BIOS 6100         Teaching of Biological Sciences                                              Fall 2005


Instructor:                                                                                                                                         Class Meets:

David W. Rudge                                                                                                                         F 11:00-11:50 am

email:                                                                                    1414 Wood Hall

Office: 3134 Wood Hall

Phone: 387-2779

Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 10:30-11:30 a.m. and by appointment


Required Texts/Materials:      

1) Davis, Barbara Gross (1993) Tools for Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc.

ISBN 1555425682 [xxv, 429 p.; 23 cm.]

2) A course pack of readings (BIOS 6100 Teaching of Biological Sciences Rudge Fall 2005) is available at the WMU Bookstore in the Bernhard Center.


Course Description:

"This course will provide instructional techniques for the teaching of Biological Sciences at the college or secondary level. May be repeated for credit." (WMU 2004-2006 Graduate Catalogue, p. 46)


Course Rationale

Many graduate students in the Department of Biological Sciences are supported as teaching assistants. This course has been designed to supplement the preparation provided by their supervisors. It is also intended to provide an introduction the basics of how to teach biology for those who plan to eventually teach in a college or university setting.


Broad Goals for BIOS 6100

Students will:

1)      learn how to design a course syllabus;

2)      learn how to create, run, evaluate and assess a course;

3)      become familiar with teaching and learning issues associated with the teaching of college level courses;

4)      develop a repertoire of techniques to document their teaching and other professional activities;

5)      develop a perspective on how people learn biology and the implications of this perspective on how it should be taught.


Course Objectives for BIOS 6100

By the end of this course, students will:

          re. Goal 1, students will create a syllabus for a course they plan to one day teach;

          re. Goals 2 and 3, students will discuss teaching and learning issues as they arise in the context of creating, running, evaluating and assessing their courses;

          re. Goal 4, students will create curricula vitae and teaching portfolios.

          re. Goal 5, students will develop a statement of their personal philosophy of education and revise it in response to constructive feedback.

Instructional Methods and Activities

BIOS 6100 meets once a week for 50 minutes. All but the first and last meetings will be devoted to discussions of chapters from the text.


References and Resources

Course web site:


Policies and Procedures

Attendance and participation:

Attendance and participation in class is required of all students. More importantly, the discussions scheduled for class times are an essential part of your professional preparation.



The only email address that should be used for communication between WMU students and WMU faculty and staff is the email address associated with a BroncoNet ID. This email address typically takes the form "" An example is Students cannot automatically forward

email from this address to other addresses. Students can access this email account or get instructions for obtaining a BroncoNet ID at


Students with Special Needs:

Students with disabilities or other special needs who need special accommodations in this course are invited to share these concerns or requests with the instructor as soon as possible.


Academic Honesty

You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the policies and procedures in the 2004-2006 WMU Graduate Catalog that pertain to Academic Integrity, pp. 25-28. These policies include cheating, fabrication, falsification and forgery, multiple submission, plagiarism, complicity and computer misuse. If there is reason to believe you have been involved in academic dishonesty, you will be referred to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs. You will be given the opportunity to review the charge(s). If you believe you are not responsible, you will have the opportunity for a hearing. You should consult with me if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the submission of an assignment or test.

Course requirements:

Students will evaluated on the basis of several written assignments and participation as follows:


Name of Assignment                                                         Points

1. Curriculum Vita                                                              100

2. Teaching Portfolio                                                        100

3. Course Syllabus                                                              100

4. Personal Philosophy of Education                    200

5. Mandatory Rewrite of #4 above                        300

6. Participation                                                                       200



Grading Procedures:

Grades for final assignments 1 day late will be reduced 10%, 2 days late 20%, and more than 2 days late 30%. Final grades for the course will be tabulated by dividing

the total number of points the student has accumulated by the end of the term by 10.

A:           92-100                                                                         BA:       88-91

B:            82-87                                                                            CB:        78-81

C:            72-77                                                                            DC:       68-71

D:           62-67                                                                            E:            61 or less


Tentative Schedule




1                Sep 2                 Introduction to the Course

                                                                 How to Construct a Curriculum Vita

                                                                 Anthony & Roe course pack readings


2                              9                  How to Construct a Course Syllabus

                                                                 Read: Davis pp. 1-19, Rubin, Pregnet, Davidson course pack


                                                                 Curriculum Vita due


3                              16                 How to Manage the First Day of Class

                                                                 Responding to a Diverse Student Body

                                                                 Read: Davis pp. 20-30, 31-62; Heine et. al., Humphrey course pack



4                              23                 Leading Discussions & Lecture Strategies

                                                                 Read: Davis pp. 63-98, 99-146; Welty and Woodhead and Cronin

                                                                 course pack readings

                                                                 Course Syllabus due


5                                 30                 Collaborative and Experiential Strategies

                                                                 Read: Davis pp. 147-176; Knight course pack reading


6                Oct    7                Enhancing Student Motivation

                                                                 Read: Davis pp. 177-204

                                                                 Personal Philosophy of Education due


7                              14                 Class cancelled – Rudge at Upton Academy


8                              21                 Writing Skills and Homework Assignments

                                                                 Read: Davis pp. 205-238


9                              28                 Testing and Grading

                                                                 Read: Davis pp. 239-314


10                 Nov   4                Instructional Media & Technology

                                                                 Read: Davis pp. 315-344


11                              11               Evaluation to Improve Teaching

                                                                 Read: Davis pp. 345-368


12                              18                 Preparing for the Job Market

                                                                 Read: Rudge & Sandborg course pack reading

                                                                 Teaching Portfolio due


13                              25                 Thanksgiving Recess - No Class


14                 Dec 2               Class cancelled – Rudge at Upton Academy

                                                                 Revised Personal Philosophy of Education due