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Jennifer Knight

Genetics

Editor Degrees

Ph.D. in Neuroscience, University of Michigan

About Teaching and CourseSource

Jenny Knight is an Associate Professor in the Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder.  She has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan, where she studied eye development, and she worked on the genetic control of gastrulation in C. elegans as a postdoc.  She has been teaching undergraduates at all levels for eighteen years, ranging from freshmen-level genetics to senior-level developmental biology.  In biology education research, she led the development of the Genetics Concept Assessment (GCA) the Introductory Molecular Biology Assessment (IMCA), and the Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment, all designed to diagnose student misunderstandings and measure learning gains in typical undergraduate biology courses, as well as helping to develop an attitudes assessment, the Bio-CLASS, and a taxonomy for measuring Scientific Teaching (MIST). Her studies on the use and benefits of clicker questions in large lecture environments have shown that students learn from each other during peer discussions of questions, and that the nature of their discussions is heavily influenced by cues from instructors. Her current work focuses on understanding how students engage in complex problem solving and scientific reasoning, particularly in genetics. Dr. Knight coordinated the MCDB Science Education Initiative for 7 years (2007-2014), ran the Mountain West Regional National Academies Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education in Biology for 5 years (2010-2015), and is actively involved in CU’s Center for STEM Learning, as well as other national organizations devoted to science education research.  Given this extensive work with faculty in improving teaching and student learning, she is eager to be involved in the mission of CourseSource.