Implementing V&C with the HHMI National Genomics Initiative

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Title of Abstract: Implementing V&C with the HHMI National Genomics Initiative

Name of Author: John Hatherill
Author Company or Institution: Del Mar College
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Biotechnology, General Biology, Microbiology, Virology
Course Levels: Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Adding to the literature on how people learn, Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: Authentic research in the classroom, podcasts, pedagogy, 21st century classroom, mobile digital devices

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Dr. J. Robert Hatherill, Del Mar College Dr. Daiyuan Zhang, Del Mar College

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The Del Mar College (DMC) goals include developing new Vision & Change (V&C) concept-based curriculum using actual research and case studies and preparing students’ for the high-performance workplace by equipping them with critical or independent thinking and problem solving abilities, and transforming students by igniting and captivating them with the thrill of real scientific discoveries. The V&C Project Team has observed that research mentored students develop superior lab skills; knowledge and technical competencies compared to traditionally taught students. From assessment and evaluation the V&C students report better performance in science classes, enhanced career options and direction, more self-confidence, better problem solving and critical thinking skills, and better student motivation and career focus. The V&C program is providing student outcomes that simply cannot result from traditionally taught freshman science classes.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: DMC has incorporated the Vision and Change concept-based curriculum by using authentic research experiences, case studies and implementing a new mobile device platform to allow students to review preloaded podcasts of critical laboratory techniques. The curricular reform has followed the Vision and Change initiatives by focusing on the core concepts and competencies rather than memorizing extensive course content. DMC has also embedded an authentic research component into bioscience courses. DMC is a member of the Science Education Alliance program that includes the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) National Genomics Research Initiative, a program that integrates both research and education in genomics for undergraduate students. The program allows undergraduate students to participate in actual research by isolating and characterizing bacterial viruses from local soil. The HHMI program targets and instills the students with a diverse skill set of laboratory skills such as meticulously maintaining a laboratory notebook. Recent emphasis has been placed upon data archiving and record management skills. Other technician skills include the isolation, purification and characterization of bacteriophage, annotation of a complete genome, and presentation skills by preparing scientific posters and presenting at national and regional scientific meetings. The HHMI program incorporates troubleshooting skills that are rarely taught or assessed in traditionally taught classes. Another benefit of research mentoring is that it integrates a competency-based testing of laboratory techniques in V&C students. For example, students that do not use proper aseptic technique will experience contamination and will have to repeat their experiments. The V&C students develop superior skills, knowledge and technical competencies compared to traditionally taught students.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: The HHMI-SEA program is currently assessed and evaluated by one of the most comprehensive surveys of classroom research. The Survey of Undergraduate Research Experiences (SURE) has reported student gains in “understanding the research process” and “learning lab techniques” that persist when the students are assessed nine months later. The V&C project team has also assessed the students with targeted surveys. The V&C project achieved the goals and student outcomes that were originally proposed. Assessment and evaluation data demonstrated the vast majority of students (over 95%) strongly agree or agree that the podcasted lab techniques are a valuable resource for learning critical laboratory procedures and techniques compared to the traditional review of written lab manuals. Access to the podcasts is a critical laboratory tool for students since they can review the laboratory techniques on a recursive basis if needed. The V&C Project Team has observed that students are able to grasp laboratory techniques faster and work more independently. The podcasted lab techniques are targeted to the actual lab equipment and lab techniques needed, which is important to minimize cognitive dissonance. Further the mobile learning devices are equipped with high definition cameras. Therefore in the fall of 2013 when mobile devices are deployed to individual students it will allow them to be part of a remotely accessed WIFI learning community since they can form impromptu study groups from videoconferences. The project team believes this is especially critical for community building in students from nonresidential campuses.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: The V&C Project Team does have preliminary data on student outcomes. The assessment data show that V&C students that participate in undergraduate research show increased retention compared with the traditionally taught classes, greater participation in campus activities (biannual student research days) and integration into the culture and profession of the scientific discipline from presenting at scientific meetings. V&C student researchers have isolated, purified and characterized 46 novel viruses and uploaded them into the phage database. They have annotated two complete viral genomes and are credited with GenBank submissions, received offers of employment (before they graduate), are recruited into other schools, and successfully compete and procure scholarships. Recently 23 V&C Del Mar College (DMC) students presented posters or a presentation at the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) meetings held in March 2012 and 2013 in New Braunfels, TX. Four V&C students won first or second places during the undergraduate student presentation and poster competition held at the ASM meetings. These events are historic since this is the first time all of the research was conducted exclusively in the DMC Department of Natural Sciences. In addition, a DMC V&C student won first place in June 2012 at the HHMI 4th Annual Science Education Alliance Symposium. V&C students have also won 2nd and 3rd place in the oral competitions, 2nd place and honorable mention in the poster competition at the regional Sigma Xi meetings held at Texas A&M University. In summary DMC has sponsored 35 V&C students to attend and compete in poster competitions at regional ASM meetings (New Braunfels and Baylor University in Texas) and national scientific meeting such as the annual AAAS meeting. All of the V&C students (BIOL 1406,1407,1414, & 1415) have presented at the biannual student research days held on Del Mar College campus.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: In order to gain broad acceptance of the Vision and Change initiative, the administration was invited and participated in many of the biannual all-campus student research days. The V&C Project Team has achieved support for implementing Vision and Change from the President, Vice President of Instruction/Provost, the Dean of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Natural Sciences Chairman. Future plans to broadly apply the Vision and Change initiatives across the disciplines of natural science are in progress.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: All of the V&C students (over eighty students) from four different life sciences courses have presented at the biannual student research days held on DMC campus. These are widely attended by over 100 students, faculty, family members and administrators per research day. The V&C program also uses websites, Facebook and YouTube videos for dissemination of the program.

Acknowledgements: The DMC V&C Project Team would like to acknowledge the support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Science Foundation, Advanced Technological Education grant, REVISION (DUE 1205059).

