Biology eAcademy Summary

biology eacademy summary shotCourse: BIO 102, General Biology and Virtual Labs
Model:  Online
Lead Faculty:     Robert Giacosie, Professor Emeritus of Biology (Dominguez Hills), Bob Desharnais, Professor of Biology (Los Angeles), Paul Narguizian, Professor of Biology (Los Angeles)
Dates:  October 21-23, 2013
Faculty Participants:  24 from 12 CSUs

The Design:

This two-and-a-half-day eAcademy focused on online strategies for General Biology and using virtual laboratories for biology teaching.

The first day, Professor Giacosie discussed his reasons and inspiration for online teaching in biology, which included engaging students and using technology tools for communication, discussion, support.   Professors Desharnais and Narguizian introduced the use of online biology labs, or virtual labs, to engage students through effective inquiry-based learning, dealing with particularly challenging topics, and creating a safe environment to learn from mistakes.  Following a demonstration of Biology Labs online, discussion included issues of accessibility and learning effectiveness. The open discussion explored a range of topics from student readiness to support of at risk students, to leveraging other tools such as SI.  The second day began with an introduction to virtual labs and how they are being used in CSULA as well as a demon of four labs (of 12 in “Biology Labs Online.”  Following the discussion, which including sharing about use of the fly lab for varied purposes at different levels, Smart Science was demonstrated by Ed Keller.

Chancellor’s Office Provided:

The Chancellor’s Office staff introduced the context of the Proven Course Redesign eAcademies, with their goals. These included presentations on accessible syllabi and universal design; effective blended and online teaching (QOLT); student learning outcomes; alignment with assessment; Affordable Learning Solutions and textbook alternatives; use of Turn-It-In as a multifaceted online tool, and the capabilities of Learning Management Systems for learning analytics. They also introduced the Professional Learning Communities that are following on eAcademies and the use of Blackboard Collaborate for effective virtual meetings.