Animal Behavior & Education
ABS Teaching Workshops
The 2016 ABS Education workshop took place on Saturday, July 30 at University of Missouri Columbia. We did not have invited speakers who talked ABOUT teaching. Instead, four master teachers modeled and taught four different types of classes. This allowed participants to more easily incorporate these lessons into their animal behavior courses.
Sampling Animal Behavior: Dr. Susan Margulis, Associate Professor in Animal Behavior, Ecology and Conservation, and Biology, Canisius College, taught a lesson on focal, scan and all-occurrences sampling. Participants used different sampling methods to collect data from video footage. Analysis and discussion illustrated the appropriate use of different methods to different research questions.
Parental Care in the Wild (in the classroom): Dr. Alexandra Basolo, Professor of Biology, University of Nebraska, taught how to identify behaviors exhibited by parental cichlids. Then we collected data from video of parents, young and predators in a stream in Belize. Finally, we learned to summarize the results and we discussed differences between the parents.
Teaching with Wikipedia: Dr. Joan Strassmann, Professor of Biology, Washington University. Wikipedia can be a powerful teaching tool. What better way to teach your students the strengths and weaknesses of Wikipedia than having them write for it? The Wikipedia Education Foundation is there to help, even if you don't know how to edit well yourself, there is tons of help out there! We were introduced to editing and contributing to Wikipedia and began by correcting the pages on capybaras and naked mole-rats.
Case-Study Based Module Teaching: Dr. Laura Sirot, Assistant Professor of Biology, The College of Wooster and Dr. Heather Zimbler-DeLorenzo, Associate Professor of Biology, Alfred University The goal of using case study modules is to allow you to transform your classrooms into active, student-centered learning environments. Modules last two weeks and cover at least 2-3 core concepts that students in Animal Behavior would be expected to learn. By using the C.R.E.A.T.E. (teachcreate.org) method, students use the primary literature to explore the main module question. We cartooned some key concepts and diagramed the relationships between them.
This workshop was a unique opportunity for those looking for new ideas to incorporate into their animal behavior classes.