Inquiry-Based Lab Exercises in Undergraduate Biology Courses

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Title of Abstract: Inquiry-Based Lab Exercises in Undergraduate Biology Courses

Name of Author: Nanette Diffoot
Author Company or Institution: University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: All Biological Sciences Courses
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum
Approaches: Inquiry-based exercises in course laboratory
Keywords: Inquiry-based Teaching-laboratories curriculum Research-skills Undergraduates

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Vivian Navas, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Dimuth Siritunga, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Rafael Montalvo, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Franklin Carrero-Martinez, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Nico Franz, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Carlos Acevedo, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Ana Velez, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The Department of Biology at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus (UPR-M), with over 1300 undergraduates (99% underrepresented minority) and 40 faculty members, has successfully integrated inquiry-based laboratory exercises into undergraduate biology courses pipelined across the curriculum. Eleven lab exercises (1-2 per course) were implemented in the laboratories of the General Biology, Microbiology, Genetics, Botany, Immunology, Cell Biology, Microbial Ecology, Entomology and the Plant Physiology courses, impacting approximately 1,300 students per year. These inquiry based exercises were tailored to develop laboratory and research skills, and competence in research tools and techniques. Furthermore, an information literacy module was merged with a General Biology laboratory exercise. This initiative responded to the need of exploring nontraditional approaches to effectively develop research skills since institutional limitations do not allow all students to participate in traditional research apprenticeship.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: The methodology followed throughout the four years of the project included the design of the inquiry-based lab exercises, training of the teaching assistants, lab coordinators and technicians, purchase of the appropriate equipment and materials and assessment. The lab exercises were first pilot tested with a small student population, assessed and modified accordingly. These exercises were then implemented to the entire course population and again assessed and adjusted. Six of the inquiry-based lab modules were also offered as one-day workshops to undergraduate students, k-12 teachers and faculty from nearby institutions. When the inquiry-based lab exercises met objectives, they were permanently integrated into the laboratory of the given course. The lab coordinators and technicians, empowered by the training, continued with teaching assistant training and module supervision.

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 tools used throughout the project included an assessment cycle form for the faculty researcher that designed the exercise, indicating the objectives, the assessment outcomes and the actions taken. The undergraduate students completed pre- and post-test to assess knowledge and research confidence gained through the lab exercises. Feedback was also collected from teaching assistants, lab coordinators and technicians.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: The assessment collected supports the effectiveness of our initiative. Students learned research techniques and developed research skills, as well as information literacy competency through the inquiry-based teaching labs. In some cases the lab exercise allowed for students to collaborate with ongoing department research applicable to Puerto Rico. Furthermore, the lab experiences increased their confidence in doing research and motivated many to seek other research opportunities. Teaching assistants reported students gaining research knowledge and research skills through the lab modules and agreed that the course and laboratory were enriched with these lab exercises. They themselves reported learning through the modules. Laboratory coordinators with no previous experience in the specific techniques were also required to learn in order to train the teaching assistants. They also report having been encouraged by this experience to review and modify other lab exercises. A senior survey regarding curriculum research experiences was collected four years into the project. Two hundred sixty seven seniors (48%) answered the questionnaire. Over 80% of the respondents had taken at least 3 of the inquiry-based lab modules. Forty one percent reported having no independent research experience and thus relied entirely on the courses for developing research knowledge. This survey also included a list of the research techniques used in the inquiry-based lab modules for seniors to identify

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Shifting from traditional cookbook-like laboratory exercises of predictable outcomes, to inquiry-based exercises, has required intense coordination and assessment as well as the training of the personnel associated with the teaching infrastructure. This initiative required time commitment of the department director, an assessment coordinator, six faculty members, training of graduate teaching assistants, laboratory technicians and lab coordinators. Major challenges, encountered throughout the project included research faculties’ lack of experience in conducting assessment and the initial resistance to change attitude from lab technicians and coordinators, likely in response to the uncertainties of the module’s scientific content. Coordinators were empowered to conduct teaching assistant training and module supervision every semester. Because of the large undergraduate and teaching assistant population involved, a large staff was necessary for the coordination, distribution and collection of assessment tools, as well as to coordinate ordering and receiving supplies. The assessment carried out throughout the four years of the project was essential to obtaining effective lab exercises. Our assessment plan of initially conducting pilot studies (implementing the new inquiry-based lab module in only one lab section before moving to a larger scale) should be applied to any future curriculum modifications since it facilitated foreseeing and solving problems encountered.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Project outcomes have been presented locally as well as in national scientific meetings and some are being summarized for publication. Siritunga and colleagues (Siritunga et al., 2012) recently published the botany inquiry-based lab module. The information literacy module has been adapted for use in other departments on- and off- campus.

Acknowledgements: The project was funded by HHMI, Undergraduate Science Program. We thank laboratory coordinators, technicians and graduate teaching assistants for their cooperation, feedback and assistance in the implementation of the lab exercises. We also thank Maria Mendez and Idaris de Jesus for their assistance, beyond what was required, with data collecting-analysis and purchasing, respectively.

