Inquiry-Based Genomics Lab Module Collection

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Title of Abstract: Inquiry-Based Genomics Lab Module Collection

Name of Author: Lois Banta
Author Company or Institution: Williams College
Author Title: Associate Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics, Cell Biology, Ecology and Environmental Biology, Evolutionary Biology, General Biology, Genetics, Integrative Biology, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Organismal Biology, Physiology & Anatomy, Plant Biology & Botany, Virology
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Faculty Development, Introductory Course(s), Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Material Development
Keywords: inquiry-based integrative genomics bioinformatics faculty-development

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Erica J. Crespi, Vassar College Ross H. Nehm, Ohio State University Jodi A. Schwarz, Vassar College Susan Singer, Carleton College Cathryn A. Manduca, Carleton College Eliot C. Bush, Harvey Mudd College Elizabeth Collins, Vassar College Cara M. Constance, Hiram College Derek Dean, Williams College David Esteban, Vassar College Sean Fox, Carleton College John McDaris, Carleton College Carol Ann Paul, Wellesley College Ginny Quinan, Wellesley College Kathleen M. Raley-Susman, Vassar College Marc L. Smith, Vassar College Christopher S. Wallace, Whitman College Ginger S. Withers, Whitman College Lynn Caporale, Consultant

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The integration of genomic and bioinformatic approaches into undergraduate curricula represents one response to the national calls for biology teaching that is more quantitative and that promotes deeper understanding of biological systems through interdisciplinary analyses. Yet relatively few of the faculty members who teach undergraduate biology have expertise in the fields of genomics or bioinformatics. For these instructors, designing new teaching labs in a field that is developing so rapidly can feel particularly daunting. Our genomics education initiative was designed to address the challenges of helping faculty members integrate genome-scale science into the undergraduate classroom.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: The project utilized a grassroots model for faculty development, by supporting a national consortium of faculty members from eight liberal arts colleges in 1) learning about genomics and bioinformatics; 2) developing curriculum and laboratory teaching materials that stem from their own research and/or teaching interests, and that are informed by research in the learning sciences; and 3) devising tools to evaluate the efficacy of their genomics curricular innovations. Three workshops over three years supported these goals through a combination of learning from expertise within the participating group and from outside expertise on specific topics. The workshops brought together a total of 34 faculty participants from 19 institutions to develop a set of lab modules containing a substantial genomics component. Building on a proven faculty development model formulated by the geoscience education community, we complemented the multi-workshop program with a web-based interactive information portal. The initiative was structured such that the iterative interactions resulting from our three-workshop series would allow participants to share the experience of curriculum development, from the inception of an idea for a curricular module to the assessment of the implementation of that module, thereby generating a community of genomics educators among undergraduate institutions in the process. In addition, by bringing together educators from different institutions and scientific backgrounds, we aimed to stimulate discussion of interdisciplinary approaches to teaching genomics and facilitate the establishment of collaborations with other colleges and universities.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: Products include peer-reviewed, guided inquiry-based, integrated instructional units (I3Us) adaptable to a range of teaching settings, with a focus on both model and non-model systems. Each curricular module is built on vetted design principles: (1) they have clear pedagogical objectives; (2) they are integrated with lessons taught in the lecture; (3) they are designed to integrate the learning of science content with learning about the process of science; and (4) they require student reflection and discussion (National Research Council, America’s Lab Report, Committee on High School Science Laboratories: Role and Vision; 2005). Each I3U was peer reviewed by fellow participants, as well as by a professional project consultant who has extensive experience with web-based description of teaching materials using this format to ensure that the I3U met the design criteria articulated above, and to evaluate whether the Activity Sheet provided both an easily accessible overview of the content and enough detailed information for other instructors to adapt and implement the material and its associated assessment strategies.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Eleven I3Us were designed and implemented as multi-week modules within the context of an existing biology course (e.g., Microbiology, Comparative Anatomy, Introduction to Neurobiology); an additional three I3Us were incorporated into interdisciplinary Biology/Computer Science classes. Although these I3Us were designed for courses currently taught by the project participant within the specific institution’s curriculum, we propose that they can be inserted into other courses that encompass similar content and/or learning goals. We have received numerous communications from colleagues at other institutions who have adapted our I3Us for their courses.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Many participants lacked expertise needed to analyze sequence data or design wet labs and were overwhelmed by the array of possible tools, deciding which tools were useful in which scientific contexts, and the challenges of mastering their user interfaces. Some were concerned about teaching material with which they had little previous scientific experience. Most were isolated from colleagues who shared their interest or had the needed expertise to support their initial learning in this area. We provided hands-on training in three intensive days of short workshops, enabling participants to become familiar with bioinformatic tools for finding sequences, predicting the structure of proteins, visualizing and comparing genomes, and constructing phylogenetic trees. Participants who needed significantly more time to explore the tools and develop self-sufficiency maintained communication with at least one of the presenters over the course of the year, to obtain more training and to get ideas. For many, adapting bioinformatics tools into their modules was more easily accomplished by asking phylogenetic questions rather than adapting tools that could be used to explore genome-level questions of gene function or structure. The greatest challenge was that no robust assessment system, characterized by valid and reliable instruments evaluated by experts in education and psychometrics, existed to assess the efficacy of newly developed genomics and bioinformatics curricula. To help faculty build assessment tools, we provided: (1) A professional development session for faculty participants that reviewed the basics of educational assessment and the types of tools that could be employed in assessment efforts; (2) Individualized consultations to help participants build their assessments; and (3) Individualized consultations with faculty to assist in the interpretation of assessment data derived from point (2) above.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: All modules, together with extensive supporting material, are accessible on a dedicated website (https://serc.carleton.edu/genomics/activities.html) that also provides links to bioinformatics tools and on-line assessment and pedagogical resources, as well as all presentations from all three workshops, pre- and post-workshop content, and suggested readings provided by workshop leaders. The project website serves as a portal to Activity Sheets describing each I3U; these Activity Sheets include learning goals, teaching tips, and links to teaching materials, as well as downloadable assessment tools, that can be customized by any interested educator. Information about the collection of I3Us has been disseminated via publication.

Acknowledgements: This information has been published previously (Cell Biology Education-Life Science Education 11:203-208; 2012). The project was funded by the Teagle Foundation, with supplemental support from Williams College, Vassar College, and Schering-Plough.

Molecular Biology Simulations for Case Based Learning

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Title of Abstract: Molecular Biology Simulations for Case Based Learning

Name of Author: Karen Klyczek
Author Company or Institution: University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Author Title: Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Agricultural Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Cell Biology, Evolutionary Biology, General Biology, Genetics, Immunology, Integrative Biology, Microbiology, Virology
Course Levels: Introductory Course(s), Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: computer simulations case studies bioinformatics molecular biology

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Mark Bergland, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Our goal is to facilitate case studies and other active learning strategies via development of computer simulations of molecular biology lab techniques. This project addresses Vision and Change recommendation to relate biology concepts to real-world examples and make biology content relevant for students. The NSF-funded Case It project has produced case studies mainly in genetic and infectious diseases, in which students use simulation software to analyze authentic DNA and proteins sequences associated with the cases. By analyzing these cases, students address several core competencies, including applying the process of science, using quantitative reasoning, using modeling and simulation, and understanding the relationship between science and society. Based in part on the recommendations in the Vision and Change report, we have developed materials designed to prepare students for research projects involving bioinformatics analysis, to extend the existing case studies and for use with student-generated experiments. The software and materials are made available free of charge on the Case It web site (www.caseitproject.org) and have been used by secondary and undergraduate schools worldwide. Case It was awarded a 2011 Science Prize for Inquiry-based Instruction (Bergland et al. 2012, Science 337, 426 (2012).

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Case It is an open-ended simulation that reads any nucleotide or amino acid sequence file, and includes methods for analyzing DNA and proteins. These methods include restriction digestion and mapping, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), DNA electrophoresis, Southern blotting and dot blotting, microarray analysis, protein electrophoresis, Western blotting, and ELISA. Bioinformatics capabilities (sequence alignment, tree building) have been added via integration with MEGA software. The download includes the simulation as well as all of the sequences necessary to run the cases described on the web site. The case descriptions can be viewed from the Case It home page or downloaded as a pdf file. Students read case scenarios and explore background information for the case. They then use the simulation to open sequence files associated with the case and run the appropriate procedure to analyze the sequences, generating results in the form of images that can then be incorporated into presentations or reports. At the introductory-biology level, students can assume roles of persons in the cases, such as health-care professionals, lab technicians, researchers, or hypothetical family members. They then discuss results either in person or online. The open-ended nature of the simulation encourages inquiry by enabling users to analyze any DNA sequence, including entire viral or bacterial genomes, with any probe, primer, or restriction enzyme. For example, freshmen at UWRF participating in the HHMI Science Education Alliance PHAGES project use the Case It simulation to generate virtual digests of known phage genomes for comparison with actual gels of their newly discovered phages.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: Assessment of the use of the Case It materials has demonstrated that it provides an active and collaborative learning environment that engages and motivates students. Pre- and post testing as well as individual and focus group interviews were used to assess its impact on student learning and perceptions in courses at several institutions in the United States and Puerto Rico. In all courses, students demonstrated significant learning gains as a result of using the simulation to analyze case studies involving bioinformatics analysis. In addition, students reported that the activities allowed them to explore science concepts from multiple perspectives in a real world context. The instructor-independent efficacy demonstrated in these studies indicates that the use of Case It materials has the potential to be scalable in a variety of institution types.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Since 2012, the Case It software has been used by more than 10,000 students at 60 schools around the world. It was downloaded by many more faculty, from 105 different countries, so there is likely to be additional use that we have not been able to document. When we have assessed the impact on students in classes as described above, students using Case It showed improved post-test scores, and students' confidence in their knowledge also increased (Wolter et al., 2012, J Sci Educ Technol DOI 10.1007/s10956-012-9387-7). Faculty involved in software development, case writing, and assessment have been able to cite this work as scholarly activity for retention, promotion and tenure purposes.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Barriers to implementation of the Case It software include the need for faculty training in the use of the simulation. To address this issue, we have given many workshops at professional meetings and at the invitation of biology departments. We also have developed screencast tutorials that are posted on the web site. The web site also includes discussion forums where questions about the use of the simulation can be addressed. Finally, we are exploring the development of mobile applications of the software for use on tablets and other devices.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: We have given over 50 presentations, including workshops, oral presentations, and posters, at science education meetings in a variety of venues. In 2013 so far, we have presented at the NSF/AAAS TUES conference, American Society for Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators, Science Case Network conference, and HHMI Quantitative Biology/BioQUEST workshop. We no longer have grant funding, but still plan to present at conferences as funding allows. Limited travel funds are available through the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and from conference organizers when we are invited to present. We have published several papers describing strategies for implementing Case It and assessing its effectiveness, in Science, the Journal of Science Education Technology, American Biology Teacher, and others. In 2011 we joined the Science Case Network RCN-UBE project, and are collaborating with other case study and problem based learning projects to dissemination information and resources for faculty interesting in incorporating these active learning strategies (www.sciencecasenet.org). In 2012, the Case It web site, www.caseitproject.org, has been updated to include more interactive features and facilitate more effective dissemination of materials, and will continue to be updated.

Acknowledgements: The National Science Foundation has provided funding to support development, dissemination, and assessment of Case It materials (DUE grants 9455425, 9752268, 0229156, 0717577). Mary Lundeberg, formerly at Michigan State University and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, has coordinated assessment of the project, with assistance from undergraduate and graduate students; in particular, Bjorn Wolter, former MSU graduate student. Chi-Cheng Lin assisted with critical aspects of the software that allowed incorporation of bioinformatics features. Rafael Tosado, Interamerican University of Puerto Rico-Metro Campus, Arlin Toro, Interamerican University of Puerto Rico-San German, and C. Dinitra White, North Carolina A & T State Unviversity, assisted in case development and assessment in their courses. Kim Mogen, Brad Mogen, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and Eric Ribbens, Western Illinois University, have written case scenarios. Numerous faculty and student users have provided feedback on software features and ideas for new cases. The University of Wisconsin-River Falls College of Arts & Sciences and Provost’s office have provided support for faculty time and travel to conferences.

Integrated Life Sciences, An Honors Living-Learning Program

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Title of Abstract: Integrated Life Sciences, An Honors Living-Learning Program

Name of Author: Byrn Booth Quimby
Author Company or Institution: University of Maryland
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Integrative Biology
Course Levels: Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Learning community
Keywords: Integrated, collaborative learning, learning community, service-learning, research internship

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Nicole F. Horvath, University of Maryland Todd J. Cooke, University of Maryland

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: To institute the recent national initiatives, including Vision and Change, for transforming undergraduate biology education, we at the University of Maryland (UMD) have recently created an honors living-learning program called Integrated Life Sciences (ILS) (www.ils.umd.edu). ILS represents a protected niche within our large research university that can serve as an incubator for piloting, assessing, revising, and then disseminating both academic and co-curricular reforms in various disciplines in the life sciences. The specific program objectives of ILS are: (1) to establish a residential community of talented life-science students dedicated to academic excellence, professional preparation, and social welfare; (2) to implement an innovative series of life-science courses that utilizes student-centered, collaborative learning in order to promote the development of multidisciplinary perspectives toward understanding biological processes; (3) to facilitate authentic research experiences for ILS students on the UMD campus and at federal and non-profit research institutes focusing on life sciences in the surrounding Washington, DC area; and (4) to inspire students to act for the greater good of the world at large by their participation in service-learning opportunities in healthcare, environmental sustainability, and education.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: We have successfully recruited the first two annual cohorts of honors ILS students majoring in biological sciences, bioengineering, and biochemistry and having the highest mean admissions credentials of all honors programs on this campus. ILS has already pioneered the development of new or revised courses often utilizing active engagement pedagogies, including integrated organismal biology (emphasizing multidisciplinary perspectives), genetics (focusing on genomics), biomathematical modeling (as a potential third semester of mathematics following calculus for life sciences), and a scholarship-in-practice course (devoted to scientific literature analysis and grant writing). These courses, along with several others being considered for the near future, have the potential for being readily scaled up to become new offerings serving the life science programs with high enrollments on the UMD campus. ILS students are actively encouraged to seek significant research experiences, with 58% of the first cohort already participating in research internships during the summer following their first year on campus. ILS service-learning experiences have focused to date on meaningful service to the local community; for instance, ILS students have implemented an afterschool mentoring program at a nearby high school having a high percentage of underserved students.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: A number of assessment strategies have been implemented, including pre-post surveys and focus groups, which indicate that ILS students have an enhanced awareness of the multidisciplinary nature of the life sciences, greater appreciation for the effectiveness of collaborative learning, and high levels of overall satisfaction with the ILS program. In addition, we have videotaped class activities and analyzed course assignments and final exams to determine the level of student achievement of course learning outcomes.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Eighty percent of students state that they are satisfied with the program and 70% of students feel that the ILS courses have prepared them for their future careers. Greater than 80% stated that the introductory ILS course, organismal biology, covered all five core concepts for biological literacy set forth by the Vision and Change document. Faculty teaching the ILS courses state that the students are engaged and open to collaborative work. As we introduce faculty to the vision and change core concepts they are willing to implement them into the ILS courses. In addition, ILS is developing a flipped cell biology course organized around the vision and change core concepts, that once implemented, can be exported to the larger university community.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: One unexpected challenge was the level of competition among students, 66 % of students agreed with the statement 'My peers in ILS try to compete with me.' To address this issue we implemented two beginning of the year activities, 1. a half-day challenge course that focused on cooperation and 2. a community values workshop emphasizing collaboration. In our courses we utilize group activities to support the development of teamwork skills.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: We are currently compiling our data into a scholarly article that we hope to have submitted by September 2013. We also plan to submit and abstract to the American Society of Cell Biologists 2013 annual meeting.

Acknowledgements: Danette Morrison, doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology University of Maryland for analysis of the survey data and leading the focus groups. Daniel M. Levin, Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning - Policy and Leadership College of Education University of Maryland for qualitative analysis of focus group transcripts.

Animal Diversity Web -- A Resource for Learning and Teaching

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Title of Abstract: Animal Diversity Web -- A Resource for Learning and Teaching

Name of Author: Phil Myers
Author Company or Institution: University of Michigan
Author Title: Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Ecology and Environmental Biology, Evolutionary Biology, General Biology, Integrative Biology, Marine Biology, Organismal Biology, Physiology & Anatomy
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Introductory Course(s), Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: inquiry, comparative biology, organismal biology, natural history, active learning

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Tanya Dewey, University of Michigan George Hammond, University of MIchigan Roger Espinosa, University of Michigan Tricia Jones, University of Michigan

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Our understanding of the patterns and processes that underlie fields including ecology, evolutionary biology, conservation biology and related disciplines is based largely on knowledge accumulated by studying species of organisms. These data are complex, reported in different ways by different investigators, and usually not stored in central repositories using consistent metadata. Thus, while data from these fields potentially can be used to address Vision and Change Core Concepts 1 (Evolution), 2 (Structure and Function, and 5 (Systems), and Core Competencies 1 (Ability to Apply the Process of Science), 2 (Ability to use Quantitative Reasoning), 4 (Ability to Tap into the Interdisciplinary Nature of Science), 5 (Ability to Communicate and Collaborate with Other Disciplines), and possibly 3 (Ability to Use Modeling and Simulation), biologists in these disciplines have had little success at incorporating inquiry activities or other forms of active learning based on them in their classrooms. This in sharp contrast to the wealth of resources for inquiry learning in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology (e.g. BioQuest, BioSciEdNet, GenBank, etc.). To answer this need, beginning in 1995, we created an on-line database of species biology that students could search to discover for themselves these patterns and processes and test hypotheses based on them. The Animal Diversity Web (ADW, https://animaldiversity.org), is built with student contributions of information about animal species that are reviewed for accuracy and incorporated into a structured database that allows flexible re-use. The ADW is one of the most widely used natural history databases online globally, with nearly 4000 detailed taxon descriptions and a wide user base, delivering over 1 million page views to 300,000+ site visitors monthly. Over 70% of visitors report using the ADW for educational purposes. The ADW is currently the only natural history online that allows flexible querying of data.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Writing ADW species accounts has become an important part of many organismal biology courses. Accounts are submitted through a structured online template that supports literature review and synthesis and provides experience writing in the discipline. Published accounts on ADW serve as examples of student work for job and graduate applications and are used by faculty to document teaching impact. The ADW product that has the greatest potential to provide transformative undergraduate educational experiences is its rich and structured database . We built and refined a complex querying tool that enables students to discover patterns and test hypotheses on their own, and we are working with instructors to create and incorporate inquiry-based activities based on it in their classes (https://animaldiversity.org/q). This flexible and powerful tool has now been tested and successfully incorporated in a wide range of biology courses. A library of activities, organized by the nature of the course for which it was written, is shared on the site and activities are added regularly as they are developed and tested by faculty.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: Evaluation focuses on impact on students, impact on faculty, and success at incorporating new sources of data. We combine interviews, frequent interactions, and formal questionnaires to address impact on faculty. The focus is on their assessment of the impact of our materials on their students, the degree to which activities are aligned with their curricula, and the effectiveness of our training sessions with the faculty themselves. Students respond to questions before and after the activities that test their inquiry and reasoning skills, the ease of use of our database and querying tools, and their attitude about science. Measures of success regarding the incorporation of new data are mainly quantitative: how many sources do we integrate, how extensively are they used by participants, etc. All assessment is designed and lead by an external evaluator.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: We are currently incorporating activities based on the ADW query engine into classrooms of approximately 35 faculty at 30 institutions nationwide, including evaluation of impacts on student and faculty perceptions. Our goal is to provide engaging, inquiry-based educational experiences that align with curricula in organismal biology courses. Participating institutions include large, research-intensive universities, smaller 4-year colleges that emphasize teaching, and 2-year colleges. Even wider dissemination of this tool and research outcomes is anticipated in summer 2013 as a result of presentations at key meetings of professional societies. ADW taxon account writing has been used as a formal part of teaching ‘organismal’ courses at over 65 institutions, including some that have participated for over 10 years. These accounts represent the work of over 1500 student authors since 2010.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: The challenges of bringing together diverse data streams are daunting, and to address thm, we were recently awarded a NSF RCN-UBE Incubator grant (1247821) to bring undergraduate biology education projects together with large biological database projects. Our goal is to develop a set of recommendations to make these kinds of authentic data available in formats accessible to students. A meeting of participating projects will take place this summer. If the goal of increasing the accessibility of data can be accomplished, the possibilities of rich research experiences for students that cut across a variety of disciplines becomes very real. Despite our impact at other institutions and in the broader education community, we have encountered obstacles to instituting change in our own department at the University of Michigan. Few faculty colleagues have expressed interest in modifying their own teaching approach. However, we have received strong encouragement from our department chair and from the college to further develop the ADW project, as it is recognized as an important education and outreach resource.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: The Animal Diversity Web maintains strong and active collaborative relationships with many other biology education resource projects, such as Encyclopedia of Life, VertNet, and AmphibiaWeb. We regularly share ideas about new developments and resources with a broad community of other organizations involved in promoting inquiry-driven learning in undergraduate courses and data useful in inquiry. The ADW actively participates in efforts to support innovative, inquiry-driven approaches to undergraduate biology education. We recently participated in the inaugural Life Discovery-Doing Science conference organized by the ESA (https://www.esa.org/ldc/). ADW has helped to organize and present at workshops to promote inquiry-driven learning approaches at 2012 and 2013 Evolution Meetings. Finally, the ADW has taken the lead in organizing a workshop that will bring together national leaders in promoting innovation in biology education and databases that organize and share data that is useful in education. The goal of this workshop, recently funded by NSF as an RCN-UBE Incubator project, is to develop a strategic plan for enhancing the accessibility and use of real biological data in undergraduate education.

