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Learning Frameworks Aid Goal-oriented Course Design
As a new instructor it can be hard to know where to begin. Thankfully, CourseSource's learning frameworks (https://www.coursesource.org/courses) shaped my approach to teaching as a first year instructor. The frameworks, which include learning...
backward design learning goals course design
Lesson
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A flexible, multi-week approach to plant biology - How will plants respond to higher levels of CO2?
To help introductory biology students understand how plants will respond to higher levels of CO2, we have created a multi-week module consisting of a series of four related laboratory lessons. These lessons allow students to make connections among...
statistics plants photosynthesis carbon dioxide communicating science group work Resource Allocation Respiration Stomata
Lesson
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The Leaky Neuron: Understanding synaptic integration using an analogy involving leaky cups
Students have difficulty understanding synaptic integration in neural circuits, and how spatial and temporal summation combine in a target neuron to reach threshold.  This Lesson uses small cups of water to represent excitatory postsynaptic...

Courses: NeurobiologyNeurobiology

neuron physiology spatial summation synaptic integration temporal summation threshold
Lesson
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Discovery Poster Project
Engaging in undergraduate research can be exciting yet intimidating to first-year students at large research universities. For first-generation college students, whose pre-college exposure to research may be limited compared to their continuing...
research primary literature Poster core concepts
Teaching Tools and Strategies
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How to Design a Classroom Activity that Integrates 3D Print Models with Active Learning
Student exploration of relevant physical models can deepen knowledge of course material. In this guide we describe a method by which instructors can integrate 3D printing technology with an established teaching strategy, the classroom jigsaw, to...
active learning 3D print models classroom jigsaw
Lesson
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Discovering Prokaryotic Gene Regulation with Simulations of the trp Operon
The trp operon exemplifies important biological concepts, including the central dogma of molecular biology, feedback inhibition, and gene regulation. For this reason, regulation of the trp operon is a common theme in introductory biology,...
prokaryotes gene regulation attenuation feedback inhibition repressible operon trp operon
Lesson
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Using a Sequential Interpretation of Data in Envelopes (SIDE) approach to identify a mystery TRP channel
This lesson sought to engage students in data interpretation and to encourage critical thinking about neurophysiology in the context of temperature sensation. A family of receptors called Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels are activated...
Cell communication Channel specificity and activation Limitations of tools of Cell Biology Neuronal Signaling
Lesson
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Bad Science: Exploring the unethical research behind a putative memory supplement
As members of society, students must be able to evaluate scientific claims across a wide variety of media to make sound decisions about health and wellness. However, students - and most members of society - struggle to evaluate the quality of...
bioethics evaluation Pseudoscience Recognizing bad science Science process skills
Lesson
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Priority Setting in Public Health: A lesson in ethics and hard choices
Undergraduate life sciences majors, many of whom aspire to work in healthcare and health research, can benefit from early exposure to ethical issues that they may encounter in these careers. This lesson plan introduces students to the tensions...
public health ethics ramifications of one's decisions role of science in society
Teaching Tools and Strategies
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A Team-Based Approach to Course Development Involving Undergraduate Researchers
Development of an undergraduate laboratory course can be a challenge, because of the need to balance both logistical and pedagogical considerations. We piloted a team-based approach to developing this type of course and found it to be advantageous...
student research course development
Lesson
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GMC: Genes, Mutations and Cancer - Group Concept Map Development
It has been shown that active learning strategies used in the classroom can increase student learning and retention of information. We generated an active learning exercise that can be used in the classroom to explore the relationship between...
mutation cancer Cell Division
Essay
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Teaching about fatherless snakes in a prison classroom
Developing a course for the first time as a graduate student is challenging. When I first taught introductory biology with the Cornell Prison Education Program, I struggled to design and adapt lessons that felt relevant to my students....
meiosis mitosis Reproduction
Lesson
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Using Place-Based Economically Relevant Organisms to Improve Student Understanding of the Roles of Carbon Dioxide, Sunlight, and Nutrients in Photosynthetic Organisms
Biology students require broad preparation for diverse careers including agriculture, natural resource management, and laboratory research. Concurrent with this need, employers are seeking applicants who have the scientific skills that allow them...
energy photosynthesis biomass
Teaching Tools and Strategies
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A "How-to" Guide For Producing Recorded Interviews
Now that almost every student carries a camera in their pocket, student-created digital media items can be used to supplement curriculum material and as assessment. Although students can easily record interviews, events, and activities on their...
communication employability gathering data
Lesson
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Understanding Protein Domains: A Modular Approach
An understanding of protein structure, function, and interaction is central to biochemistry. One angle into this topic is to engage students in considering protein domains as modules that develop form and execute function semi-independently. Here,...
Protein Structure