Society for Economic Botany

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Title of Abstract: Society for Economic Botany

Name of Author: Gail Wagner
Author Company or Institution: University of South Carolina
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: All Biological Sciences Courses
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Faculty Development
Approaches: Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: open source, curriculum, ethnobiology, assessment, teacher development

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Goals: (1) to improve undergraduate teaching excellence; (2) model how interdisciplinarity may enhance science education; (3) provide open-source, online, peer-reviewed ethnobiological teaching and assessment materials so that even isolated faculty can join a network of other faculty. Outcomes: We produced a 2013 document called Vision & Change in Undergraduate Ethnobiology Education in the U.S.A.: Recommended Curriculum Assessment Guidelines. Since 2009, we have increased the number and variety of our modules; we are currently increasing our peer reviews of existing modules; we have increased the number and variety of instructors we have directly impacted with workshops (e.g., inclusion of community college instructors), and we have increased our advertisement to/work with other societies (e.g., ESA, SoE, ISE). Our network is becoming more international in scope.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: We hold hands-on teaching workshops in conjunction with professional society conferences. We provide open-source online teaching modules that range from single lesson plans to classroom tools to entire courses. We have just developed a new DRD web portal in conjunction with other societies. We invite peer and student review of modules with the aim to improve and diversify our offerings. Our 2013 document V&C in Ethnobiology, which is modeled on the AAAS V&C, proposes guidelines for developing an ethnobiology curriculum. We include an education column in our twice-yearly societal newsletter. We support student membership and attendance at our conference with reduced rates, and full members are invited to support a new online student membership for the very low rate of $10. At our societal conference we mentor students to become professionals.

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 conduct pre- and post-assessments of our teacher workshops. We conduct surveys to study our own network. We garner informal feedback from participants or people who have used our online materials.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: In late June 2013, we began distribution of our document V&C in Ethnobiology, modeled on the original V&C. Based on the reactions of conference participants, we anticipate that our document will provide the framework for the development of undergraduate ethnobiology education not just in America, but around the world. Informally, we hear from isolated instructors how much we have helped them develop curriculum and improve teaching strategies.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: At present, only two universities offer majors in ethnobotany and none in ethnobiology. Given that SEB is a professional society with impermanent officers and committee members, and that we are very interdisciplinary rather than associated with one discipline, our impact is with individual instructors rather than departments or institutions (other than the two mentioned). And it is only through our instructors that we can assess impact to their students. However, according to OSN surveys/assessments, our impact on individual instructors (who otherwise felt isolated in their departments) is major in furthering V&C teaching recommendations. Given that the majority of our societal membership is not American and that we are an international society, it is difficult to involve and mentor undergraduate students when we meet outside of the U.S.A., as we do every several years. It will always remain difficult to involve undergraduate students in our conferences, but we do reach their instructors.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: In late June 2013 we opened a new online DRD web portal for posting open-source educational materials. The Society for Economic Botany is an organizational member of the Open Science Network and will continue to work on OSN online materials and societal teaching workshops. The V&C in Ethnobiology document is posted on the OSN web page.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to the team from the Open Science Network.

Enabling Student Success: A Learner-Centered Methodology

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Title of Abstract: Enabling Student Success: A Learner-Centered Methodology

Name of Author: Stephen Aley
Author Company or Institution: University of Texas at El Paso
Author Title: Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: and Pre-Calculus, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics, Chemistry, Ecology and Environmental Biology, Evolutionary Biology, General Biology, Genetics, Microbiology, Organismal Biology, Physics, Virology
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum
Approaches: Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) Curricular Research Interdisciplinary Quantitative Biology Assessment

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): James E. Becvar, University of Texas at El Paso Ann H. Darnell, University of Texas at El Paso

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The Biology undergraduate curriculum at the University of Texas at El Paso is undergoing vast changes that address both the University Mission (a pursuit for excellence in education while providing access to the people of El Paso) and a response to the state of Texas legislature’s call for a larger percentage of students graduating. UTEP Biology undergraduate students are 85% Hispanic, mirroring the population of El Paso and reflecting national trends. The intended outcome is to graduate more students and increase participation of underrepresented students in biomedical research.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: The change strategy focuses on a learner-centered methodology. Beginning in 2000, the curriculum format for general chemistry changed by replacing one faculty-delivered lecture (passive learning) per week with a required weekly two-hour workshop (active learning). The workshop includes one hour of problem solving in teams guided by a Peer Leader, followed by one hour of hands-on explorations. The explorations are simple experimental activities which promote student-initiated inquiry, guided by the Peer Leaders. Many activities are based on biology, demonstrating real-world examples of the conceptual material that students encounter in lecture. Building upon this active learning approach, a 2006-awarded HHMI grant implemented undergraduate research for at least one semester, and potentially two, for all biology majors. In 2007, an NSF-funded STEP grant expanded the chemistry peer-led workshop model to mathematics and physics. In 2008, NIH provided funding for a major curricular reform where the Core Competencies (Vision & Change, 2011) of quantitative reasoning, modeling and simulation were implemented, beginning with the first introductory biology course, concluding with new course development that consolidates courses designed to prepare students for various graduate studies including Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering. Eleven additional undergraduate biology courses (three of which were associated laboratory courses) were either revamped or developed (NIH MARC II) with the goal of increasing the emphasis on biological modeling, computational knowledge, statistical analysis, and data analysis. This curricular reformation targeted not only the increased understanding of core concepts including the ability to make connections among interdisciplinary problems, but an increase in perception of relevance of mathematics and computer modeling in the systems approaches required today.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: 1) Successful course completion 2) Tracking students to graduation 3) Matriculation to graduate and professional school 4) Attitudinal surveys Results of these curricular modifications show that over a six year period between the fall of 2006 and the fall of 2012, the number of biological science students has nearly tripled at UTEP, with the percentage of underrepresented students, primarily Hispanic, rising 10% (to over 85%). Part of this growth is due to less attrition. Assessing degree output six years prior, the graduation rate has risen for those students who declare a major in a biology discipline (from 78% to 85%) over a six year timeframe. If we only maintain an 85% graduation rate, by 2018 we should see more than 1200 students, 85% which are Hispanic, entering the workforce or continuing at the graduate level prepared to critically address not only biology-related problems but complex interdisciplinary issues and challenges of the 21st century.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: The positive outcomes of the program not only include improved student success in course, but also the enhancement of professional development gained through self-guided and team-guided inquiry, presentation, and leadership opportunities. Leaders gain significant confidence in public speaking and motivational skills. Due to our unique program implementation, undergraduates have a great opportunity to significantly enhance the program. This is because they use their own creativity and are permitted to incorporate their suggestions. The expanded knowledge and experiences gained in peer-led workshops, undergraduate research, and interdisciplinary team-based learning activities are crucial to students planning careers in the research, medical, biotechnology, or academic fields. The modified biology curriculum creates stronger thinkers and self-learners. The institutional structure was impacted with the addition of student-only research laboratories where students learn by doing. *All biology students have an undergraduate research experience built into the courses *Increased statistics knowledge *Increased graduation *Increased matriculation into graduate and professional school *Team building *Leadership skills *Communication skills

