Cyberlearning at Community Colleges

21st Century Biology Education

Let's use this space to provide brief introductions of ourselves. Please share some basics about your institution, teaching responsibilities, and interests. It would also be helpful if you would say a few words about what you are hoping to gain from your participation in this workshop.

Thanks.

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I'm Sam Donovan and I'm in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. I've been involved in various curriculum and faculty development projects for coming on 20 years now. I do a lot of my work with the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium. Most of my teaching experiences in is introductory biology, genetics and evolution. I taught for several years at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon before I went back to school in science education.

I think of cyberlearning as taking advantage of online resources to support learning biology. When I say online resources I mean things as diverse as scientific databases, social networks, reference materials, and just about anything else that biologists use to do their work. The main challenge that I'm working on is how to move past giving students materials that were written for students and get them using more diverse resources.

I'm looking forward to meeting everyone in Minneapolis.
Hi, I’m Steven Meger and currently I teach pre-college science with the Instructional Support Services division of Western Technical College located in La Crosse, WI. I hold undergraduate degrees from the University of Minn – Duluth and Minneapolis campuses. I have a Master’s of Science degree which involved research of the radionuclide limnochronology of sediment in wilderness lakes in northern Minnesota, and the connection with acid rain and mercury levels in game fish. In the past I’ve worked with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, US Geological Survey, a non-profit environmental planning/research group in New York, and an environmental consulting firm.

After market forces began to change (i.e. Contract with America) I eventually found myself teaching biology and chemistry at a 2-year college. I teach a diverse set of students – 18 to 60’s, many are returning adults interested in health science careers. As one of my students recently said “I haven’t had a science course in 46 years”. I strive to use digital technology and online resources in all my classes - face to face, and blended. I'd like my students to appreciate that cyberlearning doesn't mean texting in class.

My lovely wife and I have three children, a dog and cat, and two goldfish. Outside of my day job I enjoy hiking, bicycling, cross country skiing and playing jazz guitar.
Hello I'm Betsy Morgan -
I am a biology professor at Lone Star College-Kingwood in Kingwood TX (northeast of Houston). Like Sam, I have been involved in curriculum development for most of the 25 yrs I have been teaching. I teach majors and non-majors biology in both traditional format and online/hybrid. I have been involved with a few inquiry programs, such as POGIL and have developed several guided inquiry labs.

My students appear to be savvy when it comes to the internet, but in actuality they lack the skills to find and identify reliable, refereed sites. I would like to be able to offer students a collection of robust sites they could use to extend their thinking and learning.

For fun I run marathons and participate in triathlons. I did an Ironman triathlon last November and am signed up for another in May. My husband and I have two sons, one a graduate of UT and the other a freshman at LSC Kingwood.
My name is Stacey Kiser and I teach Biology for the majors at Lane Community College in Eugene Oregon. I have teaching at a two year school for going on 14 years and taught summer classes at the University of Oregon as a newbie fresh out of grad school. I discovered I wanted to become a teacher through my experience as a Teaching Assistant, in particular the sections that were part of the Workshop Biology grant project. I joined this group of professors as they explored how to improve introductory courses.

I feel like I am barely keeping up with some of my tech-savy students, but then having to teach others how to use computers. Thus is the life at the two year college. I am most interested in using tools that most students are familiar with already to ask and answer questions in biology. I have seen (but not used with classes too much) the use of Excel to teach mathematics principles. Social networking is fascinating to me and I am trying to harness it for a professional use connecting students with each other, especially those from different years.
I'm Cassandra Moore-Crawford and I teach in the department of Biological Sciences at Prince George's Community College (PGCC)in Prince George's county Maryland, a stone's throw from the nation's capital. The student population at PGCC is very diverse with regards to age and ethnicity, with many students returning to the classroom after several years hiatus. About half of the students I teach in the general biology course are attempting to enter our nursing program. The other half are non-science majors fulfilling their lab science requirement.

Prior to teaching at the college level, I was a high school science teacher and taught biology, chemistry, physics, integrated science, and algebra. My high school teaching experience is now being used as I supervise the instructors who teach our dual enrollment courses at five high schools in the county.

I currently teach general biology in a distance learning format and am in the process of converting our reproduction biology course to a distance learning course. In addition to teaching, I also serve as a course coordinator for general biology and as a faculty adviser. I am also involved with Quality Matters and typically serve as a peer reviewer of courses during the fall and spring semesters.

I see cyberlearning as a way for many of my students to take courses and obtain a degree they would not have been able to complete a decade ago. The majority of my students work full time jobs and family responsibilities. One thing that I hope to gain from this workshop is to find ways to reduce the isolation many distance learning students feel, so that they actually become part of a learning community.

When I'm away from the college, I enjoy volunteering at my children's school, running, reading, and writing. I have been trying to learn French for the past six years.
My name is Alan Wasmoen, and I'm in my fourth year in the Biology Department at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska. Previously, I have taught at other 2-year institutions, and have spent most of my teaching career in high schools.