Acknowledgements: We gratefully acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation (DRL 0089283, DRL 0628151, DUE 0633095, DRL 0918590, DUE 1122742, DBI 1247821). We also thank Prof. Nancy Songer and her group in the Univ. Michigan School of Education for 15 years of productive collaboration and patient instruction in the field of education.

Using Evo-Devo to Implement Change in Upper-Level Courses.

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Title of Abstract: Using Evo-Devo to Implement Change in Upper-Level Courses.

Name of Author: Anna Hiatt
Author Company or Institution: University of Kansas
Author Title: Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Integrative Biology, Organismal Biology
Course Levels: Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Assessment, Material Development
Keywords: evo-devo, evolutionary biology, developmental biology, inquiry-based teaching and learning, concept inventories

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Donald P. French, Oklahoma State University

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Using a discipline-based approach, we developed an inquiry-based activity targeting evo-devo concepts for two upper-level undergraduate biology courses in Evolution and Embryology. The activities include tapping into the interdisciplinary nature of science, active use of quantitative reasoning and computational biology to solve problems, and implementing classroom and laboratory assessments. Our goal is to document change in student understanding of evo-devo concepts throughout the course of the semester in the two courses. Additional goals include recruitment of faculty to adopt similar practices and activities in their courses.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: The evo-devo teaching unit draws on examples from authentic research using Stickleback fishes as a case to evaluate both population and molecular level evolutionary changes within this system. Several major themes emerge in the unit that encourage the integration of evolution and development: Population genetics studies of traits to differentiate between drift and selection, developmental and genetic basis of morphological changes, conceptual understanding and modeling of gene switches and regulatory DNA, and understanding the relationship between molecular-level proximate mechanisms of evolution and their ultimate effect on populations. To assess the outcomes of these changes we evaluated students using student artifacts and a variety of diagnostic tools. The EvoDevoCI is a recently validated instrument developed by the authors that specifically measures student understanding of six core evo-devo concepts. Using the EvoDevo CI as a tool to measure learning gains over the course of the semester, we issued pre- and post-tests at the beginning and end of the semester in Embryology and before and after the evo-devo unit was taught in the Evolution course. We also used lecture exams and lab activities to evaluate student understanding of evo-devo and related concepts in both courses: these include the use of short-answer and essay questions as well as lab reports and oral presentations. These assessments were administered to ascertain whether incorporating approaches outlined in Vision and Change improved undergraduate biology majors’ understanding of and ability to apply evo-devo and related foundational concepts.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: The EvoDevoCI evaluates six core evo-devo concepts that will allow us to measure any change in student understanding of this interdisciplinary area. The activity requires students to apply evolutionary concepts to developmental contexts and discern between a variety of evolutionary mechanisms. In the process, we hope this also alleviates persistent evolutionary misconceptions. The EvoDevoCI was administered before any evo-devo instruction was provided at the beginning of the semester and was administered two weeks after the Stickleback teaching unit concluded. By evaluating learning gains in each of the core concepts we are able to document any change in student understanding. Additional qualitative data was obtained from open-response questions and activities collected during the instructional unit. This may provide additional data on how student conceptual understanding may have shifted during the teaching unit.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: This project directly impacts the two instructors who have had no previous training in scientific teaching. Their participation was voluntary and both intend to continue using this activity in future semesters. Both have also expressed interest in learning more about assessing their students and developing effective teaching units. One professor in particular has been highly motivated in using more effective assessments to capture student understanding of evolutionary concepts. This also provides a ‘domino-effect’ in that many other faculty have become more interested in how to assess their students properly. At OSU, the introductory biology course has been employing inquiry-based teaching and learning activities for over a decade and many faculty who are assigned to teach are able to invest in learning about these practices and taking them to their upper-level courses. However, little overall departmental changes are visible: The undergraduate assessment committee has adopted more appropriate assessment methods, but little has been done to promote or document changes across the degree program.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Many faculty are time-constrained in their ability to add or re-arrange a syllabus to accommodate a new instructional unit. To help create an incentive and alleviate this constraint, Dr. Hiatt delivered all of the instructional units to both courses as a guest-lecturer. The participating faculty attended these lectures and met periodically throughout the semester to discuss the project with the intent the instructor of record would implement and teach the lesson in subsequent semesters.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: The results of this project will be published as an article documenting learning gains in upper-level biology courses. We also plan to present these findings at the National Association of Biology Teachers conference in November. The primary author, Dr. Hiatt, recently moved to a post-doctoral position at the University of Kansas and plans to continue to collect data using the EvoDevoCI in a variety of biology courses. At OSU, the Undergraduate Assessment Committee has made plans to expand its assessment strategies to include qualitative artifacts and student interviews.

Acknowledgements: Instructors Michi Tobler, Arpad Nyari, and Andy Dzialowski. And transcribers and research assistants Kat Moriarty and Heather Stigge.

Transforming Learning with Interactive Animated Case Studies

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Title of Abstract: Transforming Learning with Interactive Animated Case Studies

Name of Author: Kathrin Stanger-Hall
Author Company or Institution: University of Georgia
Author Title: Assoc. Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: General Biology, Integrative Biology, Physiology & Anatomy
Course Levels: Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Adding to the literature on how people learn, Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.)
Keywords: Interactive Case studies, Dynamic Processes, Visualizations, Scientific Thinking, Interdisciplinary Learning

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: My overall goal in changing undergraduate biology education is to help students make the transition to scientific thinking and to develop their critical thinking skills. I also want to help students to integrate their learning within and across traditional disciplinary boundaries. My approach includes introducing students to different thinking skills (for biology and their future careers), identifying learning goals and difficulties, and developing learning supports while assessing their effectiveness for student learning. Previous change projects include the assessment of peer facilitators (Stanger-Hall et al. 2010), how-to-study workshops (Stanger-Hall et al. 2011) and the impact of different exam formats on student learning (Stanger-Hall 2012).