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Maintaining curricular changes

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Presentations at multiple meetings Writing one or more journal articles

Acknowledgements: NIH, NSF, HHMI

Expanding a Research-Infused Botanical Curriculum

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Title of Abstract: Expanding a Research-Infused Botanical Curriculum

Name of Author: Jennifer Ward
Author Company or Institution: University of North Carolina at Asheville
Author Title: Assistant Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Agricultural Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Ecology and Environmental Biology, General Biology, Plant Biology & Botany
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, 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
Keywords: assessment, consortium, inquiry, plant biology, undergraduate research,

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): H. David Clarke, University of North Carolina at Asheville Jonathan L. Horton, University of North Carolina at Asheville

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Our goals were to incorporate inquiry-based research experiences into undergraduate plant biology courses , including lower-division botany (required of all majors), so that all students had an authentic undergraduate research experience. We hoped to improve student learning of course content and familiarize them with the scientific process. Finally, we worked to overcome barriers of faculty time, student time/preparation, and funding.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Undergraduate students developed and tested curricular modules based on their own independent research projects. These modules were tested by other research students before being used in a classroom setting. Then, undergraduate classroom students used modules in their plant biology lab courses, generating hypotheses and data related to the larger research project. In the past three years, we have involved over 300 classroom students and 12 undergraduate research mentors in this project.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: To determine if exposure to the research-infused botanical curriculum increased students' content knowledge, we administered a quiz in Moodle courseware. To assess the effects of our new curriculum on students' scientific process, we used rubric scores on two journal-style papers; the rubric was tested for intergrader reliability. All data were analyzed with SAS 9.2 with PROC GLM and PROC PAIREDT.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Student scores on journal-style papers rose after use of our curricular modules (P = 0.001), and sophomores improved their abilities to state hypotheses (P = 0.001), identify types of variables (P = 0.001), and choose appropriate statistical analyses (P = 0.017). Comparing pre- and post-test results demonstrated that students perceived significant gains in field experience, experimental design and analysis ability, writing experience, comfort with citing primary scientific literature, and recognizing the importance of plant science (P < 0.05 for all). In addition, they gained content knowledge in some botanical subdisciplines (P < 0.05). Research students also showed positive shifts in attitudes towards teaching and their own research. Our approach has now been adopted by other courses, departments, and regional universities.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: In response to students' ongoing challenges in data interpretation, we have changed the way in which we teach these subjects.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Results have been presented at 4 disciplinary conferences and 2 education conferences, and we are preparing them for publication. In late 2012, we created a coordinated undergraduate research network to investigate Southern Appalachian ecosystems’ resilience to environmental change. This research focus will serve as a platform for imparting botanical knowledge while advancing quantitative literacy, improving student attitudes towards STEM and NOS (Nature of Science), teaching creative STEM thinking, and encouraging higher-order cognitive processes. The place-based curricular modules that we are creating will be partially developed and administered by undergraduate and graduate research students (3 graduate T.A.s per year) and will have a direct impact on the learning of over 1000 undergraduates per year, including B.S.Ed. students.

Acknowledgements: Undergraduate research students included Scott Arico, Katherine Culatta, Jacob Francis, David Greene, Jennafer Hamlin, Ashley Hanes, Karissa Keen, Aaron Maser, Joseph McKenna, Megan Rayfield, Matt Searels, Katherine Selm, and Emmalie von Kuilenberg. This work was funded by the National Science Foundation (DUE 0942776) and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

Integrating Bioinformatics Across the Curriculum

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Title of Abstract: Integrating Bioinformatics Across the Curriculum

Name of Author: William Tapprich
Author Company or Institution: University of Nebraska at Omaha
Author Title: Professor and Chair
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: All Biological Sciences Courses
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum
Approaches: Assessment, Material Development
Keywords: Bioinformatics Laboratory Inquiry-based Curriculum Genomics

