Category Archives: Evolution

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

Posted in Engaging students, Evolution, Learning at home, Teaching, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Small Victory, but We Have a Ways to Go

About a year ago, I wrote a blog post about the pervasive misrepresentation of natural selection, not only in the mass media but also by professionals who should know better. My main problem is with the depiction of natural selection … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution, Teaching | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Giraffe Nerves and Clean Water: Two Videos I Like

I came across two YouTube videos recently that have nothing to do with one another except that (1) they could be useful to biology teachers and (2) they caught my attention recently. Without further ado, I’ll share … First, a … Continue reading

Posted in Engaging students, Evolution, Instructional technology, Just for fun, Learning at home, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 , , , , , , , , | 74 Comments

Connecting Biology to the Olympics

Thanks to my friend Michael Windelspecht at Ricochet Science for pointing out that ASAP Science has been posting YouTube videos relating biology to the Olympics. The ASAP Science videos are brief and fun-to-watch, and they present content supported by research. … Continue reading

Posted in Active learning, Engaging students, Evolution, Instructional technology, Just for fun, Science news, Teaching | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Final Quiz, Part II: What I’ll Never Forget

In last week’s post I described the final pop quiz I give to my nonmajors biology class. To recap, the quiz asks three questions: What was the most important thing you learned about biology this semester? What is something you … Continue reading

Posted in Active learning, Assessment, Assignments, Engaging students, Evolution, Student writing | Tagged , , , ,

More Evolution, Please!

I thought you might be interested in this recent blog post by Kelly Cowan (Are WE the Missing Link in Acceptance of Evolution?). To me, the central idea of Kelly’s post is this: “It just might be possible that the … Continue reading

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“Clever Cockroaches”? I Don’t Think So!

One of my goals as an instructor and as a textbook author is to help students understand how natural selection works. It’s such an elegant concept that it should be simple to teach and apply. But students come in with … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution, Science news, Teaching | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments