Life Sciences (Departments of Botany, Microbiology & Immunology, Zoology)

Courses we are working on

Status as of May 2016:
Course Learning goals New Assessments Improved Methods
BIOL 111: Cell and Organismal Biology
(Sept ’07 - Sept ’08)

Faculty: Kathy Nomme, Jennifer Klenz
Skylight Liaison: G. Birol

Poster (2008): Impact of a Non-majors First Year Biology Course on Students’ Attitudes Towards Biological Sciences
Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete
Midterm student evaluations

Focus groups

Biology attitudinal survey

Clicker questions
Case studies

Clicker questions, group activities

Vista reading quizzes

Peer tutor support

Intentional alignment of topics with student work and assessment
BIOL 112: Cell Biology
(Sept ’07 start)

Faculty: K. Smith, S. Chowrira, C. Douglas, E. Hinze, M. Graves; previous: E. Gaynor, T. Kion, G. Spiegelman
STLF:
Jared Taylor (’07-’11); Megan Barker (’13-’14)

Poster (CWSEI EOY 2010): Invention Activities in Biology 112: changing the way first year biology students approach problem solving

Materials for Invention Activities in Cell Biology (11 MB zip file)

Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete
End-of-term surveys

Student interviews to assess problem solving abilities

End-of-term assessment of learning and invention groups to assess transfer abilities

Biology attitudinal survey

Concept inventory

Student perspectives and faculty perspectives on the value of active learning course components

Course management: TA workload

Classroom practices captured (COPUS data)
Developed and refined a series of invention/ investigation activities for in class once per week. As of 2014, two of these have been maintained in the course.

Just-in-Time Teaching incorporated with pre-class readings.

In-class writing assignments

Clicker questions with peer discussion

End of week problems

PeerWise used in all sections

PeerWise workshops were implemented in an attempt to give the students some guidance in writing better multiple choice questions.

Targeted pre-reading assignments; weekly pre-reading quizzes
BIOL 121: Ecology, Genetics and Evolution (Sept ’07 start)

Faculty: C. Pollock, G. Bole, P. Kalas, B. Couch, A. O'Neill
Skylight Liaison: G. Birol
STLF: Martha Mullally (’13), Lisa McDonnell (’15)

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2009): Evaluation of the peer tutor program for a first year biology course (BIOL 121)

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2009): Development of a Methodology to Investigate Consistency in Assessment of Learning Outcomes for Biology 121
Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete (revised and extended for the ecology unit in ’11)
Mapping of multi-section course outcomes onto assessments

Biology attitudinal survey

Meiosis concept inventory (in preparation)
Peer tutors

Learning centre

PeerWise used in some sections.

Writing project with Rosie Redfield (’08/’09)

Clickers implemented in most sections.

Testing of conceptual inventory in community and population ecology (’10).

Used the community and population ecology concept inventory to evaluate the effectiveness of in-class activities (Kalas ’11).

Two-stage review activity used in multiple sections.
BIOL 140: Laboratory Investigations in Life Sciences
(Sept 2014 start)

Faculty: K. Nomme, C. Sun, M. Moussavi, L. Norman, B. Germano, P. Kalas
STLF: Natalie Schimpf

PDF Talk (UBC Science Ed Open House 2016): Biology 140 Renewal; Responding to Student Feedback
Overall course goals to be re-examined, existing objectives revised Documentation of TA hours

TA focus group interviews

Observations of lab classes

Collecting student reports of time spent on activities outside of class

Past student survey conducted

Course-specific evaluation administered to students

Student experience focus groups

Concept Inventories: BEDCI, SRBCI, ‘SCENDI’ (‘Scenario Diagnostic Inventory’ - in-house developed set of pre-post questions

InterCLASS data collected
Refocused assessments and tasks to support prioritized skills/knowledge

Standardised outside of lab format

Clarified requirements and introduced grading rubrics for assignments, incorporated into class activities

