Succeeding in the MCB Core Courses: MCB 250, 252, 354

Limited necessarily to the core courses but it is kind of geared towards study tips and how to approach exam questions and things like that so whether or not you are in one of them’s to be core forces now or will be in the future hopefully this helps and also if you are in of a different science course like an IV course or a chemistry course maybe as well so we kind of keep it a little bit general for that purpose may involve her stagger and i’m the coordinator 4354 which is the majors biochemistry lecture in our core curriculum and my life science teaching specialist and also gives the merit dresser and my contact information is up here whether or not you take a class mainly on CB core you ever have questions or want to talk to us in before feel free to come see me mouth this is over examine port into the main fck core curriculum office um it’s just something that I want to mention today that many guys hopefully all of you guys your academic advisors right so your MTV your ID advisor or whatever they have been here you’re not MCB Rodney and that’s great and then you really should also consider a visiting your course coordinator so all of us NMCB that our course coordinators are biologists and we many of us have a background in education as well we work with the faculty to help design the courses were the ones who work on the discussion on planning of the course the lab sections so whenever you have questions about specific things within a course if you’re in a class that has a coordinator please come yes we can really talk to you a lot about how the course is going we give you tips about study success and all kinds of different things relating to the actual content for our particular courses because we are responsible for those and we work with those courses directly one-on-one so today we’re going to talk about a few different things I’m going to talk about critical thinking and how it relates to what some things that you passes or inter talk in general terms about reading and note-taking in science courses we’re going to talk about approaching exams in your science courses so it has the even and some of your other person goofball we’ll talk a little bit about learning styles and how that might influence the way to study and prepare for your exams and then we’re into a review on time management because obviously tight angela is super important truth baby not already so I want you guys to think for a second about what you think are some things that will make you successful in biology courses so right now you can think about choosing two things you think are going to be important for success in file so everyone have an idea one that is one less what are other things that are important for succeeding in biology like most people in reviewing the material rockets and ethical reviewing the material throughout the semester yes I’m not just memorizing perfect so understanding concept singing before absolutely everything bill fails come up with a different one so the we all know there’s a lot of things we can do right and so this before Chuck we’re going to talk about some of those review some of those things I mean maybe include some new ones that maybe you haven’t thought about all right let’s think about this person how many times have you seen a penny so everyone can see a penny right no changes and as common as it was no use their credit cards separate parts and things but another Island routine a puppy right so ever since some things that are on honey who’s on the way Lincoln Lincoln right it’s like you’re facing right or left on the penny not sure what else some petty besides you can face the lindenwood really good memorial on the back where we’re getting advanced front of the penny let’s stick to front of a penny for them what other things on the front

of the time a date right is the date on the right side of lincoln and left side what else some words probably right ok so somewhere maybe right alright so what did please see a bunch of is which one looks like it might be right so we’ve got some going on something right we’ve got some gears on them we have some the same words on them so some say in god we trust and say United States of America something Liberty what do you guys think which one do you think is the correct honey anyone have a good guess II where else alright so the answers a is the curt pain but just the exertion this is just to kind of illustrate point that we see a penny all the time just about how you see some of those biological concepts you’re learning in your class over and over again right so you might have learned about things high school that you’re still learning about now in your MCB classes things like cell division or cell structure DNA replication right so those things come up again we got it again and we’ve been exposed to them a ton just like the penny we think we understand it we know what it is but then when you have to really think about it it’s kind of hard to really break it down and explain all the parts of it and so I just think about that as you guys study because some of these concepts you’re going to see and getting again in your courses but the way that you’re going to be asked to understand those and apply that information is going to be really different and so this takes us into the notion of scientific teaching so this is probably something that you guys aren’t familiar with we’re going to talk about it today and this is a teaching philosophy for structuring science courses that many of us on campus are using and this is something that we use in our nzb core curriculum so all of us in the core courses from mcd 152 354 do this until the upper level person do as well and basically what it comes down to is approaching education and teaching of science in a scientific method if you up so the first thing that we do in scientific teaching is we set goals and outcomes and what that means is what we want students to be able to do and it’s in student terms and so we will write those goals and outcomes it can be for a particular lesson it can be for a lecture it can be