I am at an interesting point for the first time. I have been teaching the 131 and 132 courses here at UMass for several years and thinking about how to seek continued improvement in an effective way. I know of some faculty who continually do overhauls to keep things interesting and fresh for themselves and for their students. This technique has merits as an interested teacher has intrinsic benefits.
I want, however, to continue to improve my courses in a way that builds upon the successes.
Reflecting on previous iterations, most have been centered on a key pedagogical principle: active learning, team based learning, backward design, flipped, etc. I think this path still has room.
I am thinking about those things that students mention as being particularly engaging: the myosin fibers in the energy unit, the spontaneous structure formation in the entropy unit, the circuit-based study of the neuron in 132. All of these have what is called by Redish et al as “biologically authentic examples.” I would like to both continue to find more, and find ways to integrate them more deeply into the curriculum. Perhaps a case-study type format?