Faculty Teaching Forum

Integrating Concepts in Biology

This forum is an online, searchable Q&A site where faculty can ask questions of other faculty using Integrating Concepts in Biology.

One challenge of teaching introductory biology in a Vision and Change-inspired curriculum is designing good lab modules that parallel the thought process being taught in lecture. I wanted to pass on information on the bean beetle system (http://www.beanbeetles.org/index.html). I am really excited about using this system in our new course at University of Richmond and one of our faculty members, Emily Boone, has participated in the development of a wide variety of inquiry-based labs using this system (you can find her Costs of Reproduction Lab here: http://www.beanbeetles.org/protocols/reproduction_costs/synopsis.html).

By kgrayson --

Kristine Grayson
Assistant Professor
Department of Biology
University of Richmond
Richmond, VA 23173

Thanks for your comment and suggestion. When I first started using ICB, I did not change the lab to match and I was worried students would complain about how unrelated lecture and lab were. To my surprise, they commented how well connected the two were because in both places, they were analysing data! I think you will find ICB and your lab module will go together well.

I have developed 3 overlapping modules that are freely available for anyone who wants cell/molecular modules. http://www.bio.davidson.edu/113/113labscedule2015.html


By macampbell

I just stumbled on a new paper that updates readers on Chapter 19.1: How does selection act on individuals with variable characteristics? You can read about the molecular mechanism that balances out color vision and predation.
. The citation is: Sandkam B, Young CM, Breden F (2015) Beauty in the eyes of the beholders: colour vision is tuned to mate preference in the Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata). Molec Ecol, 24:596–609. (DOI: 10.1111/mec.13058).

By macampbell

The College Board has approved ICB as a good choice for AP Biology teachers.

By macampbell

We have connected all the required content of AP Biology with Integrating Concepts in Biology (ICB). AP Biology faculty can download the Excel file and see how all the Big Ideas and Scientific Practices are included throughout ICB. http://integratingconcepts.org/?q=node/25

By macampbell

This essay was published in CourseSource.org. It shows how two faculty from a different institution have found substantial changes in their students. As they said, "Our students talk and think more like scientists using ICB textbook."

By macampbell

Today I did two activities in class that helped students a lot. When they are looking at the E. coli dot plots, they often have a hard time understanding the genomic changes reflected by the patterns. So I gave them two short sequences of numbers (1-10) and had an inversion (1, 2, 3, 6, 5, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10) on the Y-axis for them to fill in.

I also gave them two genomes with a repeat segment (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 2, 3, 9, 10) for them to fill in. These seemed to help a lot with the E. coli example.

The second activity was for the whole genome duplication that led to vertebrate evolution. I gave them a very simple fictitious genome that had 6 chromosomes and the genes were represented by letters A - R which were scattered on 3 chromosomes. On the other 3 chromosomes, I had lower case letters (b - r) but they were scattered on different chromosomes and with some inversions. Students drew the lines connecting paralogs. After this, they seemed to understand the fish paralog figure much better. I would like to upload figures to show you, but I cannot figure out how to do this in the forum. I can send you files if you are interested.

By macampbell

Our book was reviewed in CBE Life Sciences Education. The review is very favorable and gives an honest critique of its strengths and minor weaknesses. You can read the review here: http://www.lifescied.org/content/14/3/fe3.full and it is followed by a supporting comment, too.

By macampbell

I have been using this plasmid for 6 years and it is really effective. We published a papaer showing the learning oucomes. It goes really well with the Big Idea of Information.


The paper is available here

Two more publications describing the method and assessment in detail


By macampbell

Chris figured out a nice way to have class discussion about the ELSI readings. Rather than squeezing them into the last few minutes, he lets them build up and then discusses several chapters' worth in a single class. I took his suggestion and put a twist on the style but not the substance. We are posting our ELSI PowerPoint slides so faculty can use them as a guid of how to lead ELSI discussions.

You can find them under "Instructor Resources", click on this link.
Sample Syllabi & Exams; AP Biology Concordance; ELSI Discussions

By macampbell

I discovered a really cool connection this year that I had not noticed before. Chapter 13.4 addresses some consequences of random events including the properties of different length genetic pathways. This year I realized that the epinephrine pathway (long, Chapter 7.2) and the activation of a neuron (short, Chapter 9.1) exhbit these properties as real-world examples students can understand. I love when topics that students (and faculty) don’t see as connected are in fact connected.

By macampbell