On-line Modules for Ecology Lab/Lecture

Project Leader: Arnold van der Valk and Thomas Jurik, Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology (pictured)
Collaborators: Tom Isenhart, Tim Stewart.
Courses Impacted: BIOL 312
Annual Enrollment: 400
Estimated Completion: Fall 2015

We will develop on-line modules that will achieve greater integration of course components andbetter prepare students for lab exercises.  Biol 312 has no on-line components beyond pdf versions of PowerPoint presentations given in lecture and background information for each lab exercise (in lieu of a lab manual). On-line modules will provide more time to actually work on lab field exercises by minimizing the amount of time TAs need to prepare students for them during the lab period. They would also ensure that students in all 18 lab sections receive the same background information-something that is currently not the case because of the large differences in the backgrounds of our TAs, even though we provide TAs with a substantial amount of training weekly for each lab, including background materials and teaching tips.  These on-line modules would also improve the depth of coverage of major topics in ecology (acclimation,  succession, predator-prey interactions, etc.) covered in the lectures and explicitly link lab exercises to lecture topics.  At present, students often miss these links.