Category Archives: The joy of teaching

Get your undergrads thinking about analysis from the start

The last post talked about making sure undergrads get the big picture of their questions. This is essential, but it is not the end. All too often analysis is left for the end and there is no exploring. Ideally, students … Continue reading

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What to do in class if you don’t lecture? Class 1

When the students walk into the room there are videos playing on the monitors, one at the end of each 6 person table in our cavernous basement classroom divided by pillars. They find a seat and see there is already … Continue reading

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Do you need to name the scientists in intro biology?

Meghan Duffy on the terrific blog Dynamic Ecology asks whether we can’t just teach the concepts and not worry about the researchers. After all, there are so many things we have figured out in biology that really don’t need to … Continue reading

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Teach to do not to know

Last week a student came to talk to me. In the course of discussion he said that he learned a lot from a class in the business school here at Wash U, even though he wasn’t particularly interested in the … Continue reading

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Giddy with the success of our undergrads and their posters

Today our six research undergraduates, Kai, Alicia, Libby, Stephanie, Olivia, and Daniela, presented their research on posters at the Fall Undergraduate Poster Session, scheduled to fall on parent’s weekend. We began planning at the beginning of the semester how they … Continue reading

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Undergraduate journal clubs are important

In the summer, the undergraduates in our lab group meet without us. During the academic year they have a lab meeting and journal club dedicated just to them. This is important because it is hard to think critically when you … Continue reading

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Do you give extra credit in your classes? It should stretch your students.

My students want extra credit projects. But they also worry that if I offer them they become required. What to do? I think extra credit should be available because it takes advantage of a different kind of student energy. But … Continue reading

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