Understanding Evolution for Undergraduates

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Title of Abstract: Understanding Evolution for Undergraduates

Name of Author: Judy Scotchmoor
Author Company or Institution: University of California, Berkeley
Author Title: Emerita
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Evolutionary Biology, General Biology, Integrative Biology
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development, Mixed Approach
Keywords: Evolutionary biology, active learning, lessons, evolution across the curriculum, teaching resources

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The Understanding Evolution website (www.understandingevolution.org, UE) provides freely accessible, innovative teaching tools for evolutionary biology. Initially targeting K-12 teachers, the site was expanded to include materials for undergraduate instructors in 2010. The goals of this expansion align with the Vision for Implementing Change: (1) Integrating Core Concepts and Competencies throughout the Curriculum. UE’s undergraduate materials aim to facilitate instructors’ ability to integrate evolution throughout the biology curriculum, particularly in introductory classes. Evolution is one of the five Core Concepts outlined in Vision and Change and is a unifying principle in biology. In addition, many of the newly developed materials help students relate abstract concepts to real-world examples by encouraging instructors to address the many applications of evolutionary theory, both in solving real world problems and in scientific research. (2) Focus on Student-Centered Learning and Engaging the Biology Community in the Implementation of Change. Another goal of our new materials is to encourage college biology instructors to use pedagogical techniques supported by education research, with a focus on active, student-centered learning and alternatives to strict lecture, as recommended in Vision and Change.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Following recommendations from the National Research Council (2003) and our advisory board of college faculty, this expansion focused on the development of tools for teaching evolution that encourage active learning, that involve students with the primary literature and authentic data, and that help instructors incorporate evolution throughout the Introductory Biology curriculum. These materials include: active learning slides that use minute papers, clicker questions, and problem-based discussions to engage students; Evolution Connection slide sets that weave evolutionary concepts into topics in a typical Intro Biology syllabus; a journal club toolkit that helps students learn about authentic scientific practices by engaging them with the primary literature; an interactive syllabus for locating evolution-related teaching materials for most topics in Intro Biology; a searchable database of lessons that actively engage students with evolutionary concepts; and a wide variety of readers and resources that address the applications of evolutionary theory in solving real world problems and in scientific research. This large collection of materials grows constantly with the addition of community-contributed, peer-reviewed activities and basic informational pieces and teaching resources developed by UE staff.

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 UE website has taken a multi-pronged approach to ensure that our goals are being met. First, new undergraduate materials developed for UE were reviewed and edited by our Teacher Advisory Board, made up of master teachers from a variety of college-level institutions (from rural community colleges to research-one institutions). Second, the research and evaluation firm Rockman et al performed a mixed-method evaluation of the new site components focused on use by instructors of college-level introductory biology. Their evaluation consisted of (a) a study of site use by six introductory biology teachers using a think-aloud protocol as participants performed tasks using the website, (b) a survey of site users and recruited participants (n = 544 undergraduate instructors) to determine their patterns of site use and satisfaction with different aspects of the site, and (c) two virtual focus groups, consisting of six faculty each, who were asked to use different site materials in their classrooms and discuss their experiences. The final component of our evaluation effort involved monitoring site-use statistics using Google Analytics. In the future, we hope to obtain funding for controlled classroom trials of UE materials, in which student impact can be directly measured.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: The website garners in excess of 1.3 million page accesses per month (up from around 850,000 before the site was expanded for the undergraduate level), serves many institution types (from rural community colleges to doctoral-granting, research-oriented universities), and has a diverse international audience (many site resources are available in Turkish and Spanish). Rockman et al’s evaluation of the site found that all groups (undergraduate instructors, K-12 teachers, and students) were overwhelmingly positive about UE as a general resource and praised the site's design, organization, and navigation. In addition, all groups seemed to benefit from using UE, with undergraduate instructors being influenced the most. Data showed that undergraduate instructors had the highest frequency of visits to the UE site, perception of needs being met by the site, likelihood of returning to the site, level of overall praise for the site, and rate of directing their students to the site. The evidence strongly suggests that UE has met its objectives for reaching the undergraduate community (instructors and students), while maintaining interest from the K-12 community.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: One of our aims was to support community interactions regarding teaching evolutionary biology by enabling rating and threaded discussion of UE resources. Many instructors modify materials to suit their needs and have developed troves of relevant knowledge that could form the basis of helpful community interactions. We envisioned the UE website as a place where this knowledge could be shared by vested practitioners. Unfortunately, our first attempt at developing this community failed. Our original platform for commenting was too difficult to use and was easily overwhelmed by spam. We have since revamped the system to use social media commenting (via Facebook) and will be launching a new effort to solicit comments in September. We look forward to finding out if this change will be effective.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: UE’s dissemination via the web has been highly effective. The site is consistently among the top three results for the search term ‘evolution’ and receives >1.3 million page accesses per month. In addition, UE has been disseminated in a wide variety of targeted venues. Recognized with Science Magazine’s SPORE award, UE has been presented at workshops at the National Association of Biology Teachers, state science teachers’ conferences, the National Research Council and National Academy of Sciences’ Thinking Evolutionarily convocation, many scientific meetings, BioQUEST, NESCent, UC Berkeley, and more. In addition, UE staff have published articles on the website in peer-reviewed journals. Collaborations with professional societies, faculty, and other resource providers have allowed the site to grow and reach a broader audience every year. Although the presence of resources alone does not guarantee the kind of transformation called for in Vision and Change, access to high quality, community-vetted materials supports the implementation of change on a national level.

