The “Education Series” aims to take full advantage of Web-based open-access publishing to create an interactive, dynamic resource for educators, researchers, students, and the interested public to share and discuss key ideas, methods, tools, and activities to enhance understanding of fundamental questions in biology. Articles published in the series will highlight innovative educational initiatives or strategies. Articles may focus on a specific field (for example, evolutionary biology or biochemistry), draw on recent results published in open access journals, and feature only open education resources—that is, materials that have no copyright or re-use restrictions. Each article will appear with at least one resource (for example, videotaped seminars, animations, tutorials, PowerPoint slide sets, links to databases with associated experiments and analyses activities) to supplement the article.
(See the editorial announcing the launch of the series: http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1000508)
Length guidelines: A page accommodates approximately 1200 words and one image/table or box. Articles may be 2-3 pages, but we encourage you to focus on the resources rather than presenting a 2500 article.
Organization of the manuscript:
For an example of an educational lesson/resource, see: Charkoudian LK, Fitzgerald JT, Khosla C, Champlin A (2010) In Living Color: Bacterial Pigments as an Untapped Resource in the Classroom and Beyond. PLOS Biol 8(10): e1000510. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000510 http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1000510
For an example of an education initiative, see: Hingamp P, Brochier C, Talla E, Gautheret D, Thieffry D, et al. 2008 Metagenome Annotation Using a Distributed Grid of Undergraduate Students. PLOS Biol 6(11): e296. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060296 http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.0060296
How might a teacher incorporate these activities into a classroom? What resources (material, online, etc) are required and where can they be found?
What disciplines (e.g., biochemistry, ecology, genetics) do the activities draw on and what concepts should students learn (e.g., stoichiometry, species-area relationships, Mendelian inheritance) during activities or lessons? You may include target age group, if appropriate.
How do you recommend evaluating the effectiveness of the material, with, e.g., pre- and post-test examples. What would be some questions that you’d ask students before and after a particular lesson (or activity) to gauge the impact the lesson had on their understanding of relevant concepts, for example.
For examples of these boxes, see: Charkoudian LK, Fitzgerald JT, Khosla C, Champlin A (2010) In Living Color: Bacterial Pigments as an Untapped Resource in the Classroom and Beyond. PLOS Biol 8(10): e1000510. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000510