Category Archives: Course design

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

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