Kelly Hogan is a faculty member in the Biology Department at the University of North at Chapel Hill. She teaches large introductory courses at UNC, including a one semester mixed majors biology course and a one semester introduction to genetics. She also teaches a non-majors course on current biological issues and a service learning course related to blood donation. She utilizes technology with her students, such as cell phones as clickers and online homework and discussions. She is the author of Stem Cells and Cloning published by Pearson. Her research currently focuses on how highly structured active learning and online homework affects student success, especially for underrepresented minority and first generation college students.
Kelly first had the idea to launch Instructor Exchange when she was redesigning her course from a more lecture-based course to a student centered, active environment. Students would come to class already having completed an online assignment about the material. Not lecturing the same amount of content freed up class time. While searching for ideas online, Kelly dreamt up Instructor Exchange. The site would need to be organized by content, but searchable in many ways. The site would need to have useful, interesting ideas with new ideas added weekly. Additionally, because Kelly felt alone in her massive redesign, she wished for a forum to discuss specific activities. Had anyone used this activity in a large class? Did the activity take as long as predicted? Did anyone have advice for implementing the idea? Importantly, did anyone have new activities, ideas, or comments they wanted to share?
In developing the Instructor Exchange idea further, Kelly thought the site would be most useful to many more instructors if there was an opportunity for people to share more teaching ideas. Thus, the site includes video reviews, article alerts, media reviews, and teaching analogies, in addition to in class activities.
Norris Armstrong is an Associate Professor in the Genetics Department at the University of Georgia, Athens. He teaches large introductory biology courses for science and non-science majors. His research concentrates on developing and testing methods for improving instruction in large classes and he has published articles examining cooperative-learning, inquiry-based learning, and writing-to-learn strategies. Norris also uses a variety of technologies to enhance his classes including clickers, on-line homework/tutorial systems, and podcasting. He is currently examining ways in which to make his classes of 300+ more active and student-centered.
Eileen Gregory has over thirty years experience teaching at Rollins College. While trained as a microbiologist, Eileen’s current endeavors focus on improving science education at all levels. Her successful work in improving science instruction in elementary schools led her to tackle improving instruction in the introductory biology course sequence. Recognized by Rollins College as an outstanding teacher, Eileen’s efforts to utilize active learning strategies and incorporate educational technology have resulted in both national and international awards.
Eileen believes that when used correctly technology can greatly enhance the educational experience. She was an early adopter of probeware and personal response systems (clickers). She continues to investigate the efficacy of educational technology from classroom management systems to on-line testing. Eileen is an active member of the National Association of Biology Teachers where she is spearheading an initiative to define the essential topics for introductory biology courses. She is also the past chair of the AP Biology Development Committee.