Many misconceptions can creep into an undergraduate student's mind as they study gene expression in their classrooms. In continuation with an earlier discussion on the common misconceptions in gene expression, in this article, educator Maya Murdeshwar from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai highlights some of the misconceptions around the process of translation – the process of building a polypeptide chain based on genetic information.
Molecular biology textbooks teach us that during gene expression, only one strand of DNA is used to synthesize RNA. Does this mean that only one of the strands of an entire DNA duplex is functional? What does the other strand do? Which one is called the 'sense' strand? Is it the same as the 'template' strand? These are some questions that often baffle undergraduate students of biology. In this article, educator Maya Murdeshwar of St. Xavier's College, Mumbai describes how she approaches these concepts in her classroom.
Speak of comfort zones! In this article, Abhijeet Bayani, a field biologist and an educator at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, disentangles the meanings and purposes of three terms commonly used in ecological studies to discuss the space in which an organism thrives – habitats, microhabitats and niches.
Receiving a certificate of excellence after an immersive learning experience or a job well done can be quite gratifying. But is a free-for-all distribution of certificates without evaluating the recipients justified? Are we chasing (or worse, fueling) a culture where certificates seem to trump learning gains? This article highlights the systematic spread of falsehoods associated with certificates in the Indian education system and the ways in which students can be protected from it.
Games are not just invigorating and fun, they also keep the players focussed and motivated to learn and do better – qualities that all educators wish to inculcate in their students. In this article, Saurabh Mahajan, a biologist and educator from Atria University, describes ways in which games can be used to achieve better learning of biological concepts, with the same excitement, motivation and focus in students.