Currently, I teach Introduction to Biology (which has an extremely broad range of interest and ability levels), Human A & P, Microbiology, and a one-year majors Biology sequence. Since I have such a diverse student population, I am extremely interested in any technological support which could facilitate learning for ALL of my students. I am in the process of setting up a Facebook group dedicated to asking/answering questions by myself as well as my students' peer group.
Hello Colleagues,

My name is Mary Phillips and I have taught biology at Tulsa Community College for over 28 years. TCC is a 4-campus community college serving over 20,000 students. We have many part-time faculty who do a terrific job, but have to learn so much technology that it becomes a challenge and a barrier. I have a master’s degree in parasitology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. I teach face-to-face and blended biology for non-majors and majors biology. My husband and I love to travel, scuba dive, and hike. I have taken students to Belize, Ozarks Highland trails, and last May took a group of biology students to two research stations in Costa Rica as part of a Faculty Innovation Grant and our collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. I will be presenting our grant and collaboration at NABT on Saturday, Nov. 6th.
I enjoy technology, but frankly, sometimes I feel overwhelmed with many wonderful resources. It is sometimes difficult to know exactly how to best integrate resources and promote learning. Sometimes students feel overwhelmed by the technology, too! I am not a big fan of Facebook with students, but I want to learn what all my “techie” colleagues are doing in their courses and how they are implementing these wonderful resources in their courses. .
I am looking forward to the conference and meeting everyone soon.
Best,
Mary
Hello, fellow cyberlearners.

I'm Peggy Rolfsen and I've been teaching freshman biology for 17 years at Cincinnati State College, a technical and community college right down the hill from the University of Cincinnati. We recently reached a record enrollment of 11,000 students. About half of my students are headed into a health profession; the other half are working on either Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degrees and plan to transfer to a four-year institution. Many are first generation college students; many come to college unprepared for college-level work. Some of my courses are offered in an online/hybrid format, in which students come to campus for lab activities.

I wrote the customized lab manuals that we use in all of our non-majors courses. I recently became a certified Elluminate moderator, and am excited about using Elluminate to interact more with my online students. I'm hoping that this workshop will provide me with new ideas for how to make students more active learners, instead of just expecting me to feed them everything they need to know.
Hello Peggy,

I have two lab manuals published by McGraw-Hill currently on their new Create custom site: Introdution to General Biology Laboratory Manual for Majors, and Biology Laboratory Manual for Non-majors. I would love to hear what everyone does with their students in lab and online. I also try to incorporate a few excellent virtual labs. Would love to learn more from my colleagues.
Hi everyone. My name is Jean Anastasia. I am a faculty member and Assistant Chair of the Biology Department at Suffolk County Community College on Long Island in NY. I have been teaching the second half of the Introductory Biology course for Biology majors and Introduction to Oceanography for non-majors for 11 years.

A few of you have mentioned custom lab manuls; I too have a custom lab manual, through Pearson, and am now in the process of editing and updating it with a colleague. We are interested in having students learn how to work with data more (both analysis and presentation) and improve their abilities in the area of experimental design. I am curious if there are online resources that we may be able to use for this purpose.

We also do dissections in our course and the specimens that we have been receiving in the past few years have not been in good condition. I would like to explore some virtual labs in order to supplement the hands on lab exercises that we currently use.

I look forward to meeting you all in Minnesota and coming home with some great ideas and resources.

I used to live/work on the East end of Suffolk County with an evironmental research/planning group called Group of the South Fork - based in Bridgehampton. Ever heard of it??
Jean R Anastasia said:
Hi everyone. My name is Jean Anastasia. I am a faculty member and Assistant Chair of the Biology Department at Suffolk County Community College on Long Island in NY. I have been teaching the second half of the Introductory Biology course for Biology majors and Introduction to Oceanography for non-majors for 11 years.

A few of you have mentioned custom lab manuls; I too have a custom lab manual, through Pearson, and am now in the process of editing and updating it with a colleague. We are interested in having students learn how to work with data more (both analysis and presentation) and improve their abilities in the area of experimental design. I am curious if there are online resources that we may be able to use for this purpose.

We also do dissections in our course and the specimens that we have been receiving in the past few years have not been in good condition. I would like to explore some virtual labs in order to supplement the hands on lab exercises that we currently use.

I look forward to meeting you all in Minnesota and coming home with some great ideas and resources.
I'm Kristin Jenkins and I work for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent, www.nescent.org), an NSF funded research center promoting interdisciplinary research in evolutionary biology. I have a PhD in molecular biology but discovered early that science education is what I really enjoy. I have been working in various aspects of science education for the past 12 years. My work at NESCent involves making current research accessible for use in the classroom, which meshes nicely with the C3 project. I look forward to working with all of you and learning from you what resources are valuable in the classroom.

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