NSF Sponsored Teaching Program: An Inside Look

Bob Goldberg's Novel Undergraduate Science Education Program

Teaching Non-Science Students About the Excitement of Discovery

ENTER BOB GOLDBERG'S CLASSROOM
Sponsored By NSF


HC70A 2017


HC70A 2016


HC70A 2015


HC70A 2014


HC70A 2013


HC70A & HC70AL 2011


Even You Can Be A Scientist
HC70A & HC70AL 2008-2009


HC70A Winter 2005
Radical Class 101


Gene Discovery Laboratoy
A Cultural and Scientific Collaboration
HC70AL Spring 2004


Decoding DNA: Honor's Collegium 70A Class Featured in New York Times

An undergraduate honors class taught by Professor Bob Goldberg was featured in the New York Times as "an immersion into the very real world of designing organisms by manipulating genes." The article highlights Professor Goldberg's interactive teaching style where students debate moral and scientific issues of genetic engineering.
Bob Goldberg's Class Selected as One of the Top Ten "Hottest Classes in America"

An undergraduate course taught by Bob Goldberg titled "Genetic Engineering in Medicine, Agriculture and Law" was selected as one of "America's 10 Hottest Classes" by the web site the Daily Beast, founded by former New Yorker editor Tina Brown. Professor Goldberg "has been lauded on many occasions for being one of UCLA's best teachers," the publication notes. "
Bob Goldberg Named by Newsweek Magazine as One of "America's Top Professors"

Robert Goldberg, a UCLA distinguished professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology, is featured in Newsweek's Guide, "Finding the Right College for You" in an article titled, "In Search of Great Professors." A great professor can "get you excited about a whole new subject, influence which major you choose, and maybe even change your life," Newsweek says. "America's top profs ... excite and inspire their students" and "break down the wall that too often separates the classroom from the real world." Goldberg is the first professor Newsweek profiles.
The World's A Classroom? Thanks to Technology, It Can Be

An article from UCLA Newsroom decribing a long distance course, HC70A, Genetic Engineering in Medicine, Agriculture, and Law, taught by Professor Goldberg simultaneously to UCLA and UC Davis studens using state-of-the-art fiber optic cables, and live audio and video hookups through California Research and Education Network (CalREN).
Long Distance Learning

An article from the UCLA Daily Bruin describing a multi-cultural long distance course taught by Professor Goldberg simultaneously to UCLA and Kyoto students in Japan using state-of-the-art fiber optic cables, electronic blackboards, and live audio and video hookups.
Rising to the Challenge: Merging Research and Innovation for Undergraduate Science Education

An article by Dan Gordon highlighting Bob Goldberg's undergraduate science education program funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Goldberg's Variation

An article by Dan Gordon in the UCLA Magazine on Bob Goldberg's novel approach to teaching.
To Teach or Not

An editorial by Bob Goldberg in the journal The Plant Cell on undergraduate education.
ARTICLES ABOUT TEACHING
BOB GOLDBERG'S CLASS ASSESSMENTS

Assessment of Bob Goldberg's NSF sponsored program was carried out in several ways:

1. Students evaluated HC70A and HC70AL at the end of each quarter as part of the UCLA course evaluation system.
2. Students evaluated the undergraduate teaching fellows in HC70A.
3. An HC70A survey conducted on the first and last days of the quarter in order to compare student attitudes towards a range of genetic engineering issues.
4. Students who took both HC70A and HC70AL were given a questionnaire that addressed the impact of these classes had on their academic career, their understanding of how science is carried out, and their view of the excitement of discovery.
5. Each HC70AL student was given an exit interview to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the lecture and laboratory and how to improve the program.
6. Undergraduate teaching fellows and peer laboratory mentors were inteviewed by Bob Goldberg to assess the impact that teaching HC70A and/or HC70AL had on their future goals and objectives.

On 2009, UCLA Center of Educational Assessment engaged in an assessment to document students' perspectives on their experiences in HC 70A and 70AL, assessing the impact of these courses on student learning outcomes, and capturing the gains of former students who became undergraduate Teaching Fellows and Peer Research Mentors in HC70A and HC70AL. Qualitative research methods were applied to three data sources: (a) UCLA official open-ended course evaluations for the lecture and lab courses; (b) course exit questionnaires; and (c) interviews conducted with former HC70A and HC70AL students who also served as Teaching Fellows in HC70A and Peer Research Mentors in HC70AL. The student comments from three data sources were coded and analyzed. Overall, the results revealed that this teaching program had a signaficant impact on student learning. Click here to read the full assessment report. Listed below are sample assessment results and students comments.

Assessment of Course Evaluations of HC70A and HC70AL

In both the lecture and lab course evaluations, students frequently commented on the numerous strenghths of the course and professor. They praised professor Goldberg's use of the Socratic Method to actively engage students in the course content. Students also claimed that while the courses were extremely challenging, they were academically and persoanlly rewarded. Listed below are the major assessment results.

