[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 16:56:17 EDT 2014


I smell a conference.......or at least a gathering to talk about this, and
other matters related to undergraduate neuroscience....

Susan

On Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 10:27 AM, Jan Thornton via FUN_Mail <
fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org> wrote:

> At Oberlin we offer a 200-level Intro course in Neuroscience.  First-years
> have to have bio as a pre-req but sophomores can take it without any
> pre-req.  It is required of all the psych majors (takes the place of physio
> psych).  It is very popular across the campus.
>
> That means we have to cover some basic bio and chem (which is good) but we
> still get to the basics of neurophys, neuropharm, neuroanat, sensory and
> developmental, and behavioral/cognitive aspects of neuroscience.  And of
> course we include fun, exciting examples throughout.  It is a challenging,
> but doable course for nonmajors. It is required as a gateway to the upper
> level courses.
>
> Then I can teach an upper level Behavioral Neuroscience course and the
> department teaches many other upper level courses e.g. Neuropharmacology or
> neuroanatomy.  For most of the upper level classes we review the basics
> that are needed for that area of neuroscience...but the students need
> repetition to actually, truly learn the material any way. By the time they
> leave they actually KNOW something about action potentials,
> neurotransmitters, G proteins, etc...they haven't just memorized them for
> one test and forgotten them.
>
> And yes, there are fewer students in the upper level classes but that is a
> plus.  We can do more discussion and workshop type work.
> Its a good idea to bring the faculty together to discuss what they cover
> so not everyone emphasizes the same neural disorders.
> Jan thornton
>
>
> On 9/23/2014 10:11 AM, David J Bauer via FUN_Mail wrote:
>
>> We had a similar problem at Viterbo when our Biopsychology major was
>> created. At that time the only neuroscience-related courses were
>> upper-level and our psychology majors (50% of the students) had a very
>> difficult time with the material and seriously lagged behind the BIOP and
>> BIOL majors. This resulted in a simplification of the material such that
>> the course was upper-level in name but lower-level in content... not
>> optimal.
>>
>> Ultimately we created a lower-level intro/lab course that serves as a
>> prerequisite for our upper-level offerings and fulfills the "biological
>> basis of behavior" requirement for the PSYC majors. This has worked very
>> well for us although the trade-off is fewer students in the upper-level
>> courses because these are not required for PSYC majors. However, the
>> students in the upper-level courses are now guaranteed to have received
>> introductory education and are much more prepared for the challenges of
>> 300- and 400-level coursework.
>>
>> Best of luck!
>>
>> -Dave
>>
>> --------------------------------------
>> David J. Bauer, Ph.D.
>> Viterbo University
>> 608-796-3712
>> djbauer at viterbo.edu
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: FUN_Mail [mailto:fun_mail-bounces at lists.funfaculty.org] On Behalf
>> Of Susan Kennedy via FUN_Mail
>> Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 9:00 AM
>> To: Lorig, Tyler
>> Cc: fun_mail at lists.funfaculty.org
>> Subject: Re: [FUN_Mail] Question about overlap in courses for a
>> neuroscience major
>>
>> 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
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> --remember replies to the mailing list go to everyone on the list!! --
>>>
>>> FUN_Mail mailing list
>>> FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org<mailto:FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org>
>>> http://lists.funfaculty.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fun_mail
>>> http://www.funfaculty.org/drupal/mailarchive/FUN_mail
>>> MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG
>>>
>>> MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG WRAP
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> --remember replies to the mailing list go to everyone on the list!! --
>>>
>>> FUN_Mail mailing list
>>> FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org
>>> http://lists.funfaculty.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fun_mail
>>> http://www.funfaculty.org/drupal/mailarchive/FUN_mail
>>> MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG
>>>
>>>
>>
>> --
>> Susan Kennedy-Davis, Ph.D.
>> Associate Professor, Department of Psychology Neuroscience Concentration
>> Coordinator Denison University Granville, OH  43023 MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG WRAP
>> _______________________________________________
>> --remember replies to the mailing list go to everyone on the list!! --
>>
>> FUN_Mail mailing list
>> FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org
>> http://lists.funfaculty.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fun_mail
>> http://www.funfaculty.org/drupal/mailarchive/FUN_mail
>> MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG
>> MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG WRAP
>> _______________________________________________
>> --remember replies to the mailing list go to everyone on the list!! --
>>
>> FUN_Mail mailing list
>> FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org
>> http://lists.funfaculty.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fun_mail
>> http://www.funfaculty.org/drupal/mailarchive/FUN_mail
>> MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG
>>
>
> MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG WRAP
> _______________________________________________
> --remember replies to the mailing list go to everyone on the list!! --
>
> FUN_Mail mailing list
> FUN_Mail at lists.funfaculty.org
> http://lists.funfaculty.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fun_mail
> http://www.funfaculty.org/drupal/mailarchive/FUN_mail
> MAILMAN_MIMEDEFANG
>



-- 
Susan Kennedy-Davis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
Neuroscience Concentration Coordinator
Denison University
Granville, OH  43023



More information about the FUN_Mail mailing list