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Mark A. Pauley, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The overall goal of our project is to integrate inquiry-based, hands-on bioinformatics-focused laboratories across the biology curriculum. This is an interdisciplinary effort involving the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Interdisciplinary Informatics in the College of Information Science and Technology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). This project arose from the recognition that many of the interdisciplinary fields driving biology are only gradually becoming part of the undergraduate curriculum. The interdisciplinary nature of biological science is obvious to research teams and professionals, but the integration of emerging fields across the undergraduate biology curriculum is often slow. Bioinformatics is a prime example. Few would challenge the idea that bioinformatics is an indispensable discipline for students in biology. The future will only intensify the need for experience in bioinformatics. Even so, few undergraduate biology programs have integrated bioinformatics experiences into their biology curricula. A number of the central recommendations of Vision and Change have guided our project. As a primary goal, we are integrating core concepts and competencies throughout the biology curriculum. Our laboratories have been permanently integrated into first year biology courses and we are currently implementing new laboratories at all levels of the curriculum. By developing laboratory exercises, we focus on student-centered learning. Active participation, multiple modes of instruction, inquiry-based exercises, cooperative learning and research contexts are all incorporated into the student experience. Our project also engages the biology community. Our project team involves three diverse institutions, our materials are freely available on the project website (https://ccli.ist.unomaha.edu), and we have recently organized a research coordination network with thirteen participating institutions.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: The project team has developed bioinformatics laboratories for each level of the biology curriculum. Laboratories have been developed based on problems important for cellular/molecular biology and also for ecological/environmental biology. To support the laboratories, we have developed curated databases and assembled bioinformatics tools, all of which are available on the project website. This allows instructors and students in introductory courses to access data and relevant bioinformatics tools in a single location. For upper-level courses, students gain experience with the additional power and occasional pitfalls of public databases and tools. A member of the project team implements the laboratory initially. This implementation is accompanied by assessments that include pre-/posttests and student focus groups. Following revisions guided by the assessments, the laboratory is ‘handed off’ to the regular faculty member teaching the course. Continued pre-/posttest assessment together with faculty feedback leads to additional revision. Two laboratories for first year biology have completed the cycles and are permanently implemented in the curriculum at all three participating institutions. Several additional laboratories designed for second-fourth year courses are in process.

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 laboratories has included learning outcomes measured by pre-/posttest results, student focus groups and review by external review panels. These assessments are conducted by an evaluation team led by a faculty member in the UNO College of Education. Results show positive learning outcomes, very favorable assessment by students and positive reviews from expert reviewers. Faculty from expert review panels have committed to implementing some of the laboratories in their own courses.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: At this stage of the project, we have implemented and assessed multiple laboratories. For a few laboratories, we have accomplished our goal of permanent implementation into the curriculum and transfer of teaching from the project team to the regular professors in the course. For example, one laboratory has been published into a laboratory manual that is used every semester in a course enrolling an average of 400 students each year. Just at the participating institutions, our laboratories have impacted well over 1,500 students. Students who have completed our laboratories are already better prepared to accomplish bioinformatics projects. When fully implemented, we expect substantial improvement in students’ ability to solve bioinformatics problems. This addresses many of the core competencies identified by Vision and Change. These include the ability to apply the process of science, ability to use quantitative reasoning, ability to tap in to the multidisciplinary nature of science and the ability to communicate and collaborate with other disciplines. Our bioinformatics project has a significant faculty development component. Many biology faculty have little training in bioinformatics and are uncomfortable in the area. We find that faculty quickly come up to speed if the laboratories are taught first by an expert.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: A major barrier to institutionalizing the bioinformatics laboratories is reluctance of faculty to learn bioinformatics concepts. Our approach to address this barrier has been to have a member of the project team lead teaching of the laboratory initially. The regular instructor observes. In our experience, the regular instructor generally engages with students during the laboratory and becomes more comfortable with the exercise. Using this approach, we have ‘handed off’ the teaching to several instructors at the three participating institutions.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Our laboratories are available on the project website. We have also developed curated databases and assembled bioinformatics tools, all of which are available on the same website. We have hosted expert review panels composed of faculty from regional universities to evaluate our laboratories. These faculty have agreed to implement our laboratories in their own courses. Continued dissemination will include publications in biology education journals and presentations at biology education conferences. In addition, we have recently formed a research coordination network for developing and disseminating bioinformatics educational resources.

Acknowledgements: This work is supported by Award 1122971 from the National Science Foundation. We wish to thank members of the project and evaluation teams: Garry Duncan, Oliver McClung, Letitia Reichart, Dawn Simon, and Neal Grandgenett.

Engaging Undergraduates, Current and Future Faculty

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Title of Abstract: Engaging Undergraduates, Current and Future Faculty

Name of Author: Sue Wick
Author Company or Institution: University of Minnesota--Twin Cities
Author Title: Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: All Biological Sciences Courses
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Faculty Development
Approaches: Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: active learning future faculty research