Acknowledgements: Project work team: Roy Caldwell, David Lindberg, Judy Scotchmoor, Anna Thanukos, Josh Frankel, David Smith Project Advisory Board: Paul Beardsley, Rodger Bybee , Steven Case, Judy Diamond, Sam Donovan, Kristin Jenkins, Joe Levine, Dennis Liu, Patricia Morse, Paul Narguizian, Richard O'Grady, Eugenie Scott, Lisa White, Brian Wiegmann Undergraduate teacher advisors: Robin Bingham, Jean DeSaix, Nan Ho, Jennifer Katcher, Kristi Curry Rogers, Jim Smith, Kirsten Swinstrom, Lisa Urry, Dan Ward, Jason Wiles, Cal Young External undergraduate teacher advisors: Felicitas Avendano, Kari Benson, Jenny Boughman, Marya Czech, Ryan Gregory, Laurel Hester, Andre Lachance, Troy Ladine, Mary Mulcahy, Andrew Petto, Polly Schultz, Kathy Schwab, Elena Speth, Robert Swanson, James Thompson, Martin Tracey, Leo Welch

Integrating Statistics into the Life Sciences Curriculum

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Title of Abstract: Integrating Statistics into the Life Sciences Curriculum

Name of Author: Edward Bartlett
Author Company or Institution: Purdue University
Author Title: Associate Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Ecology and Environmental Biology, Evolutionary Biology, General Biology, Integrative Biology, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Organismal Biology, Physiology & Anatomy, 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
Keywords: undergraduate research, modules, faculty learning community, secondary school teachers.

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): James Forney, Purdue University-West Lafayette Ann Rundell, Purdue University-West Lafayette Kari Clase, Purdue University-West Lafayette Stephanie Gardner, Purdue University-West Lafayette Omolola Adedokun, Purdue University-West Lafayette Dennis Minchella, Purdue University-West Lafayette

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Our program has 4 components: 1) Summer undergraduate research program 2) Faculty learning community 3) Curriculum development 4) Secondary school teacher development and research. The objective of our HHMI-funded summer research program is to bring together faculty and undergraduate students from an array of academic institutions and disciplines to provide a facilitated ‘hands-on’ experience focusing on experiment design and statistical analysis within the context of life science-related research projects. The objectives of the faculty learning community are twofold. First, it brings together interested faculty, graduate students and postdocs to discuss advances, innovations, and best practices in teaching and curriculum. Second, it facilitates the design of course modules that will be used for curricular development. The objective of the Curriculum Development component is to introduce experimental design, statistical and quantitative analysis, and critical evaluation of data throughout the life science curriculum through “plug and play” modules that are incorporated into existing courses. The objective of the teacher-scientist component is to provide secondary school teachers with research experiences as well as to provide training and ideas for incorporating statistical and data analysis into their life science courses.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Eighteen undergraduate students (Purdue University WL, Purdue Calumet, Purdue University North Central, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Franklin College, Morehouse College, and Saint Mary’s College) were hosted within 18 different research laboratories on the West Lafayette Purdue University campus for an 8 week long research experience in 2011-2013. Our second Faculty Learning Community (FLC) began in September of 2011 with twelve members drawn from the departments of Statistics, Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Industrial Technology, Horticulture, and Forestry. The group contained two postdoctoral researchers, seven tenure track faculty and two staff members (one from the Purdue Center for Instructional Excellence). Roughly half of the meetings were focused on statistics/learning module development and the other half on student learning (e.g. active learning, student development, learning and memory). During 2012, six new modules have been completed, bringing the total number of available modules to twelve. An additional five are being developed by the most recent cohort of FLC members (2013). Modules now cover a broad swath of the life sciences at Purdue, such as new modules in Forestry and in Speech, Language and Hearing Science. The new modules have covered statistical concepts such as the chi-squared test and Bayesian statistics and techniques in data analysis using confocal images of plant samples collected by the students. used STEMEdHub (https://stemedhub.org/groups/hhmibio). These are publicly available, and users may download the modules and provide feedback on them. In April 2012 the four teacher-scientists from the Summer Institute in 2011, presented a workshop at the Annual Meeting for the National Science Teachers Association in Indianapolis, IN, to approximately 30 teachers. The materials are available at: (https://www.nsta.org/conferences/schedule.aspx?id=2012ind).

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: For the summer research program, assessments were a combination of assessments of competency, such as portions of Garfield's Statistical Reasoning Assessments, as well as interviews. Assessment of the faculty learning community was mainly via interviews with participants. Assessments for curriculum development have largely been based on the individual modules themselves, taking the form of a written report by the students, a poster presentation, or exam questions for example. Assessments of the teacher-scientist program were mainly using interviews.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Summer research has resulted in at least 2 journal publications with students as co-authors. Students rated the summer research very highly, including the quantitative training sessions during each week as a group, as well as the students' interactions with their mentors. Over 12 faculty members, 4 postdocs, and 2 graduate students have participated as learning community members. They have rated the interactions within the community quite highly, and their participation has resulted in the bulk of the available modules. The 'plug and play' modules have been incorporated into many of the introductory and intermediate level courses in Biology, Biochemistry, and Biomedical Engineering. In addition, the modules are publicly available through a hosted site at Purdue. Over 6 teacher-scientists have been trained and have acted as role models within the community, holding larger outreach events.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: For the summer research program, things we will improve for will be to continue to transform the quantitative training sessions towards effective problem based learning and to reinforce the link between the statistical analysis and the student research experience. For the faculty learning community, finding enough interested postdocs and willing advisors was difficult. We then permitted graduate students to join the faculty learning community, and they have been equally helpful in facilitating discussions of teaching and development of modules. For curriculum development, now that a large number of modules have been initially created and implemented in classes, but more or less piecemeal, it is important to make the modules more seamlessly integrated throughout the life sciences curricula. To do this, we have engaged new faculty of introductory courses and permitted them to attend a teaching workshop (SI Institute) as well as gathered syllabi to find common topics taught across courses. Following two summers of teacher-scientist training, the evaluation team recommended that the ?teachers receive focused training/instruction in very basic statistics?data representation, probability, etc from a plain spoken source. This instruction should be combined with pedagogical sessions wherein teachers brainstorm or work with each other to translate basic statistical concepts into classroom activities in life science contexts.? In order to address this recommendation the summer institute was revised to include two master math teachers that could provide: exemplar lessons from their classrooms, resources that would be appropriate to use with students, advice and insight during data analysis discussions and planning sessions for translating workshop topics into the classroom.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Dissemination of summer student research has taken the forms of journal articles and posters at national meetings. Dissemination of the modules developed by faculty learning community members has taken the form of links to a website through Purdue's STEMEdHUB: STEMEdHub (https://stemedhub.org/groups/hhmibio/). Dissemination of findings and discussions of teachers is available at: https://hhmipurdue.wikispaces.com/ In addition, the first year research course has resulted in journal articles on the course design of such a course. Future dissemination will focus on publishing results from the various components of the program separately in journals, as well as a publication describing the overall program and its results and impact.

