Traditional lecture and textbook-based learning formats in life science courses make it challenging for students to fully conceptualize and appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of biological and biochemical processes. To address these challenges, we have developed a new learning approach that enables students to build, simulate, and investigate computational models of the processes embedded in biological systems.
This method is facilitated through an easy-to-use software, Cell Collective Learn (http://learn.cellcollective.org), that makes this computational modeling approach accessible to any student and instructor (i.e., no prior computational modeling experience is necessary). The learning modules have been designed to be self-contained and adoptable by any instructor. This computational approach has been used at several levels ranging from large introductory courses to graduate courses. The setting of its utility is also flexible; the modeling activities can be used in-class, assigned as homework, and/or deployed as extensive lab investigations.
Participants will explore one of our computational modules to learn from a student’s perspective, gaining first-hand experience of the learning process associated with a simulation-based lesson. We will provide participants with instructor materials that will enable them to deploy the simulation lesson in their respective institutions. Drawing from our experience deploying these simulation lessons to thousands of students, we will also provide suggestions on how to most effectively deploy the lesson in participants’ respective courses. Finally, we will also highlight the variety of available learning modules, and assist participants in developing and simulating their own computational model.
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