Carrie Macfarlane

Head of Research and Instruction.

Posts by Carrie Macfarlane

 
 
 

Clickers in a large lecture class – Catherine Combelles

Categories: Biology, Discussion, Feedback, Formative Assessment

What: Clickers (personal polling devices) in a large lecture class

Who: Catherine Combelles, Assistant Professor of Biology

Class: BIOL0145 Cell Biology and Genetics

Technology Used: Personal Polling Devices (Clickers)

Number of students: approx. 70

Learning objective: To monitor the students’ understanding of concepts covered in lecture and promote peer learning and discussion.

Description of use: Catherine used the clickers for every lecture from day 1 to the last day of classes, and throughout the duration of each lecture. At the beginning of each lecure, she started with a question that tested their understanding of concepts from the past lecture or on their readings for the day. She would then pose between 3-4 more questions depending on the lecture content that day. More

Wikipedia for Chemistry – Jeff Byers

Categories: Chemistry, Feedback, Formative Assessment, Research Paper
What: Authoring and editing Wikipedia entries as an assignment in a senior elective course

Who: Jeff Byers, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Class: CHEM0442, Advanced Organic Chemistry.  This is a special topics course taken mostly by seniors, with some juniors, most of whom are chemistry or biochemistry majors.

Number of students: 9

Reason for using the technology: Most Senior Elective courses in the sciences culminate with some sort of final paper or project.  This project typically involves each student writing a detailed review paper on an interesting and advanced topic of their choice.  This is a worthwhile exercise, as each student learns an astonishing amount of detail on one specific topic.  These papers do not, in any way, reflect the important collaborative nature of science.  Jeff also believes that a senior elective course should also generate content of use to the entire chemistry community, unlike research papers which, after grading, rarely surface again. More

Evolution Simulation Model — Matt Landis

Categories: Biology, Modelling

Evolution Simulation Model
Technology used: NetLogo
Course: BIOL0140 Ecology and Evolution
Learning objective: Allow students to experimentally investigate evolution through a computer simulation
Reason for using the technology: After using EcoBeaker in their labs for several years, Professor Matt Landis and his colleagues wanted to try a different simulation model. Because EcoBeaker is proprietary software, the instructors weren’t able to answer students’ questions about how the model worked. They also weren’t able to fix software bugs.  Using NetLogo allowed Matt to build and modify the model to directly address pedagogical needs. More