MOST RECENT ARTICLES
What Biology Concepts are Important in General Education?: A Survey of Faculty Members and StudentsWinter 2013 /
There has been a nationwide push to develop learning outcomes for all university courses, in order to set a standard for what students should know upon completion of a course. However, as noted in the literature, college students coming out of introductory courses show a surprising lack of understanding (NRC, 1997) about basic biology concepts and principles such as evolution (Alters and Nelson, 2002) and ecology (Mason, 1992) and even significant chronic misconceptions about key ideas such as the importance of scientific reasoning. In order to combat this rising phenomenon, some investigators (Bransford, Brown, and Corking, 1999) have reported that students are more likely to develop usable knowledge if teachers give repeated feedback on student understanding. It is also deemed important for teachers to allow students time, both in laboratory and lecture, for principles to stimulate understanding and creative thinking (Crow, 2004). However, even when feedback is provided and students are given time to ponder the principles, it has been repeatedly noted that many students still do not understand why certain topics are included in a course. Students often consider them "boring" or unrelated to their career path. Hence, the intent of the present study is to evaluate what themes in biology are important to learn, from both a student and a faculty point of view, so that desirable course outcomes can be established and student perceptions of these outcomes can be evaluated.
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Putting the Backbone into Interdisciplinary LearningWinter 2013 /
The overarching goal of the academic program at the United States Military Academy (USMA), West Point, NY, is that "Graduates anticipate and respond effectively to the uncertainties of a changing technological, social, political, and economic world (USMA, 9)." Implied in this goal is the mission of developing highly adaptive learners capable of solving complex and challenging problems. General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, reiterated that the mission of the military's leader development programs was to produce leaders who can respond rapidly to an ever-evolving threat and the technological, social, political, environmental, and economic complexities it creates.
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Service Learning in an AIDS CourseWinter 2013 /
Service-learning is being incorporated into an increasing variety of courses across the curriculum at many different colleges and universities (Chen et al. 2012, DeLaune et al. 2010, Feen-Calligan 2008, Osman 2011, Othmer and Sealfon 2010, Sutheimer 2008), to enhance student learning by making real-world connections to the theory learned in class (Esson et al. 2005, Prentice and Robinson 2010, Sutheimer 2008), and to make a positive impact in the local community (Esson et al. 2005, Osman 2011, Sutheimer 2008).
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The Real World Connection: Incorporating Semester-Long Projects into Calculus IIWinter 2013 /
Students can benefit from learning mathematics when the material is taught along with connections to realistic problems (Gravemeijer and Doorman 1999; Perrin 2007; Schreyer-Bennethum and Albright 2011). Most of the literature with examples of calculus projects falls into two categories. One is for a homogeneous student body with a common background, often in physics or engineering (Odenwald 2012; Andrew et al. 1996). The other focuses on short calculus skill-based projects where the main objective is to teach calculus rather than to model the interconnections between calculus and a real-world problem (Gaughan et al. 1991; Graver and Lardy 2001; Woods 1988). There are also papers with background ideas that have not yet been developed into projects, but which have a clear potential for development (Thomas 1977; Gablonsky 2005). There has been, however, some work done on small projects that can be used as units in part of a larger whole (Pfaff et al. 2011). Read Full Article