DNA Barcoding: Scalable Infrastructure for Student Research

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Title of Abstract: DNA Barcoding: Scalable Infrastructure for Student Research

Name of Author: David Micklos
Author Company or Institution: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Author Title: Executive Director
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Ecology and Environmental Biology, Evolutionary Biology, General Biology, Integrative Biology, Plant Biology & Botany
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Faculty Development, Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Material Development
Keywords: DNA barcoding, genetics, conservation biology, DNA sequencing, bioinformatics

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Bruce Nash, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Jermel Watkins, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Cornel Ghiban, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Mohammed Khalfan, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Sheldon McKay, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Eunsook Jeong, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Susan Lauter, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Christine Marizzi, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Melissa Lee, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Antonia Florio, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Oscar Pineda-Catalan, American Museum of Natural History

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Many science educators search for ways to scale student research from local, individual projects to distributed, class-based experiments that involve many students working simultaneously on aspects of the same problem. DNA barcoding fulfills the promise of modern, Internet-enabled biology – allowing students to work with the same data, with the same tools, at the same time as high-level researchers. DNA barcoding projects can stimulate independent student thinking across different levels of biological organization, linking molecular genetics to ecology and evolution – with the potential to contribute new scientific knowledge about biodiversity, conservation biology, and human effects on the environment. DNA barcoding also integrates different methods of scientific investigation – from in vivo observations to in vitro biochemistry to in silica bioinformatics. DNA barcoding provides a practical way to bring open-ended experimentation into lower-level undergraduate courses. Projects can operate at various scales – from working with other students to investigate a local ecosystem, museum collection, or conservation issue to joining an International Barcode of Life ‘campaign’ to explore an entire taxonomic group or global biome. Projects may also take on a forensic slant, when students attempt to identify product fraud (such as mislabeled food items) or to identify the sources of commercial products (such as plants or animals used in traditional medicines). The core lab and phylogenetic analysis can be mastered in a relatively short time, allowing students to reach a satisfying research endpoint within a single academic term. Using DNA barcoding as the common method across a range of projects decreases the need for intensive, expert preparation and mentoring – thus providing a practical means to engage large numbers of students in meaningful research.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Just as the unique pattern of bars in a universal product code (UPC) identifies each consumer product, a short ‘DNA barcode’ (about 600 nucleotides in length) is a unique pattern of DNA sequence that can potentially identify any living thing. We developed an integrated biochemical and bioinformatics (B&B) workflow for DNA barcode analysis. The biochemistry uses non-caustic reagents to isolate DNA from plant, animal, or fungi. The barcode region is amplified by polymerase chain reaction and visualized by agarose gel electrophoresis. The barcode amplicons are mailed to GENEWIZ, which provides inexpensive sequencing – $3.00 per forward and reverse read. Within 48 hours, the finished barcode sequences are automatically uploaded to DNA Subway, the DNALC’s bioinformatics workflow for education. The Blue Line of DNA Subway includes all tools needed to visualize and edit barcode sequences, search GenBank (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genbank/) for matches, align sequences, and construct phylogenetic trees. The Blue Line includes web applications that heretofore could only be used as stand-alone applications – including an electropherogram viewer/editor and a ‘zoomable’ sequence aligner/barcode viewer. An export feature simplifies barcode sequence submissions to GenBank, automatically providing sequence files, associated metadata, and sequence annotations in the required NCBI format. The barcode experiment, including extensive teacher prep and planning, is available in three formats: the online lab notebook www.dnabarcoding101.org, the lab-text Genome Science: A Practical and Conceptual Introduction to Molecular Genetic Analysis in Eukaryotes (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2012), and a stand-alone kit marketed by Carolina Biological Supply Company.

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 evaluate the impacts of DNA barcoding research programs on both students and teachers, using mixed methods to provide both breadth and depth of perspectives. In addition to project statistics (participant demographics, completed projects, novel DNA sequences, etc.) we use online surveys and structured interviews. Teachers and students complete pre- and post-experience surveys to gauge changes in knowledge, attitudes and behaviors, and to compare the barcoding research projects with other research experience. Students complete the validated Survey of Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE-III) which allows comparisons with national cohorts. Structures interviews at completion of projects delve further into participant experiences and how programs could be improved.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: In terms of student impact, the largest gains in self-confidence (78% ‘Large’ or ‘Very large gain’), learning laboratory techniques (78%), working independently (78%), analyzing data (78%), and becoming part of a learning community (77%). Surveys and structured interviews overwhelming show that students appreciated ownership of barcoding projects and the sense of ‘doing real science.’ For most, it is their first experience with open-ended research. When compared with other research experiences DNA barcoding provides more ‘real world’ science (81% of students), more chance for hands-on experience (69%) and to learn science (76%), more opportunity to develop critical thinking (83%) and independent inquiry skills (70%), and more understanding of the scientific process (68%). The experience increases students’ interest in studying science or pursuing a career in science (83%), while still being more fun than other research experiences (84%). DNA barcoding research projects have a broader impact, potentially improving the quality of instruction for many students beyond those who actually did barcoding projects. Participating teachers state they had, or plan to, incorporate into their classroom instruction: DNA barcoding concepts (73%), more independent research (68%), bioinformatics exercises (59%), and wet labs (41%). These changes are in a range of classes – including general biology (55%), AP Biology (41%), biology electives (40%), environmental science (18%), and honors biology (18%). In addition, 59% had or planned to share resources or train colleagues in new biochemical (36%) and bioinformatics (32%) techniques. These results demonstrate that the DNA barcoding infrastructure developed at the DNALC can scale to introduce large numbers of students to authentic research.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Formative evaluation of DNA barcoding projects revealed some challenges, which we have addressed. We schedule project cycles to allow sufficient time for recruitment and training so that sample collection occurs during warmer weather. Teacher training is critical to the success of student projects, so we provide at a minimum one-day training sessions in biodiversity, DNA barcoding, and bioinformatics. Individual project settings vary greatly (for example, student grade level, background and familiarity with laboratory techniques, access to equipment at their school) so we now provide an array of support options: Open Labs at the Harlem DNA Lab and Genspace; equipment footlockers; and virtual and real staff. We refined the B&B workflows, including a specimen database and DNA Subway function to submit novel sequences to Genbank.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: We have conducted several DNA barcoding programs to date. These include the New York City-based Urban Barcode Project, DNALC summer camps, and teacher training programs. We have developed two websites: www.dnabarcoding101.org and www.urbanbarcodeproject.org. The websites include vodcasts on barcoding and student projects, protocols, guidelines for proposal preparation, and database management tools for tracking student projects and metadata. We also developed a DNA barcoding kit that is disseminated through Carolina Biological Supply Company. To date we have trained over 1000 teachers, and more than 450 students have participated in the UBP and barcoding summer camps. Students’ projects have examined: 1) wildlife in parks and public spaces; 2) traded products and possible commerce of endangered species; 3) food mislabeling; 4) public health and disease vectors; and 5) exotics and invasive species. Each project culminates in a poster presentation, with the UBP also including a symposium of finalist oral presentations at the American Museum of Natural History. For the UBP alone, more than 1,600 samples and 4,000 single sequence reads have been processed, and 65 novel sequences have been submitted to GenBank with student authors

Acknowledgements: Funding from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Pinkerton Foundation, NSF Advanced Technology Education, NSF Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, and NSF Plant Science Cyberinfrastructure Collaborative. Project collaborators include American Museum of Natural History, Genspace, the Gateway Institute for Precollege Education, and NYC Department of Education.

