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Course Goals


Our role as instructors is to facilitate your learning of introductory biology. Teaching is not simply telling you what we know. Learning is not a passive activity in which you simply absorb and repeat back facts. Rather, learning requires you to become an active participant in the process. We use evidence-based methods for helping you learn. Our goal is to empower all students in this course with the reasoning and problem-solving skills of scientists. This means that in our class meetings you will not just listen and take notes, rather you will become actively involved in your own learning. To the greatest extent possible, our classroom activities will reflect how scientists construct and evaluate knowledge.

In class, you will develop your ability to :

  • work effectively in collaborative groups to discuss ideas and practice your thinking
  • apply the process of science - that is, develop and test hypotheses, construct and evaluate scientifc methods,
  • interpret evidence and use it to defend or reject claims and hypotheses
  • use quantitative reasoning
  • construct and evaluate scientific models and claims
  • connect facts and concepts to biological theories
  • communicate your understanding of biology in writing, speaking, and using technolgy
  • develop personal learning goals and reflect on your progress throughout the semester

Our Goals

We will guide you to:

  1. Learn more about the nature of science and how scientists construct and evaluate scientific knowledge;
  2. Gain fundamental knowledge about the facts, concepts, and theories that are foundational in the study of genetics, evolution, and ecology; and
  3. Effectively organize, communicate, and use your knowledge of biology in a variety of contexts and applications.

course goals table

Your Goals

Consider your expectations for your own learning this semester. A learning goal is not simply your wish for a particular grade, but a personal answer to the following:

  1. What do you want to know and be able to do by the end of the semester?
  2. Do you feel prepared to achieve your goals? If not, what do you need to do in order to maximize the likelihood of your success? Are there skills or habits you need to develop or change? What resources do you need?
  3. How will you evaluate your progress throughout the semester? If you feel that you are not achieving your goals along the way, are you willing to make changes to your learning strategy? If so, how will you incorporate these changes?

BioSci 162 Personal Learning Goals: