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.

Class Generated Community Clicker Cases

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Title of Abstract: Class Generated Community Clicker Cases

Name of Author: tamar goulet
Author Company or Institution: University of MIssissippi
Author Title: Associate Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Ecology and Environmental Biology, Organismal Biology, Physiology & Anatomy
Course Levels: Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: Case studies, Clickers, Interviews, Involvement

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Lainy B. Day, University of Mississippi Kristen A. Byler, University of Mississippi Kathleen Sullivan, University of Mississippi

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The goal of the study was to empirically test the efficacy of this novel pedagogic approach as an alternative technique to lecturing in a large, non-majors introductory biology course. In addition, multiple presentations and workshops at academic institutions, from 2-year community colleges to research-one institutions, exposed multiple faculty to this educational approach, potentially transforming their teaching.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Class Generated Community Clicker Cases (CGCCC) is an innovative pedagogical approach that integrates and capitalizes on the strengths of both case studies and clickers. In CGCCC, students are given questionnaires that they fill out by interviewing members of their community, thereby creating the cases. Answers are collected in class via clickers and class discussion. Students’ data gathering advances the course content coverage, turning the disadvantage of large introductory non-major classes into an educational asset, and creates personal investment in the subject matter.

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 effectiveness of CGCCC versus lecturing were assessed using four indicators, two dealing with knowledge of biology, and two dealing with students’ perceptions of the study of biology. The indicators were: 1) Extent of students’ factual knowledge; 2) Extent of students’ ability to assimilate and apply the learned information; 3) Rates of student attendance in the class; and 4) Extent of self-reported student satisfaction with the course. This study also addressed faculty members’ apprehension of non-lecture techniques by providing data on alternative methods for teaching large introductory science classrooms. Data collection thus far occurred during the Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 semesters. In each semester, to control for instructor bias, the same instructor taught two class sections, one in the CGCCC approach and one via lecture. In the Fall 2010 and Fall 2011 semesters, two faculty, each teaching a CGCCC and lecture class, collected data, enabling between instructor comparison. A total of 12 class sections thus far participated in the study, 6 sections taught via CGCCC (total n = 603) and 6 sections taught in a lecture format (total n = 618). To control for a potential clicker effect, both CGCCC and lecture sections used clickers to collect student responses during the class period and during exams.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Students in the CGCCC class with more positive perceptions of the interview component of the class tended to earn higher test grades than did students who reported lower levels of satisfaction with the interview component. The CGCCC approach did affect students’ attitudes. Students described a gain from the interviews, for example the interviews connected science with their lives, they thought interviewing people was interesting, and they learned to identify central issues via the interviews. These gains may affect attitudes towards, and long-term retention of, biological content. Following my colleague's involvement as a senior personnel in my grant, my colleague applied for and received her own TUES grant in which she is utilizing case studies in an upper undergraduate level neurobiology course for biology majors. The Department Chair was supportive of testing the CGCCC approach and provided the room and section time slots that enabled comparisons of the sections.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: The teaching approach being tested relies on students conducting interviews and reading the textbook. A challenge emerged of having the students take the interviews seriously. We therefore assigned points for the interviews. To address reading the book, we created an assignment where students had to write the page numbers that pertained to the interview questions. Students received points for this assignment. Students’ prior knowledge and students’ current academic performance affect their learning success in a non-majors introductory biology course. In tandem with applying novel pedagogical approaches, students’ perception of their ability to learn and students’ commitment to learning need to be assessed and perhaps modified.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: This project will affect both students and faculty. Due to the workshops and other dissemination venues, the project’s influence will transcend the University of Mississippi.

Acknowledgements: This study was supported by The National Science Foundation (DUE-0942290)

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.

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).

Rethinking Undergraduate Anatomy Education

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Title of Abstract: Rethinking Undergraduate Anatomy Education

Name of Author: Elizabeth Spudich
Author Company or Institution: Thomas Jefferson University
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Physiology & Anatomy
Course Levels: Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Mixed Approach
Keywords: Assessment based Learning-centered Fostering curiosity Real-world application Cooperative education

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Jennifer S. Stanford, Drexel University Victoria M. Egerton, University of Manchester (UK)

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Students majoring in biological sciences often seek careers in a clinical field. An undergraduate course in Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) is a requirement for many nursing or PT programs and often taken as an elective by those interested in medical school or veterinary medicine. Often, undergraduate A&P is set up to teach each system in relative isolation. Conversely, in a graduate level curriculum anatomy is taught in a regional fashion with intensive focus on how structures interact and how those interactions impact clinical outcomes. This relies heavily on spatial abilities to conceptualize and understand the contributions from each of the systems to a given region. As each requires different types of thinking, it is not surprising a 2009 Australian study by Green, et al (Anat Sci Ed, 2009, 2:113) found performance in systems-based A&P courses was not predictive of success in a regional anatomy course in their Health Science curriculum. This suggests the systems-based approach to anatomy in U.S. undergraduate institutions may not adequately prepare students for success in graduate level clinical programs. Several factors may be contributing to the problem: systems v. regional perspective, scheduling over two 15-week terms v. a first year grad course taught in an intensive 8-12 week block, sparse integration other disciplines, lack of real world scenarios, overly structured labs that inhibit growth as self-learners and too few opportunities where assessment is used to foster learning. A course was designed at Drexel University within the Department of Biology to introduce students to several things: i) increased pace and content, ii) 3-dimensional nature of regional anatomy, iii) student driven design and pacing of learning. More comprehensive goals included a course design that integrated other aspects of the curriculum, helped foster student curiosity with real world applications and focused on the learning rather than the content.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: The course ran over 10 weeks with three-lecture hours/week and covered eight major regions and clinical application using Moore’s Essential Clinical Anatomy as the textbook. Regional dissections of cats or dogs were completed using veterinary textbooks as reference. The design incorporated many of the components recommended in the original Vision and Change Report; including multiple modes of instruction, active and cooperative learning while providing students with frequent feedback in multiple contexts. Labs were largely unstructured and students could proceed through dissection, manipulation of models, osteology stations, web-searches, peer-review and quizzing, etc., as they desired. Students had access to lab during scheduled times with additional open times as dictated by the availability of Teaching Assistants (TAs). Instructors and/or TAs were available during all labs but tasked to assist through inquiry. Continual assessment was featured in the course. Students were subjected to a weekly practical quiz, after which, instructors or TA’s went reviewed answers to correct misconceptions and help students find different approaches, hence, providing grades and constructive feedback immediately. Larger, more summative assessments for the lab component were administered twice a term in the form of timed practical examinations. The lecture component featured a weekly cumulative exam. Question format consisted of a mix of multiple choice, true/false, matching and fill-ins and up to 25% comprised of short answer/essay questions, often subjective or integrative in nature. Students received written feedback on each essay answer from the instructor.

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 Qualtrix survey was developed using a series of 5-point Likert scale questions and open-ended comment sections. It was delivered to all 145 students who had completed the course between 2007 and 2012. The survey addresses the how the student’s perception of the course may have changed over time and the impact the course had on students’ post-baccalaureate experiences. Though data is still being collected over 40% of the students have responded to date.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Responses show students’ attitudes changed dramatically after moving on to post-graduate work. During the course only 13% of respondents felt the content amount was ‘just right’ with 86% feeling it was too much. After completion, 63% of student felt the content load was ‘just right’ with 5% feeling it was too light. Similar trends were seen with course pace. Most students (61%) felt the pace too fast during the course while 69% felt the pace was just right or too slow upon later reflection. Students who had gone on to clinical programs were asked about how our course design impacted their confidence level, competitiveness and performance. Over 75% of respondents felt more confident going into their anatomy course, they felt better able to handle the anatomy material and more competitive with their peers in anatomy courses. Performance was also enhanced with over 70% of this group of respondents feeling exposure to this course during their undergraduate years helped them perform better than their peers. Surprisingly, students also reported an enhanced confidence and performance in other courses as well. Over 70% of students in clinical programs felt more confident in their overall ability to learn all the program’s material and felt they outperformed their peers in all aspects. When asked which components of the course made the most impact students consistently ranked teaching the discipline by regions v. systems, the 3-D and integrative approach to the material and continual assessment as the most important features. Student were also given the opportunity to comment on the course and its effects on their later learning. These were especially informative. “It not only taught useful things, it taught us how to study and think,” “it was definitely eye-opening and caused all of us to reevaluate our learning preferences and styles.” “Has absolutely made me a better learner.” “ the facility to learn and relearn is what this course helped me develop.”

