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Drawing flowcharts of lab protocols helps students prepare for biology labs
With the publishing of the Vision and Change report, we know it is best practice to include authentic research experiences in our undergraduate science lab classes. One big challenge in teaching so-called "wet lab" classes is figuring...
laboratory molecular biology Undergraduate protocol flowchart
Lesson
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Fly Exercise: A Simple Experiment to Test the Physiological Effects of Exercise on a Model Organism
Model organisms are commonly used to study and experimentally explore biological processes in ways that are technically or ethically not possible in humans. For this reason, model organisms are an essential component of scientific research and...
exercise enzyme kinetics metabolite concentration model species physical activity
Teaching Tools and Strategies
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Converting a Face-to-Face Lab to Online: An Example of Process and Outcomes for a CRISPR-Based Molecular Biology Lab
The COVID-19 pandemic created a need to convert in-person laboratory courses into an online format in a short amount of time. For this reason, we converted our face-to-face molecular biology lab course to an online version in Spring 2020. The lab...
mutation transcription crispr translation
Lesson
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Student-Driven Design-and-Improve Modules to Explore the Effect of Plant Bioactive Compounds in Three Model Organisms
Engaging and supporting introductory level students in authentic research experiences during required coursework is challenging. Plant bioactive compounds attract students' natural curiosity as they are found in many familiar items such as...
statistics Lab CURE Inquiry research skills caterpillar daphnia drugs science process
Teaching Tools and Strategies
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Preparing Student Study Guides through Peer Collaboration in the Technological Era
Incorporating active learning exercises into large lecture courses is particularly challenging, especially when it comes to examination preparation materials. Traditionally, study guides are used as a tool to guide student learning and review...
active learning Discussion Study Skills
Essay
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Online Adaptation to "Gotcha! Which fly trap is the best? An introduction to experimental data collection and analysis"
We present here a simple and engaging experiment capitalizing on the universal need to rid our homes of fruit flies to teach experimental design and analysis. In an earlier paper, we described an experiment in which students learn the scientific...
data analysis experimental design olfaction
Essay
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Squirreling from Afar: Adapting Squirrel-Net Modules for Remote Teaching and Learning
The shift from face-to-face instruction to remote teaching and learning has proven to be a challenging endeavor for many reasons, including lack of time, resources, and inspiration. Lab courses, the "hands-on" portion of many curricula,...
online learning behavioral ecology CUREs Remote teaching field ecology Squirrel Squirrel-Net
Lesson
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How Many Squirrels Are in the Shrubs? A Lesson Plan for Comparing Methods for Population Estimation
Estimating the population sizes of animals is a key skill for any student interested in ecology, conservation, or management. However, counting animals in natural habitats is difficult, and the many techniques that exist each rely on assumptions...
population ecology wildlife management population estimation sciuridae Squirrel-Net
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Squirreling Around for Science: Observing Sciurid Rodents to Investigate Animal Behavior
Hands-on research experiences are important opportunities for students to learn about the nature of inquiry and gain confidence in solving problems. Here, we present an inquiry-based lesson plan that investigates the foraging behavior of sciurid...
foraging behavior behavioral ecology Sciurid Squirrel Squirrel-Net Trade-off Vigilance
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Using Current Events to Teach Written, Visual, and Oral Science Communication
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals need the skills to communicate with both technical and public audiences, but formal training in these skills is often lacking. In the nine-hour unit presented here, students...
communication scientific writing storytelling audience current events
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Cutthroat trout in Colorado: A case study connecting evolution and conservation
Evaluation of evidence is a key process skill for the core competencies of applying the process of science and using quantitative reasoning. This case study enables upper-division biology students to practice these skills by applying evolutionary...
population genetics phylogenetics Speciation divergence gene flow
Lesson
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Generating Biological Hypotheses in a "Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience"(CURE) Course
Hypotheses are often incorrectly defined as educated guesses or if/then statements. Further confusion arises from the fact that not all disciplines define hypotheses similarly. The difficulty in distinguishing between statistical and biological...
scientific method HPT axis Neural stem cells
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Exploring Primary Scientific Literature through the Lens of the 5 Core Concepts of Biology
Biology students at the undergraduate level usually excel in knowing biological facts; however, they often struggle with connecting these facts to specific biological principles. In parallel, undergraduate students often struggle to read primary...
5 core concepts connecting facts to principles reading primary scientific literature
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Harnessing the Power of the Immune System: Influenza Vaccines
Because most people have been infected by and/or immunized against influenza, students should know how the immune system responds to the infection and how vaccines protect against disease. Vaccines have played an instrumental role in disease...
Vaccines Influenza Immunization Vaccine efficacy
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Mapping a Mutation to its Gene: The "Fly Lab" as a Modern Research Experience
Although genetics is an invaluable part of the undergraduate biology curriculum, it can be intimidating to students as well as instructors: Students must reduce their reliance on memorization and dive deep into quantitative analysis, and...
genetics bioinformatics drosophila chi-square analysis complementation mapping mode of inheritance three-point mapping