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The goals of the College of Biological Sciences project to promote the Vision and Change initiative at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities have been several-pronged: to have undergraduates actively engage with biology (“do biology, not just read about it”), to encourage current faculty to experience active learning so they can begin to use these strategies in their courses, and to help train the next generation of faculty to embrace effective active learning strategies. About a dozen instructors have offered the Foundations of Biology two-semester series of active learning courses for majors in the biological sciences for about 2800 students over the past six years. More recently about six faculty, staff and postdoctoral instructors have developed modules that bring authentic biology research into non-majors biology courses for a few thousand more students. One aim of bringing authentic research into non-majors courses is to help students understand how scientific inquiry and interpretation of results is done; another aim is to increase the level of interest in science in general.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: The majors courses are in active learning classrooms. Teams of nine students explore introductory biology topics through daily, weekly, and term-long activities that require higher level cognitive skills of analysis, application, evaluation and synthesis. Students experience authentic research in the second semester, working on a faculty member’s research project. Strategies for bringing authentic biology research into non-majors biology courses include a microbial metagenomics lab module in general biology; activities on sexual reproduction in bean beetles in a course on the biology and evolution of sex; and student analysis of animal photos from the Serengeti, part of a study of animal associations and migration, incorporated into an evolution and ecology course. These activities replace other lab exercises and are tested first on a small scale so they can be refined before widespread incorporation. Many faculty cite lack of suitable classrooms for active learning and difficulty imagining how active learning looks and sounds in action. We address these stumbling blocks by advertising our open door policy; as a result we have welcomed hundreds of visitors to our classes, including teams of faculty, architects and administrators from institutions poised to commit to instructional changes. Faculty from elsewhere on campus have also observed and consulted with us about how to transform their science lecture courses into ones that incorporate more engaged student learning. We also organized a program in which graduate students and postdocs learn practices of evidence-informed teaching. We met one evening a month for a year, beginning with discussions of diversity, active learning and assessment. The class divided into small groups to produce short active learning modules on topics like nutrient cycles, HPV vaccination, plasmid construction and deciphering genetic pathways. Groups presented their work to the rest of the class for feedback and refinement.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: To examine the effect of our reformed majors’ sequence, we are monitoring course alumni success in upper division coursework, in research laboratories, and in national summer research programs. We also collect surveys on students’ impressions of course effectiveness in increasing their confidence and knowledge of how science works. We are still at early stages of incorporating authentic research into non-majors courses, but plan to collect data from course surveys on whether students’ enthusiasm for science and understanding of scientific process have increased. Evaluation of our effect on other faculty is more informal, but includes assessing their willingness to participate in an intensive summer institute experience to learn more about effective active learning. To evaluate the graduate student and postdoc program on scientific teaching, we focused on the products developed. One module has been tested for its effectiveness in a freshman seminar and others have been tested on groups of undergraduate volunteers.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Our preliminary assessment of the effect of reforms to majors’ coursework indicates increases in students’ problem-solving skills and in their confidence to tackle new questions. While some students continue to resist this style of instruction, surveys indicate that many realize they are learning how to learn deeply and retain both information and skills for the future. Majors who go on to summer research programs indicated that they are very well prepared relative to other applicants, even those from elite institutions. Impacts on local faculty also are somewhat promising. Additional instructors, some of whom were initially skeptical about moving away from a familiar lecture format, have joined the ranks of the initial core faculty, and some sections of upper division courses are now also taught in active learning classrooms. Participants in the scientific teaching training program for graduate students and postdocs were positive about their experience learning teaching skills that many institutions will find desirable, and we anticipate that several of them will start developing their teaching approach from a habit of active learning instead of lecturing. An added benefit of the program is that there are now more active learning materials available for insertion into various undergraduate courses for non-majors and majors.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: We encountered no unexpected challenges.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Members of our active learning team have made numerous poster and oral conference presentations and given seminars on our various efforts to transform undergraduate education. We have a small assortment of publications on our pedagogical work and continue to collect data about the effectiveness of our programs with the intent to produce more publications.

Acknowledgements: Faculty, teaching postdoctoral fellows and instructional staff who have contributed to our programs to reform undergraduate education include: Robin Wright, David Matthes, Mark Decker, Robert Brooker, Deena Wassenberg, Brian Gibbens, Cheryl Scott, Sehoya Cotner, Sadie Hebert, Jane Phillips, Anna Strain, Craig Packer, Annika Moe

Group Redesign of a Non-major's Introductory Biology Course

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Title of Abstract: Group Redesign of a Non-major's Introductory Biology Course

Name of Author: Bethany Stone
Author Company or Institution: University of Missouri - Columbia
Author Title: Associate Teaching Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: All Biological Sciences Courses
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum
Approaches: Mixed Approach
Keywords: Redesign Online Module Introductory biology Flip

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Sarah Bush, University of Missouri - Columbia Robin Hurst-March, University of Missouri - Columbia