for unit during the semesters it can be an overarching for the entire semester and it can span across courses so in each of our core courses we have a set of goals and outcomes you might see in your lectures those first slide the professor says this is what you guys should get out of today’s lecture there’s a lecture goals and outcomes there’s or so overall goals and outcomes and then there’s the semester long goals and outcomes and then we look at it through the whole the whole curriculum so starting with what you learn in FCP 150 and what we want you to get out of the curriculum by the time we finish in 354 and over all the major wants you guys to have a sudden holes in our community well so we start with balls and outcomes and then we look at assessment and evaluation so we come up with these things we want yours to be able to do and understand basil to to work within your courses but then we need to figure out a way to see if you guys have got those concepts down right so if you examine we evaluate you you might give you assignments quizzes homeworks different ways in which we can test to see if you’re learning that material that we’re covering and then we plan our activities to hopefully prepare you guys for those exams so the activities go along with the assessment evaluation and then what we do is we look at alignment so with that mean stress is we look to see did the assignment or the activity or the exam measure those goals and outcomes accordingly and if it doesn’t that we adjust and so we do this every semester all the times we kind of experiment on you guys and we change things a little bit every time in order to get more things to line up as best as possible and part of scientific teaching

also is really encouraging collaboration and diversity so we’ll do a lot of things in your classes where you’re working in groups or you’re working with other students and lagger going to have lab partners doses of the things and so this is all I’m in an effort purposefully to get you guys working together thinking about the science and talking about the different bubbles and outcomes how many has people heard of Bloom’s taxonomy anybody nervous okay good because this is actually a really really big thing and this is one of the things that we think very carefully about in our courses and I think a lot of students don’t even know that it’s happening and so I’m really happy to be able to introduce us to you so when we look at information in the classes we design questions we design activities be designed exams to go through levels of Bloom’s and there’s different levels that are listed in the columns the most basic is the factual a level followed by a conceptual procedural and metacognitive so the most basic level is facts you need to know a lot of stuff absolutely so things like you know definitions and terminology you have to know that so that you can understand the things in more complex terms later but in your classes in MCB and many of your science classes on campus that’s not the kind of thing we’re going to test you on we’re not going to give you exam questions that are memorization or just giving us pat definitions we’re hoping you already know that so that when we give you a more advanced question you can apply those concepts and so conceptual is really what we’re focusing on conceptual and then procedural procedurals pretty easy for us to do in lamps and things like that but we’re also using design exam activities in your lecture courses to hopefully to that and then the highest level was Meg metacognitive where you’re putting all those pieces together you’re self-aware youself acknowledge what you know what you don’t and so we’ll talk a little bit more about foods and do low activity second so here’s another slide about Bloom’s and there’s different cognitive dimensions to blooms as well so those are just in the comp there’s things like remember understand apply analyze evaluate and create and so we are as a curriculum for trying to get you guys to the higher levels the analyze the evaluate to create essentially and then I listed some example verbs there so that you can feel for the types of questions that you might see it exactly maintain your critical thinking like I said you need to move past memorization you do have to know some facts but that’s not going to be the bulk of what you’re tested on we’re going to really ask you guys to apply concepts to new situations we want you guys to study actively so that might mean I’m actively writing notes as you study when you go over your powerpoints or you read your book it might mean working with a study buddy you’re reading the study group we are going to have you guys ask questions so either to yourselves as you write down your notes or in class or at office hours for two people in your study group in a good reason that it’s great to have a study group is because you get to your multiple point of view so sometimes you think you understand something and get into any group you realize maybe you didn’t so much or maybe you understand something better than one of your group mates and you can explain it to that we always say the best way to address to know if you understand something is if you can teach it to somebody else and that’s why study groups are really important and then we want you guys to draw conclusions when you’re thinking critically so you have to be able to just kind of think in an exam way so what types of things would a professor ask you what would the conclusion of that be and you will um we’ll talk a little bit more about that in a second so reading is really important in science you guys all know you should be reading your assigned readings right so in some of the courses are very specific and other forces are more general and it depends on the course but you should definitely be reading you should survey the reading before you go to class go through it um when you’re reading you should look at any terms that are unfamiliar to you any equations that are unfamiliar to you notice any graphics so we take a lot of time in our interview curriculum deciding on which looks views for our horses and the Ponte is pretty much the same right biology but the way in which the chapter is laid out the

