First year biology

In October 2013 on October 23, 2013 at 9:13 pm

kirsti biology Spiral succulent

Kirsti: First year biology at university. Most Bachelor of Science students did it. I did it. It’s a prerequisite for many, more specialised second year units, and the foundation for other degrees like agriculture, food science, biomedicine and medicine, and sometimes environmental science.

I’ve been doing some lab and tutorial teaching of first year biology this past 3 months. It’s been rewarding. But I’m now launching into my first trimester of purely external (online) first year biology students at the University of New England.

I know. EXCITED!

The students will experience an intensive practical school to ensure they get into a lab, get their hands dirty, make observations of actual specimens and get to talk to other students first hand. But other than that, everything’s in their own time, at [mainly] their own pace, and – the killer – during the summer holidays of most university courses.

I’m looking forward to live chats about our topics, setting some fun interactive quizzes to get them thinking, but most of all, advising them to get out there and look around! They could, for example, look for evidence of symmetry in their own gardens, arthropods on their kitchen bench-tops and shared features of any vertebrate pets in their vicinity.

In my own head right now I might choose to go off on a tangent with thoughts and grumbles about various things relating to university study these days. Like the reduction of semester weeks to trimesters at some universities, decreasing the number of lectures, practicals and assessments in first year biology (primarily due to increasing student numbers and decreasing budgets), and superficial learning by generations of IT-savvy kids. But I will not force you to endure that. Not today anyway. 🙂 

Instead, I will continue writing my lecture on animal development, and marvel at radial symmetry, a developing gastrula, arthropod diversity and the existence of nematodes.

  1. […] is all about primary school extension projects for me right now. After my last blog entry about first year university biology, I’m taking it back some 15 […]

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