Microbiology Major Curriculum Innovations

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Title of Abstract: Microbiology Major Curriculum Innovations

Name of Author: Tamara McNealy
Author Company or Institution: Clemson University
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Biotechnology, Cell Biology, Genetics, Microbiology, Virology
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Faculty Development, Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: curriculum development, active learning, microbiology, laboratory concepts

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The American Society of Microbiology provides guidelines for degree requirements for microbiology majors. These guidelines align with the recommendations presented in the 2011 Vision and Change document with the addition of a core concept centered on microbes. Additionally, ASM recommends that students receive education in bioethics, bioinformatics, and careers in microbiology. Faculty at Clemson University elected to address these problems through a major curriculum revision that became effective in the 2012/2013 school year. The primary curriculum change was to organize laboratory offerings by streamlining the currently offered nine microbiology labs into a three semester laboratory series. The Advanced Microbiology labs will focus on the five core themes as proposed by the American Society for Microbiology: Interactions and Impacts of Microorganisms with the Environment; Microbial Cell Biology; Microbial Genetics; Interactions and Impact of Microorganisms and Humans; and Integrated Themes. The series will integrate training in bioinformatics, genome analysis, written and oral communication, basic computer skills, and use of multimedia in science. The changes also support and align with the core concepts of the 2011 Vision and Change document. The core competencies of Vision and Change are interwoven throughout the three semester series. The goals of the proposed changes also align with the Vision and Change document as we seek to 1) integrate core competencies across microbiology using reinforcement without redundancy teaching methods; 2) focus on hands on, student centered learning in small class sizes and active learning components; 3) promote a commitment to change where faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate student are involved in the change process and 4) engage campus wide faculty through dissemination of the methods and innovative strategies used here.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Embracing the less is more concept, is the strategy chosen for the proposed curriculum changes. Many microbiology programs offer either laboratories in combination with numerous upper division courses or have cut back on laboratory offerings, sometimes removing them entirely. Hands-on laboratory work is essential for skillset development for future microbiologists, but cost, time and faculty resources have impacted our ability to provide this. The argument for hands on laboratory must be supported by evidence of more bang for the buck. By aligning laboratory courses with the core competencies and core themes students receive higher impact from fewer labs. Currently the microbiology degree programs at Clemson University offer laboratories in combination with nine upper level microbiology courses. While this method provides an excellent training opportunity for our majors there is a degree of redundancy and a lack of flow and cohesiveness from lab to lab. Limited lab space and time also limits the number of students in lecture, preventing non-microbiology majors from participating in some courses. The nine current labs have been analyzed to determine core skills and concepts to be carried over to the new three semester series. Development of laboratory modules with a focus on reinforcement and goal-directed learning will allow us to teach the same amount of material, but more efficiently and with better results in student retention of information. The laboratory facilities are also now located in the newly built Life Sciences Research Building allowing the incorporation of the latest technology for use in these courses. The new lab series will integrate use of iPad technology making the course entirely paperless. The online nature of the resources will allow for more flexibility in updating material as the courses progress.

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 are currently conducting assessments on the ‘old-style’ lab courses in order to have baseline data for future comparative studies. These assessments are analyzing student learning and retention as well as redundancy issues across laboratories. Assessment tools for the new labs are being developed and will be in place prior to the start of the new lab series (Spring 2015). These assessments will include both formative and summative assessments for student learning and teaching effectiveness. We are also conducting vetting by current senior microbiology students on the development of the new labs. These students have assisted in development of the delivery (via Website), analysis of proposed laboratory, and identification of online resources the aid the student in understanding the topic. Surveys of current students regarding current laboratory offerings versus new concept laboratory offerings highly favor the proposed new laboratory series concept.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: A sequenced series of courses will allow for the reduction of redundancy, an increase in efficiency and the ability to build on skills learned in the previous semester. Students will be introduced to a topic, have it reinforced and then use the skills for hands-on experimentation, computer based analyses and communication skill development. Microbiology lecture courses will now encourage more attendance by non-majors who will not be required to attend a laboratory. These changes to our majors program are also aligned with a newly established articulation agreement with the medical technology program at Tri-County Technical College. In 2012, an agreement was created between CU and TCTC to encourage and enable medical technology students to transition from a three year program (Med Tech plus Basic Sciences) to the Microbiology BS degree program at CU. This program allows students to finish their AA and BS in 4.5 years. With their clinical laboratory science AA (including hospital rotation) and the intensive laboratory experiences offered through the Advanced Microbiology series, these students are uniquely trained for the biomedical science work force.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Challenges include faculty time for assessment tool development; funding for development of online based course materials; faculty buy in of release of labs from their classes; and selling the concept of less is more. Supportive departmental and college level administration have been instrumental in facilitating these changes. Administrators at both levels were excited to see faculty recognizing the need for change and the development of novel ways to implement it. The college has supported faculty efforts through a curriculum development grant. Although work began on this process in 2011, the first class to reach the Advanced Laboratory series will not do so until 2015, allowing faculty sufficient time to development new teaching materials, methodology and assessment. Time is the essential resource in large curriculum changes. Some faculty resistance has been encountered; however, presentation of how the changes benefit not only students but faculty as well helps to overcome this resistance. Ensuring that all faculty are asked for their input also creates a community of commitment and engagement leading to support of these efforts. Creative development of curriculum and curriculum resources is required to ensure adequate training of our students and making the best use of our resources.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: The curriculum changes set in motion through this process are daunting, but exciting. Recently, the biological sciences program within our department also decided to revamp their curriculum. The microbiology concept for integration of Vision and Change and ASM goals was heavily discussed at meetings and used to assist in the development of changes in the Biological Sciences program. In the end, the core structure of the Biological Sciences curriculum became very much like the microbiology curriculum approved in the previous year. We plan to collect data on the implementation and effectiveness of the changes and publish this as an educational article. Eventually, a package will be developed with all necessary tools and guidelines and be made available for other institutions.

Acknowledgements: The author thanks all microbiology faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences for their time and input into the curriculum issues addressed herein. I also thank Dr. Barbara Speziale and Dr. A.P. Wheeler for their support and advice on these issues.