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Several aspects of the course needed to be addressed as it was developed. Initially, the students received small weekly quizzes and 3 major exams. Material was isolated and only the final was cumulative. It became apparent student were not using the quizzes as effective learning aids. We switched to weekly cumulative exams with supportive weekly practicals. Most assessment material focused on the topics covered the week prior but all material was ‘up for grab.’ Students were always reviewing older material and integrating it with new topics making learning more effective. Another issue was fighting the desire to finish everything on the syllabus. Students and instructors alike were anxious to get everything in. This raised stress and inhibited learning. Instead, pace was adjusted to suit the personality of each class; some moved more quickly, some focused more on integration; some needed more time with relationships. Students were told to focus on what they were learning and how they were learning it, not how much they were learning. After the first two terms it was clear some students were not becoming comfortable with spatial aspects and 3-D relationships, hampering their practical scores. To address this, instructors and TA’s designed some ‘ice-breaker’ exercises for the first lab session. These forced the students to deal with their spatial abilities (or lack thereof) and gave them useful tools to hone those skill sets at the start of the course. Another hindrance to learning anatomy in a regional fashion turned out to be computer usage during lecture. Students would listen and try to transcribe the lecture in real time or watch the slide show at their desks, never looking up from the keyboard and never seeing what was shown. Classes were told the instructor reserved the right to ban computer usage during lecture if it was felt to negatively impact performance and was forced to do so on occasion.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Data from the student survey continues to be collected. Preliminary data was presented at EB2013 in April 2013. Spudich, EA, and JS Stanford. 2013. Teaching regional anatomy to undergrads: Too much or more relevant preparation for postgraduate clinical education. Experimental Biology 2013, Boston, Ma. As data is finalized we anticipate writing 1-2 peer reviewed journal articles to be submitted to Anatomical Sciences Education.

Acknowledgements: The authors would like to acknowledge the Department of Biology at Drexel University for support in developing this course and the Department of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology at Thomas Jefferson University for support during survey design and data evaluation.

Effective Instruction & Authentic Research in Biology

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Title of Abstract: Effective Instruction & Authentic Research in Biology

Name of Author: Carrie Dollar
Author Company or Institution: St. Clair County Community College
Author Title: Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: General Biology, Physiology & Anatomy
Course Levels: Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.)
Keywords: undergraduate research experience, authentic research, effective instruction, anatomy and physiology, pedagogical explanations

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Carrie Dollar, St. Clair County Community College

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The overall goal of this project was to initiate improvements in undergraduate biology education and experiences at St. Clair County Community College. In order to do this, an authentic research experience was incorporated into an introductory biology course (Project 1). Additionally, research based, effective instructional practices were integrated into undergraduate biology courses (Project 2).

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Project 1: An authentic research experience was incorporated into a section of an introductory biology course. The students helped to design the projects, which included macroinvertebrate surveys, chemical tests (i.e. dissolved oxygen, nitrates) and environmental assessments (i.e. riparian buffer assessments). During the project, the students worked closely with a local watershed agency, Friends of the St. Clair River. The data collected by the students is used by the watershed agency, governmental intuitions and various other organizations in order to make decisions regarding the stream. Students compared their data to known norms in order to determine the stream’s health status. The students then provided written reports of their research. Project 2: Research based, effective instructional practices were incorporated into introductory biology and human anatomy and physiology courses. These practices included increased frequency of small group activities and increased frequency of formal and informal assessment. Additionally, pedagogical explanations for small group chemistry activities were used in human anatomy and physiology in order to improve chemistry learning outcomes. In the treatment group, students were given explanations for why they were engaging in the activities, whereas the control groups were given no pedagogical explanations.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: Project 1: Regarding the authentic research experience, the student’s choice of project design was carefully guided to ensure incorporation of multiple core competencies from Vision and Change (core competencies 1-3, 5 and 6). An informal survey revealed that students enjoyed the experience of engaging in the authentic research project; however, many students struggled with the written report. Project 2: The inclusion of pedagogical explanations for chemistry activities was tested for significance. The treatment group (n=22) scored significantly higher on the chemistry assessment (Student’s t-test, p=0.038) than the control group (n=58). This suggests that pedagogical explanations may help to increase student learning.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: These projects have been enthusiastically received by students, administration and faculty at St. Clair Community College. Both Vision and Change and these projects have provided the momentum for the biology department to begin the discipline-wide redesign of introductory biology course curriculum to better reflect best practices in undergraduate biology education.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Many of the challenges encountered during the project arose from the authentic research experience (Project 1). Most of the challenges involved the cross-disciplinary nature of the research projects. Progress was facilitated by seeking the help of colleagues in other disciplines. For example, when attempting to improve students’ scientific research and writing skills, the library faculty provided student training on researching scientific literature, and the communication department helped to design and clarify rubrics for student writing projects.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: The project results have been disseminated to the biology discipline of St. Clair Community College. Project results may be disseminated to other STEM faculty in the fall. There are no plans for further dissemination.

Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Sheri Faust from Friends of the St. Clair River, who helped to make the authentic research experience possible.

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.

Vision and Change in a Reformed Biology Curriculum

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Title of Abstract: Vision and Change in a Reformed Biology Curriculum

Name of Author: Richard Cyr
Author Company or Institution: Penn State
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Cell Biology, Ecology and Environmental Biology, General Biology, Organismal Biology, Physiology & Anatomy
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Faculty Development, Introductory Course(s), Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Adding to the literature on how people learn, Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development, Mixed Approach
Keywords: Large Courses Pedagogy Training Learning Communities Post-doctoral Teaching Fellows Faculty Workshops

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Denise Woodward, Penn State

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The Penn State Department of Biology considers Vision and Change (V&C) a roadmap for the future in education in the Life Sciences and our long-term goal is to fully integrate all Core Concepts and Competencies into Biology’s curriculum. Initially our efforts are and will continue to be focused on the freshman/sophomore curriculum, but there will be spillover into the junior/senior (and graduate) levels. The intended outcome is a reformed Biology curriculum that better retains students in their first two years, focusing on matriculating metacognitive undergraduates who have a solid grasp of how science is done and how this knowledge can help solve problems facing society.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: All V&C Core Concepts and Competencies have been adopted as Biology’s goals. Scaling learner-centered approaches in large classrooms is a challenge and our strategy involves experimenting with techniques in one course, then transferring effective techniques to others. Learning communities are essential to scaling and a ‘Peer Learning Corp’ has been created along with a pedagogy course that focuses on what the current research reveals about how students learn, along with applications of this knowledge to specific courses learning activities. A need for formal pedagogy training of graduate students was recognized and a graduate student-level pedagogy program was developed. In the first semester students participate in a discussion-based classroom, while in the second semester they help in a teaching lab and receive feedback that helps them improve their classroom effectiveness. A ‘V&C Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellows Program’ has been developed, which provides pedagogical training as well as a mentored teaching experience for post-docs. The pedagogy training consists of either the graduate-level pedagogy course and/or participation in workshops. Once pedagogy training is completed, they teach a small class, where a mentor reviews their course materials, attends classes and provides feedback. To better educate our faculty about the value of learner-centered instruction, a one-week workshop was developed. Freshman/sophomore labs have been reformed to a more inquiry-based format. With College of Education assistance, our labs have become more relevant to the problems that face society. Several faculty members now introduce their own research questions into the freshman/sophomore labs. In addition, our large courses are now used as test beds to gain insights into student learning, resulting in co-published papers with Education 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: Using V&C as a roadmap, a matrix was created of how our freshman and sophomore courses aligned. This process identified gaps, and steps have been taken to fill these curricular voids. We are currently developing a systematic approach to assess learning outcomes that are aligned with V&C. In the coming year, we plan to map each question from all freshman and sophomore course exams to the V&C Content and Competencies. Once done, student performance data on each question will be collected. This will allow us to track student exam performance in a categorical matrix. In future years, we also plan to assign some type of Bloom taxonomy scale to each question so that insight is gained into the depth of learning that is taking place. Student attitude surveys are being administered to reformed introductory labs, both at the beginning and at the conclusion of each course.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Using Learning Assistants, large lecture halls have been transformed into communities of 25 neighborhoods, with Learning Assistants helping students understand complicated worksheets and problems posed by their instructors. There has been an increase in the number of freshman/sophomore courses that are taking a deliberate, learner-centered approach. All four of Biology’s core courses plan to expand their learner-centered activities. The number of students in the Peer Learning Corp has similarly grown. Course material developed in Biology for pedagogy training is now in use around the College. In the coming years, we plan to engage more faculty members in learner-centered instruction and to make further improvements in Biology’s freshman/sophomore lab courses. Our Peer Learning Corp is essential for scaling, and next year we anticipate having 210 participants. Students taking our pedagogy courses say it helps them not only work more effectively with their own students, but it also reveals to them how their own learning works. Although envisioned as a program to help students enrolled in a biology course, evidence reveals that this peer-learning engagement helps the leaders too. We have found that students who participate in the Peer Learning Corp are retained in science majors at a higher frequency, compared to the general student population. The faculty workshop (sponsored by the College’s Center for Excellence in Science Education; CESE) was held for the first time this year. Five sessions were presented by 6 faculty members (from PSU and elsewhere), with 43 Penn State registrants.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Not all students welcome learner-centered instruction, which is exhibited in various ways. In the coming year, students’ resistance will be addressed by being more transparent as to why they are asked to engage in various activities. In addition, we will strive to take a more proactive position in identifying these resistant students early and, with the help of our experienced Learning Assistants, these students will be targeted for interventions.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: As mentioned, Biology’s pedagogy course material has been shared with faculty in the Eberly College of Science. In addition, faculty members at other institutions have been given access to the materials. The CESE webpages contain materials used in the workshop described earlier herein. Information on the Peer Learning Corp is being collected and will be posted on the Biology website. Penn State is a system that comprises 22 locations. (A total of about 50,000 student credit hours of biology instruction are delivered system-wide.) The Biology faculty members throughout the system meet annually and the activities described herein will be shared with them at our next meeting and via a discussion group that is available to Biology faculty throughout the system.

