Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Welcome to the Fall 2015 edition of BIOL2101!

Hi everyone

Welcome to the Fall 2015 genetics course (BIOL2101).  This year, we're running the course with "lecture" classes only (tutorials were dropped for budgetary reasons).  This won't necessarily impact the quality of your education, but because tutorials are a more active (and much more effective) way to understand material, we're going to do "tutorial stuff" in classes more than "lecture stuff", which often  consists of the instructor reading PowerPoint images to a class which is copying down the facts.

Instead, I'll have you use the textbook heavily prior to coming to class.  In class I'll take questions and clarify points, and have you working through exercises that should help you understand genetics concepts.  Every week, you'll have a "Just-in-Time Teaching" Assignment (JiTT) due by noon each Sunday.  These are questions that you should be able to answer if you've read through the textbook.  Note that the information will precede the class activities to relate to:  you'll be doing some learning on your own, but more importantly you'll be developing questions and ideas that we can work with in class.  The homework system that provides the questions is by Sapling Learning, which you need to purchase from the bookstore.

The textbook we are using, however, is completely free.  We are using a copyright-free book from the University of Alberta which was originally written by Dr. Michael Deyholos and has been updated by Mark Wolanski and Dr. John Locke.  It is available for download in several forms at (we are using the MRU version, so follow that link).

You'll also need to find that iClicker you used for BIOL 1202 because in-class activities will be worth points.  If you don't have one, you can buy one at the bookstore.


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Welcome to Genetics!

Hi folks

I'm a Professor at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  I've taught for over twelve years and have become a huge advocate for self-paced learning.  Although I structure my lecture classes in a fairly traditional way (everyone has to be ready for class and already be familiar with the assigned chapter), I recognize that having out-of-class resources that you can tap on demand is a huge benefit to interested learners.

I've been using YouTube with greater frequency, but have had a hard time organizing the content.  I decided to give Blogger a whirl to allow me to organize my online lessons.  I'm a huge fan of how Sal Khan decided to share his love of teaching and his resources, and thought I'd try my hand at it myself!  Who knows, maybe I'll sign on as a coach with the Khan Academy some day.

Until then, here are my resources.  At this site you can expect to see lessons on:
Feel free to leave comments.  I can probably be talked into giving tutorials on different topics provided I feel I have the expertise.  The principles I cover should transfer over to genetics at most institutions.  I might teach things in a different way than you might otherwise learn it from your regular instructor, but you *should* come up with the same answers.  Be sure to check with your instructor about whether she or he wants you to conform to a particular method of solving genetics problems, or if any logical strategy will work.  It's their course and their rules!

The nature of blogs is to put the newest information at the top.  I want to control the order of the posts, so I had to think of a way to order the lessons.  To accomplish this, I created multiple blogs, each on a different topic.  That way, I can post the latest lessons first, and all the newer ones stack up upon each other.  As you scroll down the blog page, you'll see the lessons in the proper order! Check the links to the right for new units as I put them together!

I hope this site proves to be useful to you!