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ACS Grants Will Support High-Tech Teaching

K. Bernd
Assistant Professor of Biology, Karen Bernd
Four Davidson scientists each recently received $2,500 grants from the Associated Colleges of the South effort to develop high-tech teaching materials and curricula that might be shared with other ACS member institutions.

Karen Bernd, assistant professor of biology, will integrate Web-based assignment modules for her upper level Biology 308 cell biology course and laboratory next fall. She will employ the Just-In-Time Teaching (JiTT) approach and WebAssign program, both of which were developed by Wolfgang Christian of the physics department. By providing questions involving theory and application and instantaneous electronic feedback to both students and faculty member, the materials she develops are intended to allow more effective use of class time and increase students' retention of material.
M. Campbell
Assistant Professor of Biology, Malcolm Campbell

Malcolm Campbell, assistant professor of biology, will work to further refine web pages for his Genome Consortium for Active Teaching (GCAT) that are already interactive and dynamic. Campbell developed GCAT to bring functional genomic methods into undergraduate curriculum. Genomics is the effort to discover and characterize the estimated 70,000 human genes.

Michael Dorcas, assistant professor of biology, will create a web-based system to help students learn to recognize the calls of frogs and toads.
M. Dorcas
Assistant Professor of Biology, Michael Dorcas in the field with students
These "anuran" populations are a valuable indicator of the general health of ecosystems, and the ability to monitor them is an increasingly important ecological skill for students to learn. Dorcas' system will improve upon existing audiotape systems by allowing students to select only calls that occur in their geographic area, and by linking the sound files to photographs and information such as the natural history and breeding seasons of each species. Finally, an evaluation section will give students on-line call identification quizzes, testing their skills as they develop.

Dan Boye, associate professor of physics, and Greta Munger, assistant professor of psychology,
D. Boye
Assistant Professor of Physics, Dan Boye and an advisee
plan to develop a variety of experiences involving sounds to share with students the breadth of the aural world. From teaching previous courses on the physics of sound and the psychology of sound, they have discovered a great deal of overlap in the type of interactive demonstrations they would like to provide for students. Boye has already done some work at putting sound files on the web, but the two professors would like to develop web-based exercises that include manipulation of more complex sounds like chords and orchestral timbre. That work will require creation of java language tools for manipulating sounds, as well as documentation. They hope to engage students in a wide range of physics and psychology courses that touch on the sound or sound perception in the exploration of how it is that we hear things.

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