Teaching and Learning Portfolio By

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Table of Contents
Teaching Philosophy 3
Introduction 4
Artifact 1: Improving communication and learning

with undergraduate mentee 5

Artifact 2: Integrating active learning into standard

veterinary genetics lecture 8

Artifact 3: Assessing the effectiveness of inquiry-based

hands on outreach laboratory activities on improving student

knowledge in genetics 10

3.A Abstract 10

3.B Introduction 11

3.C Approach 12

3.D Evaluation of student understanding 14

3.E Results 16

3.F Discussion 17

3.G Reflection 18

3.H References 19
Artifact 4: Participating in the Teaching and Learning

in the Animal Sciences Conference June 19-22nd, 2012 21

Curriculum Vitae 22

Teaching Philosophy
“The mediocre teacher tells.  The good teacher explains.  The superior teacher demonstrates.  The great teacher inspires.”  ~William Arthur Ward
Within this quote lies my main goal as a teacher and the hopefully result of hard work to improve my skills in teaching. Over my academic career I’ve met instructors who have fit in all the aforementioned categories with the fewest number comprising the last. I can better understand this stratification after being more critical of the classroom environment. It is one thing to present material to students and another to engage students, especially in the sciences.
I think it’s critical for one to understand the true meaning of teaching science. Contrary to popular belief it’s much more than textbooks and exams, pop quizzes and lab exercises. It’s a process that should encourage and challenge one of the most fundamental elements of science: discovery.
But what is discovery? It’s the act of investigating, interpreting, applying knowledge, and gaining new perspectives. Although basic in principal, discovery has appeared to be somewhat lost in translation among classrooms that rely heavily on memorization and regurgitation of material. As such, it is my goal to incorporate this concept into my own teaching methods and provide opportunities for students to question material and investigate real-life problems in science.
It is important to keep students engaged, to foster the use of discovery in their own learning experience. Lectures, although PowerPoint based, should provide stop-points for student interaction or discussion and material from these periods can then be applied when addressing more complex issues in the research literature. Discussions should be based around these topics to encourage students to create thoughtful and thorough conclusions. Recent news articles, case studies, and research papers will be used to foster these periods. Laboratory sessions should be designed and integrated with the current lecture material to enforce critical topics and provide a chance for a student to bring the science to life

To determine the effectiveness of these methods, assessments should be short and given often. This allows for feedback on the student’s understanding of the material in addition to the level of understanding that the class as a whole is taking away from the teaching sessions. This is also an opportunity for the teacher to assess what messages the students are actually taking away from each period and how effective the teaching methods are. Examinations should target the diversity of learners within the classroom and consist of application questions where students should connect concepts rather than just repeat vocabulary and reactions.

I never want to stop learning and I never want to stop learning how to teach. We live in an ever-changing world and as such I think that it’s critical to adapt to each setting and learn through your students what methods work and what ones don’t.
In addition to all of this, I want to bring enthusiasm with my teaching. To inspire someone, you must make him or her believe in the material and concepts as much as you do. Through this you can build trust with the student, as they will understand that you are there to help foster their understanding. In turn, the instructor can have trust in the student to provide a strong effort to learn the material.
Instructors are responsible inspiring the next generation and as such it is a responsibility to take care in teaching. I take personal regard to this as the main reason I entered into graduate school (with the goal of teaching) was because of two instructors who took the extra time to have enthusiasm and commitment to their teaching. Because of them I am inspired to teach today, and can only hope to perpetuate through a student in the future.

Introduction: Integrating the Delta Pillars into my teaching
My work with the Delta program has shown me the importance of incorporating the three main pillars into my teaching practices. That is, Learning-Through-Diversity, Learning Communities, and Teaching-As-Research. The following artifacts will reflect my experiences incorporating these pillars either singly, or in combination to improve and refine my teaching practices. Specifically, Artifact 1 will address my experiences as a mentor to undergraduate students in the lab. Through these students I began to appreciate the real meaning of “diversity” as I was faced with students who had starkly different research backgrounds and career goals. I also encountered differing abilities in the lab, which made me think more critically about my role in the lab for them. In addition, I participated in a course on mentoring which incorporated the importance of learning communities. I was then able to further my experiences of diversity, in artifact two.
During artifact 2 I reflect on my teaching experiences in a veterinary genetics course. While designing and executing my lecture for this course I found that I had to consider multiple aspects of the student body diversity ranging from background knowledge, religious beliefs (as my lecture was on controversial embryo work), and learning styles (to name a few). In addition, there was a new aspect of diversity with the potential that students may have actually been a product of IVF and as such it was critical to take care in my presentation of the technology. Prior to my experiences with Delta, I had not thoroughly considered these dynamics. Through this realization though, I believe I was able to more effectively connect with the students during lecture, allowing them to become more comfortable and actually have fun learning. This continuation of making learning fun is then discussed in my third artifact.
Artifact 3 will present the third pillar of Delta: Teaching-as-Research. During this artifact I will present data from a study I conducted at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery where I implemented inquiry-based learning. During my time here I was able to work with 7th grade students and assess the effectiveness of these methods while teaching genetics. I believe you will find the results both exciting and encouraging.
In the last artifact presented, I will circle back to my experiences with learning communities. This past summer I was able to be a breakout facilitator at a conference aimed at teaching (Teaching and Learning in the Animal Sciences). It was during this time that I was able to speak with others about the pillars of Delta and the hope for change in teaching for our students.