Acknowledgements: The authors gratefully acknowledge the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for providing funds for this project.

Learning Gains from Guided-Inquiry Labs with Bean Beetles

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Title of Abstract: Learning Gains from Guided-Inquiry Labs with Bean Beetles

Name of Author: Lawrence Blumer
Author Company or Institution: Morehouse College
Author Title: Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Ecology and Environmental Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Neuroscience, Organismal Biology, Physiology & Anatomy
Course Levels: Faculty Development, Introductory Course(s), Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: guided inquiry, assessment, bean beetles, Callosobruchus, faculty development

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Christopher W. Beck, Emory University

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The aims of this project were increasing the use of guided-inquiry in undergraduate laboratory courses and to foster the development of new guided inquiry experiments with the bean beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus, model system in physiology, neurobiology, genetics, molecular biology, and developmental biology. Guided-inquiry is a student-centered inquiry method that aligns with the Vision and Change report recommendation that students learn science by doing science.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: We conducted four annual faculty development workshops that were attended by a total of 81 faculty from 40 different institutions. Participants were selected to represent a diversity of institution types including 12 minority-serving institutions (24 participants) and eight community colleges (16 participants). Participants, in teams of two from each institution, learned how to work with bean beetles, how guided-inquiry learning may be conducted, and developed a new laboratory activity with bean beetles that they class tested at their own institution.

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 conducted an Instructional Practices assessment on our workshop faculty participants both prior to our workshop and after implementing their new guided-inquiry laboratory activity. Students in the classes in which a new laboratory activity was implemented also were surveyed on their perceptions of their faculty Instructional Practices. These assessments were conducted to determine whether our workshops changed faculty instructional practices. Furthermore, students were assessed in a pre-test, post-test format on their confidence to conduct scientific research, their knowledge of the nature of science, and their problem solving skills. These student assessments were conducted to determine the effectiveness of guided-inquiry learning.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: In the first three years of the project, approximately 481 students at 11 institutions were directly affected. They conducted guided-inquiry bean beetle experiments in 37 different courses. The faculty development workshops we conducted were successful in changing teaching practices and those changes were reflected in student perceptions of how they were taught. Students participating in guided-inquiry activities experienced significant gains in confidence to conduct scientific research and these gains were greatest among students whose pre-test confidence was in the lowest quartile. Similarly, the greatest gains in knowledge of the nature of science and problem solving skills were among those students in the lowest pre-test quartiles. These findings indicate that guided inquiry laboratories provide the greatest benefits for students whose needs are the greatest. Our findings provide strong support for the transformation of undergraduate laboratory instructional methods recommended in the Vision and Change report.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Not all the faculty who attended our workshops successfully completed their development of a new laboratory activity. This challenge was not entirely unexpected and we withheld two-thirds of their stipend as an incentive for them to complete their work. This incentive was sufficient for the majority of our workshop participants.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: The new guided-inquiry laboratory activities that our workshop participants developed are being posted on the bean beetle website, www.beanbeetles.org. The open access content for these laboratory activities consists of a student handout, instructor notes, sample data, and image and data slides. This website will be maintained for a minimum of 10 years after the end of this project. We continue to collect data from faculty teams that are in the process of completing their work. The results of the Instructional Practices surveys of faculty and students, and the student pre-test, post-test student assessments of confidence to conduct scientific research, knowledge of the nature of science, and problem solving skills will be prepared as manuscripts for publication in peer reviewed journals.

Acknowledgements: We thank Dr. Tom McKlin of the Findings Group for his external evaluation of our project. We also thank the faculty and students of the participating colleges and universities. This project was supported by the National Science Foundation DUE-0815135 and DUE-0814373.

Creating a Coherent Gateway for STEM Teaching and Learning

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Title of Abstract: Creating a Coherent Gateway for STEM Teaching and Learning

Name of Author: Diane Ebert-May
Author Company or Institution: Michigan State University
Author Title: Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: 1468, 1487, Cell Biology, Ecology and Environmental Biology, Evolutionary Biology, General Biology, Genetics, Math, Organismal Biology, Plant Biology & Botany
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Mixed Approach, Research driven
Keywords: assessment, learning communities, introductory science and math courses, change models, retention

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Tammy Long, Michigan State University Robert Pennock, Michigan State University Mark Voit, Michigan State University