supplemental material that comes with the text those are all really important decisions for us and so one of the things that we always look at our graphic so their graphs if there’s chart there are boxes those are things to focus on we might not necessarily take a question directly out of that section and put it on exam but it’s probably a really important concept and Zoe it’s the author of the book thought it was important put in a box it’s probably important concept other things you should be doing is writing down questions again filling in on your notes and talking your TA or your instructor if you have questions actively reading for details so pate really close attention to the details and then we’ll go over examples and how the content relates so whenever you have anything that has a worked example in the book again another great opportunity to focus it on that and then see how that relates to what you’re learning in lecture and then as you are looking through and you’ll see questions and the intersections I’ve slipped in the chapter go through those questions can you answer those questions if you’re not sure and go back in the reading and review the reading until you feel pretty comfortable about that and in that or outline and a lot of students benefit from visual work and so if you can drive yourself a picture or a concept map or some sort of outline that goes along with your reading that might be really helpful to you and we will talk about note-taking cycle okay general note taking so first thing take effective notes for you everyone to have a slightly different learning style everyone is going to benefit from slightly different things so try to pick something that you find helpful try considering taking notes in a different format so things like again I said concept maps outlines bulleted lists to my benefit from color coding things it just is going to be helpful for you to stay organized identify main ideas and then fill in details don’t write everything it’s really tempting to want to write every single thing down and I think a lot of our students try to do that in lecture would you’re probably even missin stuff a lot of our students record the lectures and that can be helpful if you go back and review those later and then you can fill in those gaps but trying to write down every single thing that is pretty impossible I mean keep yourself as organized as possible the more organized you are better you’re going to need for a semester and for most of our courses we have our powerpoints available on the website to download and so print those out anything especially that has a diagram that’s a lot easier to label and write yourself notes we have a lot of visuals in my allergy a lot of diagrams a lot of a lot of pictures and so making sure that you can just download that and fill it in trying to draw it all yourself is probably going to be faster and easier and then some more specifics for note-taking in science and one big one is to write equations formulas diagrams graphs and anything that you see like that those are going to be things that come up over and over again you might not have to have everything but rice for an exam you might can’t leave a shoot equations or something but the more you’re familiar with us the easier is to use those when it becomes time to take a test another thing is to quote the instructors technical term so there are certain professors will say a word a lot or some terms a lot you can probably bet thats that’s also going to be on the test or the way that they say that it’s going to the other test if you’re not sure what that is shut it down and put it in quotes and then go with that later um worked examples doing them step by step and showing all the work step by step this one’s really important I think and because a lot of students will look at an answer key and think they know how to do the question if you then gave the question on an exam on the blanks you could pay for it’s a lot more challenging to try to reconstruct that so the more you work through things step by step in and practice them the butter on it’ll be when it comes time for the real thing and consider writing your notes instead of typing them there’s a lot of there’s been a lot of articles recently especially coming out about how there’s a benefit to manually like physically writing them and instead of typing for various reasons I encourage you to look at those articles I know it’s really easy and tempting everyone has their laptops and everyone’s always at lecture their

computers but think about writing your nose of an MCB 354 for example we have really tried to incorporate a lot of lecture content on a document camera and we found that with some of our math problems the calculations in the step-by-step process it’s just not as a beneficial to do it on a PowerPoint slide so we tried to make the effort to do worked examples like that in class and it’s drug students for a loop because you can hear everybody rustling of their backpacks trying to grab a piece of paper at the last minute but that’s why we’re doing it we want to really solidify those concepts and writing them down and step by step method is going to really teach you guys how to approach those questions and listen to other students questions even if you don’t have questions keep your eyes your ears open for for other people asking things because a lot of terms of the questions that you might have or you might realize later you also have that question there are lots of common misconceptions common confusion I’ve been a lot of our courses so chances are that somebody else is going to ask something that applies to you as well I’m used symbols and highlight color coded whatever you can do to keep your notes more organized is again going to be helpful refer back to the textbook after class so we talked about doing the readings before cos do the reading again after class this will help fill in anything that you’ve missed and I’m also gives you another opportunity to review and more times you can review