Undergraduates Developing Resources for Lost Crops of Africa

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Title of Abstract: Undergraduates Developing Resources for Lost Crops of Africa

Name of Author: Christopher Cullis
Author Company or Institution: Case Western Reserve University
Author Title: Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Agricultural Sciences, Biotechnology, Genetics, Plant Biology & Botany
Course Levels: Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Material Development
Keywords: critical thinking, data development, research

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: To engage students in a course that can provide research resources for faculty and graduate students in the developing world. These resources could not be generated in a similar timeframe without the activities carried out in this course. Therefore the students materially contribute to the development of a new crop by providing original data for analysis without their having to arrive at a pre-determined ‘correct’ solution. Since the students interact with the faculty and graduate students in Southern Africa the course also provides the students with an experience of international civic engagement and global responsibility. Outcomes The course has been popular with the students, they have become engaged with the material and some have been recruited into related research projects. New data has been developed that is being applied to improving the crops and students from previous years continue to enquire about the progress years later. Student interest has been assessed through permit requests for the course which been oversubscribed each time it is offered. The data generated by the students has contributed to three published papers and is the basis of two manuscripts in preparation and three additional independent research projects. The data is being used to develop molecular markers for various phenotypic characters that the students can measure, for example internode length, flowering time and the number of flowers per inflorescence. They get to understand the relationship between the various ways of categorizing biological material. The new Chemical biology major that has just been developed by the Chemistry Department has organized a follow-on laboratory on Proteomics that will consider using the same experimental material to permit the students to extend their research activities. Students career paths have been altered through taking this course since some initially intent on going to Medical School have switched to research careers.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: The method is to include authentic research experiences into the curriculum. This has primarily been done in upper level courses but the experience gained there is being transferred to the introductory courses. These research-based courses allow more students to get authentic research experiences than are available through individual laboratory experiences. The students are also introduced to collaborative research activities since the whole class is working on the same problem, while sharing and interpreting the complete data set. The strategy of developing laboratory course material in the upper level courses and then developing a subset of those experiments to be included in the core courses has previously proved successful, for example, half of the lab exercises in the first lab course of the biology core arose from exercises developed in an earlier iteration of this upper level course.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: The evaluation of the project has been through student outcome assessment, adoption of similar methodologies in other courses and wider adoption. The student evaluations show the course is well received and the application to a real world problem is highly valued. The exposure to primary data and the challenges in interpretation develop new analytical skills that can be transferred to other courses. The manipulative skills could be applied to career options.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: The students particularly appreciated the exposure to original data and critical thinking skills. The significant analysis part in each experiment which a scientist should develop in order to improve the ability to carry out research, guided or independent, shows up in the way the students have to reason out for anything that happens in the experiment. The students had to perform the experimental methods that previously they had only been able to learn theoretically. The approach has been adopted in other upper level courses as well as infiltrating the introductory courses and labs. Dissemination within the Institution has had a thought impact but less tangible adoption instances.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: The problem with a research-based course is that the material has to be updated each year. If the students have to develop new data then the approach has to be modifiable. Therefore choosing a problem that can be sustained over multiple years is essential. The choice of the domestication and marker-based improvement of marama allowed such a progression. Once the basic genomic information has been developed then the students can carry out specific mapping projects that will feed back directly into the improvement program. New export controls have to be factored into projects that deal external entities.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Dissemination of the project has been at both the local and national levels. The project has been described to various organizations on campus (for example at the University Center for Innovation of Teaching and Education). It has also featured on the web-site of the World-wide Learning Environment through which the first iteration was supported. Results will continue to be published with attribution to the undergraduates who were involved in generating the data. Additionally a full description of the course and associated resources will be published to encourage more participants of the adoption of similar strategies to bring the resources of talented undergraduates to bear on important global problems.

Acknowledgements: Financial support from the McGregor Fund award to the College of Arts and Sciences, Case Western Reserve University. International Collaborators Professor Karl Kunert, University of Pretoria Dr. J. Vorster, University of Pretoria Dr. C. van der Vyver, University of Stellenbosh Dr. P. Chimwamarombe, University of Namibia Mutsa Takwunda, University of Namibia Emanuel Nepolo, University of Namibia

Community-Based Inquiry Improves Critical Thinking in STEM

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Title of Abstract: Community-Based Inquiry Improves Critical Thinking in STEM

Name of Author: Ian Quitadamo
Author Company or Institution: Central Washington University
Author Title: Professor of Biology and Science Education
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Cell Biology, General Biology, Genetics
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Faculty Development, Introductory Course(s), Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Adding to the literature on how people learn, Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development, Mixed Approach
Keywords: critical thinking, inquiry, assessment, community, faculty development

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Our major goals are to use Community-Based Inquiry (CBI) to measurably improve student critical thinking outcomes and to build faculty expertise and capacity to teach for critical thinking in STEM courses. CBI efforts are key to transforming STEM teaching and learning at Central Washington University. Students should graduate with well-developed critical thinking skills. Faculty should be highly engaged in effective STEM teaching practice. Community stakeholders should know the value of a higher education. CBI brings all these elements together and provides an immersive, engaging, and effective experience for students and faculty. Robust assessment allows data-driven teaching and learning decisions. Focus on key concepts, in-depth exploration, and development of oral and written communication provides a lasting learning experience in ways that build STEM knowledge, skills and dispositions.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: CBI immerses students and faculty in authentic inquiry and problem solving of real-world issues and brings together higher education and local communities in ways beneficial to both. In courses that use a CBI framework, students apply knowledge of key concepts in real time, develop a robust set of scientific investigative skills, and internalize scientific dispositions over time. Example projects across various STEM courses include watershed and agricultural chemistry, nutrition biochemistry of K-12 school lunches, local factors affecting climate change, and mathematical modeling of county public health data. CBI course frameworks are based on research on how people learn. They integrate prior knowledge assessment, tailor instruction to meet student learning needs based on data, and use a panel of alternative assessments to engage students from diverse backgrounds in learning. Outcomes-aligned assessments during the course identify content and thinking strengths and weakness, document learning growth over time, and help students become self-aware learners. External pre- and post-assessments of critical thinking provide a means to compare gains between traditional and CBI courses and enable informed decision-making in STEM teaching. CBI uses a collaborative faculty community to troubleshoot and build courses that work for students. Critical thinking results are shared openly and factors statistically identified that produce maximal critical thinking gains. Aside from benefits to student learning, CBI provides faculty and administration with tangible evidence of teaching quality that are used to enhance professional files and support promotion and tenure decisions.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: An external pre/post-test evaluation of critical thinking has been used to document gains for traditional and CBI courses. In STEM disciplines where standardized content measures are available, content gains have also been evaluated. Surveys and classroom observations document frequency of use of traditional and alternative assessments. External faculty have also conducted independent evaluations of CBI effectiveness. A large database of dozens of instructional variables has been constructed and statistically evaluated to identify key variables that affect critical thinking gains. These measures are in addition to outcomes-based rubrics and other evaluation tools being deployed during the academic term.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: We have studied a wide variety of STEM courses in Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, Psychology, Physics, and Sociology for over 15 years. Almost universally, traditionally-taught courses show no gains in critical thinking, with female and minority students disproportionally receiving fail/withdraw/drop grades. CBI reduces this teaching and learning bias and produces on average 5-8 national percentile gains in critical thinking in one academic term. Faculty who have used CBI state they will never return to teaching the 'old way' because of how engaged their students have become, how much better they perform, and how much more fun it is to teach in a CBI classroom. Currently, a key group of CBI instructors is paving the way for other faculty to try these methods, partly because of the data that shows CBI works better, and partly because evidence from faculty courses can be used to document professional effectiveness and growth.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Fully implementing CBI the first time through can be overwhelming due to the scope of what may need to change in a faculty member's course. Our data shows that even relatively modest changes toward CBI produce significant gains in critical thinking (e.g. building case studies into lecture, using Socratic seminars instead of traditional lecture, oral exams, etc). What appears to be needed for most faculty members wanting to use CBI is a full collaborative evaluation and unpacking of the approaches that faculty member has done previously, then identifying desired student learning outcomes and reverse engineering their course(s) using research-supported best practices and data showing what works. In some cases, faculty needed to work through their new CBI course one time before they became more comfortable and started to see the critical thinking and other results they hoped for. The role of the collaborative faculty community played a key role during this transition time. Another aspect of the collaborative community in the importance of building graduate student training into CBI and having graduate students become part of the solution by supporting faculty colleagues.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: CBI is becoming more well-established in the College of the Sciences at CWU. Dissemination occurs through personal communication, coordinated professional development activities, research presentations and manuscripts, invited seminars at CWU and other institutions, and professional meetings. We now build various aspects of CBI into K-12 science teacher training and graduate student training. We are currently seeking institutional support to widen CBI beyond the College of the Sciences as faculty from other colleges have asked to join our initiative.

