published May 8, 2014

SENCERized Genetics Courses Prove Not Only Genes Get Inherited

Christine Marie DeCarlo, NCSCE

After Terry R. McGuire, an associate professor of genetics at Rutgers University, attended the 2002 SENCER Summer Institute, he was motivated to develop genetics major courses that crossbred instruction with civic issues. With plans of retiring at the end of the spring semester, McGuire has since passed his courses on to fellow faculty.

Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences Senior Writer John Chadwick recently sat in on a Genetic Analysis course, designed by McGuire and taught by Mary Konsolaki, and wrote about the experience.

In his feature, Chadwick mentions aspects of the course he found particularly engaging, such as references to contemporary issues, multiple choice clicker questions, segments of course time devoted to collective problem solving, the course's flipped classroom style, and the fact that the final exam would be a take-home test.

The core concepts of Genetic Analysis remain consistent with McGuire's original design, and his view that "life is an open book test." As a way of promoting his classes' longevity, McGuire helped Konsolaki, as well as Michael Verzi and Karen Schindler, two other Rutgers faculty members teaching the courses he developed, obtain a grant to attend active learning training seminars.

It's fitting that, like advantageous traits, McGuire's genetics courses have been inherited by a new generation of faculty willing to continue McGuire's tradition of education reform that emphasizes student engagement. For more information on McGuire's experience designing SENCERized genetics courses, read his backgrounder, entitled Reinventing Myself as a Professor: The Catalytic Role of SENCER.

To read the full article by John Chadwick, please click here.