At HHMI’s BioInteractive, you can find free multimedia resources, including apps, animations, videos, interactives, and virtual labs, supplemented by teacher guides and classroom activities. Recently, we have started to develop quantitative and data-centric resources, including statistics, data manipulation, graph generation and interpretation, and spreadsheet activities. One of our strengths is the scientific authenticity of our work. We have developed a series of films about scientific stories that share the excitement and human element of scientific research through interviews and discussions with scientists. Another film resource is the annual Holiday Lecture series which features talks given by active research scientists on current topics. Educators, scientists, and the BioInteractive team work together to produce supporting classroom materials for these resources to make them even more valuable to educators and students.
The initial target audience for BioInteractive materials was the AP Biology classroom, but most resources are suitable in undergraduate introductory courses and general high school biology classes. Most of these resources have been developed in collaboration with high school teacher advisors, and we are very keen to work with undergraduate faculty to adapt these materials for the undergraduate level. Through this faculty mentoring network, we hope to be able to develop adaptations of existing resources that will fit in the undergraduate educational arena. These adaptations will be shared through QUBESHub, and may be further developed for publication on BioInteractive.
Faculty Mentoring Networks (FMNs) are a method for building supportive communities of faculty interested in addressing similar challenges around teaching quantitative biology. FMNs usually consist of anywhere from ten to twenty faculty participants working with content and pedagogical mentors from the community. The groups share a private space on the QUBESHub where they can have discussions, share resources, and manage group projects. The larger group is subdivided into smaller groups to facilitate discussions. Faculty work together to brainstorm, plan, troubleshoot and generally support one another in their efforts to implement new materials or approaches in the classroom. Mentors facilitate the discussion and provide some guidance and resources.
The value of FMNs is ongoing community interaction, as faculty struggle with the details and challenges of making changes in the classroom. The virtual nature of FMNs makes this long term interaction possible, reducing time and financial barriers to participation.
Participation in this FMN provides the following benefits:
Mentored opportunity to explore effective teaching methods to improve classroom learning using data.
Access to experts, innovative teachers and mentors.
Interactions with colleagues interested in developing quantitative skills through the use of data-centric modules.
- The opportunity to publish a BioInteractive resource.