that material to batter and then keep old class notes for the future so I think this is important because all of the core courses on each other so if you covered something in on CB 115 you’re probably going to save of 250 or 252 and here is even more detail things like 350 for another reason why it’s great to keep class notes is that most of you guys are pre-med or few professional or 14 at school or whatever and if you start keeping all your notes and your notes are nice and organized if you’re creating a study guide for yourself so instead of you know studying for the mcat GRE with just try to get yourself all organized again if you keep all those class notes that you had originally this will just be easier for you in the future as well and breathe everything doesn’t build on each other which is another good thing you didn’t understand the first time make sure that you don’t continue with those same issues because everything’s going to build and not just an MCP in chemistry as well so if Jed ken was a struggle at organic Hamlin’s of struggle 354 state of you struggle too so all of those persons are all related to each other attending class we are all expecting you guys ought to be in class in a lecture and it’s important to do again see the readings to any assignments that you might have any pre class assignment pre lecture questions make sure you review the syllabus so the lot of tensors readings on the syllabus but important dates so things like quiz dates and exam dates and any different things that might be happy address semester I had several students miss please one because it is a syllabus and 354 make use of all your class materials so for a lot of you guys you’ll have an e texture access to some sort of online thing that goes along with your textbook even the things that are assigned to you go in there and review questions in there most of them have animations tutorials things that practice that maybe aren’t part of the course but they’re available to their resources that you have and get organized make sure that you know when things are make sure you Mac that we’ll talk about Tyga intimate at the end of the workshop but we’re organized you are the better I’m participating class so actively listen listen for concepts for central ideas decide levels of importance of the things that are being talked about ask questions listen to other students questions as you’re writing your notes organized categorize and really focus on the lecture and I can’t tell you how many times we see students on social media and doing other things in class and I know that that’s tempting but you’re going to miss things you just are so make sure that you’re actively participating and I’m preparing for exams so this is just a list of suggestions and tips I think prepare physically and emotionally and what I need by that are well a couple things one is really stressful Bray it’s really hard to have all your exams around the same time which tends to be what happens because all of us have about an exam a month in our courses so stress management making sure that you’re resting or your sleeve mean that you’re taking care of yourself making sure that

you’re eating we have always have students that get you know all kinds of medical thing happening call the ambulance students are eating Eminem’s red bull for day for the time so on eat food make sure you slept take care of yourselves design an exam plan and this starts before the exam itself so thinking ahead of time of when you’re going to study how you’re going to break that up and go lean up to the exam especially all your your time management stuff will come in handy I’m consider joining the study group there’s lots of benefits to that we’ve talked about some of those already but really when you’re coming into these courses where there’s a lot of content a lot of material it’s really beneficial when you talk to students about them the contact do your work regularly so do homeworks I’m even if it’s not graded so you’ll see a lot of bad things like chemistry math you might not have to turn anything in for credit but we’re going to expect that you’re doing that work and so the more practice you get the better when it comes time to do it really Sam a tank less than be on time most of us do in some announcements at the beginning of class so if we show up five minutes late you might have missed some tips on upcoming event for example in our class today we did it announcement of the first five minutes about an optional group tutoring coming up this week so students didn’t go with my risk we do put it on the website but again it helps to be on time and to hear those things I keep a list of terms and things like that create a study guide for yourself anything that you can do leaning up to the man to be as prepared as possible in our forces you can’t cram you just can’t it’s just not going to work and you have to be studying every day every week throughout the money for those exams I’m doing things at the last minute is not import all right now and then for actually the day of the exam taking those exams read the directions carefully very carefully there are little things that you might miss if you don’t read all of the information on the test booklet consider the best use of your time and this will depend on the class for most of our courses there multiple choice exams some of the courses will have short answer and we need to map out part of your plan how you’re going to tackle those jock tag has or notes for pretty much all of our courses you can to keep that booklet at the end of the exam period and so anything that you want to write down right away or I haven’t had student last semester that would write yourself a little motivational things at the top of every page that’s totally fine whatever you want to do that you think is helpful you can write all over that booklet that’s your book looks icky and answer the easy questions first so go through and look at the ones that you know for sure answer those get them out of the way you can kind of move on and go on to something else pay special attention to keywords and so when I talked about