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: My current project focuses on student learning of dynamic processes. Specifically, I am testing the impact of different visualizations (still images vs. animations) on the learning of dynamic processes (diffusion, osmosis, filtration) in introductory biology (core concepts 2 and 4). To promote student engagement these visualizations are embedded in case studies that are based on real-world scenarios (core competency 6). All case studies require students to make predictions and test hypotheses (core competency 1). I am assessing the impact of case delivery and degree of interactivity (non-interactive paper case study versus interactive online case study) and visualization (still images versus animations embedded in interactive online case studies) on student learning. These case studies were implemented in supervised homework sessions, and we are currently analyzing the data from the paper-based case studies (N=400 students) and the online case studies with still images (N=500 students).

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: Student learning gains with each case were assessed by pre-and posttests immediately before and after the case study. Embedded questions and process tasks during the case were used to gauge case-specific thinking and engagement. Final exam questions were used to assess learning at the end of the semester. Within one week after each case students submitted a case utility survey with self assessment of their learning and feedback on the utility and design of the case. Finally, five student surveys throughout the semester served to measure self-reported student characteristics such as motivation, attitude, and learning behaviors.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: We are still analyzing the data on student learning, but a preliminary analysis of student feedback shows that students greatly appreciated the real-world scenarios of the case studies and believe that this helped their learning. Once the learning data are analyzed we will test how well this self-assessment correlates with actual learning gains, whether some students learned more than others, and if yes, which students benefited more. This feedback in combination with the learning data will allow case designers and animators to improve the cases where needed, and use this information for future case design.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: The implementation of this project was logistically challenging due to large student numbers, limited teaching assistant support, and a low priority for student-centered teaching in the use of computer facilities. To address these problems I hired undergraduate assistants to help implement the cases, and we extended the hours of the computer facilities both early in the morning and late at night for this project. An entirely unexpected additional barrier in the process of the current project arose from copyright issues of the case studies. The interactive animated case studies were originally developed for high school students with an NIH SEPA grant (and graciously made available by the NIH SEPA PIs for this change project to adapt and assess them for the college level). NIH supports the maintenance of funded projects through a business model, which in this case had the unintended consequence of creating legal copyright issues. We are currently working on resolving this.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Department: As a direct outcome of the osmosis case I am working with a colleague from plant physiology to translate the different terminology used to describe osmosis in plant and animal physiology. We are implementing these translations in a co-instructed introductory biology class (core competency 4). Biological Sciences: Through weekly meetings and collaborations a group of colleagues and post-docs in the Biological Sciences is working to improve student learning in all Introductory Biology classes, and to implement the core competencies of Vision and Change. STEM: In monthly meetings STEM education research faculty and faculty from the College of Education are working together towards institutional change. Institution: An interdisciplinary team of faculty (biology, veterinary medicine, animal physiology, physics education, science education) is working together to design interdisciplinary assessments (combining elements from physics, chemistry and biology) for biology, physics and veterinary students (assessing core competencies 4 & 5) across departments and colleges. Regional: I am currently collaborating with faculty at another institution to expand the use of interactive cases to their biology classes. National: The University of Georgia is one of the regional sites (Southeast) to host the expansion of the National Academies Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education (PI Jo Handelsman, funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute). Together with my Biology Education Research colleagues, I am organizing the Southeast Summer Institute, which disseminates the ideas and the practice of Scientific Teaching and Vision and Change to more than 30 faculty from institutions across the Southeast every year (Vision 4). This developing Southeast faculty network will work as a catalyst for change in the respective home institutions and is also working on developing and sharing innovations and supports to facilitate change.

Acknowledgements: These change projects would not have been possible without supportive colleagues and funding sources. I am grateful to Peggy Brickman, Norris Armstrong, Paula Lemons, Michelle Momany, Erin Dolan, Jim Moore and Scott Brown for continued support, and especially to Dave Hall for supporting me in both my work and raising a family. The previous and current change projects were made possible by UGA Board of Regents STEM grants (2008/2009, 2011/ 2012), by a UGA Research Foundation grant (2009/2010) by NSF (#1044370) and by HHMI (#52007443).

Understanding Evolution for Undergraduates

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Title of Abstract: Understanding Evolution for Undergraduates

Name of Author: Judy Scotchmoor
Author Company or Institution: University of California, Berkeley
Author Title: Emerita
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Evolutionary Biology, General Biology, Integrative Biology
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development, Mixed Approach
Keywords: Evolutionary biology, active learning, lessons, evolution across the curriculum, teaching resources

