Back to Biology 1407





Contemporary biology is a dizzying compendium of traditional factual content, paradigm-shifting insights, and increasingly digital data acquisition and communication. Our student biology majors today must be conversant in more subjects than our teachers were thirty years ago.  This presents considerable instructional challenges to community college biology faculty.

Our redesigned course assumes from its first class meeting that:

Our redesigned course makes extensive use of “Blackboard” as a vehicle for communication.  This includes not only faculty-student communication but also student-student and faculty-faculty communication.

Faculty-student communication via Blackboard includes electronic versions of most class handouts (including syllabi, illustrations, lecture outlines), on-line grade-books that students can access, interactive in-class activities for students or student groups.

Student-student communication via Blackboard involves sharing of spreadsheet data, photographs of relevant biological material, write-ups of laboratory exercises.

Faculty-faculty communication via Blackboard involves a “course template” site that stores a wealth of materials for instructors to use.  These include electronic “pre-labs” and “post-labs”, sample lab manuals with varying sequences of exercises, multiple samples of instructors’ course set-up so that new instructors can (if they choose) copy one or modify for their own situation.

Since BIOL 1407 is the second part of our majors’ series (BIOL 1406 is the first), we make a particular effort to include and repeat information and skills acquired in 1406.  Our electronic lab manual makes frequent references (and hot links) to material in the 1406 electronic lab manual.  Several of our newly developed lab exercises explicitly build on lab exercises in 1406.