Teaching

Jeff Chang teaches:

BI212: Principles of Biology. This course is the second of a year-long introductory biology series. In BI212, students learn cell theory, information flow, structure function, plant and animal physiology. Over the course of the past two years, we (four of us participate in organizing and teaching) have been restructuring BI212 to be a more active learning environment. We are challenging the students a lot more, encouraging critical thinking, guiding students to take ownership of their learning, and helping students have a better appreciation of how science affects our daily lives.

MCB637: Molecular Host-Microbe Interactions. This course is a graduate only course that covers a variety of topics in symbiosis. We have developed a student-driven, cooperative learning environment that is centered on learning from the most recent published peer-reviewed articles. The class is a lot of work, but also a delight to be a part of. Four of us teach in it and the discussions can be quite lively. The class is offered every other year (Spring term of odd-numbered academic years, i.e., Spring of 2016 of the 2015-2016 year).

Experiential research learning experience. This research program is structured to provide undergraduate and high school students long-term research learning experiences. The goals are to help students achieve five core competencies and improve their competitiveness for graduate and professional school and careers.

Five core competencies for undergraduate research learning experience

I) Scientific process

  1. Students will use the scientific method to address biological questions; iterate the steps of making observations, formulating testable hypotheses, designing and executing controlled experiments, collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data, and drawing conclusions.
  2. Students will differentiate between causation and correlation.
  3. Students will apply the principle of parsimony in drawing conclusions. 
  4. Students will evaluate primary research articles.

II) Personal and professional development

  1. Students will use critical thinking and quantitative reasoning while applying the scientific method.
  2. Students will use organization skills, time/life management skills, methods for effective verbal communication, and technical writing skills during the research experience.
  3. Students will work within the ethical norms of research, e.g., proper research conduct, proper animal care, proper handling of genetically modified organisms, proper acknowledgement of credit, etc.
  4. Students will promote an inclusive and supportive learning environment, participate in collaborative learning in the research setting, mentor others, and respect others regardless of differences in life experiences.

III) Societal impacts of science

  1. Students will connect scientific research to society.
  2. Students will effectively communicate complex scientific results to the public.

IV) Disciplinary skills

  1. Students will use laboratory skills, such as protocols, laboratory procedures, use of equipment, safe practices, proper laboratory behavior, etc.
  2. Students will connect knowledge gained from the research experience to their discipline of study.

V) Professional advancement

  1. Students will participate in activities such as authoring manuscripts, scholarship applications, and theses, as well as attend/participate in conferences, meetings, and/or seminars.
  2. Students will distinguish themselves in applications and interviews for graduate school, professional school, and/or career opportunities.