Tag Archives: introductory biology

Flashcards, but with a Twist

I have had a fondness for index cards for quite a few years, if my 2012 series on the subject is any indication (for a flashback, visit part 1, part 2, and part 3). Flashcards are of course a tried … Continue reading

Posted in Active learning, Learning at home, Study skills | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The “Checks”/”Emails” lab: a good start to the semester

We just finished our first week of classes at the University of Oklahoma, and my nonmajors students trooped dutifully into lab on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. To get them talking to each other, one of the icebreaker activities we have done … Continue reading

Posted in Laboratory activities, STEM, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

What Are the Best Ways to Study?

When I first started teaching, I could not understand why some bright, motivated students struggled in my class. Once I discovered the true problem — awful study skills — I became something of a study skills evangelist. Once a week … Continue reading

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If you don’t know ABLE yet, you should

I just got back from the 2016 conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE). If you teach biology labs at any level, you really should check it out. It’s hands-down my favorite meeting of the year because it’s about … Continue reading

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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

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Growing a Thicker Skin: A Borrowed Lab Activity

Skimming through the August 2015 issue of The American Biology Teacher, I found a lab activity that I am eager to try. It’s by Troy R. Nash, Suann Yang, and John C. Inman of Presbyterian College, and it’s called “Growing a Thicker … Continue reading

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Can we nudge students toward those questions in the book?

I spent the better part of last week getting ready for the fall semester, marking off items on my trusty checklist one by one. (If you want me to send you my checklist, please leave a comment on that post.) … Continue reading

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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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