Biology & Microbiology Webinars

Pearson’s Biology & Microbiology webinars offer professional development opportunities for educators. Learn more about the sessions below, and read about the speakers on our Life Sciences page.

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Educators who participate in a live webinar will have the opportunity to earn Acclaim professional development badges. For select webinars, Acclaim badges are available for participants who satisfactorily complete a webinar. Learn more about digital badges.

On-Demand

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Structuring Your Majors Biology Course to Improve Student Success

Dr. Rebecca Orr, Collin College

Students are often underprepared for the rigor of their college science courses, discovering that their study skills are insufficient and expecting that the instructor will bridge that gap. Student success has been demonstrated to be improved by incorporating active learning into the course, but how can we help students to effectively prepare for active learning and higher-level Bloom’s thinking? This session will focus on using the tools provided by Mastering, Learning Catalytics, and Ready-to-Go Teaching Modules to structure your course so that students are ready to actively engage in critical thinking and class activities.

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Active Learning Resources for a Flipped Non-majors Biology Course

Dr. Colleen Belk, University of Minnesota

This webinar will demonstrate how to generate several different kinds of resources for use in a flipped class. Samples for your use will be provided.

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Team-Based Learning: Using Teams to Engage Students in Learning

Dr. Rebecca Orr, Collin College

Team‐based learning is an active learning strategy that enhances student learning, understanding, and retention of content while building interpersonal skills. Central to this strategy is training students to be responsible for their own learning so that they come to class prepared to engage in higher level thinking and problem solving. This presentation will show you how team‐based learning can be used in any discipline to create an energizing classroom environment. Team-based learning utilizes peer‐instruction to create a teaching and learning experience that is fun and rewarding for both the teacher and the learner!

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Aligning Assessments with Teaching Objectives and Assessing Higher-Order Cognitive Skills with Multiple Choice Questions

Dr. Clarissa Dirks, The Evergreen State College

Assessment of content and science competencies in science education is one of the most important aspects of scholarly teaching. It is crucial that faculty align their level of teaching with their objectives and that their assessments accurately reflect what they want students to learn. In this webinar we will explore practical methods for aligning assessments and course objectives, as well as explore question structures that are easy to grade yet can assess high-order cognitive skills. We will also discuss how different types of assessments and exam reflections can be used for improving student learning and student attitudes toward assessments.

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Inclusive Pedagogy in Higher Education

Dr. Bryan Dewsbury, University of Rhode Island

The webinar will discuss the underlying philosophy of why an inclusive approach is needed, especially in STEM instruction, and practical strategies for instructors to consider for their various contexts. Using personal examples, and evidence from the literature, I will discuss why inclusive teaching presents an opportunity for instructors to completely rethink their course approaches.

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Peer-led Discussion Groups and Active Learning Enhance Student Involvement and Success

Dr. Pamela Sandstrom, University of Nevada, Reno
Dr. Elena Pravosudova, University of Nevada, Reno

Transforming our large-enrollment biology courses to include substantial active learning components has been a slow, but rewarding process that continues to improve the quality of student learning at our university. Starting in 2008, optional peer-led weekly discussion groups (DGs) helped create a community of peer leaders and enhanced the learning experience of our students. To ensure that all students benefited from the DG program, we changed our introductory biology and genetics courses to a hybrid format that included: (1) a significant online component, (2) two fifty-minute face-to-face interactive lectures, and (3) a fifty-minute mandatory discussion group (MDG) each week. Watching online videos and completing pre-class assessments help our students come to class prepared for engaged learning. Undergraduate Learning Assistants (LA) enhance active learning during the weekly fifty-minute “lectures” by facilitating activities in Learning Catalytics, a student engagement and classroom intelligence response system. These multiple modes of instruction allow us to recognize and embrace unique characteristics of the diverse group of students we have in our classrooms. With active learning approaches enhanced by Learning Assistants, we continue to provide growth opportunities for multiple types of learners, as well as offer pathways for academic, personal, and professional success for our peer leaders.

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Sharing Teaching Strategies for General Biology

Josh Frost, Pearson

As editor of the Campbell Biology and Campbell Biology in Focus texts, Josh Frost talks to instructors all over the country about their classroom strategies and experiences. In this 45-minute webinar, Josh will share some successful teaching strategies for freshman-level Majors Biology courses as shared with him by instructors nationwide. The discussion will focus on ideas for incorporating principles from Vision & Change into the classroom, in particular active learning ideas. There will also be discussion about strategies employed regarding flipped classrooms, boosting STEM retention, and an honest discussion of the positives and negatives of technology in the classroom.