Increasing research authenticity – explicit links to authentic and local research (feature videos, scenario and Beaty Biodiversity Museum activities)

Guidance and scaffolding of writing process (repeated practice of scientific explanation) and experimental design

TLEF: Development of digital instructional resources
- ‘Draw-my-life’ narrated animation
- Researcher profile videos
- Interactive tutorials (branching decision tree)

Additional resources – posters and QR code links to background organism and factor information.
BIOL 200: Fundamentals of Cell Biology
(2013 start)

Faculty: R. Young, N. Abraham, N. Pante, L. Kunst, L. Chen, M. Graves
STLF: Megan Barker
Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete

Writing-specific goals: complete
Concept inventory developed and deployed across the course

Student writing project (press release) developed

Targeted modification of writing assessments on midterm and final exam

Classroom practices data (COPUS observations)

Tutorial observations: protocol developed & feedback given to TAs

TA tracking timesheets were setup and deployed
Writing assignments scaffolded through semester (2013)

Clicker questions with peer discussion (section-dependent)

Pre-reading assignments and pre-quizzes developed and deployed

Two-stage review activities built and used

Worksheets developed and piloted
BIOL 201: Cell Biology II: Introduction to Biochemistry
(2008; 2013-)

Faculty: Sunita Chowrira, Jeffrey Richards, Reinhard Jetter; previous: Wade Bingle
STLF: Jared Taylor (’08), Megan Barker (2013-)
Lecture-level goals: complete Chemistry concept pre-test

Focus group interviews

Focus group follow-up survey (entire class)

Biology attitudinal survey

Tutorial observations (using COPUS protocol) and feedback
Recommendations provided to faculty in 2008 by Jared.

More recent: Pre-reading assignments and quizzes developed by course coordinator (deployed 2015)

Worksheets and clicker question development/support (section-dependent)

Two-stage review (section-dependent)
BIOL 204: Vertebrate Structure and Function
(Jan ‘08 start)

Faculty: Bill Milsom, Angie O’Neill, Wolfram Tetzlaff
STLF: Laura Weir
Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete
Clicker questions

Post test: Vista Reading/Content quizzes

In-class exam-style questions with posted rubrics and feedback
New study questions

Midterm teaching evaluations

Improvement  of group activities and discussions in class

Revised course content and lecture materials incorporating real life examples.

Enhanced problem solving approach including comparisons.

Introduced exam-style question practice into lecture time

Collected data regarding approaches to teaching phylogenetics

Piloting Calibrated Peer Review for short essay questions
BIOL 205: Comparative Invertebrate Zoology
(Jan ’13 start)

Faculty: Angie O’Neill
STLF: Laura Weir
Course-level goals: In process

Topic level goals: In process
Clicker questions

Pre-reading assignments for lecture and laboratory
Clicker questions with peer discussion

Pre-reading assignments that cover both lecture and laboratory material

Midterm teaching evaluations

Collecting data regarding approaches to teaching phylogenetics
BIOL 209: Non-vascular Plants
(Sept ’12 start)

Faculty: Mary Berbee, Michael Hawkes
STLF: Laura Weir
Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete
Clicker questions

Independent research projects
Clicker questions with peer discussion

Alignment of exam questions and learning objectives

Collecting data regarding approaches to teaching phylogenetics

Use of worksheets in class
BIOL 210: Vascular Plants
(Jan ’13 start)

Faculty: Shona Ellis, Sean Graham
STLF: Laura Weir
Course-level goals: complete

Topic level goals: complete
Clicker questions

In-class worksheets
Clicker questions with peer discussion

Alignment of exam questions and learning objectives

Collecting data regarding approaches to teaching phylogenetics
BIOL 230: Fundamentals of Ecology (formerly BIOL 304)
(Sept ’09 start)

Faculty: D. Srivastava, R. Turkington, W. Goodey, E. Hammill, J. Brodie
STLF: Malin Hansen

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2011): Measuring Learning Gain in a Transformed Introductory Ecology Course

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2012): Evaluating Interactive Activities by Measuring Student Learning Gain
Topic-level/ class specific goals: complete

Learning goals have been linked to exam question, clicker questions and pre-reading questions
The CLASS pre and post biology attitude surveys have been used in all sections each term (2009-2013).

