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Technology tools beef up traditional instruction in 'Boot Camp for Biology Lab'


Laurie Iten

Biology professor Laurie Iten likes to call BIOL 13500, her entry lab course, "Boot Camp for Biology Lab." That's because Iten's large-enrollment, first-year course — largely for beginning biology majors — is comprised of rigorous drills and practice — not toward military acumen or physical fitness, but toward the high standard in laboratory skills demanded of all biology graduates. In fall 2010, Iten set a record for student success in the gateway course — about 97 percent of its students passed with a "C" or better. To complement existing methods, Iten doubled the number of online lab-prep questions and problems, giving students additional practice in material they would complete before the next lab session.

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