1. After-class course evaluation of HC70A gave the course and professor average ratings of 8.6±0.3 and 8.5±0.3, respectively (on a 1-9 scale, with 9 being high). This compares with average course and professor rating from all Honors Collegium classes over the same period of 7.9±0.14 and 8.1±0.15.

2. 47% of 579 coded comments by HC70A student on their evaluation indicated that HC70A was a "one of a kind experience" and Professor Goldberg was an "outstanding course/professor".

3. 23% of the coded comments indicated a positive learning outcome in science, including emphasis on critical thinking, engaing topics, and that the class challenged and motivated students to learn.

Similar to results with HC70A, HC70AL students gave the course and professor almost a perfect rating 8.95±0.1, and 48% indicated that HC70AL was outstanding.

Assessment of Exit Questionnaires Comments From Students Who Completed HC70A and HC70AL

Analysis of exit questionnaires indicated a significant positive impact on student's knowledgge of genes and gene activity processes, interest in persuing further research and science, how students view scientists and the process of scientific discovery, and how science is carried out.

Students Comments of HC70A

"Amazing course. Although the semi "forced" participation was very intimidating at first, it was worth it all." - 2014

"Dr. Goldberg alwasys engaged students in class, both on an academic and on a personal level." - 2014

"Dr. Goldberg also approaches the topics from different directions - the science, the social issues, ethices, etc., which makes the breadth of the class simply phenomenal." - 2014

"He kept the class very lively and exciting." - 2014

"This class was one of the best classed I have had at UCLA while also one of the hardest." - 2014

Click here to download and read students' evaluation comments from HC70A winter 2014 class.

"Dr. Goldberg is very unusual in a sense that he teaches his class very differently than the majority of the professors at UCLA. I will be receiving the first C in the past 8 years, but I am still very happy that I stayed to the end. I learned more science within the past 10 weekes than what I have learned in the past 10 years. An excellent professor, and a very unique and memorable class" - 2013

"I think the strengths of this class is teaching students to think critically. One amazing theme that should be kept: learning is more important than grade." - 2013

"I can say without exaggeration that Dr. Goldberg pours his soul into HC70A. Dr. Goldberg is the most positive, passionate, and engaging professor I have ever encountered at UCLA." - 2013

"The things I learned in the class go way beyone just science." - 2013

"This class is the most novel class I have ever taken, and totally changed my thought about genetic engineering." - 2013

Click here to download and read students' evaluation comments from HC70A winter 2013 class.

"This was less a class and more an amazing and life-changing experince. Thank you for this gift Professor Goldberg." - 2012

"Dr. Goldberg does not compare to any of my other professors at UCLA...I have truly been motivated and inspired by his teaching." - 2012

"HC70A is the most different class I've ever taken...I've never expected to learn so much in a quarter." - 2012

"This course has been truly like none before...I have witnessed what is possible for my life through the teachings of Professor Goldberg." - 2012

"Really is the most unique class I've ever had, and I'll kind of miss it." - 2012

Click here to download and read students' evaluation comments from HC70A winter 2012 class.

"Dr. Goldberg is a rare find among professors..." - 2011

"This course was an incredible experience...Socratic method and oral exam format was brilliant..." - 2011

"This class kicked my ass but I had a great time in the process." - 2011

"Amazing class...changed my outlook on life...gained invaluable critical thinking skills." - 2011

"Absolutely one of the BEST classes at UCLA." - 2011

Click here to download and read students' evaluation comments from HC70A winter 2011 class.

Students Comments of Undergraduate Teaching Fellows
Evaluations of the undergraduate teaching fellows in HC70A were equally excellent compared to the course evaluations

"Mike is a great teacher and I love the way he presents concepts through leading questions and breaks down complex concepts into more understandable components." -- comment for Mike Lyons, a MIMG undergraduate teaching fellow in 2013-2014.

"Reece was always very helpful and clear. The constant attention and respect is unbelievable." -- comment for Reece Fenning, a MIMG undergraduate teaching fellow in 2013-2014.

"Will is an exceptionally talented TA and instructor in terms of both his ablilty to explain and translate his knowledge of the material to students." -- comment for William Barshop, a graduate teaching fellow in 2014.

"Elaine was an incrediable TA. She was open, available, friendly, engaging, organized, prepared, knowlegeable, and very sharp. I loved discussion and having her as a TA." -- comment for Elaine Chiu, a psychobiology undergraduate teaching fellow in 2011-2012 now a M.D. student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

"Eden you've done an amazing job all quarter...Thank you so much for being so helpful in explaining concpets both inside and outside of class!" -- comment for Eden Maloney, a molecular, cell, developmental biology undergradate teaching fellow in 2011-2012 now a Ph.D. student at Stanford University.

