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Vision and Change Core Competencies
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A Hands-on Introduction to Hidden Markov Models
In this Lesson, we describe a classroom activity that demonstrates how a Hidden Markov Model (HMM) is applied to predict a eukaryotic gene, focusing on predicting one exon-intron boundary. This HMM lesson is part of the BIOL/CS 370...
transcription exon intron splicing
Essay
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The Lecture-Free Classroom: Teaching students backward design and Bloom's Taxonomy to create their own learning environment
We describe Presentation Enhanced Learning (PEL), a flexible, lecture-free, field-tested teaching format to promote problem-based, active learning in upper-division or graduate biological sciences courses.  PEL may be implemented as a single,...
active learning backward design Problem based learning Bloom's Taxonomy
Teaching Tools and Strategies
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"Boost your evolution IQ": An evolution misconceptions game
Students often enter introductory biology courses with misconceptions about evolution. For example, many students believe that traits arise when a species needs them or that evolutionary processes are goal-oriented. To address these and other...

Courses: EvolutionEvolution

Evolution active learning Natural Selection group work misconceptions
Lesson
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A Kinesthetic Modeling Activity to Teach PCR Fundamentals
Most molecular biology and biological sciences students understand that the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is used to amplify DNA. However, we have found that some students experience conceptual misunderstandings, a lack of detailed comprehension...
PCR
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An Active Textbook Converts "Vision and Tweak" to Vision and Change
Multiple reports over more than a century have documented the problems with the way introductory biology has been taught in most colleges and universities. An influential recent report, Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education, has...
Vision and Change active learning introductory biology Flipped classroom Undergraduate core competencies core concepts active textbook curriculum reform
Teaching Tools and Strategies
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An Open Source, Collaborative Electronic Notebook for Undergraduate Laboratory Classes
To overcome many of the limitations of the paper laboratory notebook (PLN), we developed an electronic laboratory notebook (e-LN) for the Dynamic Genome course at the University of California. The Dynamic Genome course is an authentic research...
data collection Data annotation Notebook Skills
Lesson
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Building a Model of Tumorigenesis: A small group activity for a cancer biology/cell biology course
The multistep nature of tumorigenesis is a foundational concept in the context of Cancer Biology. Many students do not appreciate the complex nature of cancer development nor do they understand how scientists are able to unravel the molecular...
pathways cancer Molecular Alterations Retrospective data Tumorigenesis
Lesson
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41

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Exploration of the Human Genome by Investigation of Personalized SNPs
Students often shy away from tedious bioinformatics approaches to exploring their genomes. However, in our expanding digital world these skills are some of the most relevant and valuable. To increase students' interest in their own genomes, I...
UCSC genome browser single nucleotide polymorphism Genome wide association studies Genomic organization
Teaching Tools and Strategies
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Graphical Organizers as Course Road Maps: Using a geologic timescale in a history of life course
Both major and non-major biology students lack understanding of important evolutionary events, how they are spaced in time, and how they relate back to the earth system. Graphical organizers like concept maps and timescales are popular tools that...

Courses: EvolutionEvolution

Evolution ecology extinction adaptive radiation diversification
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Infectious Chocolate Joy with a Side of Poissonian Statistics: An activity connecting life science students with subtle physics concepts
Introductory physics courses are required for many programs in the life sciences, yet traditional curricula fail to help students meaningfully connect physical concepts with biological systems.  In this lesson, we describe an activity taught...
quantitative biology HIV multiplicity of infection Poisson Distribution Physics for biologists
Lesson
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Lights, Camera, Acting Transport! Using role-play to teach membrane transport
Lights, Camera, Acting Transport! is an active and unique role-play exercise designed to teach introductory biology students basic concepts of passive and active membrane transport. The activity involves three acts in which students, representing...
ATP carriers channels co-transport electrogenic pump facilitated diffusion membrane transport passive transport primary active transport simple diffusion
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58

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Using Undergraduate Molecular Biology Labs to Discover Targets of miRNAs in Humans
Incorporating authentic research experiences into undergraduate labs, while shown to be particularly effective at engaging and retaining students in STEM majors, can be difficult to accomplish within the constraints of resource availability or...
gene regulation microRNAs gene expression
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Why do Some People Inherit a Predisposition to Cancer? A small group activity on cancer genetics
Before undergraduate students take a genetics course they generally know cancer has a genetic basis and involves the proliferation of cells; however, many are uncertain about why only a subset of people have a predisposition to cancer and how that...
cancer Inheritance patterns Probability calculation Proto-oncogene Tumor Suppressor Gene
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Teaching RNAseq at Undergraduate Institutions: A tutorial and R package from the Genome Consortium for Active Teaching
Next-generation sequencing is radically changing the study of biology, but there are currently few resources aimed at teaching the required laboratory and data-analysis skills to undergraduate students. This gap is especially true at primarily...
statistics bioinformatics RNAseq gene expression computer programming
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You and Your Oral Microflora: Introducing non-biology majors to their “forgotten organ”
With limited time available for laboratory activities, introductory science courses for non-science majors typically use the laboratory period to reinforce material that was previously presented during lecture. This practice was true of a human...
bacteria microbiome BLAST microbes DNA replication Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)