You may remember that two weeks ago I taught about diversity. The lecture notes are finally online, in three parts:
Origin of Biological Diversity
Evolution of Biological Diversity
Current Biological Diversity
Please leave comments over there. Nobody can know every detail of every area of biology, so please let me know if I am telling my students any lies.
Then last week I taught a brief intro to Anatomy and Physiology (lecture notes still to come). I also gave them the first exam. It looked big, hard and imposing, but once they started reading carefully, they realized that the questions were taken straight out of my lectures.
I spent many hours designing that exam, making sure that the questions are as clear as possible. Only once I had to give partial credit - answers were either completely correct or completely incorrect, which tells me that my questions were unambigious enough.
Since I have not taught the lecture portion of the course for a couple of years, I was a little nervous about the way I designed the exam - was it going to be too easy or too difficult. It turns out it was just right. The grades were evenly distributed between 61% and 101% (yes, there was a bonus question worth up to 5%).
Last Saturday I also wrapped up the Lab for this term. It went pretty much the same as the last time I taught it, except that this group is so good - no mixing up of evolution and development!
Interestingly, in the lab I have students who are currently taking the lecture with me and others who are taking the lecture with the other guy. Obviously, the other guy is making it easier (what is that- middle-school lavel? How can it possibly be any easier?!), but my students appear much more excited about biology - they feel like they are actually learning something relevant.