New Materials And New Methods: Innovative Strategies For Integrating New Material Into Syllabi


The syllabi of Developmental Biology courses are changing, adding new material on stem cells, genomics, bioethics, evo-devo, and eco-devo. The methods of teaching are changing, too. This forum will discuss strategies for adding new material into developmental biology courses and for introducing developmental biology to first-year students. Nipam Patel will discuss his method for introducing evo-devo to developmental biology students, wherein the morphological changes associated with Hox genes are highlighted, and students are asked to pick a visually appealing example for which they have already provided an in depth mechanistic background of the developmental process and to provide an adequate evolutionary context for its development. Yolanda Cruz shows how Powerpoint can be used as a tool rather than a weapon, and she will detail how she makes an experiment-based “wet” laboratory exercise do double duty as a familiarization tool for using web-based developmental biology databases. Michael Barresi will detail his innovative web conferencing and movie production technologies that have enabled students to interact with leading scientists and experts in the field of developmental biology. These technologies help students engage with course material in novel ways to foster deep learning, build critical thinking skills, and foster long-term retention. It is also critical to introduce first-year students to developmental biology, since many high school courses do not cover it. Laurie Iten (aka Techno-geek old gal), who created the SDB website and was its first webmaster, will tell how she “kicks beginning biology students into shape” with her Boot Camp for Biology Lab, and Scott Gilbert will discuss how he introduces developmental biology to first-year students, as their Defense Against the Dark Arts Instructor. Realizing that we do not have a monopoly on good ideas, members from the audience will be invited to mention strategies that have worked for them.


Academic Press

Publication Date


Publication Title

Developmental Biology



Document Type








This document is currently not available here.