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Mendelian Genetics, Probability, Pedigree, and Chi-Squared Statistics

A lesson that requires students to work through a series of questions pertaining to the genetics of sickle cell disease and its relationship to malaria.

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Susan L Klinedinst onto Human Genetics

Using Podcasts as a Supplemental Learning Tool for Genetics

Genetics is a fascinating topic of biology. Establishing relevance is a key component of student learning. To increase learning, this resource includes summaries and teaching guides for integrating four different podcasts into a genetics course. Lecturing through podcasts has been shown to be received well by students and improve their understanding of concepts. Using podcasts to provide context and significance to a course would further enhance their learning and interest in the course.

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Susan L Klinedinst onto Human Genetics

Fragile States: A Case Study Exploring Genetics, Molecular Biology, and Biochemistry Through the Lens of Fragile X Syndrome

This case aims to strengthen students’ understanding of molecular biology concepts through study of Fragile X Syndrome (FXS). Students begin by learning the cause and phenotypes of FXS and related conditions. Students then apply genetics knowledge to describe the inheritance of FXS. Knowledge of the central dogma of molecular biology helps students understand the impact of genetic and epigenetic changes on expression of the Fragile X mental retardation gene 1 and the impacts of the loss of the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein on other protein production. As one example of the latter, students look at alterations in metabolic enzymes and consider ways to mitigate the phenotype, proposing treatments for FXS. Throughout the case, students are pointed to a clinical website and scientific literature to build their understanding. This case study also engages students in consideration of diversity and inclusion in conveying, interpreting, and acting on scientific information. Overall, this case can help students connect biological concepts to a real-world application while developing their abilities to think critically and comprehend scientific information.

Primary Image: “Fragile X metaphase spread,” showing human chromosomes with the Fragile X site highlighted with an arrow. This image was accessed via Creative Commons and available under license CC BY 4.0 (provider Europeana, source Wellcome Collection).

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Susan L Klinedinst onto Human Genetics

Exploration of the Human Genome by Investigation of Personalized SNPs

Students often shy away from tedious bioinformatics approaches to exploring their genomes. However, in our expanding digital world these skills are some of the most relevant and valuable. To increase students' interest in their own genomes, I have designed a computer-based laboratory lesson that was coupled with opportunity for the students to be genotyped by the consumer sequencing company, 23andMe. This lesson employs multiple open-access websites through which students explore a health-related single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in which they are most interested. Through a series of guided activities, students investigate the genomic region in which their SNP lies, investigate if there are any genome-wide association studies about this SNP, and then determine what model organism would be the best to use if they were to conduct future research about the gene in which the SNP lies. This module could be adapted as a supplement for a variety of Biology lecture or laboratory courses including but not limited to genetics and molecular biology.

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Susan L Klinedinst onto Human Genetics

Implementing active learning approaches into an upper-division biology course

In this essay, we present our strategy for implementing active learning strategies into an upper division course on Human Genetics. Our principal goal was to shift from a traditional didactic course design, to one that more clearly placed the responsibility for learning on to the course participants. A key part of our objective, was to incorporate active learning approaches that more saliently lend themselves to student contemplation of material. We pursued the goal of incorporating active learning in a variety of ways, including the use of personal response clicker questions, partner discussions, small group discussions, class-wide presentation of topical questions, and a final comprehensive individual presentation. The approaches we describe were effective and favorably received, as reflected in positive post-course reviews from student participants. The tools and techniques we integrated in our course design are flexible, and are widely applicable to other subjects and disciplines. Our hope is that these approaches may be flexibly adapted for a variety of different courses to improve course experiences for students and instructors alike.