A pre/post conceptual survey for community and population ecology has been developed and is used.

Student interviews have been conducted to assess class activities and methods and to validate conceptual survey.

Midterm survey has been developed and is used to assess class activities and methods.  
Clicker questions with peer discussion

Pre-reading assignments with multiple choice and open-ended question (with feedback) are issued each week

Small group in-class discussions

23 on-line article-based practice problems/case studies developed; some have been implemented as in-class activities

Three mandatory field labs have been implemented

Two tutorials have been designed and implemented (for summer courses only)

The conceptual inventory in community and population ecology has been used to evaluate the effectiveness of in-class activities (Instructor: Roy Turkington and Wayne Goodey '11)

Conceptual questions on population dynamics are used to compare the effectiveness of in-person tutorials and on-line tutorials (’12-’13)

The effectiveness of using analogies when teaching ecology was evaluated using optional tutorials (’11)

Two-stage group exams were used for two midterms (J. Brodie & M. Hansen ’13)
BIOL 234: Fundamentals of Genetics
(Jan ’12 start)

Faculty: J. Klenz, P. Kalas, D. Moerman, G. Haughn, C. Berezowsky
STLF: Lisa McDonnell

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2013): Comparing post-course retention of conceptual and procedural knowledge in genetics

PDFPoster (SABER 2014): Exploring ways to overcome misconceptions about genetic linkage and molecular markers

Article (CourseSource 2015): Teaching Genetic Linkage and Recombination through Mapping with Molecular Markers
Topic level learning goals — complete; used to structure lectures, tutorials, assessments, and provided to students Genetics Concept Inventory Test

Student think-aloud interviews to assess problem solving in genetics

Interviews conducted to assess course satisfaction

Problem solving and conceptual understanding assessed with some handed-in homeworks

Mid-term and end-of-term satisfaction surveys deployed to assess class activities and student attitudes

Regularly collecting feedback from TAs about their experience and the challenges they observe students experiencing

Classroom observations (COPUS) for instructor feedback
Clicker questions with peer discussion and in-class worksheets used (by most instructors)

Targeted pre-reading assignments with quiz are used weekly

Tutorials with an emphasis on group work and facilitation by TAs deployed weekly

Improved support for TAs to provide students with a consistent experience across multiple tutorial sections

Peer-discussion used in-class regularly

Improved approach to teaching problem solving

Two-stage review activity used
BIOL 234: Fundamentals of Genetics – online section
(Sept-Dec ’14)

Faculty: Rosie Redfield
STLF: Lisa McDonnell
Topic level learning goals — complete, used to structure lectures, tutorials, assessments, and provided to students Genetics Concept Inventory Test

Mid-term and end-of-term satisfaction surveys deployed to assess class activities and student attitudes

Common exam questions with non-online section

Observations of tutorials to capture student difficulties
Tutorials with an emphasis on group work and facilitation by TAs deployed weekly

Two-stage review activity used
BIOL 260: Fundamentals of Physiology
(Jan ’12 start)

Faculty: Patricia Schulte, Philippe Tortell
STLF: Mandy Banet (’12-’13), Laura Weir (’14), Tammy Rodela (’15-continuing)
Course level learning goals: complete

Lecture-level learning goals: complete

Goals have been linked to exams, online activities, and iclicker questions
Mid-term teaching survey deployed for student feedback on in-class and out-of-class activities

Mid-course and end-course surveys conducted to get specific detail on active learning aspects of the course

Pre and post conceptual survey for physiology developed and implemented.

