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    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    Using Constructed Response Questions on High-Stakes Assessments in Large Classes With Limited Support
    Large lecture courses often rely heavily, and sometimes exclusively, on Multiple Choice (MC) exams to assess student learning. Constructed Response (CR) questions, in which students generate their own answers, can provide more insight into student...

    Courses: GeneticsGenetics

    Lesson
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    Breaking It Down: What Factors Control Microbial Decomposition Rates?
    Demonstrating and modeling changes in ecosystem processes in the laboratory classroom can be logistically difficult and expensive. This complexity often leaves little time for students to generate and test hypotheses. Yet, we must foster student...
    Lesson
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    An Interrupted Case Study on Urban Prairie Restoration
    Engaging students in meaningful discussions can be a challenging task for science instructors, especially in introductory courses. The story-telling approach used in case studies can increase student participation by demonstrating the relevance of...
    LessonPlus
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    Keep It Shrimple: An Adaptable Student-Driven Research Project for the Introductory Biology Laboratory
    A challenge in introductory biology laboratory courses is to provide students with authentic, engaging research opportunities that allow them to take ownership of their experiments. We present a nine-week introductory biology module that allows...
    Lesson
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    Understanding the Importance of Microtubules in Normal Cell Division: Chemotherapy Connection
    In introductory courses, students learn about microtubules as important structures but may not engage in a hands-on experience to localize microtubules themselves or to learn about their connection to cancer treatment. In this lesson, students...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    279

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    A Customizable Inquiry-Based Statistics Teaching Application for Introductory Biology Students
    Building strong quantitative skills prepares undergraduate biology students for successful careers in science and medicine. While math and statistics anxiety can negatively impact student learning within biology classrooms, instructors may reduce...
    LessonPlus
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    The Power of Place: A Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience Studying Urban Ecology, Local Apple Trees and Disease Susceptibility
    Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) offered early in an undergraduate student’s career have the potential to include a greater number and diversity of students than one-on-one mentored research. CUREs that use a...

    Courses: EcologyEcology

    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    291

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    SCIENCE/Fiction: Modular Template for Class Design
    We present a modular scaffold for designing an introductory seminar using speculative fiction and science papers to welcome university undergraduates to the biology major. A list of twelve possible topics is included, such as Memory, Parasites,...
    Lesson
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    Where Does Elsie's Hair Color Come From? A "De-Simplified" Pedigree Lesson
    Pedigree analysis is part of most Genetics curricula, but the examples traditionally used in genetics courses present phenotypes as if they were entirely and inexorably defined by genotype. This does not reflect the current state of understanding...
    Lesson
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    Snail Races: An Inquiry-Based Approach to Learn Invasive Species Ecology
    Inquiry-based lessons allow learning that is hands-on and student-driven, fostering engagement and retention of knowledge in any discipline. Here, we use this learning framework to engage students in exploring the effects of biotic and abiotic...

    Courses: EcologyEcology

    Lesson
    697

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    275

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    Quantifying Uncertainty and Distinguishing Data Sets in Introductory Physics
    Physics labs are moving increasingly to open-ended experiments where students develop experimental physics skills, rather than verify textbook physics concepts. This sequence of activities sets the stage for this new kind of lab early in the...
    Lesson
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    An Inquiry-Based Project Added to Traditional Labs: Hands-On Fish Awareness Research in Freshwater Systems Conducted by First-Year Biology Students
    This project involves students in an inquiry-based project added to the introductory biology laboratory course for majors in fall 2019. Research has shown that student engagement in authentic research has significant positive impacts on...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    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...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    Fostering Student to Student Collaboration Across Institutions in a Protein Centric CURE
    Collaboration is an essential component of research because it allows scientists to share expertise and tackle difficult scientific questions. While many undergraduate science courses include inquiry-based or authentic research projects,...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    Science “Fails”: A Bank of Historical Examples for Learning From Failure in Science
    Learning from failure is critically important to the processes of scientific inquiry, discovery, and invention. However, students are not routinely taught how to reflect on, learn from, and ultimately embrace failure, and relatively few curricular...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    An Interactive Protocol for In-Classroom DNA Extraction
    Using commonly available materials, this tool allows students to extract DNA, exploring DNA chemistry and the principles of experimental design and execution. We take a “Choose Your Own Adventure” approach encouraging students to...
    Lesson
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    My Fish Tank: An Active Learning Activity for Bacterial Nitrogen Metabolism
    This active learning activity introduces students to the second part of the nitrogen cycle, nitrification. In terrestrial and aquatic environments, bacteria from the Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter genera oxidize ammonia first to nitrite (via a...
    Lesson
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    Helping Students to Metacognitively Read Scientific Literature With Talking to the Text
    Reading primary scientific literature enhances students’ understanding of material, increases their self-efficacy, and critical thinking skills. However, scientific articles often present multiple challenges to the students, the first among...
    Lesson
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    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...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    Enhancing the Microscopy Skills of Non-Science Majors and Nursing Microbiology Students: Promoting the Practice of Observing Multiple Fields of View Using Blood Smear Slides
    One of the challenges in teaching microscopy is having students scan multiple fields of view at high power magnification. Many times, students will feel this unnecessary, especially when presented with slides that show only one structure or a...