Artifact 1: Improving communication and learning with an undergraduate mentee
The undergraduate research scholars program (U.R.S.) provides the opportunity for incoming freshman to receive early experience and training in research laboratories on campus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My professor asked my permission to take on a U.R.S. student and I saw this as a great opportunity to work hands-on with a student who had minimal training. My student was in the pre-pharmacy track and had no prior experience in the laboratory. As such I wanted to make sure that the lab would provide an inviting environment (rather than intimidating). As such, I provided her with a detailed handout that broke down laboratory techniques and information into simpler more straightforward diagrams and tables. I worked one-on-one with the student to train her in basic techniques (i.e., - how to use a micropipette) and trained her by first showing how to use the tool, observing her use the tool (and providing time for any questions), and then allowing her to be independent with the tool (but still being available if needed). This allowed her to gain independence over time. I also met with her for 5-10 minutes each day she came in the lab to go over what she had accomplished, what her goals were, and anything she had questions about. After two semesters, she had learned basic laboratory techniques and collected a small amount of data, which she presented in a poster session for U.R.S.
Artifact 1: Initial handout for mentee at the beginning of mentoring experience

Khatib Lab Basics: Measurements and Pipetting

Composed by: Ashley M. Driver

So before we get into detail on a project for you to complete, it’s very important we get the lab basics down first. Learning these methods correctly can be used throughout your academic career as a scientist, so take your time and ask any questions you may have. Furthermore, without good technique your results can be ruined or incorrect (which is both frustrating and simply no fun). So let’s get started:
The Basics:
Our lab functions on using very small amounts for reactions and as such its important to get comfortable working in microliters (l). Below are examples of two basic conversions you should know:

1 milliliter= 1,000 l

0.5 milliliters= 500l

The most important technique you may ever learn (in my opinion!) is how to properly pipette liquids. It may seem simple but one slip can completely throw off a reaction (remember you will be working with small amounts!). When you are learning remember to take your time. When you rush you can make mistakes so just relax and go slowly so that you get things measured out correctly  You are here to learn and I want to make sure that you are able to be successful!
The pipettes we have in the lab come in a different range of volumes. Always use the correct pipette for volumes, and don’t go beyond the range of volume marked on it as you can break the pipette! The basic pipettes we have are those that go from:
0.1-2.0 l




200-1,000 l
If the volume you need to pipette overlaps between two different pipettes (i.e.-You need to measure out 0.8 l…the 0.1-2.0l or 0.5-10l could be used) try to use the pipette on the lower range, as it will be more accurate to your amount. This is just a general rule of thumb though and as long as your volume is in a correct range either pipette will get the job done though.
I found a pretty handy video on pipetting basics, which I think will be very helpful in giving you an intro before you come into the lab. I apologize in advance as the video itself is small in size but the pointers it gives are really valuable. I’d appreciate if you’d please watch this video prior to coming into the lab. It can be found at:


Along with different sized pipettes there are different sized disposable tips that we use for them. On the top of each pipette will be a color (Blue, Yellow, or White). Rule of thumb is that the color on the top of the pipette matches the color of tips you should be using! Never fear if you forget this, as the tips will only fit on the pipette they belong to so you can’t match the wrong tip to pipette (but you can feel silly when you try to!). The tip/pipette matching goes as follows:
0.1-2.0 l (White/clear tips)

0.5-10l (White/clear tips)

2-20l (Yellow tips)

20-200l (Yellow tips)

200-1,000 l (Blue tips)

Pipetting basics:

  1. The line on the volume readout is your decimal

    1. DO NOT go past the limits of the pipette!!

    2. If your pipette has a BLACK ring that says “unlock/lock” you must turn it to unlock before changing volumes.

  2. Tips coordinate with the color on the plunger of the pipette

    1. Yellow tips to yellow pipette

    2. Large clear tips for blue pipette*

  3. Once there is liquid in the tip do not tip the pipette upside down or lay it down!

  4. To eject a tip off of pipette use the ejection button by your thumb.

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