melody [dot] neumann (at)utoronto [dot] ca
My teaching activities range from the coordination and laboratory design of large introductory cell and molecular biology courses (BIO130 and BIO230), to the development and teaching of research and laboratory intensive courses (BIO255 and CSB350), and most recently to a Team-Based Learning course (CSB490) where students worked in teams to criticaly analyze scientific literature and produce a persuasive NSERC Discovery Grant proposal.
While I still have some involvement in molecular plant pathology research, I am primarily focussed on finding ways to improve undergraduate learning in cell and molecular biology. I am interested in developing and implementing innovative and evidence-based teaching practices in my courses. Some examples I have been involved with include: the creation of animations for complex cellular mechanisms; effective use of clickers and Instand Feedback Assessment Testing (IFAT); team-based learning methodologies; assignments and tools to help students improve written and oral communication skills; investigative labs using modern technologies and current research questions; and innovative uses of web and other classroom technologies. Ultimately, my goal as a teacher is to engage students in their learning, thereby helping them to master not only content, but many of the skills they will need for success in their careers and the decisions they will make as global citizens.
I am also involved in research that will lead to the improvement of teaching in the sciences at UofT and to this end conduct pedagogical research with faculty in Chemistry, Physics, Centre for the Environment, Geology, and Human Biology. In addition, I am interested in furthering the teaching of biology for all students in Ontario and am an active member of oCUBE (ontario Consortium of Undergraduate Biology Educators). This group of undergraduate biology teachers from across Ontario meets regularly to share innovative practices, to work on multi-institutional research related to teaching, and to envision better ways to help all students succeed.
Champigny, MJ; Shearer, H; Mohammad, A; Haines, K; Neumann, M; Thilmony, R; He, SY; Fobert, P; Dengler, N; Cameron, RK. 2011. Localization of DIR1 at the tissue, cellular and subcellular levels during System Acquired Resistance in Arabidopsis using DIR1:GUS and DIR1:EGFP reporters. BMC Plant Biology 11: 125-141.
French, M. and Neumann, M. Practical Tips for designing and Implementing Multiple-Choice Tests. 2011. CTSI http://www.teaching.utoronto.ca/topics/teachingcontexts/explore/assessment.htm.
Carviel, J; Al-Daoud, F; Neumann, M; Mohammad, A; Provart, N; Moeder, W; Yoshioka, K; Cameron, R. 2009. Forward and reverse genetics to identify genes involved in the Age-Related Resistance response in Arabidopsis thaliana. Molecular Plant Pathology 10: 621-34.
Neumann, M; Bank, C; Browning, S; Clarke, J; Harlow, J; Harrison, D; Ing, K; Kushnir, L; Kutas, C; Pitre, J; Serbanescu, R; Wall, M; Wilson, R. 2008. Serial team teaching and the evolving scholarship of learning: Students' perspective. Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching 1: 28-34.
Klimes, A; Neumann, M; Grant, SJ; Dobinson, KF. 2006. Characterization of the glyoxalase I gene from the vascular wilt fungus Verticillium dahliae. Canadian Journal of Microbiology 52: 816-822.
Recent Presentations, Workshops, and Proceedings:
Neumann, M; Ing, K; Bank C. Sharing Good Practices and Pitfalls in Facilitating the Professional Growth of TAs. Navigating your PATH: Exploring and Supporting Teaching Assistant and Graduate Student Development. May 6-7, 2011. University of Toronto.
Ashok A; Bayfield M; Bardin S; Clark J; Cordon A; Cottenie K; Coutu J; French M; Godlman C; Haffie T; Harris M; Havelka M; Kajiura L; Keenleyside W; Kelly T; Lajoie D; Montpetit C; Neumann M; Noel T; Rawle R; Smit J; Waugh J; Wheeler J; Wilson P. Proceedings of the Teaching Ourselves to Learn Together: Spring Unconference May 2010. Peterboough, Ontario. Ontario Consortium of Biology Educators (oCUBE). http://ocube.wikispot.org/Teaching_Ourselves_to_Learn_Together:_Spring_UnConference_2010.
Neumann M. Can interactive simulations help students in large cell and molecular biology classes learn basic laboratory techniques? Conference on e-Learning. July 2009, Toronto, Ontario.