"Lulu saved all of us...Without her I wouldn't have understood most of what was covered. She made the material graspable." -- comment for Lulu Pantin, a pyschology undergraduate teaching fellow in 2011-2012 now a law student at Yale University.

"I was very impressed by all 3 TAs. Having undergrads to teach created a more informal and cooperative learning environment." -- comment for all 3 teaching fellows in 2010.

"Best TA I've ever had. Knowledgable, engaging, funny. " -- comment for Jordan Fischer, a biology undergraduate student in 2010 now an Analyst in Angeleno Group LLC.

"Kristin was extremely knowledgeable about the material and always approachable. " -- comment for Kristin Gill, a political science undergraduate student in 2010 now a M.D. student in SUNY Downstate Medical School.

"Daisy is the best TA I've had so far at UCLA" -- comment for Daisy Robinton, a MCDB undergraduate student in 2009 now a Ph.D. student in Harvard.

"This discussion section was definitely the highlight of my classes this quarter, and was actually enjoyable to attend. I wish I had more TA's as animated as Aycha" -- comment for Aycha Erbilgin, a Ph.D. student in 2009.

"The best TA at UCLA. Malik was awesome and the discussions were always fun, interesting, and unique" -- comment for Malik Francis, an African American teaching fellow in 2003 now a Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley.

"Tiffany Sum is a great TA. I cannot believe that she is an undergrad." -- comment for Tiffany Sum, a linguistics undergraduate student in 2005 now a middle school math teacher.

"Mike is the best TA I have had at UCLA - a fantastic communicator." -- comment for Mike Gavino, a psychology undergraduate student in 2005 now a Ph.D. student at MIT.

Student Comments on HC70AL

"I have nothing but positive things to say about my experiences. Dr. Goldberg is an incredible professor and I look up to him in so many ways. I'll miss HC70AL!!!" -2011

"This was the best class. I was taught so much and I will carry these lessons with me for life. I can now think critcally, speak about my results with confidence, and perfom 10x better in all my other classes now that I have the tools, from this class to succeed. It is an amazing class, Dr. Goldberg is the best!" -2011

"No other class at UCLA comes close to teacing students as much as this class does when it comes to thinking critically and learning as much information. I am truly going to miss this class!" -2011

"This was the greatest class I have ever taken. It has been a truly unique experience that I value more than anything else that I have done at UCLA. I have learned so much more than just facts, but also how to apply them in real life and make an impact on the world. I know I will always cherish this course even though it has made me work harder than any other course I have taken." -2011

"(HC70A) is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had at UCLA. Most of my courses have over 200 people in them and teach blind memorization skills. In this class, I am actually actively involved and have learned not only how to perform the experiments, but also the background, history and importance of these strides in science." -2009

"I sometimes imagine Dr. Goldberg asking me a question in one of my other subjects and I think about how I would answer in a very concise and exact manner." -2009

"This is unlike any other class! The only class that has taught me not only an immense amount of information, but also how to think." -2009

"Best class by far. Mostly, beacuse the level of care inputed by all the TA's and teachers involved goes above and beyond what is required." -2008

"As a social science major, I feel very lucky to have been able to participate in a lab experience conducting original research. This is a rare, if not a unique opportunity." -2006

"Before, I thought of a career in science as a standard 9 to 5 job...Now, I know that to seriously dedicated scientists, science is more than a job -- it's a way of life." -2005

"I have learned to better appreciate the work of scientists, because I got a small taste of what it's like to do scientific research." -2005

Click here to read the results from the HC70AL student questionnaire.

PARTICIPANT DATA

 

Class
No. of Students
Genetic Engineering in Medicine, Agriculture, and Law (HC70A)
449
Gene Discovery Laboratory (HC70AL)
66
Undergraduate Teaching Fellows and Peer Mentors
26
Students from Kyoto University, UC Davis, Tuskegee University
67
HC70A
  • More than 75% of the students are non-life science, undeclared, or physical science majors25 different majors represented (including linguistics, communications, business/economics, philosophy, math, physics, molecular biology, microbiology, and biochemistry)
  • Approximately 50% freshmen & sophomore and 50% junior & senior students.
  • 46% males and 54% females.
  • 16% minority students (African American & Hispanics).