Acknowledgements: Howard Hughes Medical Institute Eberly College of Science

Learning Gains from Guided-Inquiry Labs with Bean Beetles

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Title of Abstract: Learning Gains from Guided-Inquiry Labs with Bean Beetles

Name of Author: Lawrence Blumer
Author Company or Institution: Morehouse College
Author Title: Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Ecology and Environmental Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Neuroscience, Organismal Biology, Physiology & Anatomy
Course Levels: Faculty Development, Introductory Course(s), Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: guided inquiry, assessment, bean beetles, Callosobruchus, faculty development

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Christopher W. Beck, Emory University

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The aims of this project were increasing the use of guided-inquiry in undergraduate laboratory courses and to foster the development of new guided inquiry experiments with the bean beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus, model system in physiology, neurobiology, genetics, molecular biology, and developmental biology. Guided-inquiry is a student-centered inquiry method that aligns with the Vision and Change report recommendation that students learn science by doing science.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: We conducted four annual faculty development workshops that were attended by a total of 81 faculty from 40 different institutions. Participants were selected to represent a diversity of institution types including 12 minority-serving institutions (24 participants) and eight community colleges (16 participants). Participants, in teams of two from each institution, learned how to work with bean beetles, how guided-inquiry learning may be conducted, and developed a new laboratory activity with bean beetles that they class tested at their own institution.

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 conducted an Instructional Practices assessment on our workshop faculty participants both prior to our workshop and after implementing their new guided-inquiry laboratory activity. Students in the classes in which a new laboratory activity was implemented also were surveyed on their perceptions of their faculty Instructional Practices. These assessments were conducted to determine whether our workshops changed faculty instructional practices. Furthermore, students were assessed in a pre-test, post-test format on their confidence to conduct scientific research, their knowledge of the nature of science, and their problem solving skills. These student assessments were conducted to determine the effectiveness of guided-inquiry learning.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: In the first three years of the project, approximately 481 students at 11 institutions were directly affected. They conducted guided-inquiry bean beetle experiments in 37 different courses. The faculty development workshops we conducted were successful in changing teaching practices and those changes were reflected in student perceptions of how they were taught. Students participating in guided-inquiry activities experienced significant gains in confidence to conduct scientific research and these gains were greatest among students whose pre-test confidence was in the lowest quartile. Similarly, the greatest gains in knowledge of the nature of science and problem solving skills were among those students in the lowest pre-test quartiles. These findings indicate that guided inquiry laboratories provide the greatest benefits for students whose needs are the greatest. Our findings provide strong support for the transformation of undergraduate laboratory instructional methods recommended in the Vision and Change report.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Not all the faculty who attended our workshops successfully completed their development of a new laboratory activity. This challenge was not entirely unexpected and we withheld two-thirds of their stipend as an incentive for them to complete their work. This incentive was sufficient for the majority of our workshop participants.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: The new guided-inquiry laboratory activities that our workshop participants developed are being posted on the bean beetle website, www.beanbeetles.org. The open access content for these laboratory activities consists of a student handout, instructor notes, sample data, and image and data slides. This website will be maintained for a minimum of 10 years after the end of this project. We continue to collect data from faculty teams that are in the process of completing their work. The results of the Instructional Practices surveys of faculty and students, and the student pre-test, post-test student assessments of confidence to conduct scientific research, knowledge of the nature of science, and problem solving skills will be prepared as manuscripts for publication in peer reviewed journals.

