Biological reference book for the non-biology major : a creative project
The purpose of this project was to provide students enrolled in non-major biology courses, e.g., Biology 100 at Ball State University, with a source of reference material including definitions and/or examples of basic biological terms and a reading list of current articles related to course topics.The need for such a reference source had been indicated by course evaluations and discussions involving students and instructors.The project was conducted in three phases. The first phase involved researching of the course materials in Biology 100, and the determination of which terms should be included in a glossary. The selection of terms was limited to words which are basic to an understanding of concepts and theories taught in the course and to words which students generally had difficulty in understanding.The second phase of the project involved the writing of definitions for the selected terms. Although these terms are defined in other reference literature, often the definitions are awkward, difficult, and/ or irrelevant to the biology non-major.Definitions were written to complement and reinforce the terms as they were applied in the context of Biology 100. Examples used to clarify definitions were selected to relate to the context in which the term was introduced in the students’ learning activities.The third phase of the project involved the compilation of current articles and/or books pertaining to the course topics which will provide the inquiring student with sources of interesting and related subjects. This information will assist students in clarifying difficult points and provide materials which will enable students to pursue a topic at greater depth.