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Teaching Update

This Monday night I taught lecture #7 of the 8-week Intro Biology course (adult education at a community college). First, I gave them their Exam #2 (on Diversity, see my lecture notes on those topics here, here and here). The flat distribution of the first exam has now turned bimodal: some students are making big improvements and I will probably end with a nice cluster of As and Bs, while other students are falling and may end up with a few Ds and Fs, with nobody left in-between.

Then, I continued with the physiology topics. The week before, I covered nervous, sensory, endocrine and circadian systems. This week, I covered the muscular, circulatory, respiratory, excretory and reproductive systems. How does one teach all of those systems in such short time? By sticking to the basics of the basics, of course, skipping a lot of stuff that textbook deems important. I am late at writing and posting here my lecture notes for those two lectures, but once I do, you’ll see the strategy I took, putting emphasis on how all those systems are intertwined and work together in solving challenges posed by the environment.

Next week is the final exam on anatomy and physiology. The students will then give oral presentations on an organ system each. Unlike me, they will keep the systems separate from each other, and focus entirely on the human body. One student will do the immune system which I did not have time to cover at all. This will be an opposrtunity for me to add teh information that I could not sqeeze into my formal lecture before.

Last week, they also gave short presentations on diseases. I have to say that I learned a lot about Shingles, Grave’s disease, Herpes Simplex, Osteoporosis, etc. They did a great job, all of them. Finally, they will do the evaluations and the class will be over. Later this summer I will teach the lab only, then in Fall it’s back to both the lecture and the lab again.

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