So How Did It Go?

For your final post I would like you to trouble shoot this class. You have all worked very hard learning the ins and outs of a new and growing field. If you stay in the sciences you will surely hear more about this field as you continue your careers. I am proud of how hard you have worked and the commitment that you all have put in. Now you are my experts in the class and I would ask for a few minutes of thought and some feedback.

  1. How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology“?
  2. What would you change about the class? Why?
  3. What would you keep? Why?
  4. Did you find the papers useful?
  5. Did you find the peer comments useful?
  6. Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
  7. What topics would you like to hear more about?
  8. What topics would you like to hear less about?
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39 thoughts on “So How Did It Go?

  1. How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology“?
    In the beginning I thought the textbook was great, but I, not sure whether it was because the material was explained clearly or because I was just excited for the class. As time went on, and we covered more complex topics, I found the textbook pretty difficult to understand-it was extremely wordy and used very difficult vocabulary. The only slightly positive thing about the book was that the pictures and diagrams were helpful. Overall, I’d say change the textbook that explains topics clearly and simply, instead of one like this that overloads the reader with information. Essential Cell Biology seems like a good fit for the class-just from reading a short passage from the ‘text preview’ I feel that it explains information in a much simpler way than the textbook being used now.

    What would you change about the class? Why?
    Consistency. Sometimes the posts and papers would be put up with adequate time to read and responds to them, whereas other posts and papers were put up very close to the due date. If all of the posts were posted at the same time-say in the beginning of the semester it might make it easier to do the posts so you know what you’re looking for while reading the papers.

    What would you keep? Why?
    The peer comments and the writing center requirements – these two areas definitely improved my writing-a skill not only useful for this class, but overall.

    Did you find the papers useful?
    Yes, I found the paper useful. I liked that we learned about different topics in ‘real life science’ each week, instead of just learning from the textbook.

    Did you find the peer comments useful?
    The peer comments were definitely useful. Having someone else read my writing made me see my mistakes and the areas I could improve which ultimately improved my writing overall.

    Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
    I really liked the writing center. Like the peer comments, it was a way for me to see my mistakes, realize where I could make improvements and even a way to come up with new ideas. Although I had never gone before this class, I now go for almost all my classes because I feel that it helped so much.

    What topics would you like to hear more about?
    Cancer. I think that cancer is so interesting and I would have liked to learn more of the specifics about it.

    What topics would you like to hear less about?
    RNA and siRNA overall. I feel like we spent a lot of time on this and it was kind of boring after a while.

    • I agree with you when you said that you would change the consistency of the post. Since the due date always changes, you have to go on a lot to see if the assignment was posted. Most of the time it was posted like a day or two right before it was due. Luckily it was due at 11:59 on the day we had class so a classmate would remind me that there is a post due that night.

    • I think almost everyone said they didn’t like the textbook as much. It was wordy and it even used difficult vocabularies. I agree with you on this and I even had similar thoughts about the book. The textbook was definitely hard to understand. However, I liked the pictures and diagrams in the textbook. I also liked the writing center visits. It was definitely helpful for seeing my mistakes. I agree that it is great for making improvements. This was very helpful for me because I got to know what I was doing right or wrong.

  2. 1. How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology“?
    -The textbook we used was very informative and presented a lot of information. The only problem with the textbook is that is a little boring . I would prefer a textbook that gives more background on the information being discussed. From what I say about Essential Cell Biology it seems more appropriate for me in this class. It might have been easier and to the point from that textbook.

    2. What would you change about the class? Why?
    -More in depth review of the entire chapters would have been better in this class. It also would have been nice to have assignments that followed with the chapters so that we could have a better understanding of the ideas in the chapters.

    3. What would you keep? Why?
    -I would keep the papers because they kept the class interesting. The papers allowed us to relate the information we learned in class to outside information, which was really interesting to me. I also liked the calm learning environment. The classroom wasn’t a high stress environment with too much going on at once, which would have been distracting. This class was calm which allowed me to learn the information easier. This was also true with the tests–the midterm and final didn’t feel overwhelming.

    4. Did you find the papers useful?
    Yes, see response No. 3.

    5. Did you find the peer comments useful?
    The comments overall were somewhat useful and it was sometimes interesting to read other students’ perspectives on the same information. The comments from Dr. Gillespie or Jordan however were very helpful.

    6. Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
    It was somewhat useful. I think the writing center is more useful for more structured formal essays.

    7. What topics would you like to hear more about?
    – I would like to hear more about general concepts about the material covered. I am only a freshman and haven’t had many classes yet and therefore some of the information was too detailed. Some students may have been introduced to some of the topics in other classes and I may have been behind on some of the information. It was nothing major and I still understood the information, but it would have been nice if the class had students who had taken similar background courses or maybe the class could have certain prerequisites.

    8. What topics would you like to hear less about?
    I can’t honestly say that I would want to hear less about anything. I thought everything discussed was relevant in some manner and I wouldn’t want to eliminate any of it.

