Lisa McDonnell

University of California, San Diego

Course Editors



Editor Degrees

  • Ph.D. in Forestry, University of British Columbia
  • MS. in Biology, Carleton University, Ottawa
  • BS. in Biology and Biotechnology, Carleton University, Ottawa

About Teaching and CourseSource

I have primarily taught biology at the undergraduate level, with some additional experience teaching about pedagogy at the graduate level. I truly love teaching because it excites me to be a part of other’s learning, but also because teaching allows me to continue to learn about a field as a result of student questions and how research is constantly advancing. My goal as an educator is to engage as many students as possible in the learning process, helping them develop deeper understandings of the biological world. I believe that in order for students to gain such deeper understanding, they must actively construct their own knowledge onto their existing knowledge and experiences. I strive to create multiple, different opportunities in my courses for students to develop critical thinking skills, engage in scientific argumentation, and apply conceptual understanding to solve problems.

I was fortunate to have an opportunity during my post-doctoral fellowship to learn about curriculum design and have the time to develop lessons and activities to enhance student engagement and learning of various concepts in biology. However, I recognize that we don’t always have the time to devote to developing new material, as much as we may want to do so to improve the learning experiences we are providing. CourseSource provides an incredible resource to educators in a variety of disciplines. I have benefited from the articles on CourseSource many times, and being involved in CourseSource is a way for me to contribute to this valuable resource.