Using the RSD Framework in a Botany Course Redesign

My RSD project will serve students in my BIO 242/Botany course, these students are primarily freshmen or sophomore students in the Environmental Science and Applied Science Program at UW-Stout, however, about 1/4 to 1/3 of the students are Science Education, Sustainability minors or taking the course as part of their general education requirement.  Because of the general education designation of the course, the student population can be rather broad.

In fall 2015 we will be modifying one of our programs by removing an organismal biology course requirement and instead requiring a Botany/Zoology course sequence.  In response to this change, I would like to use the RSD framework to revise my course in order to incorporate student research experiences in a manner that can be more easily structured and assessed.

Using the RSD will tie to our program goals in a number of ways.  I believe it will help us to better scaffold curriculum and assess our student outcomes, it will also allow us to better prepare our students for their capstone course and internship experiences.

I’m just beginning the process of revising the botany course, the revision will require increasing the course to 5 credits (it’s currently 4), increasing laboratory hours and creating more depth in the current research experience.  I will have the first revisions available for departmental level review by late November.

Botany student dissecting a pitcher plant in fall 2014 botany.
Botany student dissecting a pitcher plant in fall 2014 botany.

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