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Susan L Klinedinst onto Human Genetics

GMC: Genes, Mutations and Cancer - Group Concept Map Development

It has been shown that active learning strategies used in the classroom can increase student learning and retention of information. We generated an active learning exercise that can be used in the classroom to explore the relationship between genes, mutations, cancer, and cancer therapeutics. The learning objectives for this exercise include defining and understanding the functional relationships between genes that regulate cell division, major types of mutations, and the onset of cancer. The active learning exercise begins with a take home quiz to define terms related to the information covered during the lecture portion of the class. Students are then divided into groups to generate a concept map that displays the interrelationships between these terms. Each group is then instructed to exchange their concept maps with another group, evaluate the map for accuracy, and identify targets for inhibiting or activating drug therapies. The lesson plan was implemented in undergraduate biology courses at two public universities. Survey data indicate that students perceived the activity helped increase their knowledge and understanding of the learning objectives.

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Michael Gilchrist onto Cancer

Biodiversity Conservation in Agriculture

Biodiversity is decreasing rapidly each year and agriculture is a large contributor. In order to minimize biodiversity loss, we must study how local and landscape management in agriculture impact different species in different ways. With this knowledge, policy makers and planners can create strategies to protect biodiversity in the most effective ways as possible.

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Gillian Schultz onto Env Bio

The Impact of Diet and Antibiotics on the Gut Microbiome: Distance Education Variant

The goal of this article is to describe a variation of an active learning exercise that was previously published by the same author under a similar title. The variation describes modifications instructors can use to make the exercise suitable for online course delivery. The exercise is split into several parts. Part I is taught asynchronously via three consecutive videos. Part II is taught synchronously via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (or similar). There is a follow up assignment that students do in groups as part III. The active learning exercise is a 'pasta' simulation of the gut microbiome. In the asynchronous part I of this exercise, students are virtually given a plastic bag/gut with different types of pasta/gut bacteria. Six different bags resemble the gut microbiome under six different diets. The instructor mimics an antibiotic treatment by removing two types of pasta/gut bacteria and replacing them with beans/environmental bacteria from a second plastic bag. In the synchronous part II of the exercise, students read multiple review articles and assign bacterial names to the pasta types under the respective diet. They then use the same articles to identify metabolic byproducts that these bacteria produce. In a follow up assignment that constitutes part III, students investigate signal transduction pathways in the human host cells and the potential diseases that can result from a high fat diet.

Original lesson: The Impact of Diet and Antibiotics on the Gut Microbiome

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Gillian Schultz onto Bio 14 - Human Bio

Using Place-Based Economically Relevant Organisms to Improve Student Understanding of the Roles of Carbon Dioxide, Sunlight, and Nutrients in Photosynthetic Organisms

Biology students require broad preparation for diverse careers including agriculture, natural resource management, and laboratory research. Concurrent with this need, employers are seeking applicants who have the scientific skills that allow them to solve problems related to locally relevant economic systems and develop ways to foster economic growth. To support these efforts, biology faculty from six different campuses in the University of Maine System collaborated to develop an economically relevant activity where students differentiate the roles light energy, carbon dioxide, and nutrients have in photosynthetic organisms. In addition, the activity addresses the relationship between photosynthesis and global carbon dioxide cycles, as well as the potential impacts of rising global atmospheric carbon dioxide on economic industries that rely on these processes. The activity was taught in 11 classrooms throughout the University of Maine System, and student performance was assessed using a multiple-choice pre/post-test, pre/post constructed response questions, in-class clicker questions with peer discussion, and exam questions. Here we report that the activity improved student learning and that combining the expertise of University of Maine System faculty and the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership provided the opportunity to integrate biological concepts with economic development. Although the examples in this lesson have economic relevance in the state of Maine, the examples can be modified to align with other regional economic systems.

