dB-SERC lunch discussion 09-16
Date: Wednesday, September 16
Time: 12-1 pm
Place: 321 Allen Hall

Topic: Integrating modeling instruction throughout a large lecture introductory biology course

During the lunch, Lisa Limeri and Dr. Sam Donovan from the biology department will discuss the implementation of modeling instruction in a large enrollment introductory biology course for which they received a dB-SERC mentor-mentee award.
Modeling instruction refers to organizing course content around core models in the discipline and providing students with opportunities to build, use, and evaluate those models. Engaging students in modeling instruction has resulted in gains related to both disciplinary content and nature of science learning outcomes. The course transformation will involve integrating modeling instruction throughout the large enrollment introductory biology course “Foundations of Biology 2.” The course currently makes heavy use of models in both lecture and recitation, but the implementation of modeling is neither explicit nor coherent and thus is not having a significant impact on student learning. In adopting a modeling instruction approach, Lisa Limeri and Sam Donovan will develop a consistent assignment framework that will use standardized modeling language and lead students through an analysis of each model as it is introduced. They will assess the impact of this curriculum change with post-assessments on students’ understanding of modeling, focus group feedback, as well as making comparisons to students who took the course before the curricular revision.
The purpose of the lunch is to discuss the design of the course and also to provide feedback about implementation and assessment.

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