Stories from our Network: Kristine Grayson at U. Richmond

Kristine Grayson - University of Richmond

The Setup

Context: Integrated Biological Principles II

Class Size: 14-18 students 


I am part of the team redesigning the introductory biology course series for majors to increase the quantitative content and include more active approaches to teaching and learning. We are in our first semester of teaching “Integrated Biological Principles II” and each instructor has their own small class of 14 - 18 students and an associated lab section; however, we are sharing the development of modules and materials. I am excited to lead the use of two modules during this course: Survivorship and Extinction.



I will be customizing these modules for use in all sections of our course. I think their strength lies in the application of real data to demonstrate ecological principles. For the Survivorship module, we are planning to have the students use their own graphing programs to produce the figures (Excel, Numbers, Google Sheets, etc.). One of our teaching challenges is that everyone comes in with different software on their laptops with different degrees of functionality and some have PCs and some have Macs. For the Extinction module, we will be modifying the instructions for implementation in JMP, since we are trying to get the students some absolute basics in running statistical analyses on data collected during labs. Our goal is to prepare students with the vocabulary and tools to be able to run t-tests, ANOVAs, correlations, and regressions with their own data in this course and future courses (necessarily glossing over some of the assumptions, but laying the foundation). I am excited to have them work with the Extinction data in JMP because I think it combines practice with the software alongside with applying course material on life history theory and conservation practice. 

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