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Abstract Detail

Teaching Section

Weeks, Andrea [1].

Training the next generation of biodiversity scientists at George Mason University: writing to learn biology.

The Undergraduate Biology Program at George Mason University launched its revised core curriculum in 2011 to update the essential set of concepts and skills each student receives in line with the recommendations of AAAS (2011). Faculty designated evolution as a central concept for the new curriculum and the ability to analyze, interpret and communicate scientific data as the skills most in need of strengthening among our majors. Two courses were created to incorporate new content and pedagogical strategies, such as weekly small group discussion sections (< 25 students), to achieve these programmatic goals. One of these, “Biodiversity”, covers essential information about the diversity of life at the organismal level that all biology majors should know. In the process of including biology content from other retired courses, we have added concepts that either were not covered or not emphasized by these former courses but we believe are nonetheless essential for a liberal and 21st century education in biology. Moreover, in small group discussion sections, we have developed successful teaching strategies that are helping more students achieve fluency in written science communication and real-world statistical analysis of student-generated experimental data.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - George Mason University, 4400 University Drive MSN 5F2, Fairfax, VA, 22030, USA

student engagement
data analysis
peer review.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 2
Location: Marlborough A/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 8:30 AM
Number: 2003
Abstract ID:675
Candidate for Awards:None

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