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Doctor in the House: Improving Undergraduate Critical Thinking Skills Through Diagnosing Medical Case StudiesLearning Objectives
- Students will be able to evaluate medical information and ask appropriate questions to form a diagnosis.
- Students will be able to identify a specific homeostatic imbalance of the human body and explain how it's addressed in the medical field.
- Students will be able to prepare and present a formal report on a medical diagnosis and treatment.
- Students will be able to apply their prior knowledge to solve an unfamiliar problem and investigate multiple avenues for a potential solution.
- Students will achieve the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS) learning outcome: given a disruption in the structure or function of a system, predict the possible factors or situations that might have caused that disruption (i.e., given an effect, predict possible causes) (1).
Necessary and Sufficient? Solving the Mystery of the Mitochondrial Pyruvate TransporterLearning ObjectivesAfter completing the Lesson, students will be able to:
- Differentiate between types of transport across membranes (diffusion, facilitated diffusion, and active transport)
- Determine if proteins are necessary or sufficient for transport of pyruvate across a membrane based on experimental data
- Interpret data obtained from pyruvate transport mutants
- Design an experiment to test a specific hypothesis related to transport across membranes
Using a Primary Cell Culture Model to Study the Neural Extracellular MatrixLearning ObjectivesStudents will:
- Isolate single cells from dissected cerebral cortices of embryonic mice.
- Develop hypotheses and find support for these hypotheses in the literature.
- Treat primary cultures with agents to inhibit glial cell growth and increase activity levels.
- Fix and block primary cultures in addition to applying primary antibodies.
- Use fluorescence microscopes to analyze and interpret their results.
- Complete a lab report that is contextualized by primary and secondary literature.
Priority Setting in Public Health: A lesson in ethics and hard choicesLearning ObjectivesAt the end of this unit, students will be able to:
- Define the central distinction between public health and medicine
- Apply objectives of public health and individual medical care in a particular situation to identify potential areas of conflict in priority setting
- Apply moral theories of utilitarianism and deontology to a particular situation to identify the course of action proponents of each theory would see as morally justified
- Identify the range of morally justifiable actions that might be available to a health professional in a particular setting
- Choose from among a range of possible actions in a particular health situation and articulate the ethical principles that would justify that choice.
Data, Distributions, and Hypotheses: Exploring Diversity and Disturbance in the Tallgrass PrairieLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- present and interpret data in a graphical format using an existing long-term data set from a published manuscript.
- identify different sources of variation within a data set and the consequences of grouping biological units into larger entities for the interpretation of results.
- apply transect-based vegetation sampling to estimate plant community composition, richness, and diversity in two different prairie restoration parcels with different burn regimes.
- summarize the transect-based vegetation data in graphs and figures to make comparisons that align with hypotheses and predictions.
- conduct simple statistical analyses to test explicit hypotheses and predictions.
- interpret statistical outputs and infer the biological implications of their results.
Generating Biological Hypotheses in a "Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience"(CURE) CourseLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Create foundational knowledge about their research topic by reading review articles and primary research papers.
- Use this knowledge to formulate novel research questions.
- Formulate a hypothesis statement that is testable, falsifiable, and rooted in a biological mechanism.
- Learn differences between a hypothesis statement, a research questions and experimental predictions.
Teaching epidemiology and principles of infectious disease using popular media and the case of Typhoid MaryLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Describe the reservoirs of infection in humans.
- Distinguish portals of entry and exit.
- Describe how each of the following contributes to bacterial virulence: adhesins, extracellular enzymes, toxins, and antiphagocytic factors.
- Define and distinguish etiology and epidemiology.
- Describe the five typical stages of infectious disease and depict the stages in graphical form.
- Contrast contact, vehicle and vector transmission, biological and mechanical vectors and identify the mode of transmission in a given scenario.
- Differentiate endemic, sporadic, epidemic, and pandemic disease.
- Distinguish descriptive, analytical, and experimental epidemiology.
- Compare and contrast social, economic, and cultural factors impacting health care in the early 1900s and today.
Squirrels in Space: Using Radio Telemetry to Explore the Space Use and Movement of Sciurid RodentsLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Use VHF (Very High Frequency) radio telemetry to track the space use of a sciurid (squirrel) species in a study area.
- Explain why VHF radio telemetry is the most appropriate and widely used method for tracking the space use of sciurids.
- Discuss potential applications of data collected in class for wildlife management and conservation.
Using computational molecular modeling software to demonstrate how DNA mutations cause phenotypesLearning ObjectivesStudents successfully completing this lesson will:
- Practice basic molecular biology laboratory skills such as DNA isolation, PCR, and gel electrophoresis.
