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Paula P. Lemons
Assistant Professor
Division of Biological Sciences
University of Georgia
Dr. Collins and the Case of the Mysterious Infection 

In this case study, Dr. Collins must diagnose and prescribe treatment for a young patient with a serious infection. Students receive pieces of the case in a progressive disclosure format and answer questions about bacterial infection, antibiotics, and antibiotic resistance. The case was designed for the seminar component of a large-enrollment, introductory biology course. In addition to seminar, students in the course also attend lecture and laboratory. Teaching assistants lead the 12-student seminars, during which students engage in directed inquiry exercises such as this case.

Mendel Dreams: The Beginning of Genetics

In this PowerPoint-based clicker case, developed for use in either a general biology or general genetics class, students are introduced to the life and work of Gregor Mendel.  The initial slides set up the story as we see Mendel, who is ill, reminiscing about his pea plant experiments.  As the storyline unfolds, students are placed in a position where they have to think their way through some data the way that Mendel presumably had to do himself. The case covers the highlights of early genetics including monohybrid and dihybrid crosses, and discusses the downfall of the blending hypothesis.

Mildred Using Plants: The Medicinal Value of Plants

The format for this case is unusual.  The PowerPoint of the "case" provides an in-class framework for working through all of the activities associated with the case.  These activities are explained in the teaching notes.  The teaching notes also include the full set of handouts that comprise this case, including an In-Class Assignment sheet that features "Mildred," the title character of the case.  Teachers interested in using this case should first download and read the entire teaching notes, then look at the "case" PPT.  This case  introduces students to the medicinal value of plants and to scientific investigations carried out to understand the effects of various plant chemicals on human physiology.  Students first learn background information about medicinal plants and experimental design.  They then meet Mildred and play the role of Mildred's friend to help her sift through information about traditional herbal remedies in order to make a decision about her health.  The case was developed for an introductory biology course.

Threats to Biodiversity: A Case Study of Hawaiian Birds

In this case study, students learn about introduced species and how they pose a threat to biodiversity by analyzing the impact of introduced species on the native bird populations of the Hawaiian Islands. Developed for an introductory biology course, the case could also be used in upper-level courses, such as ecology, conservation biology, evolution, biodiversity, and the biology of social issues, or in a non-majors biology course.