Acknowledgements: We thank the National Science Foundation (DUE 1023093) for their generous funding, the co-PI team of Ian Quitadamo, Martha Kurtz, Jim Johnson, and Carin Thomas, our research assistants Kristy Kappenman, Page Wooller, and Rani Lewis, and support staff Eric Foss, Jonathan Betz, and Mary Bottcher at CWU.

Bio-Link Aligns With Vision and Change Recommendations

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Title of Abstract: Bio-Link Aligns With Vision and Change Recommendations

Name of Author: Elaine Johnson
Author Company or Institution: City College of San Francisco
Author Title: Bio-Link Executive Director
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Agricultural Sciences, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Cell Biology, General Biology, Genetics, Microbiology, Virology
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Faculty Development, Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Adding to the literature on how people learn, Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Internships, Material Development, Mixed Approach
Keywords: Interdisciplinary Contextual Skills-based Evidence-based Competency

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The Bio-Link Next Generation National Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences builds on the success of the original Bio-Link National Center for Biotechnology that was first funded by NSF in 1998. Bio-Link’s mission is to 1) increase the number and diversity of well-trained technicians in the workforce; 2) meet the growing needs of industry for appropriately trained technicians; and 3) institutionalize community college educational practices that make high-quality education and training in the concepts, tool, skills, processes, regulatory structure, and ethics of biotechnology available to all students. The means for fulfilling the mission are aligned with today’s new biotechnology environment. The goals of the Next Generation Bio-Link National Center are to: 1) strengthen and expand biotechnology education programs across the nation; 2) enable biotechnology faculty, students, and technicians to work more efficiently; and 3) support a smoother transition of students to the technical workforce in the biosciences and related industries.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: In order to achieve its goals, Bio-Link emphasizes three categories of activities and products. Category I. Providing direct services to faculty, teachers, counselors, students, biotechnology programs, and educational institutions. Category II. Stimulating information sharing and collaboration among students, faculty, industry and educational institutions. Category III. Supplying greatly expanded and improved information to students and to life-sciences and related companies. Bio-Link is one of thirteen ATE Centers that is participating in the Synergy Collaboratory for Research, Practice and Transformation that focuses on practices and processes that lead to achieving scale. Bio-Link is also connecting with Vision and Change recommendations suggested by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: The annual five day Summer Fellows Forum provides educators from community colleges and high schools across the country with a series of workshops and presentations. Between 1999 and 2012, some 678 instructors and administrators had attended the Forum. Feedback questionnaires and follow-up surveys administered to Forum participants from 1999 through 2012 indicate that the great majority of them had modified their curriculum (92%) and teaching strategies (87%) as a result of what they had learned.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Together with other workshops conducted by the Center (over 384 to date), Bio-Link’s professional development has made a substantial impact on biotechnology education across the country. Instructors who have participated in Bio-Link professional development over the years teach approximately 128,800 students (52,800 by Forum participants and 76,000 by other workshop participants).

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: One challenge was the lack of awareness about biotechnology careers. In every one of the past three years, the phrase 'biotech careers' has been one of the top ten search terms that people use to find the Bio-Link web site. The repeated use of this phrase for web searches indicates a strong interest in locating information about biotech careers. Bio-Link officially launched www.biotech-careers.org at the 2012 Bio-Link Summer Fellows Forum. We see the career site functioning in the following ways: Students will come to the site to learn about different biotech careers. They will look at the photo journals, read the interviews, and watch videos to see people who work in biotech jobs and hear what they have to say about the careers. They may also read the articles to learn about job-hunting tips or new job areas.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: The Clearinghouse is as an online collection of 130 instructional and curriculum materials for biotechnology. Clearinghouse website usage metrics indicate that Bio-Link’s strategies for improving and managing the Clearinghouse are proving effective, and there are positive trends in site usage from 2010-2011 to 2011-2012. Total unique visitors continued to grow, (767 to 890), as did total visits (1,086 to 1,324), average visit duration, and the percentage of repeat visitors (34% to 37%). In the National Biotechnology Program Survey, almost three-quarters (73%) of the respondents indicated that they had a high level of interest in the Clearinghouse, the highest of any Bio-Link product or service.

Acknowledgements: NSF funding of Bio-Link through Award No. 0903317 with a total of $5,086,040 from September 1, 2009 through August 31, 2014. Co-PI's: Barton Gledhill, VMD, PhD; Linnea Fletcher, PhD, Austin Community College; Sandra Porter, PhD, Digital World Biology; Lisa Seidman, PhD, Madison College. Evaluators: Dan Weiler and Candiya Mann Industry Partners who have provided support and insight and educators across the nation who have provided guidance and collaboration.

