Graduate Programme in Teaching

Department of Biology
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Professor:  Dr. Brian E. Staveley, Ph.D.

A session of the Graduate Programme in Teaching

Guest Presenter:

Dr. Brian E. Staveley
Department of Biology
Faculty of Science
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador
Canada   A1B 3X9

Academic Background:

B.Sc. (Honours Genetics) University of Guelph
M.Sc. (Molecular Biology & Genetics) University of Guelph
Ph.D. (Genetics) University of Alberta
PDF (Molecular Cell Biology) Ontario Cancer Institute: University of Toronto
Lecturer:  Cell and Molecular Biology: University of Toronto

Research Interests:

1. Cell survival & cell death mechanisms
2. Insulin pathway cell signaling
3. Models of Neurodegenerative Disease
(Parkinson's & Huntington's in Drosophila)

Teaching Interests:

The Principles of Cell Biology (BIOL2060)
Developmental Biology (BIOL3530)
The Molecular Basis of Development (BIOL7530)
The Principles of Genetics (BIOL2250)
Supervision of Graduate and Undergraduate students


Teaching and research have a symbiotic relationship.
Each flourish when both are working in harmony.


"Turn science students into scientists."

How to build a course: step by step.

Please note that the example is only an example.

At your job interview, you may be asked to design a new course.
What will you say???

Step one:  Decide subject area and level

This is usually the easy step.
An excerpt from my letter of appointment:
 " - be asked to provide instruction, including taking full course responsibility, in the area of your expertise - "

Step two:  Investigate

What do other schools do?
University of Guelph
MBG4040 Genetics and Molecular Biology of Development

University of Alberta
GENET 412 Genetic Control of Development

University of Toronto
ZOO328H1F Developmental Biology I
ZOO329H1S Developmental Biology II

Step three:  Choose a textbook

Ask your colleagues.
Check course web pages.
Check publishers offerings.

Developmental Biology
by Scott Gilbert, 6th edition

Principles of Development
by Lewis Wolpert, 2nd edition

Step four:  Find additional materials

Specialized Web links:

Society for Developmental Biology
British Society for Developmental Biology
The Virtual Embryo
Bill Wasserman's Developmental Biology Page
Virtual Library-Developmental Biology
Welcome to the Amphibian Embryology Tutorial

National Center for Biotechnology Information
Berkeley Drosophila Genome Project

Specialized Journals:

Genes & Development
Development (from the Company of Biologists)
Developmental Biology
Developmental Cell
BMC(BioMedCentral) Developmental Biology
Mechanisms of Development
Current Opinion in Genetics and Development
Current Biology
Molecular Cell
HMS Beagle

Step five:  Prepare the course outline

If you have chosen a great textbook, use it as a main guide!

    1.  Introduction to Developmental Biology
        1.1  History and Basic Concepts
        1.2  Model Systems
    2.  Development, Patterning and Cell Fate
        2.1  Patterning the Vertebrate Body Plan
        2.2  Development of the Drosophila Body Plan
        2.3  Development of Invertebrates, Ascidians, and Slime Molds
        2.4  Plant Development
    3.  The Molecular and Cellular Basis of Development
        3.1  Morphogenesis
        3.2  Cell Differentiation
        3.3  Organogenesis
        3.4  Development of the Nervous System
        3.5  Germ Cells and Sex
        3.6  Regeneration
        3.7  Growth and Post-Embryonic Development
        3.8  Evolution and Development

Step six:  Prepare the course notes

This is the time consuming part.
I find that one hour of lecture requires at least eight to ten hours of preparation time.
The History of Developmental Biology

Step seven:  Choose the method of evaluation
Choose fair but effective evaluation methods that will build valuable skills.

    20% Midterm Examination
    20% Review Paper
    30% Laboratory Notebook, Participation & Research Paper
    30% Final Examination

Step eight:  Deliver the course and evaluate the students

Step nine:  Course evaluation

Step ten: Make improvements for next time

(for exit slip evaluation of this presentation see here)

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