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Biology 1010: General Principles and Concepts in Biology is a 3-credit introductory lecture course for non-science majors. The majority of students in Biology 1010 are freshmen. Up to 8 sections are offered annually, serving around 3,000 students/year. Each section is currently taught by a single instructor, with six instructors rotating through Biology 1010 and their other teaching commitments. The Bio 1010 course redesign involved three instructors: Sarah Bush, Bethany Stone, and Robin Hurst-March. This course redesign focuses on improving the learning outcomes for two of the Missouri goals included in the state exit competencies for an introductory biology course: 1. Nature and process of science, including: how to evaluate and judge the validity of sources of information, how scientists obtain data, how new scientific findings are communicated, the process by which new findings may become broadly accepted by other scientists, and how to distinguish between science and pseudoscience. 2. Science and Society, including: recognizing how content in an introductory biology course is relevant to the daily lives of the students, how society is impacted by scientific discoveries, and the role that non-scientists play in shaping public policy in science. Engaging students deeply in these topics is difficult using the standard lecture format common in large classes.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: The project entails the development of a series of on-line modules that emphasize active learning, engagement with course content, and interactions among students. These modules have been implemented several ways: 1. Hybrid - Students work together in small online groups to complete the modules. Students are assigned a module every other week throughout the semester. Each module requires approximately three hours to complete and replaces one class session in the week it is due. 2. Flipped - Modules are completed each week. Students complete individual components of the modules online before coming to class. During class, students work together in small groups to complete the group components. 3. Online - Students complete all components of the module each week online, with no face-to-face class meetings required. The modules incorporate a multi-tiered structure that facilitates learning by taking students through a series of steps. 1. What Do You Already Know? - A pretest to assess the student's knowledge of background information needed for the module, and links to resources for students whose backgrounds may be deficient. 2. Build Your Knowledge - Resources to develop a deeper understanding of the material. Short lecture-capture recordings, videos, radio broadcasts, and on-line readings are used to deliver content, and the Blackboard quiz tool is used to assess content knowledge. 3. Engage with the Science - Web-based activities to help students delve deeper into the concepts. 4. Apply the Science to Your Life - Activities that emphasize the application of the material to issues of importance to the students. 5. Tiger Link - a short tier in which students learn about related research taking place on our own campus.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: Each tier of the module includes a graded assessment. The upper tiers, which emphasize higher order thinking skills, require the students to engage in interactive tutorials in which they demonstrate their comprehension of the concepts introduced in the lower tiers. The three instructors develop modules independently and make the materials available to each other through a communal Blackboard site. Module topics are chosen based on the potential to incorporate course concepts and to illustrate relevance of science to everyday life. Examples of modules already developed include alcohol metabolism, sun-tanning, correlation versus causation, evolution of human mate choice criteria, herbal remedies, GMOs, and climate change. The sun-tanning module, for example, reinforces student understanding of gene expression, communication within and between cells, and the molecular basis of cancer; the alcohol metabolism module emphasizes enzyme structure and function as well as the connections between mutations, amino acid sequences, and protein shape. Both of these modules incorporate evolutionary connections as well as group discussions of social controversies (e.g. government regulation of the tanning industry, genetic testing for genes associated with alcohol metabolism). Assessment of the course redesign has taken two forms. 1) In the pilot semester, class performance on a selection of exam questions was compared between the redesigned section and traditional (base-line) sections taught by the same instructor in earlier years. Students in the redesigned section out-performed their predecessors on 80% of the questions. 2) Student attitudes toward science were assessed at the beginning and end of the semester using an attitude survey in both traditional and redesigned sections taught by different instructors in the same semester.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: In our pilot semester, students in the redesigned section exhibited a significant improvement in their attitude toward science on 14 of the 23 items on the survey (compared with 7 of the 23 items in the traditional section). Following the pilot semester in spring 2012, the redesign was incorporated into three sections of Bio 1010 in the fall semester. Some modules were re-purposed for use in a General Botany course in fall 2012. As indicated above, students participating in redesigned sections of General Biology have greater improvement in attitudes toward science and better performance on high-level exam questions. At the departmental level, the conclusion of this project has coincided with new conversations between our faculty on active-learning, resulting in faculty incorporating or planning on incorporating more active-learning components in the classroom. We cannot determine if these conversations were inspired by the redesign; they may have been prompted by other factors, including the Vision and Change document. On campus, this module strategy has also been used as a model for other course redesigns outside Biology.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: We have had broad institutional support for the project. The greatest challenges we face are 1) dedicating the time for module development, and 2) a lack of TA support to assist with grading. Although most quiz questions are automatically graded in Blackboard, the modules include some short-answer questions, discussion board posts and/or in-class group assignments that need to be graded by hand. Grading is tedious and we have had difficulty retaining hourly paid assistants.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: While the project has garnered interest from other colleagues who teach sections of Bio 1010, efforts to broaden participation in the project have been focused largely at the state level. We have presented the project to faculty from other Missouri institutions both individually and at workshops/conferences. Access to the communal Blackboard site is provided to any faculty member who requests it, with permissions to any biology faculty to use its components. Locally, the process and outcomes of this course redesign have been shared multiple times on campus, including our annual Celebration of Teaching Conference. The modules were also a component of talks on flipping the biology classroom given at campus, state and national talks, workshops and conferences, including the 2013 American Society for Microbiology’s Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASM-CUEs).

Acknowledgements: Funding provided by Mizzou Course Redesign, MU Provost’s Office Administrative support provided by Dr. John David and Dr. John Walker Technology support provided by Educational Technologies (ET@MO) at the University of Missouri.

Community Supports STEM Reform Aligned with Faculty Research

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Title of Abstract: Community Supports STEM Reform Aligned with Faculty Research

Name of Author: Ann C. Smith
Author Company or Institution: University of Maryland
Author Title: Assistant Dean
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: All Biological Sciences Courses
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Faculty Development, Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Mixed Approach
Keywords: Learning Community Concept Inventory Microbiology Case based teaching Research oriented learning

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): G. Marbach-Ad, University of Maryland S. Balcom, University of Maryland J. Buchner, University of Maryland V. Briken, University of Maryland J. DeStefano, University of Maryland N.M. El-Sayed, University of Maryland K. Frauwirth, University of Maryland B. Fredericksen, University of Maryland V. Lee, University of Maryland K.S. McIver, University of Maryland D. Mosser, University of Maryland B.B. Quimby, University of Maryland P. Shields, University of Maryland W. Song, University of Maryland R. Stewart, University of Maryland K.V. Thompson, University of Maryland D.C. Stein, University of Maryland S. Yarwood, University of Maryland