Acknowledgements: We thank Dr. Tom McKlin of the Findings Group for his external evaluation of our project. We also thank the faculty and students of the participating colleges and universities. This project was supported by the National Science Foundation DUE-0815135 and DUE-0814373.

Pre-health Collection: Help for Interdisciplinary Courses

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Title of Abstract: Pre-health Collection: Help for Interdisciplinary Courses

Name of Author: Jen Page
Author Company or Institution: AAMC
Author Title: Manager, MCAT Preparation Products
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, General Biology, Physiology & Anatomy
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Material Development
Keywords: Interdisciplinary, scientific inquiry skills, pre-health, teaching examples

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The Pre-health Collection within MedEdPORTAL’s iCollaborative is a free, open-access set of undergraduate teaching resources from across the disciplines of biology, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, psychology and sociology - all of which are important to building the foundational knowledge and skills for further study in health. The teaching resources support undergraduate faculty prepare or revise courses that are interdisciplinary, and teach scientific inquiry and reasoning skills, as recommended by the Vision and Change Report. The goal of the project is to support innovation in undergraduate curriculum, particularly biology curriculum, by providing access to teaching materials that can be used to revise and enhance existing curriculum or develop new courses.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: In today’s resource constrained institutions, time for innovation is limited. By providing easy to find, free resources that exemplify good pedagogy and interdisciplinary real-world problem-solving, we believe individual faculty, departments and entire institutions can more easily take steps to implement curriculum change. Students will benefit from new curriculum in the classroom, they may also benefit by using the Pre-health Collection resources for independent study. The Pre-health Collection within MedEdPORTAL’s iCollaborative was launched in August 2012 with 75 resources reviewed and cataloged by an expert review board. Work has begun on building a community of users that will submit resources that they have authored themselves or refer favorite resources created by others. The Pre-health Collection encompasses content from six disciplines (biology, chemistry, biochemistry, physics, psychology and sociology) related to the pre-health competencies important to future study of medicine and other health professions. Each resource is reviewed by a member of the review board to determine its relevance to the collection and quality of the resource before being posted online. The user community can share comments online about each resource, further enhancing the value of the collection.

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 success of the Pre-health Collection will be measured by the number of resources submitted to the collection and the use and adoption of the resources provided. We will be tracking and evaluating the number of site visitors, number of resources accessed, number of user comments on resources and qualitative feedback to evaluate the impact of the project.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: The Pre-health Collection within MedEdPORTAL’s iCollaborative will provide faculty and institutions with free access to examples of teaching resources that exemplify the Vision & Change recommendations. These resources not only serve as models, but are open-access resources that can be used in the classroom to enhance a class or provide supplemental resources to implement new strategies such as the flipped classroom model. Lowering the time and cost to try out innovation will hopefully remove some of the barriers to implementing curriculum change, particularly in resource constrained environments.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Among the barriers that need to be overcome to ensure the success of the project are developing a community of active contributors and users and amassing a significant collection of resources. Undergraduate faculty may not perceive pre-health content as relevant to their teaching, though many of their students are interested in a career in health. Busy faculty may lack the time or motivation to submit resources, even when prizes are available. Potential users of the resources may not recognize the relevance of the collection to their teaching, may lack motivation to comment on resources used and refer other resources authored by someone else that they find useful. These barriers will be overcome by collaborating with the pre-health advisor and medical school community who can engage undergraduate faculty in participating. In addition, we are engaging with the professional societies to make connections between this project and faculty engaged in curriculum innovation to encourage sharing of resources and creating links to existing open-access repositories to broaden the reach of the project.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: To help scale up the resources in the Pre-health Collection within MedEdPORTAL’s iCollaborative and build a national user community, a national call for submissions went out in early 2013 that will offer awards to the top resources by discipline. The project is also considering special calls for submission of content related to specific scientific inquiry and reasoning skills or a foundational concept in order to develop a strong user community around a particular area of excellence. While it would be ideal to have all submissions come directly from authors, the referral strategy will help to accelerate the pace at which teaching resources are added to the collection.

Acknowledgements: This project is possible with support from the Association of American Medical Colleges with input from the staff of the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), as well as our team of undergraduate faculty reviewers.