AADS Works-in-Progress 1: Dr Eric Bishop-Von Wettberg (Department of Biological Sciences)

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Venue:LC 301, MMC

First WiP for Spring 2014: February 27th, 3:30-5:00 pm, LC 301

Participant: Dr Eric Bishop-Von Wettberg (Department of Biological Sciences) Discussants: Dr Hilary Jones and Seth Manthe

Title: Mock trials in the classroom as a method of population genetics instruction and vehicle for global learning objectives.

Working abstract: Population genetics has become central to several other subdisciplines of biology as the capacity to characterize genetic variation in populations has grown. In fields as disparate as conservation biology, medicine, and forensics statistical approaches from population genetics are widely utilized. However, population genetics is one of the more mathematically intense courses in the biology curriculum, and consequently discourages many students. Efforts to make the course more learner-centered, and to ground it in a wider range of applications may help retain students. Here we describe efforts to utilize mock trials based on consequences of the Argentinian “Dirty War” in a population genetics course that serves students from a diversity of backgrounds and sub-disciplines.

A reminder that the WiP series are intended to be small, informal and safe spaces to share working drafts. Rather than presenting the paper, authors begin with a very brief set of comments about the piece, goals for publication, particular areas for focused feedback etc. A discussant/discussants then provide their comments before we move to an open discussion of the paper. Ideally, participants will come having read the piece and with comments to share.