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A collaborative approach to quantitative biology course reform: It's better than doing it all by yourself

Author(s): Jeremy M Wojdak

Radford University

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Summary:
This is the abstract of an oral presentation given at the Society for Mathematical Biology Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA in 2015.

Licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 03 Jan 2018 doi:10.25334/Q4PH3V - cite this

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Description

Faculty often experience two distinct problems as they start reforming their courses: finding the new materials, modules, or approaches they'd like to add to their course, and 2) figuring out how to effectively implement those materials given their local circumstances. As a community of quantitative biology educators, we should be benefiting from each other's experience and expertise to ameliorate these problems, especially for introductory topics that are common among many courses and institutions. Currently, the sharing of faculty instructional expertise mostly focuses on sharing the classroom materials, but leaves out the teaching notes, examples of student work, assessments, and other insights gained as faculty implement those materials. We will first discuss a couple of interesting ways to introduce quantitative biology to new students, including a project that uses image analysis to motivate and engage introductory students in open inquiry. Then we will discuss a new mechanism for easily sharing and refining these kinds of teaching resources, and then perhaps most critically we will discuss an approach to faculty development aimed at helping faculty during, rather than only before, they implement changes in their classrooms.

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