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: At Michigan State University, we are focusing on the reform of gateway courses in not only in biology but also in chemistry, physics and mathematics involving over 4000 students in a typical semester. Using a model of change that depends upon a shared vision, teams of faculty from the disciplinary departments will come together to identify the disciplinary and cross-disciplinary core ideas and scientific and mathematical practices that, together, we will blend to develop performance expectations. We are developing assessments that emphasize both these core ideas and scientific or mathematical practices, which in turn will require that faculty change their classroom practices. In this way, we focus on the important ideas and practices of the STEM disciplines, and emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of modern science and mathematics. Learning communities composed of faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students will be supported as they contribute to the shared vision of the reformed gateway courses. This project is complementary to an existing project funded by AAU and was proposed to the recent NSF-WIDER competition, intended to lead to reform of gateway courses and changing the culture of research universities to emphasize the importance of teaching and learning.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: The reform of these courses is based both on current theories of teaching and learning, and on a change model that emerges from the shared vision of all the stakeholders and that evolves based on feedback from assessments about how we are meeting our goals.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: Our reform efforts are driven by the following research questions: 1. In what ways do faculty transform their practices across the STEM gateway courses as new common outcomes and expectations are developed based upon core disciplinary ideas blended with scientific practices? 2. How does student understanding of core disciplinary ideas and science practices change, over time and across disciplines? 3. Are student changes in understanding and use of knowledge correlated with faculty practices, assessments and learning materials? 4. How does student retention, both in courses and majors, change as courses are redesigned?

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: As we answer these four research questions, we will develop a model for sustainable change in targeted gateway courses based on collective faculty engagement. This model will be transferable to other institutions.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Although it is not unexpected, faculty commitment and willingness to change is always a challenge.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: The AAU project began in June. The reform of Organismal and Population Biology (see T. Long abstract) is complete (but always a work in progress) and disseminated to a number of faculty across colleges.

Acknowledgements: To all the faculty and administrators who are involved in the reform of the STEM gateway courses.

Learning with Digital Evolution Software

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Title of Abstract: Learning with Digital Evolution Software

Name of Author: Robert Pennock
Author Company or Institution: Michigan State University
Author Title: Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Evolutionary Biology, General Biology, Genetics
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum
Approaches: Mixed Approach
Keywords: Avida-ED Digital evolution Evolution education Inquiry-based education Science practices

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Amy Lark, Michigan State University Wendy Johnson, Michigan State University Louise Mead, Michigan State University Jim Smith, Michigan State University Gail Richmond, Michigan State University

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The BEACON NSF Center for the Study of Evolution in Action has several education projects to develop software and curricula to allow students to learn about evolution and the nature of science using specially developed versions of the same model systems that are used for basic research in experimental evolution. The most advanced is Avida-ED, which allows students to engage in authentic science practices using a well-established digital evolution research platform that has been adapted for undergraduate use. Avida-ED is an agent-based model system in which populations of digital organisms compete in a computational environment where their code evolves as natural selection acts upon random variations that arise during self-replication. Because the causal processes of variation, inheritance and selection are realized in the system, Avida-ED allows open-ended evolution and is a truly experimental system. Model exercises, several of which use both biological and digital organisms, have been developed specifically to advance Vision and Change goals. Specifically, Avida-ED fosters (i) understanding evolution as a core explanatory framework, (ii) inquiry-based experience with scientific practices, and (iii) introducing reasoning based on models. Avida-ED has been used successfully in both lower and upper division courses for both majors and non-majors in colleges and universities across the country.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: To document the effectiveness of digital evolution as a learning tool, a national study is in progress that looks at student outcomes in a variety of classroom settings. The study takes a mixed methods, multiple-case approach and examines how biology instructors are using Avida-ED in their classrooms and assessing student learning outcomes. We recruited instructors from eight institutions across the United States for a total of ten cases, each consisting of a single course. The cases cover a broad range of course types from an AP biology class at a private Catholic high school to an introductory honors biology course for non-majors to an upper-division evolution course at a very large public research university. To characterize how instructors use Avida-ED and effects on student learning, we drew from a rich array of data sources including instructor interviews, a pre/post assessment of student learning and acceptance of evolution, a survey of student reactions to Avida-ED, and various classroom artifacts (e.g., course syllabi, assignments, student work, etc.).

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: To determine the degree to which Avida-ED is successful as a tool for learning about evolution, students were assessed prior and subsequent to engagement in lessons with the software. The assessment consisted of a combination of two constructed response items, which focused on fundamental evolutionary concepts, and ten forced choice items intended to measure student acceptance of evolution. The constructed response items were scored according to a rubric, and these scores were combined to create an overall content score. The forced choice items, based on a 5-point Likert scale, were combined to create an overall acceptance score. These metrics, the content and acceptance scores, were used to make cross-case comparisons of student learning and acceptance from pre- to post-test. Subsequent to instructions, students were also asked to complete a survey on their experiences with Avida-ED. These data were used to help gauge student interest and engagement with the program, and have proven useful to the Avida-ED Curriculum Development team as we continue to develop lesson materials and improve the software. Some of the items were also helpful in reinforcing student assessment responses or identifying lingering misconceptions. During interviews conducted prior and subsequent to classroom implementation of Avida-ED, instructors were asked to provide feedback with regard to how well Avida-ED met their objectives. Specifically, we asked them about the greatest affordances and challenges of teaching with Avida-ED, and about the degree to which Avida-ED allows them to engage students in inquiry-based activities.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Preliminary data show significant student learning gains and overcoming of common misconceptions following lessons with Avida-ED. In lower-division courses (e.g., Intro Bio) student understanding of fundamental evolutionary concepts – such as the origin of genetic diversity and the basic elements of Darwinian natural selection – as measured by content score increased significantly. Student acceptance of evolution as a real phenomenon that explains the diversity of life on earth and that is based on scientific evidence also increased significantly. There was also a significant, positive relationship between the change in both content and acceptance scores from pre- to post-test, suggesting that the more students can observe and test evolutionary processes in action, the more they accept evolution as true. These preliminary results add to the growing body of evidence showing that integrating content and practices is one of the most effective ways to teach science. Student surveys have revealed positive reactions to Avida-ED, with many students responding that they like that Avida-ED allows them to observe evolution in action and to carry out experiments of their own design. When asked about the most important thing that they learned from using Avida-ED, many students responded that evolution is observable and testable, and that they had a better understanding of evolutionary mechanisms. Instructors have been enthusiastic, with most appreciating the program’s ease of use and the ability for students to see evolution in action and design experiments to test their own hypotheses. One representative research university professor wrote: “[T]here is no other system that allows students to focus on the most important aspects of experimental science (hypothesis generation, experiment design/implementation/re-design/analysis, etc.) than Avida-ED. Avida-ED allows the students to concentrate on the 'thinking' parts of experimental science as opposed to the 'doing' parts.”

