University of Pittsburgh

ACIE Award 2011

Losing the Lecture: Student-Centered, Inquiry-Based Learning in an Entry-Level Biology Course

Insert Name

Lydia Daniels

Biological Sciences
A230 Langley Hall

Watch the above video to learn more about Daniels' project.

Much has been published about the need to transform science teaching from the passive lecture model intent on “covering content” to a student –centered pedagogy that is focused on developing reasoning skills, a deep understanding of the evidence that underlies the key concepts of biology, and how the process of science generates new knowledge via hypothesis testing. An integral component of the teaching transformation is to engage students directly in their learning through a process of guided discovery; a process that is learner-centered rather than faculty centered.  Although inquiry-based learning is usually provided by laboratory courses, for many students their primary exposure to biology begins with the large lecture classes. Lydia Daniels, Biological Sciences, proposed bringing the process of guided discovery into the large biology classroom to more effectively develop the scientific literacy skills needed for further study in the field.

Daniels began by identifying the following 3 educational goals:

In Fall 2011, 250 undergraduates taking BIOSCI 0150: Foundations of Biology 1 experienced the first iteration of the course redesign.   Daniels limited the number of lectures in the course by:

Final Report

Teaching Times Article

Course Materials: