OpenStax Concepts of Biology

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All resources in OpenStax Concepts of Biology

Activities for engaging students in Biology using animations

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This resource includes three classroom-tested activities that were created using the ideas outlined in the article “Getting more out of animations” by Pruneski and Donovan (in press). The driving idea is that animations can be a powerful tool for learning complex biological processes, but when students are passive viewers, it limits their usefulness and may become simply another source of content to be memorized. Engaging students with animations can greatly increase the amount of information that can be extracted and can help students develop important learning skills that can be useful in the future. These sample assignments help make the use of animations more effective and active by structuring student viewing using guiding questions. These questions focus on particular objects, features, or steps of the process to help students accomplish specific learning objectives for that topic. The assignments also help students think about animations as media objects that are created by scientists and animators using specific tools and conventions that affect how the process is depicted and the ways in which it should be viewed. Lastly, by comparing and contrasting multiple animations of the same process, students can extract more information, overcome the limitations of each individual animations, and generate a more complete view of the process.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Homework/Assignment

Authors: Stacey Kiser, Sam Donovan, Justin Pruneski

Logic Puzzle

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This activity is intended as an exercise in deductive logic. The students perform a series of "experiments" in which they try to identify which predators eat which specific prey (Each predator eats one and only one prey). The instructions are on the site. students may also click on the blue square to make the game full screen. A worksheet is added for students to record their results. This also is an exercise in articulating the logic used in the study. (Most students have no trouble figuring out the relationships). Writing down their results and conclusions is a bit trickier. ) This has been used for community college classes. It can be used at lower levels such as high school or even middle school without the worksheet.

Material Type: Game

Author: Arthur Wohlwill

Instructor’s Guide to Concepts of Biology

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This Instructor’s Guide contains the brief outlines of Chapters 12-21 as found in Concepts of Biology, though some underwent revision. Also, instructors will find detailed outlines of the text for use in lecturing, as well as structured outlines that may be used by students to take notes while reading the chapter or during lecture. All outlines are derived from the OpenStax text. Additionally, study guides that contain a variety of questions are provided for students.

Material Type: Lecture Notes, Student Guide, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Molly Smith