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The Understanding Evolution website (www.understandingevolution.org, UE) provides freely accessible, innovative teaching tools for evolutionary biology. Initially targeting K-12 teachers, the site was expanded to include materials for undergraduate instructors in 2010. The goals of this expansion align with the Vision for Implementing Change: (1) Integrating Core Concepts and Competencies throughout the Curriculum. UE’s undergraduate materials aim to facilitate instructors’ ability to integrate evolution throughout the biology curriculum, particularly in introductory classes. Evolution is one of the five Core Concepts outlined in Vision and Change and is a unifying principle in biology. In addition, many of the newly developed materials help students relate abstract concepts to real-world examples by encouraging instructors to address the many applications of evolutionary theory, both in solving real world problems and in scientific research. (2) Focus on Student-Centered Learning and Engaging the Biology Community in the Implementation of Change. Another goal of our new materials is to encourage college biology instructors to use pedagogical techniques supported by education research, with a focus on active, student-centered learning and alternatives to strict lecture, as recommended in Vision and Change.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Following recommendations from the National Research Council (2003) and our advisory board of college faculty, this expansion focused on the development of tools for teaching evolution that encourage active learning, that involve students with the primary literature and authentic data, and that help instructors incorporate evolution throughout the Introductory Biology curriculum. These materials include: active learning slides that use minute papers, clicker questions, and problem-based discussions to engage students; Evolution Connection slide sets that weave evolutionary concepts into topics in a typical Intro Biology syllabus; a journal club toolkit that helps students learn about authentic scientific practices by engaging them with the primary literature; an interactive syllabus for locating evolution-related teaching materials for most topics in Intro Biology; a searchable database of lessons that actively engage students with evolutionary concepts; and a wide variety of readers and resources that address the applications of evolutionary theory in solving real world problems and in scientific research. This large collection of materials grows constantly with the addition of community-contributed, peer-reviewed activities and basic informational pieces and teaching resources developed by UE staff.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: The UE website has taken a multi-pronged approach to ensure that our goals are being met. First, new undergraduate materials developed for UE were reviewed and edited by our Teacher Advisory Board, made up of master teachers from a variety of college-level institutions (from rural community colleges to research-one institutions). Second, the research and evaluation firm Rockman et al performed a mixed-method evaluation of the new site components focused on use by instructors of college-level introductory biology. Their evaluation consisted of (a) a study of site use by six introductory biology teachers using a think-aloud protocol as participants performed tasks using the website, (b) a survey of site users and recruited participants (n = 544 undergraduate instructors) to determine their patterns of site use and satisfaction with different aspects of the site, and (c) two virtual focus groups, consisting of six faculty each, who were asked to use different site materials in their classrooms and discuss their experiences. The final component of our evaluation effort involved monitoring site-use statistics using Google Analytics. In the future, we hope to obtain funding for controlled classroom trials of UE materials, in which student impact can be directly measured.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: The website garners in excess of 1.3 million page accesses per month (up from around 850,000 before the site was expanded for the undergraduate level), serves many institution types (from rural community colleges to doctoral-granting, research-oriented universities), and has a diverse international audience (many site resources are available in Turkish and Spanish). Rockman et al’s evaluation of the site found that all groups (undergraduate instructors, K-12 teachers, and students) were overwhelmingly positive about UE as a general resource and praised the site's design, organization, and navigation. In addition, all groups seemed to benefit from using UE, with undergraduate instructors being influenced the most. Data showed that undergraduate instructors had the highest frequency of visits to the UE site, perception of needs being met by the site, likelihood of returning to the site, level of overall praise for the site, and rate of directing their students to the site. The evidence strongly suggests that UE has met its objectives for reaching the undergraduate community (instructors and students), while maintaining interest from the K-12 community.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: One of our aims was to support community interactions regarding teaching evolutionary biology by enabling rating and threaded discussion of UE resources. Many instructors modify materials to suit their needs and have developed troves of relevant knowledge that could form the basis of helpful community interactions. We envisioned the UE website as a place where this knowledge could be shared by vested practitioners. Unfortunately, our first attempt at developing this community failed. Our original platform for commenting was too difficult to use and was easily overwhelmed by spam. We have since revamped the system to use social media commenting (via Facebook) and will be launching a new effort to solicit comments in September. We look forward to finding out if this change will be effective.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: UE’s dissemination via the web has been highly effective. The site is consistently among the top three results for the search term ‘evolution’ and receives >1.3 million page accesses per month. In addition, UE has been disseminated in a wide variety of targeted venues. Recognized with Science Magazine’s SPORE award, UE has been presented at workshops at the National Association of Biology Teachers, state science teachers’ conferences, the National Research Council and National Academy of Sciences’ Thinking Evolutionarily convocation, many scientific meetings, BioQUEST, NESCent, UC Berkeley, and more. In addition, UE staff have published articles on the website in peer-reviewed journals. Collaborations with professional societies, faculty, and other resource providers have allowed the site to grow and reach a broader audience every year. Although the presence of resources alone does not guarantee the kind of transformation called for in Vision and Change, access to high quality, community-vetted materials supports the implementation of change on a national level.

Acknowledgements: Project work team: Roy Caldwell, David Lindberg, Judy Scotchmoor, Anna Thanukos, Josh Frankel, David Smith Project Advisory Board: Paul Beardsley, Rodger Bybee , Steven Case, Judy Diamond, Sam Donovan, Kristin Jenkins, Joe Levine, Dennis Liu, Patricia Morse, Paul Narguizian, Richard O'Grady, Eugenie Scott, Lisa White, Brian Wiegmann Undergraduate teacher advisors: Robin Bingham, Jean DeSaix, Nan Ho, Jennifer Katcher, Kristi Curry Rogers, Jim Smith, Kirsten Swinstrom, Lisa Urry, Dan Ward, Jason Wiles, Cal Young External undergraduate teacher advisors: Felicitas Avendano, Kari Benson, Jenny Boughman, Marya Czech, Ryan Gregory, Laurel Hester, Andre Lachance, Troy Ladine, Mary Mulcahy, Andrew Petto, Polly Schultz, Kathy Schwab, Elena Speth, Robert Swanson, James Thompson, Martin Tracey, Leo Welch

The X-Laboratory: Integrating Biology, Chemistry and Physics

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Title of Abstract: The X-Laboratory: Integrating Biology, Chemistry and Physics

Name of Author: David Julian
Author Company or Institution: Univ of Florida
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: General Biology, Integrative Biology
Course Levels: Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: Cross-disciplinary; chemistry; physics; inquiry-based

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Gabriela Waschewsky, University of Florida

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The Cross-Disciplinary Laboratory (X-Lab) at the University of Florida (UF) is funded as part of the UF-HHMI Science for Life Program. The X-Lab project has three main goals: (1) help students develop a synthetic, cross-disciplinary approach to understanding the natural sciences; (2) engage students in inquiry-based experiments that model modern, authentic research; and (3) train students in the key theoretical and practical skills necessary to participate meaningfully in modern biomedical research as early undergraduates.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: The X-Lab program has developed a novel, two-semester, six-credit undergraduate laboratory course that is targeted to STEM undergraduates as an alternative to their traditional laboratory courses in general biology, general chemistry and physics. X-Lab 1 (the first semester of the sequence) was first offered in fall 2012, and X-Lab 2 (the second semester) was first offered in spring 2013. Throughout the two semester course, all X-Lab exercises and experiments merge key concepts from at least two of the traditional disciplines while emphasizing critical thinking, formulating and testing hypotheses, quantitative and analytical reasoning, and communicating results. The X-Lab courses have now been approved as meeting the traditional biology, chemistry and physics laboratory course requirements for all UF undergraduate STEM majors, as well as by the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine. Although many activities emphasize modern biomedical research techniques, an administrative goal of the curriculum design is to minimize or even eliminate the use of expensive equipment that must be shared between many students. This is to encourage students to explore equipment and techniques at their bench, and to enable adoption of the curriculum by institutions that have severely restricted funding.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: Programmatic evaluations of the courses to date to date have used qualitative methodologies. Student engagement and the type of instructional activity have been measured using the Instructional Practices Inventory Data Recording Form (IPI), and focus groups have been held with students to examine their impressions of the lab activities and curriculum and their perceptions of how the labs had impacted their learning and thinking. The observations show that students were engaging in lab-related learning activities more than 90% of the time. The majority of student learning activities were classified on the IPI as Student Work with Teacher Not Engaged and consisted primarily of students working on experiments, analyzing results, and writing up lab reports. During this time the teaching assistants (TA) circulated, helping small groups of students. Students in the focus groups praised the labs, mentioning the realistic activities, positive interaction with the instructors, and a relaxed atmosphere with an emphasis on learning rather than grades. The students indicated that the interdisciplinary activities were especially valuable learning experiences and that they believe the best biomedical researchers are cross-trained in biology, chemistry and physics. In collaboration with the UF College of Education, quantitative instruments are now being created for assessing the student outcomes in content knowledge, attitude, and confidence for engaging in life science research as early undergraduates. Control groups will include students completing traditional laboratory courses. Planned expansion of the X-Lab program will allow instruction of up to 96 students per semester by fall 2014.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: An early version of the X-Lab course has been adopted by the Department of Chemistry, where is it now taught every semester. Individual exercises developed for the X-Lab have been adopted by the Department of Biology for the general biology laboratory courses (over 2,500 students per year), and adoption of exercises is planned by the Department of Physics for the general physics laboratory courses (over 2,000 students per year).

