[FUN_Mail] Question about overlap in courses for a neuroscience major

Susan Kennedy via FUN_Mail fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org
Tue Sep 23 10:00:18 EDT 2014


Same issues here at Denison, where Neuroscience is a "concentration" (not a
major, more than a minor).  For example, there is (necessarily?) some
overlap between our Introductory Neuroscience (Neur 200; an overview course
covering the basics--first seven chapters in Bear's book) course and my
300-level Biological Psychology course.  We had some issues a few years
back with students who enrolled in BioPsych prior to N200 (couldn't be
helped; scheduling demands); since then, we have worked hard to make
certain that students take these courses in their proper and logical
sequence.

I will say, however, that overlap is not necessarily a bad thing.
Neuroanatomy, in my view, is something students NEED to hear in different
contexts, more than once, in different courses.

This is an interesting and important discussion, and I look forward to
hearing from others!!



On Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 9:49 AM, Lorig, Tyler via FUN_Mail <
fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org> wrote:

> Hello Rick!
>
> We have been doing this quite a while at W&L and also have a great deal of
> overlap...As long as the courses serve multiple curricula, I don't think
> there is a way around having more overlap than needed...You can improve the
> situation by putting all the neuroscience program faculty in a room and
> discussing the lecture schedule in required courses and asking if anyone
> else is covering that info...If one faculty member knows the info is being
> covered elsewhere, it may free them up to reduce the time on that topic or
> change their approach. For us, the overlap is action potentials...everyone
> covers this a little but there is really only one required course where
> students get a lot of depth.   We are willing to let this stand because the
> redundancy only lasts a couple of days in class and isn't a bad
> reminder...We also use very different approaches to teaching the same info
> and those perspectives are, I think, good for the students to see.
>
> All the best to you and your colleagues at Hendrix!
>
> Tyler
>
>
> -------------------------------------
> Tyler S. Lorig, Ph.D.
> Ruth Parmly Professor and
> Chair, Neuroscience Program
> Washington and Lee University
>
>
>
>
> On Sep 22, 2014, at 2:42 PM, Murray, Rick via FUN_Mail <
> fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org<mailto:fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org>>
> wrote:
>
> Hi everyone,
>
>
>
>  We are in the process of developing an interdisciplinary neuroscience
> major here at Hendrix College and we are faced with a problem of too much
> overlap in content in our core courses. Since we are a program and not a
> department, all of our faculty and most of our courses have homes in
> different departments (biology, psychology, philosophy etc...). Due to
> limited resources we plan to use many of these existing courses in our
> major (eg. Cellular and Molecular neurobiology, behavioral neuroscience
> etc...), but that means that the courses will serve two masters. Once the
> major is introduced, these courses will be populated with a combination of
> neuroscience majors and also majors from our home departments. Neuroscience
> majors will know basic neuroscience concepts from our intro course but
> majors from our home departments will not. That means that each course will
> have to introduce basic concepts for non-neuroscience majors but the
> neuroscience majors will hear this material in 4 or 5 different courses.
> Unfortunately we can't make the introductory neuro course a prerequisite
> for the others or we'll essentially be preventing our non-neuroscience
> majors from taking it (they won't have room in their schedule for both
> courses). We suspect that others may have faced this problem and would like
> to ask; how did you deal with it?
>
>
>
> Rick
>
> Richard Murray
> Chair, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program
> Chair, Neuroscience Program
> Judy and Randy Wilbourn Odyssey Associate Professor of Biology
> Hendrix College
> 1600 Washington Ave
> Conway, AR 72032
>
> Phone: 501-450-4588
>
> MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG WRAP
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-- 
Susan Kennedy-Davis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
Neuroscience Concentration Coordinator
Denison University
Granville, OH  43023



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