blooms and things like analyze compared to fine think about those particular terminology that’s used and how those are used to the questions because I don’t really help you figure out what exactly that’s question is asking and what they’re expecting you to do and like I said most of our courses going to have multiple choice of a good way to approach choice question is just to read the question stem and then stop and don’t look at the answer choices and think can you predict what that answer supposed to be so do that first and then when you look at the answer choices evaluate each of your particular answer choices and decide what’s wrong about that statement what’s right about that statement sometimes we very strategically put tricky things in there not too tricky but to see if you really understand the concepts so something instructors are really good about knowing misconceptions and so they will purposely put those things in there so it’s really important to reading to those statements carefully another thing that happens on exams is we might put an answer choice in that is a true statement but it doesn’t answer the question so be aware of those types of things as well especially multiple choice questions and for most of our genes you should have enough time to stay and check your answers be careful about that be careful about how you bubble in the questions on your answer sheet for scams on exams and it’s really easy to get off by one and everything kind of gets my stuff so just go through double check make sure you answered all the bubbles on the answer sheets and probably one of the most important things and what I things to complete don’t like to do is review those graded exams so after you’ve got the tests back

and we’ve got your grade it’s really easy especially if you into as well as you wanted to to put it aside and just move on to the next exam and that’s tempting but it’s really useful to look at those exams again to look through the questions that you got wrong and see if you can figure out why you got that wrong so this is a for you to further understand so sometimes you’re going to see things on exams that will be asked again and again on these different exams in different ways and maybe you just weren’t careful and didn’t read the question carefully that’s one thing but it’s another thing if you just missed a key concept um you should really have questions about those exams go talk to the professor talk to the instructor come see your course coordinator we are more than happy to review those exams with you to help you figure out what you can improve on for next time and I know it’s not fun especially if it’s not the great that you wanted to look at those again but that’s a really good learning opportunity because you don’t want to do the same thing over that is to say if everything is going to build so if you didn’t understand something at itm one then it’s going to be hard to understand the concepts on exam 2 and if you didn’t do on 250 it’s going to be hard to understand the concepts in 252 so everything is just building on each other so the more you can go back and understand where you went wrong and the better it will be for you really quick they’re talking about learning styles um there’s lots of different organ styles this is just an example of a wonderful ways to look at that so we have students that are visual learners your students i’d like to hear things that students to read and write and we have students like just do things manually and so depending on where you are in this just think of some different ways that you might study some students really like to just write rewrite things require a that’s probably me but there are some students that really like to sketch things out so concept maps and drawing and making little notes and things like that we have students that love doing flash cards to help remember things that’s something that never worked for me but I’ve seen the lawsuit to use it but one reason I put this up here is because I see a lot of students who try to do whatever their friends are doing and that might not be the best way for them to learn so just because you see other people doing things a certain way doesn’t mean you have to do it that way that might not be the best rate for you to do it so think about that think about your own personal learning style and what might benefit you the most and it’s going on with that your personality so there’s tons of online personality has that you can take their fun um but some things that might affect how you studying how you prepare for things I’m if you are really chatty and really like talking to people and you’re really extroverted study a terms might be awesome for you if you absolutely hate working with other people maybe that’s only the best thing so it really does depend on um whites and help you the most and really that can affect how you respond to how things are going to so um your interpersonal intrapersonal skills how you work with others your adaptability how well do you if something goes wrong are able to kind of move past that or something that you’re going to really play the wrong stress management it’s really important to we have some exams like content a lot of stuff going on for most of our students we are also doing things like volunteering and working in a research lab and doing a lot of other activities and so it can stressful especially writing exam time things like your general Murray the type of person who doesn’t do well as a thing as an that motivates you order to better or you type of person if you kind of let that affect them and the things about that more it I totally depend on the way that you study for your courses and so to think about how you can improve your outcomes you need to think about identifying your own strengths weaknesses you are the one who knows best about that about yourself and in order to do that you need to also set realistic goals so think about your time management your plan of attack for the semester for your courses and you do need a set goals and but they should be realistic goals if you’re saying that you’re going to study you know eight hours a day but you only asked three hours available and you’re scheduled and that’s not going to work so you have to plan accordingly and you do need to formulate a plan that’s going to be really important to maintain that throughout the semester and you check in with your progress and so if you have a plan in place and it’s you’re just not making doing what you pick set out to do then that sign you probably need to reevaluate your plan and think of some other things to do instead and then we’re going to talk a little bit about time management