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: UF is a large institution (ca. 33,000 undergraduates), so there have been a variety of logistical and administrative challenges to developing a new course that integrates three fundamental, well-established courses that are traditionally taught in separate departments (biology, chemistry and physics). An essential component that enabled the project’s development was funding from HHMI, which allowed the recruitment of a small number of influential faculty from the Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Biomedical Engineering. These faculty worked closely with teams of graduate and undergraduate students from a variety of programs and majors to develop the X-Lab curriculum. Early endorsement from the college Dean, and from the Chairs, Undergraduate Coordinators and Advisors of the participating departments was essential. Unexpected challenges included needing to work with the Association of American Medical Colleges to ensure that their electronic application service would recognize the X-Lab courses as satisfying prerequisites across disciplines.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Development and revision of the 50+ laboratory experiments/exercises is ongoing, and laboratory activities that are highly novel will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals. The remainder of the activities will be made available on the program website (www.X-Laboratory.org).

Acknowledgements: For their essential, continuing leadership and support in the development of the X-Lab, the authors are grateful to Steve Hagen and Robert DeSerio from the UF Dept. of Physics, Philip J. Brucat and Ben Smith from the UF Dept. of Chemistry, Kent Vliet from the UF Dept of Biology, Hans van Oostrum from the UF Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, and David Miller and Jean Reid from the UF College of Education. The program has relied upon and greatly benefited from its many outstanding graduate teaching assistants, most notably Elisa Livengood and Gabriel Dilanji.

Designing a Student-Centered Integrated Biology Major Course

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Title of Abstract: Designing a Student-Centered Integrated Biology Major Course

Name of Author: Caroline Breitenberger
Author Company or Institution: The Ohio State University
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: All Biological Sciences Courses, Integrative Biology
Course Levels: Faculty Development, Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: Curriculum development; Faculty engagement; Integrating scientific concepts; Student-centered learning; Multiple modes of instruction

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Stephen W. Chordas III, Ohio State University; Judith S. Ridgway, Ohio State University

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The biology major at the Ohio State University is administered by an interdepartmental unit, the Center for Life Sciences Education, and consists of coursework from several departments within the College of Arts and Sciences. The biology major attracts more students than any other major at Ohio State, over 2000 students. Previously, the core requirements of the biology major consisted of five courses, selected in any order from a menu of courses representing five different areas of the life sciences. A curricular review in 2007 cited redundancy of courses within the biology major core curriculum, as well as inadequate integration of prerequisites and fundamental biological concepts in major courses as reasons to revamp the curriculum. Student feedback included numerous examples of duplication of concepts and topics in different core courses (such as cellular division, Mendelian genetics, the lac operon, or mitochondrial respiration), and encouraged the committee to develop a core course that would eliminate this redundancy. The goal of the project described here was to implement the recommendations of the review committee by developing an Integrated Biology course to serve as the core course in the biology major.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: A committee of faculty representing six departments, and including a regional campus representative, used backward course design principles to create a one-semester Integrated Biology course for the core course in the biology major. Students in this course apply knowledge and concepts from introductory biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics to analyze a specific biological problem. Students in Integrated Biology are expected to engage in group work, presentations, written reports, seminar summary papers, discussions, and many other activities. During a semester, two to three faculty members each prepare readings, instructional materials, and in-class activities (a ‘module’) about a topic of interest. Each module is focused on a central theme, such as cancer, the Gulf oil spill, or malaria. In addition to the 140-student ‘lecture’ sessions with faculty instructors, we have developed activities to help students extend their skills and elaborate on what they learn in class in smaller ‘recitations’ (taught by graduate teaching assistants). Activities in the larger and smaller class sessions are complementary. Modules change from one term to the next, depending on the instructors, but all share common aspects of engaging students in active learning, and are designed to support course learning outcomes based on integrating knowledge from introductory courses to develop a better understanding of the central theme.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: We have used embedded exam questions, evaluations of student assignments and papers, and the Student Assessment of Learning Gains to systematically gather feedback associated with student learning gains and student perceptions of how the Integrated Biology course structure supports learning. We used data from a Graduating Student Survey to gather general information about the performance and outcomes of students majoring in biology. In addition, we are working with the departments that teach advanced courses taken by students majoring in biology to assess the impact of the Integrated Biology course on student performance in these courses.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: We compared results from Graduating Student Surveys administered to students graduating with a biology major in 2009 (128 respondents, of whom a small number had taken Integrated Biology), and 2013 (158 respondents, most of whom took Integrated Biology). Even though the Integrated Biology course replaced another course within the major, students reported no decrease in their improvement in knowledge about their major (in fact there was a small increase, from 89.0 to 89.8% of respondents). An increased percentage of students reported that, based on their biology major program, they improved their knowledge, skills and personal development regarding integrating knowledge from different fields, the focus of the Integrated Biology course (from 75% to 82.2%). In addition, we observed 5-9% increases in biology students reporting improvements in communication, critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and ethics and moral reasoning based on their major program. While these results cannot be attributed solely to the Integrated Biology course, the results are consistent with its learning goals and activities, suggesting that it serves the purpose and addresses the issues for which it was designed. Another indication of the success of this course is that it has since been added as a core requirement for students majoring in zoology or evolution and ecology, and as a recommended course for mathematics majors interested in mathematical biology. Faculty who have taught Integrated Biology expressed a renewed commitment to their teaching and have developed a more student-centered classroom in other courses they teach. Four of the faculty involved in this course have participated in the National Academies Summer Institutes, and many have attended or presented on-campus workshops to develop and help others develop a wider repertoire of teaching skills.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Barriers to course implementation included student resistance to the pedagogy used in the course, faculty and TA workload issues, and difficulty recruiting faculty to become involved in the course. Survey results from students indicate that a core group of students would prefer a more passive learning style - they dislike group activities, complain about “busy work” in reference to active learning exercises, and express a preference for memorizing facts to prepare for course exams. On the other hand, some students express appreciation for the conceptual knowledge and real-world applications they explored through this course. Changes implemented in response to student feedback include adjusting the number and types of activities, the way we explain the purpose of the activities, and course policies. One simple change that seems to have improved student perception of the course is that we now use ‘large group session’ and ‘small group session’ instead of ‘lecture’ and ‘recitation’ to refer to class sessions. To address workload issues, the entire instructional team (faculty, graduate teaching associates, and course coordinator) meets weekly to review the progress of the course and to make sure grading and other work is distributed equitably. To encourage faculty participation and include graduate students as part of the team, we offer a mini-summer institute that focuses on scientific teaching principles, and provide financial incentives for participation. During the institute, faculty present their modules in a teachable unit format, which facilitates group critique of the teaching frameworks and student activities. As a result of the intensive preparation and communication among the instructional team, students experience the diverse modules in a cohesive course that covers the full breadth of biology.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Awareness of scientific teaching strategies at Ohio State has increased significantly as a result of the summer institutes associated with the Integrated Biology courses. Because faculty teaching this course come from diverse departments, they disseminate these teaching strategies into other departmental courses. We plan to present the findings about the Integrated Biology course at departmental meetings and seminars with the hope that additional faculty will be recruited to develop and teach modules in this course. We plan to use the model of course design followed by continued faculty development during annual summer institutes to redesign introductory biology courses for majors and non-majors. Finally, we hope to publish the findings of our study so that others can use our model for course design.

