The February ROSE Network lunch meeting featured a live-streamed seminar by Dr. Malcolm Campbell from Davidson College, hosted by Dr. Anil Challa (UAB). Dr. Campbell shared with us his experiences with introducing active learning and CUREs into the introductory Biology courses at his institution. He gave us some examples of how his new textbook, “Integrating Concepts in Biology”, uses real data from classic experiments to teach core biological concepts. For example, students can work with the original data from Meselson and Stahl’s classic study that proved that DNA replication is a semi-conservative process.
We also talked extensively about Dr. Campbell’s introductory lab course that uses IGEM-style synthetic biology to let students be creative while learning lab skills and improving understanding of genetic mechanisms and systems biology. Finally, ROSE Network members from UAB and Birmingham Southern had an informative back-and-forth with Dr. Campbell about the logistical challenges of implementing these kinds of reforms in a variety of institutional settings.