because everyone should already know how important tag management especially if you’re in in a biology class or science curriculum I’m so realistically happen again wait to study and how long should you be studying right there’s the typical thing you hear that for every hour in class you should be studying three or four hours galax students do that but that’s kind of the expectation that we have for you guys as well do you schedule yourself study time do you have a plan in place and you actually do follow through with your plan and do the hours that you plan to do how many of you guys have looked at this planning charts as one MCD website on the advising page they have two different types of study plans of planning form so this one pretty much takes you from an eight hour or from eight a.m. to midnight for every day of the week and this is a great way to start mapping out your schedule and including what you’re going to study things like when you’re going to read your textbook when you’re going to review your notes when you’re going to go to office hours planning out oh just a weekly day to day thing and then we also have this other version of the schedule and on this one this is really laying out your exams so what are all your exam dates in all of your courses and then for all your courses contact information for your instructor or ta and then their office hours and so both of these together are going to be really colorful to plan manage your time because that again is one of the most critical things and the back of the time management sheet that’s on the advising website has just kind of an overview everything that’s on there is on the back of the sheet so I’m pretty much what when why we’re and help us so this will give you this help you give you this visual two of the amount of time that you’re studying but thinking of other things that you have to do other obligations that you might have you have a job if you are volunteering if you’re working in a lab anything else that’s going to take time time in between classes it also encouraged it encourages you to set up a place to go study that is distraction free so there’s a particular place that you’d like to study think about that and then just think about realistically how much time it takes to do these things I think it’s really helpful to write it down because in our heads sometimes we think that we have more time than we do and if you don’t like the paper version do an electronic version like on the calendar at some calendaring system really try to block out individual hours the day so that you can see where your time is going and that really helps you also in case you need to revise your plan and so just an overview time management skills really have to do beside your own personal goals setting your priorities to meet those goals anticipating unexpected events and so if you have a pretty nice set schedule if something else comes up it’s a little bit easier to adjust and if you just are kind of all over the place can it helps you Jill that better you’re able to take control of your time and hopefully you make that commitment to follow through and carry out your scheduled place so all those things are going to be things to think about for tiny and again refer to them see be advising website for those handouts and I’m really thinking about that being out an entire staff so we talked about a lot of things today um and just think again now for you personally what are some things that you can do throughout the semester that you think might help you but maybe you weren’t doing before and how that might affect your semester and how you might do in your biology course sir and then I want to leave leave you with this image um a writing a bite so how did you learn how to ride a bike you didn’t read about it in a book and study with right you have to do it you wouldn’t practice it that’s the same thing with my allergy with science and you will have to read you have to take no jump to a lecture but you have to practice study skills time management skills how to answer questions those are skills and they’re not necessarily the easiest things to do but they get better with practice but you have to work at it so it’s just like right by key you might have you prayed at the beginning you might have some people help you have some training wheels I’m but eventually your negatives where you’re comfortable and it might take a while so don’t get discouraged um if your time management plan doesn’t work out great or you’re not making the

progress that you hope that you would you just have to work at it and it’ll improve just like any other skill so today we talked about critical thinking we talked about note-taking and reading in science we talked about the way to approach exams in our science courses we talked about different learning styles and how that might affect how you approach I mean your courses and then we did a review on tiny air and then finally I just want to leave you with this is from rmc me about your website as well some comments from students mcd’s current and former students about their tips and their suggestions that they would give to other students and you’ll see things on there like going to office hours reviewing the powerpoint talking to the professors are all things that we talked about and then there are some other things on there like getting involved I’m joined in our and so we meeting new people and all those things are just little tips from our students themselves alright any questions about today’s workshop move funds I have you covered you