Biology of Climate Change – One Instructor’s Experience

Course Level and Institution: Introductory Biology Course at the University of Colorado, Denver

Day 1: Students read Inouye et al., 2000 as homework.

Day 2: Class period started with the interview from Colorado Public Radio. While the students listened, the instructor flashed the slide show of RMBL images. The instructor talked about the skill of reading a scientific paper and how students would be using this skill throughout their career as students and probably beyond. She gave them a worksheet that they could use to help them analyze a scientific paper. (Also see the CREATE method.)

Using a jigsaw approach, she broke the students into groups. Each group completed a column of the table on the worksheet. Each group presented their column while the rest of the class filled in the rest of the table and asked questions. The instructor showed students how to navigate the Digital RMBL website and where the resources they needed were, giving them an opportunity to ask questions. The instructor downloaded the data and showed students how to make a graph in Excel. (The instructor explained that learning new software often involves problem solving and some level of frustration, both of which are usually rewarding in the end.) The instructor also gave the students an opportunity to find a partner who knew Excel and she allowed them to work in groups on this activity if they wanted to.

Day 3: Students turned in their assignment and the instructor led a discussion about the activity.