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Teaching and learning objectives

Page history last edited by Joe Redish 10 years, 5 months ago

Learning objectives


The learning goal of Principles-Based Organismal Biology are:

1) to have students master important physical, chemical, mathematical, evolutionary, and genomic principles for characterizing the diversity, structure, and function of all organisms;                                                              

2) to have students learn how to apply these general principles to specific problems in organismal biology;                                  

3) to encourage students to engage in four types of higher scientific thinking important in all aspects of biology, including organismal biology:

A) mechanistic thinking – to reason how something happens, which often involves the understanding and application of appropriate molecular, genetic, developmental, physiological, etc. mechanisms;

B) evolutionary thinking – to reason why something happens, which often involves the understanding and application of appropriate deductions from geological, genomic, phylogenetic, etc. evidence;

C) critical thinking (also called reasoning from principle) - to apply the fundamental principles to a range of important biological and/or social issues; and

D) creative thinking (also called hypothesis generation) - to develop their own hypotheses about an important process in organismal biology, to specify what experiments and/or observations are needed to test that hypothesis, and to predict plausible results from those experiments and/or observations




Teaching objectives


The pedagogical objectives of the class are:

1) to encourage the students to become active participants in their learning process;                                           

2) to foster the practice of effective group learning for mastering organismal biology;                                                  

3) to focus active-engagement exercises on those fundamental principles that we have learned from previous BSCI 207 classes that most students have difficulty mastering; and                                               

4) to develop a reformed pedagogy that is analogous to the physics approach of relying on everyday experience (or more loosely, “personal intuition”).  BSCI 207 students have already taken several biology classes at the high school and/or university level.  Thus, the challenge is to create exercises that reinforce appropriate concepts, expose misconceptions, and then help the students to develop a coherent framework of reinforced appropriate concepts and new concepts replacing their misconceptions.




Comments (1)

Chris Ubing said

at 1:43 pm on Aug 4, 2015

I was reviewing your sample syllabus looking for how you are going to structure the class, i.e. active learning, participation. I didn't see it in the sample syllabus, so I think it might be helpful if you did put these learning goals and pedagogy. I think that it might set the expectations that the students have for class meetings. Just a thought.

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