Child pages
  • Home

HHMI CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT: Curriculum development in BIO215, Microbiology







(Short Term-Learning)

(Medium Term-Action)

(Long Term-Conditions)

  • Undergraduate Students


  • Faculty member responsible for curriculum development (research project development, implementation and coordination):
  • Shanmuganathan


  • Use of the Abernathy Field Station


  • Lab experiences (development of questions/hypotheses based on current literature, common methodologies, data collection, analysis of data, drawing appropriate conclusions)


  • Data presentation experiences


  • Review of microbial taxonomy, diversity and soil microbial ecology


  • Review of research experience effectiveness through CURE pre-course and post-course surveys


  • HHMI funding for supplies including DNA sequencing services provided by DNA genomics facility, West Virginia University


  • HHMI stipend to Shanmuganathan for curriculum development



  • Develop the lab exercises (research project protocols)


  • Incorporate molecular biology and bioinformatics tools and techniques into microbiology lab


  • Coordinate and work with the Genomics facility in West Virginia University for sequencing DNA.


  • Promote poster presentation skills and interest in research by requiring students to present their research findings to the W &J community


  • Inculcate scientific writing skills by requiring students to write a full length research article











  • Number and demographics of the students who participate in this course


  • Student poster presentations and research papers that arise out of the lab research project


  • Evaluation of research project effectiveness by using course evaluations and student surveys


  • Number of soil bacteria isolated and identified



  • Students understand the role, diversity of soil bacteria.


  • Appreciate the need for and importance of interdisciplinary science


  • Become better scientific writers


  • Carry the knowledge acquired into other BIO courses and into graduate studies possibly




  • Students are more engaged in the lab


  • Students are encouraged to take up research careers


  • Explore the feasibility of using microbial ecology as a tool for LEM



  • Students are better engaged in science in general and microbiology in particular


  • Students are more engaged in research related activities and professions


  • Faculty incorporate more research projects into courses


  • Institutions reward faculty for better teaching and course/curriculum development activities


  • Institutions commit funds and other support for further course development—especially for courses that emphasize interdisciplinary work


HHMI CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT: Curriculum development in BIO215, Microbiology


Evaluation Questions for OUTCOMES

Possible Indicators/Measures

Possible Data Collection Methods and Information Sources

Rank/Priority (include brief rationale)

  1. How effective were the curricular development activities in

a)        Teaching bacterial diversity

b)       Microbiology laboratory

c)        Scientific writing

d)       Promoting interdisciplinary thinking


  1. How were the items purchased using HHMI-funds used to effectively teach or train students?


  1. What was the effect of curriculum development changes to the faculty and department/major/other biology courses?


  1. What impacts may this activity have beyond the department?
  1. a) Students positive about new curriculum component

b) Students increased interest in microbiology

             c)  More students interested in research internships or research aspects of other courses

             d)More students interested in pursuing science and research after college


  1. (a) Course(s) continued/modified

(b) Effect on course enrollment

       (c) Effect on Biology major

       (d) Effect on other courses/majors/departments

       (e) Effect on faculty in teaching microbiology

       (f) Effect on other departments


3.   (a) Effect on other institutions’ courses/majors/departments

(b) Effect on science pedagogy

(c) Additional curriculum development grants and awards



  1. a) Exit Questionnaire

b) CURE surveys

c) Course/Classroom Observations

d) Course Surveys


  1. a) Data collection on course/curriculum changes (e.g., enrollment)

      (b) Data collection on history of course offerings in curriculum and departmental major

      (c) Assessment of teaching (course evaluation)


  1. a) Annual report of HHMI-funded activities and their


           b) Periodic plan and review of dissemination plan

           c) Grant funding information

           d) Departmental and Institutional funding reports

  • Questions 1 & 2 are most important and can be implemented over both the long and short term through existing assessment methods (dept, institutional, and HHMI related) and methods that can be easily developed (additional course surveys, exit interviews of students).


  • Questions 3 and 4, while important are not easy to answer as they may require more discussion between faculty members within the department and within other departments in the institution.