Improving Retention in STEM Courses at SAC
Course Redesign Summary – BIOL 1308 & 1309, Biology I & II for non-science majors
Instructor: Karl Hagenbuch
Fall of 2012 brought a change in the Texas core course requirements. Students wanting to satisfy their natural science hours are no longer required to register for courses that include a laboratory component. There is a problem inherent with this decision: regression into a traditional lecture-based course where students are led through the material, but never engaged.
This course redesign builds on the success of a previous redesign of BIOL 1408, which incorporated probeware into the course. Both new courses, 1308 and 1309, will maintain the successful format of the inquiry-based, student-centered learning. In addition, the focus will be less on content and more on scientific discovery through doing.
Rather than relying on the traditional “take notes” format, students can purchase the notes for both courses. Less time spent writing leaves more time for learning. Because the notes for both courses are included in the single purchase, students will be more likely to take 1309 upon completion of 1308.