- Gather and analyze quantitative and qualitative scientific data and present it in figures.
- Use bioinformatics to analyze DNA sequences and obtain protein sequences for molecular modeling.
- Make and analyze three-dimensional (3-D) protein models using molecular modeling software.
- Write a laboratory report using the collected data to explain how mutations in the DNA cause changes in protein structure/function which lead to mutant phenotypes.
Using Structured Decision Making to Explore Complex Environmental IssuesLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Describe the process, challenges, and benefits of structured decision making for natural resource management decisions.
- Explain and reflect on the role of science and scientists in structured decision making and how those roles interact and compare to the roles of other stakeholders.
- Assess scientific evidence for a given management or policy action to resolve an environmental issue.
The impact of diet and antibiotics on the gut microbiomeLearning ObjectivesAfter completing the exercise, students will be able to:
- Identify several of the nine phyla that contribute to the gut microbiome and name the two predominant ones;
- Describe how diet impacts the gut microbiome and compare the composition of the gut microbiome between different diets;
- Describe how antibiotic treatment impacts the gut microbiome and understand how this leads to infection, for example by Clostridium difficile;
- Trace the response to a change in diet, starting with i) changes in the composition of the microbiome, followed by ii) changes in the bacterial metabolic pathways and the respective excreted metabolic products, resulting in iii) a molecular response in the host intestinal cells, and eventually iv) resulting in human disease;
- Improve their ability to read scientific literature;
- Express themselves orally and in writing;
- Develop team working skill
Sex-specific differences in Meiosis: Real-world applicationsLearning ObjectivesAfter completion of the lesson students will be able to:
- Describe the differences between female and male meiosis.
- Interpret graphical data to make decisions relevant to medical practices.
- Develop a hypothesis that explains the difference in incidence of aneuploidy in gametes between males and females.
Nanoparticles and Shrimp: An Interdisciplinary Lab Series in Chemistry and Biology for Undergraduate Engineering...Learning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- design a synthesis for SPIONs given the basic formulation.
- use spectroscopy to measure the quantity of a solute in solution.
- conduct an NMR experiment to measure T1 relaxation.
- develop a hypothesis related to toxicity of SPIONs based on functionalization.
- use trypan blue for preparing biological samples to study mortality rates.
- set up a population growth experiment.
- analyze data from multiple experiments to draw a conclusion about the effects of a pollutant on an organism.
- collaborate with individuals from different backgrounds to produce an interdisciplinary final product.
Why do Some People Inherit a Predisposition to Cancer? A small group activity on cancer geneticsLearning ObjectivesAt the end of this activity, we expect students will be able to:
- Use family pedigrees and additional genetic information to determine inheritance patterns for hereditary forms of cancer
- Explain why a person with or without cancer can pass on a mutant allele to the next generation and how that impacts probability calculations
- Distinguish between proto-oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes
Life Is Just a Game: An Active Learning Activity to Teach Life History EvolutionLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- explain how natural selection acts on existing variation and predict how subsets of the existing variation can become more or less common in a population over multiple generations.
- formulate plausible hypotheses regarding how the variation of a population will change based on provided environmental conditions.
- make reasonable predictions regarding how different environmental conditions (particularly high and low levels of extrinsic mortality) are likely to alter the life histories (age and size at maturity, timing of terminal investment).
Biodiversity Show and Tell: An Accessible Activity to Encourage Students to Explore the Tree of LifeLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to
- describe the ecology and natural history of their chosen species.
- describe human effects on their species and its habitat.
- share interesting facts about a wide variety of species with friends and family outside the class.
- stay engaged during readings and whole-class lectures on the topic of organismal diversity.
Coevolution or not? Crossbills, squirrels and pineconesLearning Objectives
- Define coevolution.
- Identify types of evidence that would help determine whether two species are currently in a coevolutionary relationship.
- Interpret graphs.
- Evaluate evidence about whether two species are coevolving and use evidence to make a scientific argument.
- Describe what evidence of a coevolutionary relationship might look like.
- Distinguish between coadaptation and coevolution.
Expanding the Reach of Crop Plants for Food Security: A Lesson Integrating Non-Majors Students Into the Discussion of...Learning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- evaluate the nutritional and agronomic advantages and limitations of different underutilized grain crops in the context of agricultural systems around the globe.
- distinguish the economic and social considerations that factor into the incorporation of currently underutilized grain crops in the global food system.