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: One barrier to change is that teaching evolution has several unique challenges. Besides the obvious problems caused by the social controversy, a major challenge is overcoming some of the conceptual and practical difficulties. For example, it has traditionally been taught just as a historical science – something that happened in the past – with slow and imperceptible changes occurring over millennia, rather than as an ongoing process. BEACON research focuses on observing evolutionary processes in action in both biological and computational environments and Avida-ED promises to use this approach to similarly transform evolution education by allowing students to observe and test the evolutionary processes themselves. The challenge is how to develop faculty expertise in teaching with a truly open-ended experimental evolution system and to change the curriculum so that evolution is presented as a prime exemplar of how science is done. We will discuss ways in which we are beginning to scale up these efforts.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: The Avida-ED software, model exercises and instructor support material is available for free from the Avida-ED project web site: https://avida-ed.msu.edu. We have presented workshops at professional conferences including National Association of Biology Teachers, National Science Teachers Association, Society for the Study of Evolution, BioQUEST SELECTION workshop, Artificial Life 13, Michigan Science Teachers Association, National Evolutionary Synthesis Center and many individual biology departments. We are seeking grant support to set up a national ‘instruct the instructors’ faculty development network.

Acknowledgements: This material is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement No. DBI-0939454. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

General Biology as Discovering the Story of Life

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Title of Abstract: General Biology as Discovering the Story of Life

Name of Author: Nancy Auer
Author Company or Institution: Michigan Technological University
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Ecology and Environmental Biology, Evolutionary Biology, General Biology, Organismal Biology
Course Levels: Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: General Biology Inquiry Discovery of story Organismal Evolution

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: My goals/outcomes That the students grasp and discover the story, they begin to see how it grows and unfolds as we move though class and then into other classes how it relates. That they don't rote memorize but can understand and speak concepts to others, roommates, parents, etc. That they develop synthesis skills and critically evaluate material. That they can begin to see their own ability to evaluate how they are doing - know their own 'grade'

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: In 'lecture class' I use discussion in both small and large class groupings of pre-assigned material, asking for things like constructing timelines, concept maps, etc. I use a 'blue book' where small groups record answers and discussions and participation on questions. I use the book Your Inner Fish weekly to synthesize with what is in textbook and what is happening in laboratory. We also have voluntary current event reports. I try and develop the learning as an unfolding story of evolution and organismal life/biology. I use inquiry based laboratory - week one is a prepared lab and then week two is a laboratory where they have asked a question beyond what happened in first lab and test their own experiments the second week.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: My evaluation methods include 1) an individual written research paper using a starter article from current (within past year) Science issues. I will try a 2 person approach this year 2013 assigning 2 people to same article and both help each other finding and discussing papers but each turn in separate papers. 2) Evaluation of class notes, and blue books 3) Laboratory reports (rubric given) 4) 2 short answer/essay exams 5) class participation

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: My pre- and post-short answer tests show students can answer 41% more of the questions at the end of the class without memorization or study. I give this the same day I have my own teaching performance evaluations now and students see and write on my evals that they can see they have made improvement over the semester. I am on the department curriculum and assessment committees and have helped develop the capstone course for senior synthesis. I will also be teaching in 2014 with a new faculty member who is presently on maternity leave.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Our university requires that a syllabus be given out the first week of class. I have been developing my syllabus in old style - read x pages/day prior to coming to class. I will now approach it differently with concept ideas and either shorter readings or more directed readings from articles or even videos. I started out by grading students on weekly reflections but it took a great deal of weekend time to get through 70 reflections and identify areas of work for following week. I now ask for some short written responses done during some class periods instead, at least weekly. The need to not have one student drop out is a challenge - trying to keep everyone engaged - each year I try to offer more and more types of help through our Biology Learning center, GTAs and office hours and email.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: I am involved in the University wide assessment and working in my department on our assessment of learning. I have pre- and post- tests in my Gen Bio course, and share those results and laboratory reports as part of assessment. Through these activities I influence others in our department and others on campus see our successes.

Acknowledgements: Both my previous Department chair (Mike Gibson) and director of CTL at MTU (William Kennedy) were instrumental in encouraging me as I often got poor teaching evaluations due to my unwillingness to simply provide answers or tell students exactly what they needed to know. Both my previous Department chair (Mike Gibson) and director of CTL at MTU (William Kennedy) were instrumental in encouraging me as I often got poor teaching evaluations due to my unwillingness to simply provide answers or tell students exactly what they needed to know. Both these individuals supported and encouraged me to continue to develop this type of teaching. Also all those at the 2010 AAAS conference in San Diego and the many presenters speaking on Vision and Change.

