Innovations in Teaching: Jelena Kraft and Marna Yandeau-Nelson receive Miller Faculty Fellowship

March 28, 2016

From left, Marna Yandeau-Nelson and Jelena Kraft
Professor Yandeau-Nelson and Dr. Jelena Kraft

A recent award will fund innovations in the Principles of Genetics laboratory course.  The GDCB Genetics 313L teaching team of Dr. Jelena Kraft, Teaching Lab Coordinator, and Prof. Marna Yandeau-Nelson were one of five proposals awarded a Miller Faculty Fellowship for the 2016-17 academic year.  Their proposal, entitled “Genetics laboratory: Integrating training in molecular techniques and bioinformatics tools to promote deeper understanding of core biology concepts” was awarded $8,700 of the total $51,000 awarded.  The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT), which administers the program for the president’s office, will supplement the Miller funds with nearly $8,000. Matching funds — which aren’t required — total nearly $36,000.

A Miller Faculty Fellow must propose innovative approaches to advance undergraduate teaching.  The faculty team of Kraft and Yandeau-Nelson will seek to integrate a series of bioinformatics exercises using the molecular biology software, SnapGene, to integrate within the Genetics 313L lecture with hands-on bioinformatic exercises that conceptually describe lab experiments and core genetic processes that will enable students to achieve a level of mastery over these essential professional skills.  Three assessments are planned to evaluate the effectiveness of these exercises.

Read more at Inside Iowa State.