Category Archives: Evolution

Recognizing purposeful evolution: A treasure trove of prompts

  I was recently cleaning out my teaching lab and found a stash of index cards with test items from the early 1950s. As I was trying to decide whether to keep them or toss them in the recycling bin, … Continue reading

Posted in Assessment, Evolution, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

“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

Return of the “Clever Cockroaches”

Longtime followers of my blog may remember that nearly two years ago I wrote a post about the misrepresentation of natural selection and evolution in headlines and news stories. In the study that prompted the post, researchers found that coating … 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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Video recommendation: HHMI’s Biology of Skin Color

Over a year ago I mentioned the HHMI Biointeractive site and its excellent videos. I just viewed another one on the same site. This one is called The Biology of Skin Color, and it is another winner. It is narrated by … 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

Posted in Assignments, Evolution, Instructional technology, Learning at home, Teaching, Videos | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Teaching the Biomes: A Different Approach

I feel like I can do a pretty good job lecturing on most topics at a level that will hold the attention of nonmajors, but two exceptions are cell organelles and biomes. Don’t get me wrong — I love teaching … Continue reading

Posted in Active learning, Ecology, Engaging students, Evolution, Experimental design, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Active learning, Assignments, Engaging students, Evolution, Instructional technology, Laboratory activities, Videos | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Two Outstanding Videos: One for Natural Selection and One for the Genome

My recent post about natural selection misconceptions prompted a comment from a colleague who endorsed the educational value of Howard Hughes Medical Institute videos and learning materials. I spent some time on HHMI’s BioInteractive site to see what I could … Continue reading

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