Academics: Research Programs

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Curriculum, Equipment and Laboratory Development

Introductory biology courses are taught in a pair of adjoining teaching laboratories, designed to facilitate active learning and group work. This pace of each period is dynamic, with instructors, teaching assistants and student groups migrating between adjourning labs to share information and construct understanding of course materials. Our teaching laboratories are outfitted to support aspects of inquiry-based learning environment.

Your browser may not support display of this image.We will improve departmental expertise and technological learning environment to support effective teaching strategies in the studio labs. Technology upgrades will take place in the studio labs in order to provide maximal support for active learning pedagogies, group dynamics and instructor-student interaction.

Studio labs will be fully networked with wireless student stations and instructor tables for migrating around the classroom, integrated student response systems, Smart Boards that can be synched to support communication between rooms and a departmental server for student to store course-related materials.

Research experiences provide an experiential context for students to develop appreciation of the process of science. The integration of researched-based learning in the biology curriculum will be strengthened by regularizing faculty research in the curriculum.

Our research-based advanced elective courses will engage a supportable number of students in semester long faculty directed research projects in a professor’s area of research.   These new elective courses will expand research experiences for biology majors, sustain faculty research activities during the academic year and improve the utility of our research infrastructure by embedding curricular elements in our “dedicated” research laboratory spaces.

Your browser may not support display of this image.The Biology Department has laid important groundwork for establishing curricular connections across the science disciplines and is now in a position to improve the integration of mathematics, physical and information sciences in undergraduate biology training.

Our long term goal is the restructure introductory science curricula to reflect balanced integration of physical sciences and mathematics in the life sciences and to establish curricular and pedagogical practices that emphasize interdisciplinary connections.

Biology faculty will work with science colleagues to develop Cognate Linkage Modules, curricular units that reflect interdisciplinary approaches to learning and help students experience connections between biology and the cognate disciplines. Modules will be based on elements already present in both courses and represent an elaboration of concepts already present.