Category Archives: Engaging students

Moldy bread, experimental design, and you

For many semesters, my nonmajors biology lab did a lab called chicken wing microbiology. You can download it here, from the wonderful Association for Biology Laboratory Education website (Walvoord and Hoefnagels, 2006). In the lab, students devised a method to … Continue reading

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Raise Your Hand: How Do You Start the Semester on the Right Foot?

Years ago, I published my best idea for semester prep, a checklist that has proved to be an audience favorite. Over the past 5 years, many readers have asked for my checklist, which I have freely shared. I was knee-deep … Continue reading

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One Good Clicker Tip

The end of the semester is not a great time to introduce a tip for using clickers; I am sure this post would have been more useful in January! But I can’t control when ideas for blog posts drop into … Continue reading

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Reblogging: GMOs vs. Artificial Selection

The Ricochet Science blog post below—written by a talented college senior—is an interesting introduction to the difference between GMOs and organisms that are the products of artificial selection. I want to share it with you because it’s informative and entertaining, … 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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“Surprisingly Awesome” podcasts

What do broccoli, pigeons, frequent flyer miles, and mattresses have in common? They are all subjects of “Surprisingly Awesome” podcasts. I just listened to the one on broccoli, and I was really impressed. I love resources that help students see … Continue reading

Posted in Engaging students, Evolution, Podcast, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Epigenetics: Two Great Resources

If you’re like me, you have been hearing a lot about epigenetics lately. I hope you don’t want me to define that term, because biologists don’t agree on what exactly it means. It is enough to say that epigenetics is the … Continue reading

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Good Teaching, Italian Style

Good teaching comes in many forms. Most of the time, I focus on good biology teaching, but on a recent trip to Italy I got to expand my horizons. In May, three colleagues and I were faculty leaders for a … Continue reading

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