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Rachel Horak

Microbiology

Editor Degrees

  • B. S. Biology, Davidson College
  • M. A. Biology, College of William & Mary
  • Ph.D. Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology

About Teaching and CourseSource

Undergraduates are so much fun to work with! While I was at Georgia Tech as a Ph.D. student, I completed a Certificate for Instruction in Higher Education and developed an excitement for evidence-based instruction, active learning, and effective course design for the biology undergraduate classroom. At the American Society for Microbiology, I mentored faculty to implement the ASM Curriculum Guidelines (the foundation of CourseSource's Microbiology framework) in their own classrooms and co-authored two concept inventories for undergraduate microbiology. In my own undergraduate classes, I emphasize the development of flexible and transferable skills that undergraduates will need for 21st century jobs, whatever they may be. The way I see it, with the prevalence of the internet and uncertainty of the content knowledge of the future job force, is it more important to memorize things like physiological pathways or use information, write thoughtfully, or read with a critical eye? I tend to focus on developing higher-order thinking skills, such as analyzing arguments, designing experiments, or synthesizing multiple ideas into a cohesive thesis. Not only does the development of these higher-order thinking skills better prepare students for life after college, but it is much more fun to teach courses in this fashion.