Teaching Big Science at Small Colleges: a Genomics Collaboration
The field of genomics informs some of the most pressing issues of our time: biodiversity/conservation biology/climate change, stem cell biology, transgenic agriculture, and cancer research. It is essential that liberal arts colleges educate our students to address genome-level questions.
Teaching Big Science at Small Colleges is a grassroots model for faculty development in genomics that supports a national consortium of faculty members from liberal arts colleges in 1) learning about genomics and bioinformatics and how to integrate them into their existing courses 2) developing curriculum and laboratory teaching materials informed by research in the learning sciences; and 3) devising tools to evaluate the efficacy of their genomics curricular innovations.
The products of this work include:
- peer-reviewed inquiry-based, integrated instructional units (I3Us) adaptable to a range of teaching settings. These instructional units can utilize a range of inquiry-based approaches, will allow instructors to integrate student learning from and within the modules into the flow of instruction, and otherwise follow the instructional design principles articulated in America's Lab Report (National Academy Press, 2005). You can browse through the collection of I3Us and look for ones that are applicable to your context.
- a Genomics and Bioinformatics Resources area where educators can share information about tools and techniques for doing particular kinds of investigations with their students.
- resources for faculty interested in designing pedagogical assessment tools.
Additionally, there are links to other genomics education resources and initiatives.Read more about this project in:
Banta, L.M., Crespi, E.J., Nehm, R.H., Schwarz, J.A., Singer, S., Manduca, C.A., Bush, E.C., Collins, E., Constance, C.M., Dean, D., Esteban, D., Fox, S., McDaris, J., Paul, C.A., Quinan, G., Raley-Susman, K.M., Smith, M.L., Wallace, C.S., Withers, G.S., Caporale, L., (2012) Integrating Genomics Research throughout the Undergraduate Curriculum: A collection of inquiry-based genomics lab modules. CBE Life Science Education, vol. 11, 1–5, Fall 2012.
Over the course of the project, three workshops have brought together faculty from a consortium of liberal arts colleges to understand how genomics is currently being taught in the liberal arts environment, to develop new instructional materials, and to evaluate initial implementations. The workshop program in each workshop website linked below provides access to the collection of resources and presentations compiled for each event.
- Bringing Big Science to Small Schools: Genomics Curriculum Development Workshop – July 2007
- Big Science at Small Colleges: Curriculum Development Workshop – July 2008
- Teaching Genomics at Small Colleges – July 2009
Disclaimer: Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Teagle Foundation.