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Publications in VIVO

Knight, Jenny

Associate Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Dr. Knight's research has focused on developing concept assessments for student learning in biology, studying the impact of in-class work on student learning, and developing and measuring the impact of curricular changes and teacher training on both students and faculty. She and colleagues have developed three concept assessments: the Genetics Concept Assessment (GCA) the Introductory Molecular Biology Assessment (IMCA), and the Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment, all designed to diagnose student misunderstandings and measure learning gains in typical undergraduate biology courses, as well as an attitudes towards biology assessment (Bio-CLASS), and a taxonomy for measuring Scientific Teaching. More recently, her work has focused on understanding how students engage in complex problem solving and scientific reasoning, particularly in genetics, and how to help students develop metacognitive and self-regulatory practices to improve their learning experiences. She is also working to develop an online OER for instructors to learn how to teach using 'Scientific Teaching' principles.


  • biology education research, how in class discussions influence learning, development of concept assessment tools, problem solving


selected publications


courses taught

  • EBIO 6100 - Seminar in Environmental Biology
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018
    Instructor consent required. May be repeated up to 7 total credit hours. Same as EBIO 6120.
  • EDUC 4800 - Special Topics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2022
    Designed to meet needs of students with topics of pertinent interest. May be repeated up to 18 total hours.
  • EDUC 5800 - Master's Special Topics
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2022
    Designed to meet needs of students with topics of pertinent interest. May be repeated up to 18.00 total credit hours. Allows multiple enrollment in term.
  • MCDB 2150 - Principles of Genetics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2021 / Fall 2021 / Spring 2022 / Fall 2022 / Spring 2024
    Introduces the behavior of genes and chromosomes in eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. Covers three areas: transmission genetics, molecular genetics, and population genetics. Attention is given to genetic mapping, recombinant DNA procedures, and gene expression. Recommended prerequisite: MCDB 1150 or EBIO 1210 or CHEN 2810 (minimum grade C-) and recommended corequisite of MCDB 2152. Degree credit not granted for this course and MCDB 2222.
  • MCDB 2152 - Problem Solving Co-Seminars for Genetics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2024
    Uses problem solving and other interactive group work to aid student learning in MCDB 2150. Students will work in small groups on learning and practicing how to solve difficult conceptual problems, as well as using hands-on activities and concept mapping to help learn content. Recommended corequisite: MCDB 2150.
  • MCDB 4650 - Developmental Biology
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2020
    Explores the development of invertebrate and vertebrate organisms, emphasizing cellular, molecular and genetic mechanisms. Focuses on conceptual understanding and experimental approaches to topics such as embryology, developmental control of gene expression in eukaryotic cells, mechanisms of differentiation and morphogenesis and developmental genetics. Same as MCDB 5651.
  • MCDB 4990 - Honors Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020
    Involves the preparation and defense of an honors thesis, based on faculty-supervised original research, including final phases of the research project. Recommended prerequisites: MCDB 4840 or MCDB 4980 or comparable research experience, and minimum GPA of 3.3 and approval by the MCDB Honors Committee.
  • MCDB 5650 - Teaching and Learning in Undergraduate Science Courses
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Spring 2021 / Spring 2022
    Discusses recent research on how students learn and applications to the teaching of undergraduate science courses. Conducted as an interactive workshop, in which active-engagement in learning approaches are modeled and experienced by participants. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. May be used to fulfill the pedagogical training requirement for undergraduate Learning Assistants in upper division science courses. Post-doctoral and faculty auditors are welcome to participate as regular auditors.
  • MCDB 6000 - Introduction to Laboratory Methods
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Fall 2021 / Spring 2022 / Spring 2023 / Spring 2024
    Introduces methodology and techniques used in biological research. Designed as a tutorial between a few students and one faculty member. Students are expected to read original research papers, discuss findings, and to plan and execute experiments in selected areas. May be repeated up to 15 total credit hours.
  • MCDB 6440 - Special Topics in MCD Biology
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2022
    Acquaints students with various topics not normally covered in the curriculum. Offered intermittently or upon student demand, and often presented by visiting professors. May be repeated up to 4 total credit hours.


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