- relate issues surrounding crop cultivation and utilization to global challenges such as poverty, inequity, and food security.
- synthesize points from peer discussion and findings from scientific literature into written reports.
Chilling in the Cold: Using Thermal Acclimation to Demonstrate Phenotypic Plasticity in AnimalsLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Describe how the scientific method can be used to answer real-world problems.
- Define the basic components of an experiment.
- Predict how tolerance of extreme temperatures and phenotypic plasticity may influence individual fitness and ultimately shape the evolution of organisms.
- Understand the basic principles of climate change and evaluate how these changes in temperature regimes will impact organisms.
A Remote Introductory Biology Lab Using Backyard Birdwatching to Teach Data Analysis and CommunicationLearning ObjectivesStudents will:
- Develop a prediction and a testable hypothesis based on class-collected data
- Use a PivotTable to summarize a complex dataset to address the specific question
- Interpret results of the experiment and summarize the findings in an engaging way
Using Seafood Traceability to Teach the Complexities of Natural Resource Management and SustainabilityLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Describe challenges of tracing seafood through the supply chain.
- Provide different definitions for the term "sustainable".
- Describe the limitations of consumer-driven natural resource management incentives.
- Provide examples of science and technological innovations relevant to fisheries management.
- Identify different stakeholders in the seafood supply chain.
- Explain the characteristics of data collection and research that can strengthen the effectiveness of using science to guide policy.
Dynamic Daphnia: An inquiry-based research experience in ecology that teaches the scientific process to first-year...Learning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Construct written predictions about 1 factor experiments.
- Interpret simple (2 variables) figures.
- Construct simple (2 variables) figures from data.
- Design simple 1 factor experiments with appropriate controls.
- Demonstrate proper use of standard laboratory items, including a two-stop pipette, stereomicroscope, and laboratory notebook.
- Calculate means and standard deviations.
- Given some scaffolding (instructions), select the correct statistical test for a data set, be able to run a t-test, ANOVA, chi-squared test, and linear regression in Microsoft Excel, and be able to correctly interpret their results.
- Construct and present a scientific poster.
Fly Exercise: A Simple Experiment to Test the Physiological Effects of Exercise on a Model OrganismLearning ObjectivesStudents will:
- demonstrate understanding of the concept and details of experimental design.
- perform an organic lipid extraction to determine total lipid content.
- quantify enzyme activity, as well as triglyceride, glucose, and glycogen concentrations.
- organize their collected data into spreadsheets for statistical analyses.
- interpret the results to gain insight on the varying effects exercise has on an organism's physiology.
- graphically present their results so that trends can be easily identified.
Assessing Urban Biodiversity With the eBird Citizen Science Project: A Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (...Learning ObjectivesStudents will be able to
- Apply technology and field-based skills (such as bird identification and use of binoculars) to contribute to a citizen science database.
- Collaborate as part of a group in the design and implementation of a field study.
- Analyze and interpret original data.
- Communicate their results in the form of a written or oral report.
- Define species diversity and describe correlates of species diversity based on original data and the scientific literature.
A Lesson on Matter and Energy at the Organismal Scale: Linking Patterns and Processes Across Diverse TaxaLearning ObjectivesActivity 1: Introducing Matter and Energy
- Students will be able to determine if they hold misconceptions about matter and energy in organisms.
- Students will be able to reason about biological systems by tracing matter and energy in organisms separately.
- Students will be able to connect everyday, macroscopic notions of food with chemical concepts (e.g., bonds, molecules).
- Students will be able to compare and contrast food and non-food for plants, animals, and fungi and explain what characteristics make something food for living organisms.
- Students will be able to use their understanding of photosynthesis and cellular respiration to accurately predict patterns of mass change in plants, animals, and fungi.
- Students will be able to qualitatively predict how biological processes in a plant, animal, or fungus will contribute to the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the air over time in open and closed environments.
- Students will be able to integrate concepts about matter and energy across different biological scales.
- Students will be able to build conceptual models capable of explaining patterns of matter movement (e.g., mass gain, loss) in different organisms (e.g., plants, animals) and contexts (e.g., sunny and cloudy environments, active or sedentary behaviors).
- Students will be able to identify and correct common misconceptions about matter and energy in plants, animals, and fungi.
A first lesson in mathematical modeling for biologists: RocsLearning Objectives
- Systematically develop a functioning, discrete, single-species model of an exponentially-growing or -declining population.
- Use the model to recommend appropriate action for population management.
- Communicate model output and recommendations to non-expert audiences.
- Generate a collaborative work product that most individuals could not generate on their own, given time and resource constraints.