CSUPERB: A System-Wide Biotech Community Promoting Change

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Title of Abstract: CSUPERB: A System-Wide Biotech Community Promoting Change

Name of Author: Susan Baxter
Author Company or Institution: California State University
Author Title: Executive Director
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Biotechnology
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Faculty Development, Introductory Course(s), Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Promoting a commitment to change and engaging the biology community in the implementation of change
Keywords: faculty network, seed grants, workshops, undergraduate research

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): James Henderson, CSU Los Angeles

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The California State University (CSU) Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB, www.calstate.edu/csuperb) has adopted recommendations in the Vision & Change Report, specifically the report’s calls to promote a commitment to change and engage the biology community in the implementation of change. CSUPERB is a system-wide ‘affinity group,’ or faculty network that involves and supports over 300 faculty members system-wide each year and operates as a large community of interest and practice. Annually the program involves over 650 students and faculty from life, physical, computer and clinical science, engineering, agriculture, math and business departments at all 23 CSU campuses. Keep in mind, however, the CSU serves over 76,000 science, engineering, technology and math (STEM) students, employs 2478 STEM faculty (439 tenure-track biology faculty), and graduated 10,651 STEM baccalaureates in 2011. CSUPERB’s programs cannot stretch to support all CSU biology students or faculty. System-wide impact and change depends on commitment from campus-based change agents, leaders and external organizations to sustain or institutionalize CSUPERB-supported projects.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: In 2008 we outlined a new strategy to support engaging, ‘high-impact’ educational practices like learning communities, service learning, and undergraduate research that deepen learning as well as improve student persistence and close achievement gaps. We also decided to fund and foster curriculum development projects to support cross-disciplinary collaboration and introductory course revisions. Our two primary tactics were to administer seed grant programs and to organize faculty-led professional development workshops, meetings and conference sessions.

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 use final reports, participant surveys and long-term reports to assess whether our programs are effecting change. Data is collected and analyzed to assess numbers of students involved in CSUPERB-supported activities and outcomes (retention in degree program, graduation rates, post-graduate placements), faculty and administrator participation in CSUPERB-organized workshops, sustained implementation of seed grant-funded evidence-based teaching and learning practices in biology departments.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Since 2008 CSUPERB increased funding for student research by 47%, supporting 506 students in faculty-led research groups across California in academic year 2011-2012 alone. The graduation rate of CSUPERB-supported undergraduates is greater than 80% (across all demographics), far exceeding the averaged CSU STEM six-year graduation rates (28% for freshman entering in 2002). The same proportion of CSUPERB-supported students (80%) continue on in life science career paths, whether accepting jobs in the life science industry or entering professional and graduate school programs. CSU faculty mentors retained 91% of CSUPERB-supported summer researchers during the academic year, suggesting those students’ engagement is assured. The averaged fiscal ‘return-on-investment’ in faculty funded by CSUPERB seed grants 2004-2010 is a remarkable 1471%, based on final and long-term reports received as of July 2012. Follow-on funding from sources external to the CSU represents an expansion of student research opportunities across the system. While most biotechnology faculty and administrators understand the importance of high-impact practices outside the classroom on student retention and graduation, the awareness of the need or the commitment to change the way biology is taught inside the classroom is not so widespread. Fewer than 20% of CSUPERB programmatic grant proposals (to support curriculum innovation and revisions) received in 2011-2013 addressed reform of existing courses. Over 80% of 84 CSUPERB (predominantly biology and chemistry) faculty members attending a January 2013 workshop expressed surprise at the lingering achievement gaps in the STEM disciplines, including biology. Fewer than 20% in attendance (faculty, administrators and teaching assistants) at the 2013 workshop were familiar with the Vision & Change Report recommendations.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Challenges faced thus far include mentors’ unwillingness to recruit ‘at-risk’ students into their laboratories or community-based projects, the stubborn lack of commitment to evidence-based teaching and learning practices, and the vexing California budget crisis. CSUPERB crafted a summer research grant program (the Presidents’ Commission Scholars program) to support the participation of ‘at risk’ students or students earlier in their academic career in faculty-led research projects. Students are ineligible if they have support from any other undergraduate research or scholars program (NSF, NIH, HHMI, etc.). It is too early to assess the impact of this program or its effect on campus-based programs. Widely reported practices, reported by 15 of the 23 campuses, include ‘flipped classrooms,’ computational or genomics project-based labs, and multiple modes of learning in high-enrollment and introductory biotechnology-related courses. These campus reports suggest that Vision & Change report recommendations to create active learning environments are gaining traction and adoption; however, intentional, coordinated departmental efforts are not yet the norm. To raise awareness of the need to reform and revise biology curriculum offerings, CSUPERB continues to issue reports, write blog posts, host workshops and offer faculty development opportunities. This spring CSUPERB partnered with other CSU system-wide programs to form a collaborative leadership team, made up of high-level administrators in the CSU Chancellor’s Office, to better align resources and opportunities around effective STEM education efforts. The leadership team is seeking funding to support efforts to reach all levels of the university from part-time instructors to presidents and provosts. It is hoped that external support will raise awareness of the need to improve biology education system-wide, while also allowing for innovation and faculty development in budget-constrained times.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: To disseminate best practices and program data, CSUPERB issues annual reports on its website, organizes an annual system-wide biotechnology symposium, and sponsors professional development opportunities for faculty system-wide. Further, CSUPERB leadership has become more intentionally involved in PKAL, CUR, PULSE and other national efforts to move the needle on curriculum revision efforts and improved undergraduate STEM education.

Acknowledgements: Ken O’Donnell, Senior Director, Student Engagement & Academic Initiatives & Partnerships, CSU Office of the Chancellor; Judy Botelho, Director, Center for Community Engagement, CSU Office of the Chancellor; Koni Stone, Professor, Chemistry, CSU Stanislaus; Michael Goldman, Professor, Biology, San Francisco State University; Katherine McReynolds, Associate Professor, Chemistry, CSU Sacramento; Grant funding from the W. M. Keck Foundation (AAC&U’s Project Kaleidoscope, PI)

Introductory Lab Involves Students in Genomics Research

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Title of Abstract: Introductory Lab Involves Students in Genomics Research

Name of Author: Clare O'Connor
Author Company or Institution: Boston College
Author Title: Associate Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Cell Biology, Genetics
Course Levels: Introductory Course(s), Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: metabolism genomics yeast laboratory research

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Laura E. Hake, Boston College Douglas M. Warner, Boston College

