Teaching and Pedagogy

Teaching

Cellular and Systems Physiology (PCB 3713C)

How cells, organs and higher level systems are integrated and coordinated in the functions of humans and other animals. Emphasizes the use of model organisms, mathematical models and the physical sciences to understand the mechanistic basis of normal physiology and dysfunction. 4 credits.

  • Prereqs: first semester of General Biology (BSC 2010) and two semesters of General Chemistry (CHM 2046, CHM 2047, CHM 2051, or CHM 2096), and two semesters of Physics (PHY 2049 or PHY 2054 or PHY 2061).

This course is part of the required curriculum of UF’s Biomedical Engineering Program. It is offered every spring.

Integrated Biomedical Science (ISC 3523)

An introduction to biomedical science as the application of the natural sciences to medicine. Course content focuses on integration of biological and biochemical sciences, chemical and physical sciences, and social and behavioral sciences in the context of health. Course activities promote skills in problem-solving, critical analysis, and quantitative reasoning.

  • Prerequisites: Two semesters of General Biology (BSC 2011) and two semesters of Organic Chemistry (CHM 2211 or CHM 2213 or CHM 3217) and one semester of General Physics (PHY 2048 or PHY 2053 or PHY 2060) and Calculus I or Statistics (MAC 2311 or STA 2023) and General Psychology or Principles of Sociology (PSY 2012 or SYG 2000).
  • Co-requisites Biochemistry (BCH 4024 or CHM 3218) and second-semester General Physics (PHY 2049 or PHY 2054 or PHY 2061).

This course is designed for junior and senior students who are pre-professional (e.g., pre-med, pre-dent, pre-vet, pre-pharm) or who intend to pursue graduate study in biomedically-related disciplines. It will be offered for the first time in fall 2016.

Integrated Principles of Biology I (BSC 2010)

Development of online content for this course in the area of introductory cell biology.

Science Pedagogy Projects

X-Laboratory Project

The Cross-Disciplinary Laboratory (X-Lab) project has three main objectives: (1) increase retention in STEM by helping students develop a synthetic, cross-disciplinary approach to the natural sciences that enhances their understanding of basic sciences concepts and increases their success in traditional undergraduate science courses; (2) engage students in inquiry-based experiments that model modern, authentic research; and (3) train students in the key theoretical and practical skills necessary to participate meaningfully in modern scientific research as early undergraduates.

The focus of the X-Lab is a two-semester, six-credit course sequence (ISC 2400L and ISC 2401L) designed to seamlessly integrate biology, chemistry and physics laboratory coursework. Anticipated student outcomes include (1) improved content knowledge in biology, chemistry and physics; (2) development of skills necessary to participate meaningfully in life sciences research as early undergraduates; (3) improved confidence in STEM and enhanced self-perception as a participant in the research community.

We currently offer nine sections each fall and spring and two sections each summer B. The X-Lab is coordinated by Dr. Gabriela Waschewsky and sections are taught by graduate teaching assistants from the departments of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. More information, including student lab manuals and assessment outcomes, are at X-Laboratory.org.

Physiology Cyberlearning Project

The goal of this NSF-funded project is to enhance JustPhysiology, a cyberlearning application with which undergraduate students can learn human physiology using both guided and pure discovery and by designing, conducting and analyzing the results of authentic, simulation-based research. The project builds on HumMod, a 10,000-variable mathematical simulation of human physiology. In contrast to many of the existing, simulations commercially-available for human physiology instruction, HumMod was created for basic and applied physiology research. HumMod is currently the most comprehensive model of human physiology, with variables describing cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, neural, endocrine, skeletal muscle, and metabolic physiology constructed from empirical data from peer-reviewed physiological literature. HumMod accurately predicts qualitative and quantitative changes in both clinical and experimental responses, and can simulate both acute and chronic clinical scenarios.

Student-centered approaches to teaching and learning allow the student to lead the learning process. This can range from guided discovery (also called guided-inquiry) to pure discovery methods, and from guided research to authentic research, in which the student takes the lead in developing the hypothesis and experimental design and analyzing the results. Computer-based simulations of complex systems, such as human physiology, are potentially powerful educational tools that allow learners to safely explore how aspects of the physiological systems relate and how manipulating system variables affect outcomes. However, recent research suggests that the educational effectiveness of such simulations is far from guaranteed, and that proper underlying instructional strategies are essential. We will investigate how instructional strategies for the simulation can be optimized to promote flexible and generalizable reasoning. Theories of learning are in direct conflict on how to manage the learner’s efforts – cognitive load theorists emphasize the need for guided discovery to minimize extraneous load, while error management theorists suggest pure discovery to promote higher-level cognitive processes and active learning. This project will experimentally compare the two approaches to determine an effective application design and teaching strategy for undergraduate human physiology instruction.

This is a collaborative project funded by an NSF S-STEM award to D. Julian in collaboration with HC Simulation, LLC, and co-PIs Dr. Robert Hester, Dr. Matthew Lineberry, and Dr. Pavlo (Pasha) Antonenko.