1997) contains numerous examples of designing new courses, pathways to change, and methods for assessment. Peer Instruction: A User’s Manual (Mazur, 1997) focuses on physics teaching, but contains descriptions of its primary approach for engaging students (the ConcepTest) and ideas for motivating students. The Hidden Curriculum: Faculty-Made Tests in Science (Tobias and Raphael, 1977) presents additional ideas for varying the lecture approach to teaching. The Proceedings of the 1999 Sigma Xi Forum present ideas for inquiry-based teaching, specifically addressing its use in large classrooms (Sigma Xi, 2000). Several Web sites list other resources that may be helpful: www.academicinfo.net/biologyed.html and www.mcb.harvard.edu/BioLinks/EduRes.html. There are also resources for faculty available on their own campuses, such as centers for teaching and learning or centers of teaching excellence.

Inquiry-Based Learning

An increasing number of today’s college faculty recognize the significance of the research findings discussed in How People Learn and incorporate inquiry-based teaching and learning into their courses. The main idea of inquiry is for students to learn in the same way that scientists learn through research. Scientists ask questions, make observations, take measurements, analyze data, and repeat this process in an attempt to integrate new information. Students should be taught the way scientists think about the world, and how they analyze a scientific problem in particular. Inquiry advocates the use of this process for teaching in the classroom, lab, or field. Some essential features of classroom inquiry (use of evidence, framing of scientific questions, etc.) are listed in the NRC report Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards (NRC, 2000c). Although this report is written for elementary and high school science teachers, it contains good ideas for undergraduate faculty as well. The National Science Teachers Association has published a guide for faculty on how to use the ideas of the science education standards in the college classroom to increase student-centered and inquiry-based learning (Siebert and McIntosh, 2001). The NRC has plans to publish a volume focusing on inquiry in the undergraduate classroom through its Committee on Undergraduate Science Education Web site.

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