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Syllabus and Course Curriculum Self-Assessment and Audit Tool

Faculty play a key role creating a learning environment that is either supportive and affirming or marginalizing and hostile. Accordingly, it is imperative that faculty carefully examine ways their syllabi, assignments, language, and classroom culture may inadvertently raise barriers to students’ success. Faculty must proactively create positive classroom cultures where all students feel valued, respected, and safe.

This tool was developed for faculty to examine their syllabi, teaching practices, and classroom environment. The goal is to support faculty in implementing the ideals of diversity and inclusivity in their classroom.

Questions to Consider:

  • What types of diversity do you anticipate seeing in your student population? (Consider

    race / ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability, first generation status,

    learning styles, experience (preparation in high school, parenthood, etc.), language, etc.)

  • How does your syllabus and course curriculum support or marginalize these students?

  • How can you vary the course readings, teaching methods, class activities, assignments,

    and assessments to better support the diverse identities and needs in the classroom? This tool includes:

  • A checklist of syllabus basics

  • Rubrics to evaluate syllabus content and classroom culture

  • Guidelines for inclusive language

  • Ground rules for class discussions

  • Glossary of terms

  • List of resources for going deeper

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African Americans in evolutionary science: where we have been, and what’s next

n 2017 National Science Foundation data revealed that in the United States the professional biological workforce was composed of ~ 69.5% “whites”, 21.3% “Asians”, and only 3% “African American or Blacks” (National Science Founda- tion, 2017, https://ncsesdata.nsf.gov/doctoratework/2017/html/sdr2017_dst_03.html). There are problems with the categories themselves but without too deep an investigation of these, these percentages are representative of the demography of biology as a whole over the latter portion of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first century. However, evolutionary biologists would argue (and correctly so) that the representation of persons of African descent in our field is probably an order of magnitude lower (0.3%). This commentary focuses on the factors that are associ- ated with underrepresentation of African Americans in evolutionary science careers.

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Applying phylogenetic tree building in MEGA X to forensic applications for identifying unknown specimens

This exercise is designed to guide a learner through the construction of phylogenetic trees as a means of addressing research questions in forensic science such as the identification of previously unidentified species contributing to decomposition.

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Amanda Braley onto BIOL 205L

Morphological and Molecular Analysis of Plant Phylogeny and Diversity

In this lab, students perform phylogenetic analyses on morphological and molecular data, and compare.

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Amanda Braley onto BIOL 205L

Earth Analytics in Python Course

Earth analytics is an intermediate, multidisciplinary course that addresses major questions in Earth science and teaches students to use the analytical tools necessary to undertake exploration of heterogeneous ‘big scientific data’.

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maxwell addi onto Environmental data science

Lesson IV - Comparative Genomics

Genome Solver began as a way to teach undergraduate faculty some basic skills in bioinformatics; no coding or scripting is required. Lesson IV, Comparative Genomics, discusses some of the tools available for looking at genes across different genomes.

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Regina Kwon onto Micro

Software

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Angela Yaneth Franco onto maestria

2021 September EDSIN Community Call

Alycia Crall provided an overview of the Culturally Responsive Education in Environmental Data Science (CREEDS) workshop that occurred on August 10 and 17. Following, there was a discussion on next steps to support this work among our members. 

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Alycia Crall onto Community Calls

Tree Equity Score

Here is a great website that includes demographic data as well as a score for tree cover. 

There is also a link for Tazo's Tree Corps. 

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Marci Cole Ekberg onto Resources

Emory Inclusive teaching Resource

Really cool set of ideas...for nclusive teaching

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Pat Marsteller onto Inclusive Teaching Resources

2021 August EDSIN Community Call

This presentation was from EDSIN's August 2021 community call. Dr. Stephanie Russo Carroll presented on her work surrounding Indigenous data sovereignty and the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance. 

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Alycia Crall onto Community Calls

Assessing Socioeconomic Trends in Tree Cover and Human Health in Urban Environments

In this exercise, students use a combination of publicly available data and tree cover data that they generate using iTree Canopy to test whether tree cover is equitably distributed within the city of Dallas.

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Bernadette Marie Roche onto EJ

Integrating Social Justice into your STEM Classroom: Redlining & Health

Workshop about models for introducing social justice issues into classes developed in a Faculty Mentoring Network. Presented at the 2021 BIOME Institute.

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Bernadette Marie Roche onto EJ

Dei statments examples for syllabi and tenure and promotion links

Contains a few examples from web search

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Sarah Prescott onto Resources from Social Justice FMNs

guides for discussion

Contains a set of links to guidelines and topics about talking about race

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Sarah Prescott onto Resources from Social Justice FMNs

Racial Justice in Education Guidebook

Although aimed at K12...very useful guide

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Sarah Prescott onto Resources from Social Justice FMNs

America needs all of us

Guide to having discussions about race

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Sarah Prescott onto Resources from Social Justice FMNs

New York times learning network

This site has relevent materials for teachers and students on many topics.

An example is this link on talking about race...an on demand webinar

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/11/learning/on-demand-webinar-talking-about-race-and-racism-in-the-classroom-using-the-new-york-times.html

 

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Sarah Prescott onto Resources from Social Justice FMNs

Graphing and mapping patterns of air quality in Los Angeles, California through an environmental justice lens.

Air quality is an environmental issue that impacts everyone in Los Angeles. This activity presents current popular press articles about air pollution and environmental justice and maps and graphs PM pollution in Los Angeles.

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Spiders under the Influence

The curriculum module “Spiders under the Influence” was created by by Chris Hawn and Aaron Curry and is published as part of the Data Nuggets project.

Introduction: People use pharmaceutical drugs, personal care products, and other chemicals on a daily basis. For example, we take medicine when we are sick to feel better, and use perfumes and cologne to make ourselves smell good. After we use these chemicals, where do they go? Often, they get washed down our drains and end up in local waterways. Even our trash can contain these harmful chemicals. For example, when coffee grounds are thrown into the trash, caffeine gets washed into our waterways.

Discuss this curriculum module here. You will need to be logged in to view the discussion.

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Sam S Donovan onto CREEDS Workshop Curriculum Modules

Phenology Trends and Climate Change in Minnesota

The curriculum module “Phenology Trends and Climate Change in Minnesota” was developed by Pamela Freeman and is published as part of Project Eddie.

Summary: Seasonal events, for example flowering, fruiting, and the return of migrating birds, happen at particular times of the year. Some of these events happen in relation to climate, while others are dependent on other factors. Phenology is the study of these repeating events in the lifecycle of organisms. As the climate changes, the timing of some events may change in some species. This exercise will help students evaluate how climate change has already affected species in Minnesota.

Discuss this curriculum module here. You will need to be logged in to view the discussion.

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Sam S Donovan onto CREEDS Workshop Curriculum Modules

Graphing and Mapping Patterns of Air Quality in Los Angeles, California Through an Environmental Justice Lens

The curriculum module “Graphing and Mapping Patterns of Air Quality in Los Angeles, California Through an Environmental Justice Lens” was developed by Dr. Adriane Clark Jones as part of the Social Justice and Community Change Faculty Mentoring Network.

Description: This is a three-part student activity that could be done in lecture or lab. Part 1 assigns a series of current popular press articles to read and a series of discussion questions. Students read and complete this section before the in-class activity. Part 2 takes place in class, students will be introduced to ESRI ArcGIS online and guided through a mapping activity using Living Atlas Layers. The students answer questions about their map. Part 3 is assigned as homework students select two Real-Time EPA AirNow Air Quality Monitoring Sites and download a year of data for the two locations from https://www.epa.gov/outdoor-air-quality-data/download-daily-data. The students will use Microsoft Excel to plot the data from each location and then use the graphs to answer questions.

Discuss this curriculum module here. You will need to be logged in to view the discussion.

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Sam S Donovan onto CREEDS Workshop Curriculum Modules

Quantifying the Drivers and Impacts of Natural Disturbance Events - the 2013 Colorado Floods

The curriculum module “Quantifying the Drivers and Impacts of Natural Disturbance Events - the 2013 Colorado

Floods” was created by Dr. Leah Wasser and Dr. Megan A. Jones as part of the National Ecological Observatory Network.

Description: This lesson focuses on ways that scientists identify and use data to understand ecological disturbance events using data from five public datasets. The main lesson focused on interpretation of figures, while optional coding extensions teach R skills.

Discuss this curriculum module here. You will need to be logged in to view the discussion.

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Sam S Donovan onto CREEDS Workshop Curriculum Modules