New three-stage homework model with student reflection stage designed and deployed to provide students with timely feedback

Classroom observations (COPUS) done to provide feedback to instructors

Creation of a course package for transfer of course materials
Clicker questions with peer discussion

Pre-reading assignments with an online quiz (including one open-ended JITT questions) are issued each week

Practice exam questions provided as online and in-class activities to give students practice and feedback on what is expected from them when answering a short essay question

Worksheets and problem sets in class with real-time instructor feedback

Rearranged course schedule to include overview lectures introducing main physiology concepts for each in-course module

Accompanying concept-based clicker questions and worksheets were designed and deployed to complement the overview lectures for each module
BIOL 306: Advanced Ecology (2010–2013)

Previously
BIOL 303: Population Biology

Faculty: Gary Bradfield, Wayne Goodey, Mary O’Connor
STLF: Malin Hansen
Topic-level/class specific goals:  complete The CLASS pre and post biology attitude surveys have been used in all sections each term (’10, ’11 & ’12).

A pre/post conceptual survey for advanced ecology has been developed and is used.

A pre/post conceptual survey on competition models have been developed. Student interviews have been conducted to assess class activities and methods and to validate conceptual survey.

Mid-term survey has been developed and is used to assess class activities and methods.  
Clicker questions with peer discussion

Pre-reading assignments with multiple choice and open-ended questions (with feedback) are issued each week

Small group in-class discussions have been incorporated

23 on-line article based practice problems have been developed. Some of them were implemented as in-class learning activities in ’11 & ’12 (approx. one learning activity per week).

The conceptual inventory on competition models is being used to evaluate an in-class learning activity

Three mandatory field labs have been implemented

Two tutorials have been designed and implemented (for summer courses only)
BIOL 310: Introduction to Animal Behaviour
(Jan ’11 start)

Faculty:
 Wayne Goodey
STLF:
Malin Hansen
Topic-level/class specific goals:  complete

Learning goals have been linked to exam questions, iCLicker questions and pre-reading questions.
The CLASS pre and post biology attitude surveys have been used in all sections each term (’11-’12).

A pre/post conceptual/attitudinal survey has been developed by the instructor and is used.

Mid-term survey will be developed and used.  
Clicker questions with peer discussion

Pre-reading assignments with multiple choice questions (with feedback) are issued each week

Small group in-class discussions have been incorporated

An entire 50-min lecture per week is devoted to an in-class group discussion activity

Mandatory field labs have been part of the course for some years

Student project and associated poster presentation have been part of the course for some years.
BIOL 325: Introduction to Biomechanics
(2014 start)

Faculty: Phil Matthews
STLF:  Natalie Schimpf
Finalising course learning goals Pre and post diagnostic in first iteration (as part of department-wide COPUS) Intention (for next iteration) to incorporate pre-class readings and quizzes, clicker questions, in-class activities and worksheets. Class participation to be included in final grade
MICB 325: Microbial Genetics
(2011-2012)

Faculty:  Tom Beatty
STLF:  Jared Taylor

PDF Poster (CWSEI EOY 2012): Restructuring Microbiology 325: Microbial Genetics
A complete set of learning goals has been established. A newly developed Bacterial Gene Regulation Concept Inventory is being used in a trial run. Currently tutorial/ homework questions are being converted into clicker questions that will be used during a weekly 50-minute tutorial lecture.

Currently undergoing transformation to use a full active learning with Just-in-time teaching format.
BIOL 331: Developmental Biology
(Sept 2016 start)

Faculty: Vanessa Auld
STLF: Tammy Rodela
Course-level: in progress

Topic-level: in progress
Intention to observe lecture (COPUS) and labs to provide feedback to instructors, release mid-course and end-course student attitudinal surveys Course revision to include:
— Pre-readings and quizzes
— Clicker questions
— Weekly homework question (three-stage including student reflection)
— Peer discussion
— Activities focusing on primary literature in developmental biology
BIOL 335: Molecular Genetics
(Dec ’14-’15)

