CIRTL Online Workshop: Integrating Effective Teaching and Assessment Practices in Biology Lab Courses through Case Studies
Prepare lesson plans for biology labs that pull from case studies and promote active learning in this three-part workshop. Instructors of biology lab courses grapple with unique challenges posed by incorporating range of hands-on and conceptual learning activities within a limited time-frame. Furthermore, the instructor’s creativity may be constrained by set procedures and outcomes prescribed by traditional “cook-book” labs and a lack of authority to alter the lab’s activities and assessments. We will address the challenges of delivering robust biology labs through case scenarios that demonstrate how instructors may do the following: 1. incorporate active-learning strategies, 2. effectively assess lab learning and 3. improve student motivation by maximizing the limited unstructured time instructors usually have with students at the start of each lab period.
Workshop participants will prepare lesson plans on a lab topic that incorporates the strategies discussed in the online session, give and receive feedback on the plans of their peers plans, and receive formative feedback from the instructors using a class-generated rubric. Under the guidance of the instructors, whose experience includes teaching a range of biology labs at three different universities, participants will also develop a dissemination plan to share their new knowledge and materials.