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The explosion of genomic sequence information, particularly for microbial organisms, presents unique opportunities to engage large numbers of undergraduate students in authentic research projects. The Boston College Biology Dept. replaced two traditional 1-credit labs that accompanied introductory lecture classes in molecular cell biology and genetics with a 3-credit laboratory class that meets twice weekly for 3 hour sessions and immerses sophomore students in a semester-long research project in comparative functional genomics. Each semester for the past two years, 12 sections of 15 students have participated in the course project. Students have analyzed the conservation of several enzymes involved in methionine biosynthesis, between the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. The two species diverged from a common ancestor ~1 billion years ago. With the methionine pathway for context, course materials were designed to incorporate the core concepts of evolution, structure/function, information transfer, pathways and energy transformations and systems biology that were articulated in Vision and Change. The course activities and assignments were designed to increase Vision and Change core student competencies associated with the application of the scientific process, the use of quantitative reasoning and the communication of scientific results and ideas. In the course, students learn to design experiments, collect and interpret experimental data, find information in databases, read and analyze primary literature articles, and present and discuss scientific data, both orally and in written form.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: The course uses deletion constructs and overexpression plasmids generated by the Saccharomyces genome project for student investigations. Students work in teams of three to design experiments addressing the functional conservation of proteins involved in methionine synthesis. During the first part of the semester, students identify mutant strains by their nutritional requirements and the polymerase chain reaction. Students next use restriction endonucleases to identify plasmids that are engineered to express enzymes in yeast. Each group receives three plasmids: one plasmid carries the S. cerevisiae enzyme, a second carries the S. pombe homolog that they have identified with bioinformatics tools, and the third is a negative control. Once the strains and plasmids are identified, students transform the yeast deletion strains with the overexpression plasmids, and they determine if the plasmid genes complement the mutations in the yeast strains. A positive complementation result provides a functional test of evolutionary conservation. Finally, students analyze expression of plasmid-encoded proteins using western blots. Throughout the semester, students post their experimental results to a data sharing wiki. There are 12 sections to the course, so students are able to see if their results, either positive or negative, are reproducible.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: A variety of evaluation methods are used to assess student learning and project goals. Notebook assignments and pre-lab quizzes are used for each laboratory session. Students submit a series of lab reports, culminating in a final research paper. Student teams make oral presentations throughout the semester and present a poster at the end of the semester. Student learning outcomes have been measured by pre- and post-course concept tests and surveys, as well as a variety of assignments and presentations throughout the semester. Our evaluation team also developed protocols for focus groups and classroom observations. The TA training program was assessed by pre- and post-training surveys, as well as a confidence and anxiety index that was administered at the beginning and end of the training workshop, and again at the end of the semester.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Student learning gains were measured with pre- and post-course concept tests and student confidence surveys. The average student score on the concept tests increased from 8/20 at the beginning of the semester to 15/20 at the end of the semester. Comparison of pre- and post-course confidence data from two semesters, using a 5-point Likert scale, showed statistically significant gains in measures associated with experimental design (+0.23|0.30), technical proficiency (+0.21|0.79), written and oral communication (+0.10|0.73), database usage (+1.48/1.58) and ability to use and understand primary literature (+0.12|0.37). Products of the project include a lab manual, data sharing site and a website. We have also developed a TA training program that incorporates the principles of scientific teaching. Evaluation shows that this workshop decreases TA anxiety and increases their confidence with respect to teaching.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: The project has encountered very few institutional barriers to change. The biology department has supported the course since its inception. The biggest barriers to change involve students and graduate teaching assistants. Students are accustomed to traditional labs in which experiments are chosen to demonstrate a principle, and the outcomes are known. BI204 takes them out of their normal comfort zone. Some students become upset when an experiment doesn't 'work' or the next experiment in a sequence isn't yet defined. By the end of the semester, however, most students have adapted to the open-ended nature of scientific investigation and appreciate participating in a semester-long project. The teaching assistants present a challenge in their diversity, which can impact student learning. We have addressed this challenge by implementing a training workshop and by preparing and posting narrated tutorials on the class website - essentially 'flipping the classroom.'

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Our course was deliberately designed with flexibility in mind. Our course was designed with S. cerevisiae as the model organism, because of both the resources available from the S. cerevisiae genome project, as well as its pivotal position as a single-cell eukaryote that could reproduce clonally as a haploid (prokaryote-like) or as a diploid (eukaryote-like). Educators should be able to adapt the activities in the project to metabolic pathways and organisms of their own particular interest. To date, we have used professional meetings as our primary venue for dissemination. We have presented posters at the annual meetings of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), the Society for the Advancement of Biology Undergraduate Education (SABER) and the American Society for Microbiology - Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASM-CUE) meetings. As a result of these meetings, we have shared our materials with faculty at several institutions, who have adapted the materials to suit their particular courses. This past spring, Michael Wolyniak at Hampden Sydney College has used our materials and strains in his genetics course, together with our evaluation instruments. His results with the course materials are similar to ours, suggesting that the course can be readily adapted to a range of undergraduate settings. Alison Thomas at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, England, will be using several of our labs in her department's genetics practicals during the upcoming term. Our project is also part of a research coordination network on course-based undergraduate research, CUREnet. We plan to continue these dissemination efforts, which have been successful to date. Several manuscripts are being prepared for publication in journals that focus on undergraduate science education.

Acknowledgements: This project was supported by the Division of Undergraduate Education and the Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Division at the National Science Foundation (NSF 114028). We would also like to acknowledge dozens of graduate teaching assistants who taught the various lab sections and who contributed valuable feedback on the course and ways to improve it. Finally, we would like to thank that hundreds of undergraduate students for their enthusiasm, hard work and valuable comments.

Cross-Disciplinary Undergraduate Research

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Title of Abstract: Cross-Disciplinary Undergraduate Research

Name of Author: Linnea Fletcher
Author Company or Institution: Austin Community College
Author Title: Department Chair Biotechnology
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Biotechnology, Ecology and Environmental Biology, Undergraduate Research
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum
Approaches: Mixed Approach
Keywords: student-centered, hands-on, Ccuri,

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Patricia Phelps, Austin Community College George Staff PhD, Austin Community College Sulatha Dwarakanath, Austin Community College

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: * To make science and math courses more student-centered and hands-on for the purpose of engaging them better and accelerating their learning. * To offer cross-disciplinary undergraduate research opportunities to students for the purpose of showing students the breath of science and math and effectively share resources whether it is knowledge, personnel, equipment or supplies. * To develop long-term research projects share across disciplines to integrate curricula for students. * To embed both of the above goals within the assessment and evaluation cycle at the college so that program improvement is evidence-based. * Integrate Core Concepts and Competencies throughout the Curriculum * All courses are required to have learning objectives and linked student assessment to these objectives * Abstract concepts in biology are linked to real-world examples on a regular basis in all courses in Biology, Biotechnology, Environmental Sciences and even in Math courses * Soft skills are emphasized as much as content and laboratory skills so that students are encouraged to be lifelong learners * Curricula is more context-based with an emphasis on real-life applications