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The AAAS report Vision and Change: A Call to Action, urges a cultural change regarding student learning and provides a consensus list of the major concepts that students in the biological sciences should understand deeply. This reform requires the implementation of evidence-based teaching approaches that result in deeper, more durable understanding than traditional modes of instruction. Faculty members clearly play a pivotal role in undergraduate STEM education; however, they have essentially no formal preparation for implementing curricular and pedagogical reform. Faculty Learning Communities have emerged as a powerful mechanism for teaching reform. Communities enable faculty to develop shared vision and expertise, and they provide motivation and support for those seeking to adopt new teaching practices. As part of a College-wide effort to reinvigorate the undergraduate biology curriculum, University of Maryland (UMD) faculty with research expertise in the area of Host Pathogen Interaction (HPI) formed a faculty learning community. The HPI Teaching Community consists of 18 members who represent all faculty ranks, including those with primarily teaching responsibilities (Lecturers and Instructors) as well as tenured/tenure-track faculty. Collectively, these faculty members share responsibility for teaching nine undergraduate courses in the microbiology curriculum (see https://cbmg.umd.edu/hpi). A science educator is also an integral part of the group, providing expertise in science pedagogy and assessment. The overarching goal of the HPI-TC is to create a research-intensive undergraduate curriculum informed by best practices in teaching and learning.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Through the development of a learning progression, beginning with the introductory course and extending through the advanced courses, the HPI-TC sought to eliminate excessive overlap in content, and support a learning model in which concepts and ideas introduced in one course would become the foundation for further development in successive courses. To this end, the HPI-TC did the following: * Chose two 'anchor' organisms to be used as exemplars of fundamental concepts in all HPI courses. * Generated a list of thirteen concepts that are fundamental to an understanding of HPI and have used these to develop course learning outcomes * Employed a curriculum design matrix to map the coverage of HPI concepts in each of the HPI courses. * Revised courses to focus on the target organisms, address learning outcomes, and infuse multiple active learning strategies. * Considered our research topics and approaches to design research oriented active learning activities for our courses * Documented the alignment of the HPI Concepts with the Vision and Change Core Concepts (AAAS 2009) and ASM Microbiology Curriculum Overarching Concepts (Merkel 2012). * Designed and validated a concept inventory (the HPI CI) to assess student understanding of HPI 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: We have used the Host Pathogen Interactions concept inventory that was developed by our team to assess student learning in all of our courses. Students complete the assessment at the start and at the end of each semester. The assessment is an 18 question multiple choice inventory that has a second tier request for an explanation for the selected response. Each semester the faculty of the HPI-TC reviews student scores and reads open ended responses. HPI CI pre- and post-tests have informed instructional practices across the nine HPI courses.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Results from the HPI CI pre and post-tests have informed instructional practices across our courses. We created faculty - graduate student pairs to develop ten research oriented learning activities that have been instituted in nine courses (eight courses at UMD and one course at a local community College) that enroll ~1200 students annually. These active-learning modules use authentic research problems and approaches, and are grounded in best practices of both scientific research and pedagogy. We created grading rubrics and supplemented these with student survey and HPI concept inventory data to assess the impact of the activities on student learning. Assessment data show that these activities increased student awareness of campus research activities and helped them develop fundamental scientific research skills, including critical thinking, interpretation and presentation of data, and scientific writing. The HPI-TC provides professional development for faculty members through discussions and reflective analysis of students’ understanding of course material. The inclusion of graduate students provided the graduate Fellows with role models for balancing teaching and research responsibilities. The HPI-TC monitors student learning through the HPI CI, which asks students to provide open-ended explanations for their multiple-choice response. Collaborators at Virginia Tech (VT), who share our research and teaching interests, have formed an analogous teaching community and have implemented the HPI CI. We are working with VT faculty to mine HPI CI data to identify students’ common misconceptions, categorize them according to their origins, and map them onto the Vision and Change Core Concepts and ASM Microbiology Overarching Concepts. The HPI faculty have inspired reform by contributing to campus initiatives including the new learning outcomes based General Education program, and to national conversation on education reform by participating in national conferences.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Our research team is composed of faculty of all ranks. The science research faculty, in recent years, have found an unexpected challenge in the lack of availability of grant funds for research. The amount of time spent writing grants is a drain on faculty time. The collegiality built among the HPI-TC members has provided a support mechanism for faculty that contributes to sharing, collaborating, and supporting in a manner that has helped faculty deal with this added pressure.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Our group regularly strives to publish work and present at conferences. https://hpiresearchteachingteam.umd.edu/hostpathogeninteractionteachinggroup/publicationsandpresentations

Acknowledgements: We would like to acknowledge supported from an HHMI grant to the College of Chemical and Life Science and grant from NSF (CCLI-1 DUE 0837315)

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.