A Quick and Simple Natural Selection Role PlayLearning ObjectivesAfter completing of this activity, students will be able to:
- Explain how natural selection impacts allele frequency in a population
- List and describe the four requirements for natural selection to occur in a population
- Refute common misconceptions regarding evolution and natural selection
Make It Stick: Teaching Gene Targeting with Ribbons and FastenersLearning Objectives
- Students will be able to design targeting constructs.
- Students will be able to predict changes to the gene locus after homologous recombination.
- Students will be able to design experiments to answer a biological question (e.g., "Design an experiment to test if the expression of gene X is necessary for limb development").
Investigating Gene Expression and Cell Specialization in Axolotl EmbryosLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- identify characteristics of each stage of axolotl embryonic development.
- understand the importance of model organisms in the study of biological processes.
- compare strengths and limitations of axolotls as model organisms.
- understand the concepts related to differential gene expression and cell specialization.
- integrate their understanding of differential expression and cell specialization.
- explain the process and purpose of PCR, qPCR, and reverse transcriptase.
- calculate expression levels from raw qPCR results.
- analyze gene expression levels in embryos at different stages of development.
Air Quality Data Mining: Mining the US EPA AirData website for student-led evaluation of air quality issuesLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Describe various parameters of air quality that can negatively impact human health, list priority air pollutants, and interpret the EPA Air Quality Index as it relates to human health.
- Identify an air quality problem that varies on spatial and/or temporal scales that can be addressed using publicly available U.S. EPA air data.
- Collect appropriate U.S. EPA Airdata information needed to answer that/those questions, using the U.S. EPA Airdata website data mining tools.
- Analyze the data as needed to address or answer their question(s).
- Interpret data and draw conclusions regarding air quality levels and/or impacts on human and public health.
- Communicate results in the form of a scientific paper.
Exploring the Broader Impacts of Science and Society in an Active Learning EnvironmentLearning Objectives
- Students will be able to define the phrase ‘broader impacts of science.’
- Students will be able to describe current and historical relationships between science and society.
- Students will be able to identify methods by and contexts in which scientific research is applied in the public sphere.
- Students will be able to map complex interactions between science and society.
- Students will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of different public engagement strategies.
Exploring the March to Mars Using 3D Print ModelsLearning Objectives
- Students will be able to describe the major aspects of the Mars Curiosity Rover missions.
- Students will be able to synthesize information learned from a classroom jigsaw activity on the Mars Curiosity Rover missions.
- Students will be able to work in teams to plan a future manned mission to Mars.
- Students will be able to summarize their reports to the class.
Tying it All Together: An Activity to Help Students Connect Course Experiences to Posted Learning OutcomesLearning ObjectivesFollowing this activity, students will be able to
- reflect on their experiences in the course.
- recognize alignment between course experiences and the course learning goals and CLOs.
- identify and describe specific examples of course experiences supportive of their achievement of each of the posted course learning goals and CLOs.
Using Pathway Maps to Link Concepts, Peer Review, Primary Literature Searches and Data Assessment in Large Enrollment...Learning Objectives
- Define basic concepts and terminology of Ecosystem Ecology
- Link biological processes that affect each other
- Evaluate whether the link causes a positive, negative, or neutral effect
- Find primary literature
- Identify data that correctly supports or refutes an hypothesis
Investigating Enzyme Structure and Function Through Model-Building and Peer Teaching in an Introductory Biology CourseLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- explain how enzymes catalyze chemical reactions.
- describe interactions between enzymes, substrates, and products.
- evaluate the effects of different types of enzyme inhibitors and regulators.
- demonstrate the relationship between structure and function of enzymes.
Harnessing the Power of the Immune System: Influenza VaccinesLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- discuss how the immune system functions to maintain homeostasis of the human body, especially during an influenza infection.
- describe how biological factors, such as sex and age, affect immune system functions.
- propose hypotheses regarding the impact of sex hormones and age on the immune response to influenza and vaccine efficacy based on feedback loops.
- design experiments with mammalian model systems and immunology-based lab assays to test hypotheses.
- analyze primary data that support or refute proposed hypotheses.
- communicate findings through poster presentations in a manner similar to a research conference.
Teaching the Biological Relevance of Chemical Kinetics Using Cold-Blooded Animal BiologyLearning ObjectivesStudents will be able to:
- Predict the effect of reaction temperature on the rate of a chemical reaction
- Interpret a graph plotted between rate of a chemical reaction and temperature
- Discuss chemical kinetics utilizing case studies of cold-blooded animals