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Towards a Student-Centered Nonmajors Science Classroom

Dr. Eric Simon, New England College

When approaching an introductory science course for non-science majors, many instructors have teaching goals and learning objectives that differ significantly from traditional courses intended for science majors. In this talk, I will discuss specific ways that a course can be tailored to promote engagement with the material by capturing the innate interest in the topic that nearly every student shares (even if they don’t realize that yet!) Methods for engaging students that maintain content flexibility within the course will be presented. To this end, strategies for incorporating relevant current issues will be presented, as well as creative methods for assessment. The goal of this talk is to provide any instructor with practical ideas that can be implemented immediately.

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Reimagining Your Lecture Schedule Using Bloom’s Taxonomy

Dr. Derek Weber, Raritan Valley Community College

Lecture schedules are traditionally organized by topic, ensuring that instructors “cover” all of the necessary material. In this presentation, Dr. Derek Weber will discuss using Bloom’s taxonomy to reimagine this approach to ensure that students are provided opportunities to analyze, evaluate, and create within the allotted lecture time. Using materials available in the 12th edition of Microbiology: An Introduction, this presentation will explore a few practical suggestions to help your students climb to the top of Bloom’s taxonomy ladder.

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Allied Health Microbiology: Readiness and Relevancy

Dr. Warner Bair, Lone Star College
Dr. Derek Weber, Raritan Valley Community College

In this webinar, two innovative educators will share their teaching strategies for developing and implementing student-centered, interactive learning experiences for students in their face-to-face and hybrid microbiology classrooms. The discussion will include ideas for helping underprepared students get up to speed on basic science concepts and techniques, strategies for assessing students inside and outside of the classroom, and tools that motivate students to master challenging concepts by contextualizing them in clinical, real-world problems and experiences.

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Best Practices: Getting the Most from Your Majors Biology Text & Technology

Dr. Lisa Urry, Mills College
Dr. Rebecca Orr, Collin College

In response to the rapidly changing nature of teaching Biology, as reflected in the Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education report, Pearson’s authors and content developers continue to prepare new resources that help biology students focus on conceptual understanding, developing scientific skills, and more. Using the2nd Edition of Campbell Biology in Focus as a springboard for discussion, this webinar will explore a few practical suggestions and teaching techniques to focus Majors Biology course material by cutting back on selected details and allowing students to engage in more active learning and scientific inquiry.

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Practical Tips for Active Learning in Majors Biology

Dr. Kim Quillin, Salisbury University
Dr. Michael Black, California Polytechnic State University

Science education research, and reports such as Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education, indicate that true mastery of science content and skills requires a move away from memorization towards active engagement. In this 45-minute webinar, members of the Freeman Biological Science 6th Edition author team will share a few of their favorite teaching strategies for freshman-level Majors Biology courses that inspire students to think like scientists. The discussion will focus on ideas to teach students how to use visual models to learn and do biology as well as ideas to connect core concepts and skills to engaging, contemporary, relevant biological research.

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Practical Tips for Teaching Genetics: Engaging Students and Improving Performance

Dr. Pamela Sandstrom, University of Nevada

In this informative webinar, Dr. Pamela Sandstrom of University of Nevada, Reno will discuss various teaching strategies to improve student engagement and performance in introductory Genetics courses, including mandatory discussion groups, in-class activities, and online homework assignments. This demonstration and discussion will include a quick introduction to MasteringGenetics™, Pearson’s widely used online homework and tutorial system, along with practical suggestions for setting student expectations, ideas for grade settings, advice for using gradebook and diagnostic information, and strategies for engaging students in class using clicker systems like Learning Catalytics™.

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Tips for Transforming Instructor-Centered Classes into Learner-Centered Experiences for Non-Majors Biology

Dr. Eric J. Simon, New England College
Dr. Kelly Hogan, UNC Chapel Hill

In non-majors biology courses, engaging a diverse group of students in the course material can be challenging. In this webinar, Pearson authors and specialists in teaching the introductory biology course for non-science majors, Eric Simon and Kelly Hogan, will share their approach to teaching and classroom-tested examples of active learning techniques. These techniques have engaged their non-majors students in learning biology concepts and helped improve performance for all students.

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