Click the image to enlarge

HC70AL
  • Approximately 70% of the students are non-life science, undeclared, or physical science majors.
  • More than 70% of the students are freshmen or sophomore.
  • 48% males and 52% females.
  • 9% minority students (Hispanics)

Click the image to enlarge

Undergraduate Teaching Fellows and Peer Mentors Participating in the Teaching Program
Name Major At Time Course Taught Course Taught Year Taught Current Status
Helen Li Mathematics-Economics
HC70A
Spring 2017
Undergraduate Student, UCLA
Pierce Ford MCDB
HC70A
Spring 2017
Undergraduate Student, UCLA
Allen Chung Biochemistry
HC70A
Winter 2016
Translator, Tzu Chi USA
Dominic Saadi Biochemistry
HC70A
Spring 2015
Winter 2016
Undergradate Student, UCLA
Dominic Lucido Physical Science
HC70A
Spring 2015
Winter 2016
Education Gradate Student, UCLA
Mike Lyons MIMG
HC70A
HC70AL
MCDB70
Winter 2013-14
Summer 2014
Summer 2012-2014
Ph.D. Student, Stanford University
Reece Fenning MIMG
HC70A
MCDB70
Winter 2013-14
Summer 2012-2014
M.D. Student, University of California at Irvine
William Barshop Biological Chemistry
HC70A
Winter 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2017
Ph.D. Student, UCLA
Lauren Daoust Neuroscience
MCDB70
Summer 2012
Data Entry Technician at American Language Services, California
Elaine Chiu Psychobiology
HC70A
HC70AL
MCDB70
Winter 2011-12
Spring 2011
Summer 2012
M.D. Student, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
Eden Maloney MCDB
HC70A
HC70AL
MCDB70
Winter 2011-13, Summer 2013
Spring 2011
Summer 2012-13
Ph.D. Student, Stanford University
Lulu Pantin Psychology
HC70A
Winter 2011-12
Music Attorney, Myman Greenspan Fineman Fox Rosenberg & Light
Daisy Robinton MCDB
HC70A
HC70AL
Winter 2008-10
Spring 2008-9
Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University
Jordan Fischer Biology
HC70A
Winter 2010
Strategic Initiatives manager, Renovate America
Kristin Gill Political Science
HC70A
HC70AL
Winter 2010
Spring 2009
Resident Physician, NYU School of Medicine
Kelli Henry Grad Student, MCDB
HC70A
HC70AL
Winter 2009
Spring 2011
Ph.D. Student, UCLA
Rebekah Charney Political Science
HC70A
HC70AL
Winter 2008
Spring 2008
Ph.D. Student, UC Irvine
Brandon Le Grad Student, MCDB
HC70A
Winter 2008
Postdoc fellow, UC Riverside
Jonathan Russell MIMG
HC70AL
Spring 2006
Ph.D. Student, Columbia University
Ria Yagnik MIMG
HC70AL
Spring 2006
Ph.D. Student, UC Davis
Gloria Chu Political Science
HC70A
Winter 2006
Senior Product Manager, Mobile at Gap Inc./span>
Brittan Scales MIMG
HC70AL
Spring 2005
Master student, UC Berkeley
Tomo Kawashima MCDB HC70A
HC70AL
Winter 2005
Spring 2005
Postdoc Fellow, Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, Singapore
Tiffany Sum Linguistics
HC70A
Winter 2005
Middle School Math Teacher, Garden Grove School District
Mike Gavino Psychology
HC70A
HC70AL
Winter 2005
Spring 2005
Consultant, Bain & Company
Erin Marsh Mellano MCDB
HC70AL
Spring 2004
M.D. Resident in Obstetrics & Gynecology, UCLA Medical Center
Josh Wolf MCDB
HC70AL
Spring 2004
Community Building and Business Engagement at Pachamama Alliance
Mai Pham MCDB
HC70A
HC70AL
Winter 2004
Spring 2004
M.D. Student, Boston University
Jinsun Choi MCDB HC70A
HC70AL
Winter 2004
Spring 2004
Endocrinologist, Huntington Beach, CA
Aycha Erbilgin MCDB
HC70AL
HC70A
Spring 2003
Winter 2009
Ph.D. Student, UCLA
Mike Ferry MCDB
HC70A
HC70AL
Winter 2004
Spring 2004
Chief Science Officer Quantitative BioSciences, Inc.
Malik Francis Physiological Science
HC70A
Winter 2003-04
Researcher, UC Berkeley
MCDB - Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology
MIMG - Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

HC70AL - Gene Discovery Laboratory Lab Manual

A comprehensive week-by-week protocol book for students using genomics to study the function and activity of plant genes.  Click here to download the lab manual. (PDF size: 9.3 Mb)

For a week-by-week protocol, click on the following link.


Gene Discovery Laboratory Web Notebook

An interactive "web laboratory book" created to allow students real-time viewing of all experiments and results.
Click here to browse the "webbook" and view how students use this interactive web laboratory book to organize, summarize, and post their research results.

The "webbook" program can be downloaded by clicking here, and is freely available to anyone in the scientific community who would find it useful for their research and/or teaching.

Home

Teaching Program Overview Teaching Program Details HC70A
Class Overiew or Class Website
HC70AL
Class Overview or Class website

HC199

Video Projects

Long Distance Learning

Goldberg Lab