Principles of Biology


In Spring 2013 I taught Bio 1000: Principles of Biology, the introductory biology course at University of North Carolina at Pembroke. My class was roughly half science majors (not all biology)- half non-science/undecided majors and overwhelmingly first- and second-year undergraduates. Though I received a common core topics to cover, I was able to incorporate several topics related to my research background, for example increased depth on DNA discovery through x-ray crystallography.  I utilized Mastering Biology to include an online component where each week students were assigned interactive homework activities and timed quizzes. 

Each class I presented the students with a set of learning objectives for that day, which was an expansion of the overall learning objectives listed on their syllabus. Class time started with a real word example related to the topic covered that day, followed by a mini-lecture (15-20 mins) and included several active learning components. Some examples of active learning I used through the semester include think-pair-share, hands-on-activities such as building molecules out of candy or assembling a fossil, small group activities, concept checks/clicker questions and short in-class videos accompanied by worksheets.  I also worked to incorporate several bioethics discussions throughout the semester on topics such as the use of performance enhancing drugs in competitive sports (when we covered steroid structure and function).

Feedback from classroom observations by teaching mentors can be viewed here: eval-1, eval-2, eval-3, and student evaluations here.