Acknowledgements: We thank the numerous faculty who worked to develop and implement the Integrated Biology course, including Charles Daniels, Harold Fisk, John Freudenstein, H. Lisle Gibbs, Erich Grotewold, Joan Herbers, Norman Johnson, Eric Juterbock, Hans Klompen, Roman Lanno, W. Mitch Masters, and Mark Seeger.

Integrating Statistics into the Life Sciences Curriculum

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Title of Abstract: Integrating Statistics into the Life Sciences Curriculum

Name of Author: Edward Bartlett
Author Company or Institution: Purdue University
Author Title: Associate Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Ecology and Environmental Biology, Evolutionary Biology, General Biology, Integrative Biology, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Organismal Biology, Physiology & Anatomy, Virology
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Faculty Development, Introductory Course(s), Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: undergraduate research, modules, faculty learning community, secondary school teachers.

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): James Forney, Purdue University-West Lafayette Ann Rundell, Purdue University-West Lafayette Kari Clase, Purdue University-West Lafayette Stephanie Gardner, Purdue University-West Lafayette Omolola Adedokun, Purdue University-West Lafayette Dennis Minchella, Purdue University-West Lafayette

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Our program has 4 components: 1) Summer undergraduate research program 2) Faculty learning community 3) Curriculum development 4) Secondary school teacher development and research. The objective of our HHMI-funded summer research program is to bring together faculty and undergraduate students from an array of academic institutions and disciplines to provide a facilitated ‘hands-on’ experience focusing on experiment design and statistical analysis within the context of life science-related research projects. The objectives of the faculty learning community are twofold. First, it brings together interested faculty, graduate students and postdocs to discuss advances, innovations, and best practices in teaching and curriculum. Second, it facilitates the design of course modules that will be used for curricular development. The objective of the Curriculum Development component is to introduce experimental design, statistical and quantitative analysis, and critical evaluation of data throughout the life science curriculum through “plug and play” modules that are incorporated into existing courses. The objective of the teacher-scientist component is to provide secondary school teachers with research experiences as well as to provide training and ideas for incorporating statistical and data analysis into their life science courses.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Eighteen undergraduate students (Purdue University WL, Purdue Calumet, Purdue University North Central, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Franklin College, Morehouse College, and Saint Mary’s College) were hosted within 18 different research laboratories on the West Lafayette Purdue University campus for an 8 week long research experience in 2011-2013. Our second Faculty Learning Community (FLC) began in September of 2011 with twelve members drawn from the departments of Statistics, Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Industrial Technology, Horticulture, and Forestry. The group contained two postdoctoral researchers, seven tenure track faculty and two staff members (one from the Purdue Center for Instructional Excellence). Roughly half of the meetings were focused on statistics/learning module development and the other half on student learning (e.g. active learning, student development, learning and memory). During 2012, six new modules have been completed, bringing the total number of available modules to twelve. An additional five are being developed by the most recent cohort of FLC members (2013). Modules now cover a broad swath of the life sciences at Purdue, such as new modules in Forestry and in Speech, Language and Hearing Science. The new modules have covered statistical concepts such as the chi-squared test and Bayesian statistics and techniques in data analysis using confocal images of plant samples collected by the students. used STEMEdHub (https://stemedhub.org/groups/hhmibio). These are publicly available, and users may download the modules and provide feedback on them. In April 2012 the four teacher-scientists from the Summer Institute in 2011, presented a workshop at the Annual Meeting for the National Science Teachers Association in Indianapolis, IN, to approximately 30 teachers. The materials are available at: (https://www.nsta.org/conferences/schedule.aspx?id=2012ind).

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: For the summer research program, assessments were a combination of assessments of competency, such as portions of Garfield's Statistical Reasoning Assessments, as well as interviews. Assessment of the faculty learning community was mainly via interviews with participants. Assessments for curriculum development have largely been based on the individual modules themselves, taking the form of a written report by the students, a poster presentation, or exam questions for example. Assessments of the teacher-scientist program were mainly using interviews.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Summer research has resulted in at least 2 journal publications with students as co-authors. Students rated the summer research very highly, including the quantitative training sessions during each week as a group, as well as the students' interactions with their mentors. Over 12 faculty members, 4 postdocs, and 2 graduate students have participated as learning community members. They have rated the interactions within the community quite highly, and their participation has resulted in the bulk of the available modules. The 'plug and play' modules have been incorporated into many of the introductory and intermediate level courses in Biology, Biochemistry, and Biomedical Engineering. In addition, the modules are publicly available through a hosted site at Purdue. Over 6 teacher-scientists have been trained and have acted as role models within the community, holding larger outreach events.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: For the summer research program, things we will improve for will be to continue to transform the quantitative training sessions towards effective problem based learning and to reinforce the link between the statistical analysis and the student research experience. For the faculty learning community, finding enough interested postdocs and willing advisors was difficult. We then permitted graduate students to join the faculty learning community, and they have been equally helpful in facilitating discussions of teaching and development of modules. For curriculum development, now that a large number of modules have been initially created and implemented in classes, but more or less piecemeal, it is important to make the modules more seamlessly integrated throughout the life sciences curricula. To do this, we have engaged new faculty of introductory courses and permitted them to attend a teaching workshop (SI Institute) as well as gathered syllabi to find common topics taught across courses. Following two summers of teacher-scientist training, the evaluation team recommended that the ?teachers receive focused training/instruction in very basic statistics?data representation, probability, etc from a plain spoken source. This instruction should be combined with pedagogical sessions wherein teachers brainstorm or work with each other to translate basic statistical concepts into classroom activities in life science contexts.? In order to address this recommendation the summer institute was revised to include two master math teachers that could provide: exemplar lessons from their classrooms, resources that would be appropriate to use with students, advice and insight during data analysis discussions and planning sessions for translating workshop topics into the classroom.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Dissemination of summer student research has taken the forms of journal articles and posters at national meetings. Dissemination of the modules developed by faculty learning community members has taken the form of links to a website through Purdue's STEMEdHUB: STEMEdHub (https://stemedhub.org/groups/hhmibio/). Dissemination of findings and discussions of teachers is available at: https://hhmipurdue.wikispaces.com/ In addition, the first year research course has resulted in journal articles on the course design of such a course. Future dissemination will focus on publishing results from the various components of the program separately in journals, as well as a publication describing the overall program and its results and impact.

Acknowledgements: The authors gratefully acknowledge the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for providing funds for this project.