Visual Analytics in Biology Curriculum Network

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Title of Abstract: Visual Analytics in Biology Curriculum Network

Name of Author: Raphael Isokpehi
Author Company or Institution: Jackson State University
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Evolutionary Biology, General Biology
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
Keywords: Visual Analytics, Data-Rich Biology, Teaching with Data, Data Visualization

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Shaneka S. Simmons, Jackson State Universtiy Jian Chen, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Edu Suarez-Martine, University of Puerto Rico at Ponce Robert Dottin, Hunter College of the City University of New York

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The Biology of the 21st Century (the New Biology) already generates massive amounts of data on biological systems from cellular molecules to ecosystems. It demands new skills and knowledge for teachers and learners of biology to make biological inferences from large datasets (such as genome sequences and long-term ecological measurements) that are now essential for evidence-based learning. The primary mission of the Visual Analytics in Biology Curriculum Network (VABCN; www.vabcn.org) is to contribute to the national efforts to change the way the core concepts for biology literacy and practice are taught and learned. According to the Final Report of the July 2009 National Conference titled “VISION AND CHANGE IN UNDERGRADUATE BIOLOGY EDUCATION: A CALL TO ACTION”, the core concepts for biological literacy and practice are (i) evolution; (ii) structure and function; (iii) information flow, exchange, and storage; and (iv) systems. To transform undergraduate biology education these concepts need to be mastered using a set of core competencies. Incorporating visual analytics, the science of analytical reasoning facilitated by interactive visual interfaces, in the biology curriculum will improve the ability of biology learners to develop competencies to understand (master) the core concepts for biological literacy. The overall goal of the Visual Analytics in Biology Curriculum Network (VABCN) is to facilitate and promote the collaboration of researchers, educators, and students who are developing approaches for incorporating visual analytics into biology undergraduate education. The intended outcomes of the VABCN are to (1) Develop and expand a network of scholars for improvement in undergraduate biology education; (2) Produce, assess and disseminate course resources designed to improve biological literacy; (3) Promote a globally engaged network of faculty and students; and (4) Provide effective communications and collaboration tools.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Many interactive visual interfaces that are key to teaching, learning and assessment are now available through diverse computing devices including desktop computers, laptops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones. The three main strategies for implementing the Visual Analytics in Biology Curriculum Network (VABCN) are: (1) Web Portal to Visual Analytics for Undergraduate Biology Education; (2) Development of Visual Analytics Enhanced Biology Course Resources; and (3) Webinars and Classroom Guest Speakers. A visual analytics enhanced biology course resource incorporates the use of interactive visual interfaces and software that facilitate visual analytics tasks on the selected biological datasets. The course resources will be mapped to the categories that are aligned to the core concepts and core competencies as described in the 2011 Vision and Change Report. Other categories are student audience, scientific domain and nature of research.

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 planning phase (April 2011 to March 2012) of the VABCN enabled us to develop frameworks for the design of evaluation studies: e.g. pre- and post-assessment materials; comparisons between implementations at different sites; and comparative assessments of course resource implementation with and without the visual analytic component. Additional frameworks are students’ pre and post knowledge and skills in different aspects of scientific inquiry. The proposed project will allow members to further develop these assessment strategies and share them.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: The Preparing Faculty Working Group (Theme III: Ways to Bring About Change: Change Agents) during the 2009 Vision and Change meeting recognized the need “To develop and grow communities of scholars (students, postdocs, faculty, and administrators) who are committed to creating, using, assessing, and disseminating effective practices in teaching and learning” (https://live-visionandchange.pantheonsite.io/working-group-descriptions/). The planning phase of the VABCN enabled the formation of a Steering Committee consisting of 33 scholars from 13 diverse institutions. The full implementation of the VABCN will provide activities to improve and expand a network of scholars interested in improving the approaches to teaching and learning biology in a data intensive world. Our measurable aim is to reach at least 100 unique participants per year in the VABCN activities. Integrated analysis and visualization can allow learners and teachers of biology to analyze data of interest, display relevant parts, and concurrent ways to interact with the data for deeper understanding. Science education research suggests that activities are most effective when they are designed to interactively engage students.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: In the planning (incubator) phase of the VABCN we identified that heterogeneous virtual communities take time to develop the bonds, sharing of expertise, shared understanding and vocabulary needed for productive development of visual analytic course materials. More time than a year is needed to develop at once solid collaborative dynamics, high quality instructional materials integrating innovative visual analytics, implementation of the materials, and assessment instruments. It is likely that investment in these longer start-up times for a first module will make it possible for a group to produce additional instructional materials very efficiently and effectively. Thus efforts are in progress to secure grant funding and other funding sources to continue the activities of the VABCN.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: The principal product from the network activities will be a system of course resources on visual analytics for mastering core concepts for biological literacy. The VABCN will facilitate the production, assessment and dissemination of biology course resources that incorporate visual analytics. During the planning phase, members of the network produced, assessed and disseminated prototype course resources on diversity of life targeted at biology courses offered to freshmen and sophomores (https://www.vabcn.org/). We will promote, encourage and support the use of best practices for student-centered course resource development as recommended by the Vision and Change Report. Therefore, an expected outcome of this VABCN activity is that the developed course resources will have well-articulated learning outcomes to align assessments with learning activities. As an international network with participants in different geographical locations, the VABCN will maximize the use of cyber-based collaboration strategies and promote the use of videoconferencing to accomplish collaborations. As part of our international public dissemination of the results of the planning activities of the VABCN, we have worked with International Innovation Magazine to prepare an article on the importance of visual analytics in biology curriculum in language accessible to the public. The full digital edition of the May 2012 International Innovation can be found at: https://www.research-europe.com/. Since the VABCN is responsive to the Vision and Change effort, we will establish a VABCN group on the PULSE (Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education) website (https://www.pulsecommunity.org/). In particular, we will provide VABCN information materials to the PULSE Vision and Change Ambassadors, a group dedicated to meeting with biology and life science departments to encourage them to adopt the principles and recommendations of the “Vision and Change” report.

Acknowledgements: The incubator phase of the Visual Analytics in Biology Curriculum Network was jointly funded by the Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Biological Infrastructure and the Directorate for Education and Human Resources, Division of Undergraduate Education of the National Science Foundation as part of their Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education efforts. Award: NSF-DBI-1062057

Group Research: Experiment in Efficiency of Delivery

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Title of Abstract: Group Research: Experiment in Efficiency of Delivery

Name of Author: Louise Temple
Author Company or Institution: James Madison University
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Evolutionary Biology, Genetics
Course Levels: Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Mixed Approach
Keywords: Undergraduate research Efficient delivery Multiple students Single mentor

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: With the overwhelming documentation of undergraduate research as a transformative experience, biology educators are being challenged to offer research to more students. The goal of this project is to offer original research opportunities to more undergraduates by developing experimental questions that can be addressed by small groups of students mentored by one faculty. Since 2008, we have offered a research class to freshman involving bacteriophage discovery and genomics, originally sponsored by HHMI and now continuing with institutional support. This program has been extremely successful, so much so that there is enormous pressure on faculty to host more upper-level students in their research labs. One solution to this fortuitous problem is to continue a more advanced research project with groups of 6 to12 students mentored by one faculty member. We have dubbed this class 'Superphage'. The intended outcomes of the project are twofold: (1) students will derive the benefits of an undergraduate research experience similar to that offered by a one-on-one mentoring situation, and (2) different models will reveal the best possible way to offer this opportunity to more students.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: The SuperPhage course has been offered for four semesters and involved 25 students. Half of these enrolled for two semesters, which is the limit, and the other half for one semester. Four different models have been tried: (1) 16 students working in groups trained and supervised by the faculty mentor, (2) 12 students working in small groups of 3-4 with an assigned student leaders, (3) 11 students working at designated times all together for several hours a week, and (4) 5 students working somewhat independently on the same project. In every case, the research questions have derived from the freshman Viral Discovery course, building directly on biological discoveries and data generated by the first year students, as well as an additional project that utilizes the skills learned in the course and applied to a different question. Regardless of the model, the groups have met more or less regularly for journal club, which has consisted of primary data literature reading and discussions, as well as reports on individual results and issues.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: Every semester, the students have answered questionnaires and been involved in discussions about the effectiveness of the course for them, what they would change about how the course is run, and what they would change about their own behavior. In addition a recent survey was given which included the attitude assessment questions from the Classroom Undergraduate Research Experiences (CURE) survey. It is our intention to track the students for the next few years, as closely as possible, in their career tracks.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: The major question, 'Do students benefit from group (as opposed to individual) research experiences'? seems clear from the early outcomes. All student report that they strongly benefited from this experience. There are several other measurable outcomes, including that all these students have continued beyond the group experience into individual, independent projects, and high numbers of them obtain summer research opportunities outside our school. One additional, explicit goal of this project is to address the challenge of publication of undergraduate research results. In this regard, a second outcome has been the preparation of two manuscripts that are student driven, one accepted for publication in the journal, Virology, and the other likely to be ready for submission by the end of the summer. The strategies used in designing research with the expressed goal of publication have been documented and student feedback recorded. Our initial observation with regard to the different models described above is that different groups of students will be differently successful due not only to the model but also to their personalities, motivation, and preparation. One incontrovertible conclusion is that regular journal clubs are extremely valuable, giving students a strong background for the particular project and the skills needed to read primary literature, and fostering ideas that directly impact their approaches to their research. An additional outcome is new collaborations within our institution and with another university, which have already resulted in external funding and promise higher success rate in dissemination of the work.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: The challenge of this model is to ensure that the members of the group receive the benefits that have been shown so profoundly in the one-on-one, mentor - mentee model. The CURE attitudinal question results are not completely analyzed at this writing, but initial observations indicate this model provides equal or better self-evaluation than other high research classes, including intense summer experiences. A second challenge for the model is faculty effort. Regardless of which of the four models is used, a large effort is required of a single faculty mentor. Because the students are signed up for academic credit under a single rubric, the faculty member receives teaching credit for this 'course'. Financial support for the projects is also a challenge, which in our case has been met largely by departmental support and some external funding from the state of Virginia.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: The science produced by the students has been disseminated in several regional and national meetings. This write-up is the first effort to disseminate what we have learned from the faculty and educational standpoints, about this model.

Acknowledgements: Several faculty members in the Viral Discovery and Biotechnology programs have assisted in this project, either by helping students directly or by teaching coverage to allow a single professor to mentor students using this model. These include Drs. Steve Cresawn, Stephanie Stockwell, Ron Raab, Crystal Scott, and Bob McKown. The Department of Integrated Science & Technology and Dr. George Coffman have been very supportive from financial and lab support perspectives.

Ethnobiology Educational Network: A societal perspective

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Title of Abstract: Ethnobiology Educational Network: A societal perspective

Name of Author: Sunshine Brosi
Author Company or Institution: Frostburg State University
Author Title: Assistant Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Ecology and Environmental Biology, Evolutionary Biology, General Biology, Plant Biology & Botany
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Faculty Development
Approaches: Material Development
Keywords: societies, cultures, ethnobiology, network, resources

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Patricia Harrison, Botanical Research Institute of Texas Will McClatchey, Botanical Research Institute of Texas