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Community colleges have traditionally focused on teaching and therefore many of them have changed their teaching practices to student-centered long before it was introduced at 4-year institutions. This is especially true in community college workforce programs as student centered education is necessary for making students workforce ready. Related to Vision and Change goals, this is what is currently done at ACC: Focus on Student-Centered Learning Examples of student-centered learning at ACC are as follows: * The flipped classroom and the Biology Emporium * ‘Applied Math’ Pathways instead of Theoretical Algebra * Undergraduate Research * Cross-Disciplinary * Career Exploration Engage the Biology Community in the Implementation of Change * The undergraduate research course piloted in the Biotechnology Department is being transferred to the Biology Department. * Coursework has moved away from memorizing text to mastery of conceptual knowledge so that students can successfully apply their knowledge to new problems and projects. Promote a Campus-wide Commitment to Change * The commitment to undergraduate research is located in the Division of Science and Math and not just in one department. * The commitment to student-centered education is college wide. It is embedded within the college’s self-evaluation processes from student services through instructional departments, and it is embedded within the professional development programs provided to faculty.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: The field-oriented Environmental Science and Technology courses require that students complete field and laboratory projects that require knowledge of how to use the equipment and instruments to successfully complete the projects. Biology and Biotechnology: Students were initially evaluated for basic technique and knowledge. Based on the outcomes of the evaluation, students participated in a Boot Camp to ensure competency on basic biotechnology equipment, basic biology knowledge, and knowledge related to scientific discovery. Students researched and presented on their choice of research projects to a panel of faculty and students. Based on the outcomes of this presentation, students proceeded with a project. At the end of the semester, students presented their project to a panel of students and faculty. All students participated in the CUR research questionnaire

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: * Increased enrollment in participating programs * Increased student retention in participating programs * Accelerated learning and obtainment of soft skills, technical skills and content knowledge that will improve a student’s chance of transferring to a 4-year school or gaining a related workforce position. * The addition of research projects to the existing environmental science courses is anticipated to increase student engagement/understanding of science. The prospect of doing research has also increased faculty/staff interest in improving the existing course content.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: The two main barriers are supply costs and the ability to mentor a large group of students.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Move the Undergraduate Research Course to Biology so that a broader student audience is reached at the community college. Once moved, also make it a dual credit course so high school students can take it.

Acknowledgements: Dr David Fonken, who has supported us in our efforts

Classroom Research Experience for Community College Students

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Title of Abstract: Classroom Research Experience for Community College Students

Name of Author: Gita Bangera
Author Company or Institution: Bellevue College
Author Title: Assistant Dean
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: 1483, Agricultural Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Cell Biology, Ecology and Environmental Biology, General Biology, Genetics, Plant Biology & Botany, Virology
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Faculty Development, Introductory Course(s), Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development, Mixed Approach
Keywords: Undergraduate-Research Research-as-pedagogy Student-centered Genomics Bioinformatics

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): K. Harrington, Tacoma Community College A. Gargas, Symbiology LLC R. Jeffers, Bellevue College C. Vermilyea, Bellevue College L. Thomashow, USDA-ARS D. Weller, USDA-ARS

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The Vision and Change report recommends introducing research early and throughout the biology curriculum and demonstrating the passion of scientists for their fields. ComGen - Authentic Research Experiences Expansion project (NSF # 1225857) aims to take the field tested ComGen approach of using authentic research as pedagogy to community colleges (CCs) in the Pacific Northwest. The project is a continuation of a successful strategy of providing CC students with authentic research experiences early in their academic careers. We had originally developed a “mini-graduate school” course with previous funding (NSF# 0717470) where students generate, analyze and communicate new genomic data and critically analyze original scientific literature; we then modified and adapted critical components of this course to fit into a standard Majors’ Cell and Molecular Biology introductory course and piloted it successfully (McCook A. 2011 333: 1572-1573. Wei CA & T Woodin. 2011. CBE - Life Sciences Education 10: 123-131.). Our current project focuses on the dissemination of this course within the Pacific Northwest region and on developing related curricula for other courses within the Life Sciences spectrum. Our student impact outcomes include improved critical thinking skills, increasing students’ knowledge of the process of science and confidence in visualizing themselves as scientists, and increased retention of students in STEM fields. Our overarching goal is to promote widespread adoption of a sustainable, student-focused and institutionalized culture of research pedagogy among regional CCs. To achieve this goal we want to: 1. Create transformative changes in STEM education by integrating easily adoptable authentic research experiences into community college curricula; 2. Build faculty and institutional capacity for providing authentic research experiences to community college students; and 3. Build a sustainable research network to help enrich and expand impact.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: We are training faculty from the region’s CCs in using the pedagogical and assessment tools developed from previous NSF funding with workshops customized to their individual needs. We are also developing new tools with input from the faculty participants; providing ongoing support for the faculty for implementation of the curriculum and providing venues for interaction between CC and research faculty for development of a Community of Practice. Our key goal is to develop faculty capacity to follow the “Hands on/Hands off” pedagogical approach: the experience is “hands on” for students and “hands off” for faculty i.e. faculty are encouraged to provide the minimum amount of scaffolding and allow students to take charge of the learning process.

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 have used nationally accepted instruments such as the CURE survey (Lopatto D, et al. 2008. Undergraduate research: Genomics education partnership. Science 322: 684-685.) and our own internally developed assessment tools to document the impact on students and other outcomes. These include an instrument for assessing students’ grasp of the technical details of the research and a survey of the faculty receiving students after their ComGen experience. We are continuing to develop and optimize our assessment instruments with input from the participating faculty.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: We are currently analyzing the data from our first year of the project but we have shown impact on students’ ability to: perform the technical components of the research, develop tolerance for obstacles in research and visualize themselves as scientists in our pilot work in the previous grant. We have found that even faculty with multiple decades of teaching experience have adopted this approach and found it to be empowering both for themselves and the students. Faculty who have incorporated this teaching method into their curricula insist that they have no interest in returning to the traditional modes of teaching and have started incorporating tools from this process into their other courses as well.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: So far we have not run into any unexpected challenges in this process. The challenges that we have faced are the usual issues of trying to coordinate the training time for faculty.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: We have so far trained faculty from seven institutions and of these four are already implementing the ComGen pedagogy model. We plan to expand our dissemination efforts to include at least 15 CCs in the Pacific Northwest. We have recruited faculty at the NorthWest Biology Instructors Organization meeting and by direct contact through the network of Department Chairs. As one of 40 Vision and Change Leadership fellows as part of the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Science Education (PULSE), the Principal Investigator will also use the North West PULSE conference (NSF EAGER 1345033) to recruit more faculty not just from the CCs but other (especially minority serving institutions) as well.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to useful input from Jason Fuller, Allen Farrand, Stephen Clark, Pamela Pape-Lindstrom and Stacey Gregersen.