- HHMI NEWS
- SCIENTISTS & RESEARCH
- JANELIA FARM
- SCIENCE EDUCATION
- RESOURCES & PUBLICATIONS
BROWSE ALL RESOURCES
BY TYPEAnimation (3) Book/Manual (4) CD (1) Classroom Activity (12) College Course (6) Curriculum (11) Game (1) Kit (1) Lab (9) Lesson Plan (5) Publication (23) Software (3) Tutorial (5) Video (24) Website (47) Wiki (2)
BY TOPICBiochemistry (14) Biodiversity (3) Bioengineering (3) Bioethics (3) Bioinformatics (8) Biology (104) Biotechnology (9) Cell Biology (3) Chemistry (17) Earth Science (1) Ecology (9) Engineering (1) Evolution (10) General Science (15) Genetics (29) Genomics (13) Immunology (2) Infectious Diseases (1) Life Science (65) Mathematics (9) Medicine (6) Microarrays (5) Microbiology (3) Molecular biology (34) Neuroscience (7) Physics (5) Plants (2) Professional Development (35) Research methods (12) Science Communication (2) Systems Biology (1)
BY GRADE LEVELK-16 (1) 4-8 (1) K-5 (6) Medical School (6) K-3 (2) K-8 (2) K-12 (9) 6-8 (18) 9-12 (52) College (101) Graduate (21)
Using Peer-led Workshops to Enhance Introductory Biology
This article in CBE-Life Sciences Education describes the effects of transforming an introductory biology lecture-only course into a course with required peer-facilitated workshops designed to help college students solve challenging problems, evaluate case studies, and improve their general learning skills. Author Ralph Preszler of New Mexico State University assesses the net change in student learning that took place when small, cooperative workshops led by undergraduate facilitators replaced one-third of the lectures in the Natural History of Lifeóthe first course taken by biology majors. The article provides an introduction, discusses course design, explains how the undergraduate facilitators were selected and trained, and gives examples of some of the workshop learning-skill and case-study activities. Dr. Preszler also describes the various methods used to assess the success of the workshop course structure. Overall, he concludes, students, particularly females and members of underrepresented minority groups, benefited from the workshop structure. The interactive workshops not only improved student performance and retention, but they also improved the quality of student learning: Student scores on exam questions that required higher-level thinking increased from the lecture-only to workshop semesters.
Program Director: Ralph W. Preszler, Ph.D.
Award Years: 2006
Summary: New Mexico State University is a public research university in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Its HHMI-funded educational initiatives include:
- An undergraduate research program enrolling university students and Native American transfer students from New Mexico Tribal and community colleges. Research scholars, who are expected to remain in the program through their senior year, are matched with faculty mentors who help them develop a research project to pursue. Scholars write an honors thesis based on their research activities.
- The transformation of the introductory biology sequence from traditional lecture courses to team-taught courses that emphasize core concepts, writing, and the development of critical thinking skills.
- Summer refresher courses for New Mexico high school teachers in biology, chemistry and biochemistry, physics, geology, and astronomy. These two-day courses are designed to help teachers keep up with rapid advances in the sciences and with new experimental methods.
- The Mobile Molecular Lab, which visits high schools across the state and provides students with the opportunity to use state-of-the-art laboratory equipment and learn advanced molecular biology techniques, such as DNA extraction, PCR amplification, restriction enzyme screening, and gel electrophoresis. The activities have been designed to help schools reach the New Mexico State Department of Educationís Science Standards and Benchmarks for grades 9-12 in the life sciences.