Category Archives: Teaching

Instructors: Be kind to your future self

I’ve posted a few times on helping your students cultivate a growth mindset. But I think its also important to think about our own mindsets as instructors. How can we cultivate a growth mindset about teaching, learn from our mistakes, and … Continue reading

Posted in Mindset, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Students Need Help Asking for Help; Do Yours?

We finished exam 2 in my nonmajors biology class last week, and after the exam was over, I had an epiphany: Very few students asked me for help. For context, I’ve been doing this job for more than 20 years. … Continue reading

Posted in Engaging students, Study skills, Teaching | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

“Practice Perfection”: It’s Not Just for Gymnasts

In case you are not focused on the world of college gymnastics, the University of Oklahoma’s men’s and women’s teams are second to none. I am not exaggerating: You can see the 2019 NCAA men’s rankings here and the women’s … Continue reading

Posted in Study skills, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Laptop Ban: New Research

Faithful readers may remember that a couple of years ago I banned the use of laptops in my nonmajors biology classroom. You can read about the rationale in a previous blog post that summarizes the Mueller and Oppenheimer study, which … Continue reading

Posted in Instructional technology, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Active learning, Engaging students, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Way to Connect Selection, Phenotype, and Genotype

Now that it’s summer, I’m catching up on my American Biology Teacher backlog. I found this interesting-looking activity by Janina Jördens and three coauthors in the February 2018 issue. The title of the article says it all: “Interrelating Concepts from … Continue reading

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

Antibiotic resistance in the lab … with actual bacteria!

Apparently my post on the antibiotic resistance activity using green, yellow, and red beads was a big hit with instructors, because lots of people want a copy of the worksheet. I have been happy to oblige, and now I want … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution, Laboratory activities, Microbiology, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Selling the laptop ban: An activity

In my last blog post, I reported introducing a new no-laptop policy in my nonmajors biology class. We just finished week 3, and things are going well — there has been no pushback, and I really enjoy looking out at … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching | Tagged , , , , , | 24 Comments

A laptop ban at last

More than three years ago, I wrote a blog post about the debate over allowing cell phones and laptops in class. In the blog post, I summarized a study by Mueller and Oppenheimer showing that students who took notes on … Continue reading

Posted in Instructional technology, Teaching | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Radiometric Dating: Need to Practice?

Last year, we posted a video explaining how to do three types of radiometric dating problems; we wrote about it in this blog post. I am pleased to report that the prodigious Matt Taylor has now released an activity with … Continue reading

Posted in Assessment, Chemistry, Instructional technology, Teaching, Videos | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment