Undergraduate students of biochemistry may know the sequence of reactions in different pathways of energy metabolism. But how well do they understand the interconnections between these pathways? Maya Murdeshwar, an educator from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, uses a quiz featuring cheetahs, triathlons and monozygotic twins to test her students and uncover their misconceptions around these pathways. She explains her approach in this article.
A lot of emphasis is given on introducing research in undergraduate curricula. On the other hand, there is little to no discussion about how to introduce the students to reading primary literature critically, or how to assess their understanding of it. Can there be a structured way of getting a regular undergraduate, who may or may not be interested in a research career, enthused about reading a research paper? How to test whether they have understood what they have read? These were the questions dealt by the educators of the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), Mumbai, while developing a three-day module for reading research papers. In this article, one of the facilitators of the module walks us through their process.
What’s the measure of species diversity of a habitat? Is it the number of inhabitants? Is it the number of species? Or is it the presence of a rare species? In this article, field biologist Abhijeet Bayani throws light on how he approaches this question of species ‘diversity’ in his classroom (a.k.a nature), while ensuring that his undergraduate students do not confuse it with a very related concept of species ‘richness’.
This is the first article of the brand new series, the "Common Misconceptions in Biology". In this article, author Sushama Yermal delves into one of the topics in biology that often confounds undergraduate students - the difference in allele numbers between individuals and population. She provides insightful ways to identify misconceptions in students around this topic and offers solutions to resolve them. Yermal is an independent advisor in teacher education. She was formerly a faculty of the undergraduate programme at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.
The pandemic and the consequent lockdown have disrupted classes and access to labs at educational institutions across the country. However, for the undergraduate students of the CUBE program, the lockdown has been a boon. Instead of losing hope, these students have set a precedent by finding creative ways to continue working and learning along with their peers by developing the CUBE home labs and the CUBE chatShaala.