Faculty: Craig Berezowsky, Yuelin Zhang, Don Moerman
STLF: Lisa McDonnell
Iterative process to revise goals underway Using concept inventory (pre- and post) to measure learning gains

Observing tutorials to capture baseline information to inform change

Observing lecture (COPUS) to provide instructor feedback

Mid-course survey deployed
To be incorporated as part of course revision:
— Peer instruction
— Clickers
— Group work to solve complex problems
BIOL 336: Fundamentals of Evolution
(Jan ’12 start)

Faculty: Jeannette Whitton, Greg Bole
STLF: Bridgette Clarkston (’12); Laura Weir (’13-’14)
Course-level: in progress

Topic-level: complete
Mid-course and end-course student attitudinal surveys

Clicker questions

Speciation Concept Inventory (in validation stage)
Weekly targeted textbook pre-reading assignments and quizzes

Assessment questions drawn from learning goals.

Tutorials more connected to lecture section and converted from informal discussion to more structured group work with worksheets and discussion.

Clicker questions with peer discussion; broader use of clicker questions (e.g., assess prior knowledge, make predictions, probe misconceptions)

In-class practice exam questions and worksheets are used

Two-stage review activity implemented
BIOL 361: Introduction to Physiology
(Sept ’12 start)

Faculty: Doug Altshuler, Tammy Rodela, Agnes Lacombe
STLF: Mandy Banet, Tammy Rodela
Lecture-level learning goals: Goals were provided to students.

Goals have been linked to exams, iclicker questions, practice problems, and homework.
Pre-term assessment on topics covered in the course was given first day of class.

End-of-term survey was conducted to get specific detail on active learning aspects of the course. Focus groups are used to provide feedback on class activities and methods.
Clicker questions with peer discussion

Pre-reading assignments with an online quiz (including one open-ended JITT questions) are issued each week.

Practice exam questions are provided as in-class activities to give students practice and feedback on what is expected from them when answering a short essay question.

Developed and piloted worksheets and case studies

Two-stage group exams were used
BIOL 362: Cellular Physiology
(Jan 2015 start)

Faculty: Robin Young
STLF: Megan Barker
Learning goals already in place Concept inventory

Ongoing peer feedback as part of term project
Two-stage review

Support with case studies, student writing and peer group feedback
BIOL 456: Comparative and Molecular Endocrinology
(Jan 2015 start)

Faculty: Tammy Rodela
Course-level and topic-level learning goals completed Two-stage exam style exams

Developing a course pack for transfer of course-related materials
In-class worksheets and case studies designed and deployed

Practice exam questions provided as online and during in-class activities

Student writing project (science journalism paper) developed

Developed weekly pre-reading and assignments focusing on the scientific (primary) literature
CWSEI-LS consulting on courses and changes undertaken by individual faculty members:

BIOC 203 and BIOC 302: Fundamentals of Biochemistry & General Biochemistry (Faculty: Robert Maurus) – 2015: Megan Barker is consulting with the instructors of these courses, conducting tutorial observations and giving TA feedback using qualitative observations and COPUS data.

MICB 300: Microbial Ecology (Faculty: William Mohn) – Course-level and topic-level learning goals completed, survey, in-class group problems, poster made by learning group, in-class and out-of-class student learning group problems, clickers.

MICB 302: Immunology (Faculty Pauline Johnson) – worked with Jared Taylor to create learning goals.

MICB 409: Advanced Microbial Genetics (Faculty: Steven Hallam) – Course-level and topic-level learning goals completed, student survey, in-class workshops using groups of students, clickers.

BIOL 441: Fall 2014: Megan Barker consulted with Geoff Wasteneys about the structure of the fourth-year course, and provided some support on the curriculum request documents.

BIOL 463: Gene Regulation in Development (Faculty: Pam Kalas) – Used two-stage review activity on the first day of class, deployed concept inventory.