Biology Content, Science Skills, or Both?

I was fortunate to attend the Introductory Biology Project summer conference in Washington, DC in July 2012. Participants were given the opportunity to complete the following statement on a shared document: “At the end of the ideal course [in introductory … Continue reading

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Is Active Learning All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

I just learned of an article that should interest anyone contemplating the power of active learning. The title of the article is Active Learning Not Associated with Student Learning in a Random Sample of College Biology Courses, and it appeared … Continue reading

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Talk to Your Colleagues

A couple of months ago, I helped form a sort of “teaching club” with some carefully chosen colleagues. The idea originated with a talk by the University of Minnesota’s Dr. Robin Wright, who hosted an excellent workshop on active learning … Continue reading

Posted in Active learning, Assessment, Assignments, Collaboration, Course design, Engaging students, Student writing, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment