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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...
    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

    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
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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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    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,...
    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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    Fatty Acid Induction of Lipid Droplets in Cancer Cells
    There is a growing need for the development and communication of cell culture-based laboratory activities specifically designed for undergraduate students. This multi-week laboratory activity allows students to take part in the planning,...
    Lesson
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    Learning R for Biologists: A Mini Course Grab-Bag for Instructors
    As biology becomes more data driven, teaching students data literacy skills has become central to biology curriculum. Despite a wealth of online resources that teach researchers how to use R, there are few that offer practical laboratory-based...
    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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    Go Extinct! An Award-Winning Evolution Game That Teaches Tree-Thinking as Students Pursue the Winning Strategy
    Evolutionary trees communicate both the diversity and unity of life, a central and important scientific concept, as highlighted by the Vision and Change undergraduate biology education movement. Evolutionary trees and cladograms are diagrams...

    Courses: EvolutionEvolution

    Lesson
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    Three Research-Based Quantitative Reasoning Modules for Introductory Organismal Biology Laboratories
    We have designed three laboratory modules for an introductory organismal biology course with an emphasis on quantitative reasoning and data analysis skills. Module 1 tests for dimorphism in crayfish chelae using a paired statistical design. Module...
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    Analysis of Microbiomes Using Free Web-Based Tools in Online and In-Person Undergraduate Science Courses
    Our understanding of microbiomes, or the collection of microorganisms and their genes in a given environment, has been revolutionized by technological and computational advances. However, many undergraduate students do not get hands-on experiences...
    Lesson
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    SEAS CURE: Exploring Coral Biology Across Scales
    Complex biological concepts (like symbiosis and coral biology) that span multiple scales and cross disciplinary boundaries are often difficult for students to understand. This complexity is compounded by the challenges inherent to teaching and...
    Lesson
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    Isolation and Functional Analysis of a Pancreatic Enzyme in an Introductory Student Lab
    Structure and function are correlated at all levels of biology. This topic is typically addressed early in an undergraduate class in general or molecular biology before students have gained much skill or knowledge in molecular biology. However, an...
    Lesson
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    A Rapid Genetic Screen Using Wisconsin Fast Plants®: A Hands-On Approach to Inheritance of de novo Mutations
    Some concepts in genetics, such as genetic screens, are complex for students to visualize in a classroom and can be cumbersome to undertake in the laboratory. Typically, very large populations are needed, which can be addressed by using...
    Lesson
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    Small Organisms with Big Consequences: Understanding the Microbial World Around Us
    Creating a hands-on lab that conveys important information while simultaneously allowing for student autonomy can be difficult. This is particularly true for the field of microbiology, in which labs often rely on “recipe-style”...