Debby Walser-Kuntz

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Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects

Activities (6)

RNA processing and northern blot technique problem part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Coached Problem Solving:Examples
Students are given a figure of a northern blot from a journal article, and are asked to interpret the results, demonstrating an understanding of both the northern blot technique and RNA processing in eukaryotic cells.

Gleevec and the cell cycle problem part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Coached Problem Solving:Examples
Students are given a problem about a relatively new treatment for cancer, Gleevec, and asked to apply and synthesize what they have learned about cell signaling and the eukaryotic cell cycle to explain why this targeted treatment works to prevent cell division with fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapeutic agents. The Gleevec problem is synthetic and contextually rich in nature, and gives students the opportunity to review key aspects of translation and the genetic code.

Gene expression during development: Experimental design problem part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Coached Problem Solving:Examples
This problem challenges students to design experiments using techniques measuring gene expression (reverse transcriptase PCR, microarrays, in situ hybridization) to answer questions about early developmental stages in Drosophila larvae.

Phylogenetics problems part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Coached Problem Solving:Examples
Students receive information about cladistics and apply this phylogenetic approach to two different problems. In the first problem, involving dinosaurs, students determine whether traits are ancestral or derived and use this information to select the most parsimonious tree. In the second problem, students collect data from primate skulls and follow the same process.

Malnutrition, DNA replication, development, and schizophrenia homework problem part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Coached Problem Solving:Examples
At the beginning of a unit on DNA, DNA replication, and mitosis, students are given a short science news article summarizing a recent research paper linking folic acid deficiency and schizophrenia. This assignment links the science news article to figures and key techniques from a related journal article. In order to answer the questions, students must apply and transfer the knowledge they gained about DNA and DNA replication in the unit, and they must extend these ideas to think about the role of cell division in development.

Reconstructing the Evolution of Cauliflower and Broccoli part of Teaching Genomics at Small Colleges:Genomics Instructional Units Minicollection
This laboratory exercise allows students to make connections between plant morphology and the genetic differences affecting plant development. Students look for gene and protein sequence differences that explain differences in morphology between Brassica oleracea subspecies, using the Student Interface to the Biology Workbench. Note: The Student Interface to Biology Workbench site is no longer reliably available. Instead you'll need to use Biology Workbench and adjust the instructions accordingly.

Teaching Method Module

Faculty-coached, In-class Problem Solving part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Coached Problem Solving
Debby R. Walser-Kuntz, Sarah E. Deel, and Susan R. Singer Carleton College, Northfield, MN What is Faculty-coached, In-class Problem Solving? In this class format, students work collaboratively to solve problems, ...

Other Contribution

Broadening access through curricular changes to the BIO125 with problem solving course and the FOCUS colloquium part of CISMI:For Carleton Faculty:Curriculum Development Projects
Genes, Evolution, and Development with Problem Solving course: Development of structured pre-class readings to allow more time for active learning activities in class; the pre-class readings are paired with in-class problems, which students solve in small groups. Additional formative assessments were developed to determine if students learned key concepts with less lecture time.FOCUS Colloquium: Development of an investigative lab for the cohort based FOCUS colloquium course for students interested in pursuing math/science majors. Students gained experience designing a lab and communicating their results by writing a lab report in the format of a scientific paper.