Preparation for Introductory Biology  DNA to Organisms
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Preparation for Introductory Biology DNA to Organisms

Hi, my name is Diane O’Dowd, and I’m a Professor
of Developmental Cell Biology here at UC Irvine. This is Adrienne Williams. She and I have
been working together for a number of years on an introductory biology course. We’ve been
developing new materials and new approaches to help students not only learn basic biological
concepts, but how to apply these to solve novel or difficult problems. Our teaching
is informed by our HHMI sponsored research where we’re evaluating the effectiveness of
specific strategies and techniques on student learning outcomes. We’ve been doing this over
the past eight years in both multiple online and on-site versions of the introductory biology
course. In this new course we’ll use what we’ve learned from this research to support
students who are currently enrolled in an introductory biology course or who may be
preparing to take an introductory biology course. The format provided by Coursera will
give motivated students the opportunity to more fully explore the underlying basic biology
concepts as well as practice the critical thinking skills that are required to solve
problems that are novel, that we haven’t explored explicitly in the teaching materials. During
this class you’re going to be watching basic videos and taking notes. You’ll be completing
reading assignments and filling out packets full of questions that we’ve carefully prepared
to help you understand the material. You’ll be taking online quizzes to help you practice
recalling the information, and you’ll be working with other students in discussion sections
online to work on difficult case studies and other exam style questions to help you apply
the material. By the end of this course our goals for you are that, first, you would understand
the basics of cell and molecular and developmental biology that we present in this course, second,
that you would be able to apply this information to new and novel and difficult problems, and
that, third, you would become an excellent learner, that you would learn techniques of
organization and study and explanation that would help you in any course you take in the

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