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Gillian Schultz onto Env Bio

Biology from Molecules to Embryos, Interactive Animated Lessons

Visualizing kinetic processes can be an impediment to student mastery of basic science coursework. To remedy this obstacle, I created an educational program called Biology from Molecules to Embryos© (BioME), which provides 28 animated lessons for genetics and embryology. To provide access to the international educational community, BioME has been posted as an interactive, open access website. Empirical data demonstrates that BioME is an efficacious educational resource, which elicits positive student perception of its utility. The animated lessons are useful for student self-study. For instructors who choose to display BioME lessons as visual aids for their presentations, explanatory text can be hidden so that it does not compete with the instructors’ verbal explanations. For instructors who would not choose to use premade lessons, downloadable excerpts are provided. These excerpts are short presentations of specific topics that can be incorporated at any point of a lesson according to the instructor’s preference and student needs. To provide opportunities for self-quizzing and to summarize key points, multiple PopUp files are provided for most lessons. To allow students to actively access their mastery of the material and to take advantage of the testing effect, multiple-choice practice questions are also provided with each lesson. The level of these questions ranges from first-order recall to third-order application. The higher order questions promote deep processing by requiring students to deduce answers by actively integrating material within and across lessons. Thus, BioME can help to advance the understanding of biological sciences and promote the usage of animations to present dynamic processes.

Primary Image: BioME Animations. Sequential images of ovulation represent the dynamic progressions of BioME animations.

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Gillian Schultz onto Bio 14 - Human Bio

Tips for Inclusive Teaching in a Clinical Environment

Tips for inclusive teaching in a clinical environment

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Heather Rissler onto Justice and DEI: Medicine

Excess Mortality and Years of Potential Life Lost Among the Black Population in the US, 1999-2020

JAMA Article

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Heather Rissler onto Justice and DEI: Medicine

Assessing the Risk of Invasive Species Using Community Science Data

This module introduces students who are already familiar with GIS to doing comparative analyses with large-scale community science (often called citizen science) data sets. Students will explore how we can use community science data to examine the spread and distribution of invasive species in different geographic locations. In the final step, students will identify different invasive species and determine if community science data accurately maps the threat these species pose.

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Jessica Allen onto consbio

Data management and introduction to QGIS and RStudio for spatial analysis

Students learn about the importance of good data management and begin to explore QGIS and RStudio for spatial analysis purposes. Students will explore National Land Cover Database raster data and made-up vector point data on both platforms.

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Jessica Allen onto consbio

Exploring Connections between Low Albedo, Urban Heat Islands and Social Justice

This exercise explores circumstances of urban heat islands in the United States using spatial data, including an exploration of heat island solutions.

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Jessica Allen onto cornerstone

Human Evolution for Secondary and College Students

This module is made up of four concepts. The goal of the first concept is to elicit an understanding of primate relatedness, phylogeny, and how specific characteristics are beneficial for life in an arboreal environment. The next concept explains the overarching trends in hominin evolution and the selective pressures that encouraged their development. Concept three examines specific fossils and the characteristics that are associated with them. This concept serves to provide a timeline of hominin evolution. The final concept encourages students to understand characteristics in the hominin lineage and how they relate to social behaviors. This concept ends by driving home the point that evolution is a dynamic and continual process.

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Alix Matthews onto Evolution

Resources from NABT 23 DEI Networking Session - Shared Google folder

Seven projects! 

 

 

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Sarah Prescott onto BQ IDEAS Resources Collection

Genomics Education Partnership DEI Resources

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Sarah Prescott onto BQ IDEAS Resources Collection

Louse and Human Coevolution

This module examines the complicated co-evolution of Lice, Humans, and Great Apes

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Alix Matthews onto Evolution

Building Organizational Capacity for Social Justice: Framework, Approach, and Tools

Author: Asian Americans / Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy National Gender and Equity Campaign

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Sam S Donovan onto SJEDI Additional Resources

Racial Equity Tools

Produced by: Center for Assesment and Policy Development, MP Associates, and World Trust

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Sam S Donovan onto SJEDI Additional Resources

Anti-racist Discussion Pedagogy Guide

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Sam S Donovan onto SJEDI Additional Resources

The Neuroethics Blog

from the Emory University Center for Ethics

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Sam S Donovan onto SJEDI Additional Resources

How Can Professors Bring Anti-Racist Pedagogy Practices Into the Classroom?

Author: Sara Weissman

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Sam S Donovan onto SJEDI Additional Resources