Integrating Scientific Inquiry and Reasoning Skills (SIRS)

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Title of Abstract: Integrating Scientific Inquiry and Reasoning Skills (SIRS)

Name of Author: Christine Broussard
Author Company or Institution: University of La Verne
Author Title: Professor of Biology
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: All Biological Sciences Courses
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Faculty Development
Approaches: Adding to the literature on how people learn, Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development, Mixed Approach
Keywords: Scientific Inquiry and Reasoning Skills (SIRS), Design Your Own Experiment (DYOE), Peer critique, High Impact Practices (HIPs), Biology

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Scientific inquiry and reasoning skills (SIRS) are cornerstones to effective/good science practice, yet few programs emphasize their importance. To achieve mastery of SIRS, one approach is to provide high impact practices (HIPs), such as research experiences for undergraduates and forming communities of learners. HIPs have been shown to increase participation, retention, and success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and to be particularly effective for underprepared and underrepresented groups in STEM (Kuh, 2009 AAC&U). However, incorporating these approaches in the undergraduate curriculum is challenging due to time, cost, and effort constraints.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Course-level: Initial work integrating SIRS in the undergraduate biology curriculum yielded two SIRS integrated courses, Cell Biology and Developmental Biology. Experiences with scientific inquiry and process, such as the Design Your Own Experiment (DYOE) approach we created, allowed students to develop critical thinking skills, content knowledge in context, and scientific competency. In the current project, a critical question we will address is how to use low-cost, low technology approaches that focus on science literacy to complement experiential learning in order to obtain desired student outcomes (i.e. mastery of SIRS, in conjunction with increased participation, retention, and success in STEM). Key design elements for the project include formative assessment (direct and indirect measures), creating a community of learners who value knowledge, engaging diverse groups in problem-solving, utilizing peer-instruction, and engaging students in genuine research problems. To address limitations of time, resources, and effort (barriers to implementation of HIPs), we are developing a laboratory manual with low-cost, low technology modules that integrate reading and critiquing scientific literature, scientific communication (oral presentation and writing), as well as higher cost, high technology modules focused on laboratory experimentation. While there are ample assessments for critical thinking skills and content knowledge, there are no widely accepted assessments for scientific inquiry and process learning. Therefore, in conjunction with developing the learning modules, we will develop and test new tools to assess scientific competency. Program-level: A four-course series was developed to scaffold learning of skills necessary to complete the capstone experience, a year-long research apprenticeship and the culmination of SIRS training. In the junior year student take Research Methods and Biostatistics, and in the senior year, Senior Seminar A and B.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: Indirect Measures such as CURE, SALG, NSSE will be used to probe student self-perception of research immersion experiences, performance and mastery of content, and pedagogical approaches, respectively. Direct Measures such as CAT and BIO-SIRS (to be developed) will be used to assess performance on critical thinking tasks and SIRS. Together these data will provide evidence for whether the integrated scientific literacy and research immersion approach achieves the goal of proficiency or mastery of SIRS.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: In informal reflection essays and focus group interviews conducted thus far, students report increased confidence in SIRS and their own lab performance. Students have commented on their self-perception as well. “I see myself as a scientist.” Students also reported increased confidence and comfort with capstone expectations. Prior to SIRS integrated courses, students felt overwhelmed at the prospect of completing the senior project. After taking SIRS integrated courses, students report feeling comfortable and confident that they could complete the capstone. Data collected supports these assertions. In 2003, only 20-30% students completed the senior project ‘on-time’ (to graduate at the expected time), whereas by 2009 70-80% students completed the senior project ‘on-time’. Moreover, the quality and sophistication of the senior projects have increased in the same time frame. Greater faculty participation in STEM education initiatives and local or national conferences has been observed over time. This in turn has led to more engaged pedagogies, reported by faculty and students, in the classroom and labs. Another important impact on the program level was the increased willingness of the faculty to use the Vision and Change (V&C) report and recommendations as the basis for curriculum redevelopment. The V&C report was used as the starting point for establishing program level outcomes for biology more aligned with the national dialogue on STEM education.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: There were several areas of resistance, and not all were expected. Many faculty expressed resistance to engaged pedagogies, often arguing that classroom engagement would diminish the amount of material they could cover, a lack of resources to innovate courses, and heavy workload. The strategies we employed to overcome this resistance were 1) pursuing grant money that would allow faculty to buy their time, 2) establishing the SEIG to provide faculty development opportunities and a network of practitioners for support, 3) recruiting junior faculty to attend the PKAL leadership conference (others wanted to attend after hearing how useful and fun the conference was), 4) recruiting junior faculty to attend national meetings with support from the Dean to pay for cost, and 5) hiring new faculty with interest in STEM education research. Slowly over time, resistance has diminished, but not disappeared completely. It seems the most promising approach is to invest in faculty development of junior faculty to give them the tools (like the V&C report) and support to transform the curriculum.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Dissemination has been accomplished through local, regional, and national venues. On campus, findings have been shared with faculty in department meetings and at University lectures. At the division-level (encompassing Biology, Chemistry, Math, Physics, and Computer Science) the approach has been to announce successes such as improved completed and graduation rates, grant awards and conference presentations, and to recruit faculty participation in grant projects. In addition teaching innovations have been shared as part of a faculty research day, a celebration of teaching event, and a senior symposium (the campus conference where students present their capstone research findings). With the current project, planned faculty development activities are being carried out. Under the umbrella of a STEM Education Interest Group (SEIG), a journal club was hosted highlighting current educational approaches in biology. A second event invited participation of faculty in scoring of a critical thinking assessment (CAT - TnTECH). Twelve to fifteen individuals participated and more events are planned. Feedback will be gathered to determine if the faculty development events influence incorporation of engaged pedagogies in participants’ courses. Regional presentations have been given at SoCal PKAL (a regional PKAL network) meetings. Poster presentations have been given at National AAC&U/PKAL meetings. After completing the manual and piloting it at our own and other institutions, we plan to present our findings in similar venues and to publish the results in a STEM education journal such as CBE - Life Sciences Education.

Acknowledgements: This work was funded in part by NSF grants DUE-0632831 and DUE-1140958 and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of La Verne.