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See the full schedule of #MakingEquityRealatBC events occurring May 2-6.

Second Annual Giving Day a Great Success

The Beloit College community is generous and showed its heart and soul during its second annual Giving Day on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. In just 24 hours, the college raised over $65,000 from more than 450 supporters.

Not only did the gifts far surpass the original goal of $25,000, the event also raised $25,000 more than last year. Beloit is touched by the fantastic response received from supporters and is grateful to be backed by such a strong foundation of alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends. These gifts help make ‪#‎BeloitPossible for the next generation of Turtles, Bucs, and Beloiters.

The unconditional support, enthusiastically offered by our alumni, parents, and friends is a tribute to the character of our community, and the value that we all collectively recognize in the mission we seek to advance. We at Beloit are privileged to have a community so willing to invest in the future of our great institution, and our students. For this, we are grateful,” said Mark Wold’95, Senior Director of Alumni & Parent Relations and Annual Support.

Thank you to all who supported Beloit College’s second annual Giving Day. As College President Scott Bierman often says, it’s “turtles all the way down.”


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Biology professor uses own classroom for researching teaching methods

May 7, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Amy Briggs

Assistant Biology Professor Amy Briggs studies plant immunity, but she also trains her keen scientist’s eye on a project a little closer to home, using her own classroom as a lab in more ways than one—including researching teaching methods.

As part of a research residency with the American Society of Microbiology, Briggs was tasked with implementing a research project in the classroom. She decided to focus on quantifying student learning gains to determine if professors’ teaching methods are effective.

“There are a lot of misconceptions that remain even after students take a number of biology courses in which we think we covered important material in an active and engaged way,” she said. “I wanted to find a way to quantify our gut instincts about this.”

Briggs’ goal is to uncover student misconceptions, so that professors can tailor their course designs to meet the needs of students.

She conducted research last fall in her two genetics classes by comparing the test scores of the traditional pre- and post-tests with that of her newly implemented concept maps. While the former are multiple choice, the latter asks students to graphically connect two words. For example, she might ask students to give a verb that correlates with DNA and cell.

She has found that students might not necessarily do well on both tests, indicating that concept maps are in fact measuring something very different than pre- and post-tests. Now her goal is to tease apart what’s different about the two methods, and on what levels of knowledge and understanding the two models are testing students.

At this stage in her research, Briggs theorizes that the structure of the pre- and post-tests allows students to rely more on short-term memory of definitions, whereas concept maps push students to think about how the concepts are connected.

After continuing her research on her next two genetics classes in the fall, she plans to use the data as an assessment tool to learn the misconceptions of students. She will then use that knowledge to design classroom activities that better address what they don’t understand.

“We’re scientists, and we should approach our teaching with the same level of rigor we approach our research,” Briggs said. “Teaching isn’t an end point, but a continuous process just like research. As you gain new information and observations, you can change your methods.”