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Ethnobiology is a developing science of the dynamic interactions between humans, biota, and environments. Ethnobiology expands upon ethnobotany to include interactions with the entire natural world including the subfields of ethnoecology and ethnozoology. Ethnobiology expands from a historic focus on traditional cultures to include modern cultural interactions such as research on how cultures learn about the natural world. The strengths of the ethnobiological perspective include being rooted in culture and being interdisciplinary by linking social and natural sciences. The Open Science Network (OSN: www.opensciencenetwork.net) was established in order to develop and promote ethnobiology education and in turn enhance STEM education through the lens of ethnobiology. OSN has been supported since 2009 by a NSF RCN-UBE grant to create an open forum for the exchange of innovative curricula and ideas, as well as a community that supports professional growth. Although primarily based within the Society for Economic Botany (SEB), OSN also includes educators from the International Society of Ethnobiology, the Society of Ethnobiology, and the International Society for Ethnopharmacology. The goal of OSN was to empower instructors to implement Vision and Change (V&C) in Undergraduate Biology Education recommendations for improving scientific literacy. Ethnobiology education particularly aligns within the V&C core competencies of: (4) Tap into the interdisciplinary nature of science; (5) Ability to communicate and collaborate with other disciplines; and (6) Relationships between science and society. Ethnobiologists study knowledge transfer within societies with many opportunities to expand into pedagogical research. Ethnobiologists are extensively trained in ethics, human subject research, and qualitative analysis which broaden opportunities for faculty to engage in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: The Open Science Network in Ethnobiology was formed to enable sharing of peer-reviewed education materials and practices though an open source, open access web portal. After several years of building a network of educators and empowering them to contribute educational materials to the site, the greatest challenge to the project was peer review of the curriculum. With no defined standards for ethnobiology literacy, it was difficult to evaluate shared materials. The project looked to a landmark project in the field of biology education to pattern its own standards that would not only define core concepts and competencies for this emerging field, but also provide consistency in courses and degree programs across universities and community colleges. Adapting the Vision and Change for Undergraduate Biology initiative to the field of ethnobiology became the focus of the grant work, with the goals of (1) consensus on core concepts specific for the field, in addition to the Vision and Change biology concepts, (2) consistent learning outcomes for ethnobiology courses, (3) course alignment in ethnobiology degree programs, and (4) professional development for educators that models innovative teaching and assessment practices. In 2011 and 2012 biology and anthropology educators from 33 universities and institutions across the U.S. and Europe came together to work towards consensus on essential elements of ethnobiology curricula. From those meetings came recommendations for standards specific to ethnobiology, and a draft of a document, Vision and Change in Undergraduate Ethnobiology Education in the U.S.A.: Recommended Curriculum Assessment Guidelines, was compiled and presented to all three ethnobiology professional societies in 2012, along with an invitation for members to comment and make further recommendations. In addition, workshops and presentations at the three meetings modeled teaching practices and assessment strategies recommended by Vision and Change.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: Evaluation of the network to determine growth and to measure successful outcomes of objectives was done through surveys at the professional meetings and through an on-line survey to all members. An evaluator traveled across the U.S. visiting universities with ethnobiology courses for personal interviews with ethnobiology educators to survey their work and to identify strong hub points in the network.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: OSN has changed the culture of ethnobiology education through developing dynamic mentorships between seasoned educators and young professionals. A key success of OSN has been the formation of cohesive groups of interacting ethnobiologists. Through regular OSN meetings, core team members have developed lasting relationships which have resulted in collaboration on education and research projects. Educators within the field of ethnobiology are part of an active, engaging community and feel less isolated within instructional and departmental boundaries. Members have submitted curriculum modules aligned to the recommended ethnobiology standards for posting on the OSN web site as examples. Additionally, programs such as the Field School by the University of Hawaii adapted its curriculum to align with the Vision and Change recommendations and experienced a greater student engagement in the program. OSN has resulted in curricular modification, extensive assessment, and benchmarks for evaluation integrated into the Ethnobotany Program at Frostburg State University in Maryland. As programs in ethnobiology develop, OSN is positioned to provide essential structure and support.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: The greatest challenge within OSN has been the process of peer-review of educational materials. The transition to peer-reviewing from research to teaching materials was extremely challenging. Ethnobiologists value the great diversity of cultures and were resistant to potential hominization. Hesitation to share or peer-review was exacerbated by lack of familiarity with educational literature. Another obstacle to participation came in the form of perception of ownership and uniqueness, as many modules developed and refined in evolving teams. Publication of materials could be enhanced through discussions of authorship at the onset of collaborations and opportunities during workshops to develop publications. The peer-review process was improved by the development of defined standards for ethnobiology literacy. Ethnobiology struggles with an identity of a less-rigorous science, similar to the field of ecology in its early development. V&C offers structured guidelines to counter this perception by developing educational materials that cover all core competencies to better train students. Ethnobiology is developing at a time of educational reform with unique opportunities to create proactive learning materials to circumvent disciplinary snags. Development of educational modules that address these competencies will need to occur in conjunction with professional development opportunities.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Vision and Change in Undergraduate Ethnobiology Education in the U.S.A.: Recommended Curriculum Assessment Guidelines will be presented to various ethnobiology organizations in the fall. Discipline specific criteria for material development and evaluation will be used in peer-review. OSN elected to have materials submitted through an already established portal LifeDiscoveryEd Digital Library. The LifeDiscoveryEd Digital Library is an online resource with various portals for biology education in ecology (EcoEd), plant biology (PlantEd), evolution (EvoEd), and ethnobiology (EconBotEd). The project is a partnership of the Ecological Society of America, the Society for Economic Botany, the Botanical Society of America and the Society for the Study of Evolution. Ethnobiology provides fertile soil for growth in students’ interest in the biological sciences. The nature of ethnobiology is attracting an unprecedented number of university students exploring careers in this emerging interdisciplinary field. The Vision and Change process has made significant contributions to the development of this field and will continue to guide its growth as a more rigorous, credited science discipline.

Acknowledgements: This project is supported by a National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network in Undergraduate Biology Education (RCN-UBE).

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.