Active, Group, and Authentic Learning in Large Introductory

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Title of Abstract: Active, Group, and Authentic Learning in Large Introductory

Name of Author: Richard Shingles
Author Company or Institution: Johns Hopkins University
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, General Biology
Course Levels: Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: clickers assessment general biology group work active learning

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Richard E. McCarty, Johns Hopkins University Rebecca Pearlman, Johns Hopkins University Christov Roberson, Johns Hopkins University

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Our goals in general biology were to: a) increase attendance in class b) make class time worthwhile to students c) develop a learner centered environment in the classroom d) to apply concepts learned in the classroom to the real world

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: To accomplish our goals we: a) introduced clickers in the classroom b developed digital field assignments to apply class concepts to the real world c) introduced BioLit assignments to increase scientific reading and comprehension d) used a variety of active learning techniques in the classroom e) used group work in and out of the class. f) assessed all elements of the class

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: We developed a number of pre and post surveys We used Personal Participant Indicators to measure students self-assessed increase in learning gains. We used Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) surveys to determine increase in learning focused around learning objectives for the course.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Clickers started at Hopkins in General bBology and now has spread to many classes across the institution. More than half of undergraduates at JHU will take a class that uses clickers. The Interactive MapTool, that was developed by the Center for Educational Resources, is now used by a half dozen other departments such as Sociology, Art History, History of Science & Technology and Psychological & Brain Sciences. Student attendance in General Biology went from 50% to over 90%. Student achievement has been better in the course with fewer failures.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Software development and updating is a constant challenge. We hired student developers to assist with this. Clicker software also evolves, sometimes to the point where it causes problems in the classroom. We had to switch vendors because of this.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: We have presented assessment data at Gateway Science Symposia and at Scientific meetings. We have presented at departmental seminars. We have also published some of our findings as follows: Richard Shingles, Theron Feist and Rae Brosnan (2006) The Biomes of Homewood: Interactive Map Software. Bioscene 31: 17-34 Rebecca Pearlman, Richard E. McCarty & Richard Shingles (2011) In-Class Voting Provides Information Beyond Immediate Measurement of Student Understanding. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education 12: 107-108 Grace A. Maldarelli, Erica M. Hartmann, Patrick J. Cummings, Robert D. Horner, Kristina M. Obam, Richard Shingles and Rebecca S. Pearlman (2009) Virtual Lab Demonstrations Improve Students’ Mastery of Basic Biology Laboratory Techniques. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education 10: 51-56

Acknowledgements: We acknowledge HHMI for initial grant funding when we were first developing the General Biology course. We also thank the National Academies of Science for sponsoring the summer institutes which we attended.