A student analyzes head and tail amplitude during swimming in mummichogs (fish) to compare with a large unpublished dataset from a colleague
This is an upper-level specialty biology course with small class sizes (8-12 students) that I have just taught for the first time at GSU. This is the course I was hired to develop and is structured as a lecture and lab that covers biomechanical concepts in animal locomotion and movement. Labs are structured so students can practice applying the scientific process, from conceptualization to data analysis and dissemination.
Students learned to use data analysis programs including Image J, Tracker, Google Sheets/Excel, and JMP. To practice communicating their work to non-scientists, students completed mid-term projects to explain a concept from the course to another course for non-majors students. Those students then provided feedback that helped them design and implement their own, similar projects for the non-majors course. To practice communicating their ideas to other scientists, students completed final projects to either present a lab experiment as a poster in the end-of-semester departmental undergraduate research symposium, or submit a grant proposal for a new project following the outline of the Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of research model.
Throughout the course, students said they were learning skills they wanted to put on their resume, that they hadn't learned in other courses, and were having so much fun they couldn't believe they were learning so much!