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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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    Exploring Indigenous Viewpoints in the Undergraduate Biology Classroom: An Environmental Case Study Incorporating Hawaiian Traditional Ecological Knowledge
    Changing science education to foster greater equity and inclusion for Indigenous students will require effort from instructors and institutions. Instructors can help by including Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in their science classrooms....
    Lesson
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    247

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    Marsh Madness: Using Video Games and a Case Study to Explore Food Webs and Ecosystem Services in Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve
    As the complexity and interconnectedness of our world increases, we are continually expected to be capable of complex, non-linear thinking in order to successfully tackle and solve the challenges we face in the 21st century. Tackling these...

    Courses: EcologyEcology

    Lesson
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    296

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    Bacteria to Brains in Backyard Coyotes: An Interdisciplinary Pedagogical Case Study
    Our interdisciplinary pedagogical case study explores the differences between rural and urban coyotes at the levels of organismal and community ecology. The focus is on how coyotes’ gut microbiomes could affect their behavior via...
    Lesson
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    85

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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

    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    301

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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...
    Lesson
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    321

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    Drawing “Octo-Pines”: Ice-Breaker Active-Learning Activities to Introduce Drawing-to-Learn in Biology
    Drawing has been advocated as a technique to develop visual literacy and observational skills in biology students. To increase student motivation and confidence to draw in our course, we developed an introductory active-learning lesson with a...

    Courses: EcologyEcology EvolutionEvolution

    Lesson
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    347

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    Why Do I Need a Lab Notebook? Teaching Responsible Conduct of Research with CURE Lab Notebooks
    There are few instructional tools about data acquisition and management available for undergraduate students. I created this lesson as a Fellow of the Ethics Network for Course-Based Opportunities in Undergraduate Research (ENCOUR) to fill this...
    Teaching Tools and Strategies
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    343

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    The Flight Physics Concept Inventory: Reliably Evaluating Aerodynamic Lift, Drag and Associated (Naïve) Concepts of Flight in Class and In-Game
    Students often struggle to transfer conceptual understanding from isolated instruction to a coherent mental model. This is especially true for the context of flight physics, fluid dynamics, or the concepts of aerodynamic lift, drag, stall, center...
    Lesson
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    Central Dogma, Dictionaries, and Functions: Using Programming Concepts to Simulate Biological Processes
    Technologies like next-generation sequencing, proteomics, and high-throughput phenotyping have transformed the way we do biology. There is a continued need for scientists with computational skills to analyze biological data while understanding the...

    Courses: BioinformaticsBioinformatics

    Lesson
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    The Developmental Origins of Mythology: A Pandemic-Inspired Innovative Developmental Biology Laboratory Exercise
    From an experiential, hands-on perspective, the Developmental Biology Laboratory is easily amenable to a wide range of undergraduate-friendly experiments. Thus, pivoting to a virtual laboratory during the COVID-19 pandemic required significant...
    Lesson
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    Using Collaborative Projects to Promote Active Learning of Microbial Skin Diseases and Their Impact on Everyday Lives
    One of the most daunting aspects of introductory clinical microbiology is learning details about a vast number of different microbial diseases that can infect humans. Each of these diseases has different causative agents, diagnostic procedures,...

    Courses: MicrobiologyMicrobiology

    Lesson
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    Defining and Understanding Pathogenic Disease: An Engaging Activity that Connects Students' Lived Experiences with their Academic Studies
    Contagious diseases are unavoidable realities of life. Thus, understanding pathogens and their respective diseases is important in many biological subfields including evolution, ecology, health sciences, microbiology, and others. While all college...
    Lesson
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    Who’s That Speci-Mon? Using PokémonTM to Understand Biological Terminology Using Greek and Latin Roots
    We set out to create a fun and engaging activity using recognizable fictional characters, so students get a chance to practice using Greek and Latin roots to create binomial names. Students in biology courses are faced with a plethora of...
    Lesson
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    Bringing Pasteur Back to Life: Studying the Biochemistry of Yeast Fermentation Through Discussion Groups and an At-Home Lab
    This hands-on, student-centered biochemistry lesson introduces beginner biochemistry students to the techniques of effectively reading and discussing primary literature, identifying fundamental biological concepts, and applying that knowledge to...
    Lesson
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    Advancing Global Learning Through a Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) Module on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs)
    An increasingly interconnected world presents opportunities for globally relevant curricula in the classroom. Implementing collaborative online international learning (COIL) modules within medium-sized courses can take advantage of this...
    Lesson
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    Debating Conservation: Developing Critical Thinking Skills in Introductory Biology Classes
    Role-playing activities in the classroom promote students’ critical thinking, research, and communication skills. We present an activity where students debate a current controversy in conservation. In our case study, students debate the...
    Lesson
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    Pick Your Poison: A Semester-Long Case Study for Undergraduate Toxicology
    The ability to collate information from diverse scientific resources and effectively employ scientific writing is an essential skill for scientists. This lesson describes a semester-long project entitled “Pick Your Poison,” which is...

    Courses: ToxicologyToxicology

    Lesson
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    Garden Variety Mutations: Using Primary Data to Understand the Central Dogma in Large-Lecture Introductory Biology
    The ability to interpret and create an argument from data is a crucial skill for budding scientists, yet one that is seldom practiced in introductory courses. During this argumentation module, students in a large lecture class will work in groups...