  3. 1. How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology“?
    The textbook wasn’t helpful to me at all. After taking the midterm I felt like I studied the wrong things because I read the book. It was also difficult to understand, too many complicated words. For this class, everything that was explained simply and straight to the point was much easier to understand even for complex concepts. From the text preview of Essential Cell Biology, it looked as if the concepts were explained simply and clearly. Also, out of the 860 pages, it has 850 illustrations; almost an illustration on each page. The illustrations are usually helpful in explaining or visualizing a concept.
    2. What would you change about the class? Why?
    The only thing I would change would be to be given an outline of what the important information is or what we mostly need to focus on. Posting the powerpoint slides would be helpful. Also, don’t forget to bring markers, the drawings on the board were very helpful.
    3. What would you keep? Why?
    I would keep the blog posts. I find that I actually put in work for a class when there are assignments due at least a few times a month. Because there is a deadline, it forces you to do the work.
    4. Did you find the papers useful?
    The papers were very useful; by blogging about them we were forced to understand it. In order to talk about the paper, you first had to understand what it is your’e talking about.
    5. Did you find the peer comments useful?
    The peer comments were useful because it is easier for someone else to spot a mistake than it is for your self. It also let me know what I was doing right or wrong.
    6. Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
    The writing center session was useful because it introduced me to a resource I can use for all my classes, not just this one. Like the peer review it gave me some insight into what I could improve in my writing. The fact that it was from an English major helped to make it more about the writing and less about the actual science.

    7. What topics would you like to hear more about?
    I would like to hear more about more common diseases and less about the rare ones.

    8. What topics would you like to hear less about?
    I think hearing less about the technology would be helpful. It was difficult to understand how some of the machines worked. Especially since they are constantly being improved or other methods are being discovered.

    • I agree that the textbook was hard to understand. The power-point and explanation was more direct and clear make the information easier to understand. That is why I also agree with the bring markers. LOL. I have learned so much from just being in class. Since the visuals and examples in class were very informative and clear. Every time there was confusion, there would be another example until the class understands.

    • Luis,

      I agree with the textbook comment. I remember when me and you were studying together and we had a difficult time understanding some concepts. And also about the outline, we weren’t exactly sure what to focus our attention on.

  4. 1. How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology“?
    I thought the textbook was very hard to understand, it had great pictures though. When I was reading the book I had a hard time understanding the material just because of the books language. It used very unfamiliar words and complex explanations. Since I had such a hard time reading the book, it made me tired every time I would read it. I would not know of another textbook to cover the topic of toxicology so I can not recommend another. I do not think that “Essential Cell Biology” is a good textbook because it is biology textbook. It would cover more biology and less information about human disease and how to identifying it.
    2. What would you change about the class? Why?
    I thought the class was structured well but I did not like how the syllabus was being modified. I never really knew when anything was due because changes were made to the due date. There were even times when there was a post due but the assignment was not even up yet.
    3. What would you keep? Why?
    I would keep then some of the papers, towards the beginning of the class where we had to least work, there was little to no post but at the end of the semester, there was one due every week. I think it should be spread out a little better or a few papers should be removed to make the work load smaller especially around finals time.
    4. Did you find the papers useful?
    Yes, it would improve the way we read and write science. I would also inform us about all the science going on around us that is not always presented in the news. Science is always changing and these papers are updating us. In addition to that it is teaching us to use our reading and writing, a valuable skill.
    5. Did you find the peer comments useful?
    To be brutally honest, no because I never went back on the website to look at my peer’s comments. I never had the time to go back and just see what they had to say to my post.
    6. Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
    I was useful because they asked what aspect we needed help with so they have something to work with. Then we would look over my writing and they would offer suggesting and comments that I would have overlooked. Then there is a recap on the session just in case I forget something.
    7. What topics would you like to hear more about?
    I think that there should be more information about identifying human disease and what causes it.
    8. What topics would you like to hear less about?
    I would have like to have heard less about the human genome and gene expression. I thought it was just going to be a general introduction but we spent a lot of time on that. This topic is also covered in a lot of other biology classes so it seemed repetitious.

    • I agree the textbook was definitely hard to understand. Almost everyone said it used unfamiliar words and it even had complex explanations. I think you are right Essential Cell Biology textbook is better than this textbook. However, I liked the pictures and diagrams in the textbook. I also liked the papers and they were very interesting. I agree that they definitely informed us about all the science around us. The papers gave me a different perspective to the textbook because it was more factual while the papers were more experimental.

    • Jason,

      I agree with your statment about the syllabus. It was a bit difficult trying to keep updated because the first time the syllabus was changed i had no idea. Also, i stated the same feelings towards the books. I tried to understand it to the best of my ability and compare them to the pictures he posted on his slideshow but i had a hard time.

  5. The textbook kind of difficult to comprehend. It sometimes explains material in a couple of sentences using science jargon which may take one to reread a couple of times to fully understand what it means. Some of the diagrams were not fully explained. Maybe Essential Cell Biology would be better if it explains material with less scientific jargon and more of with using everyday words. I think the class is good the way it is. There is nothing I think there is to change. The papers are useful because the knowledge it gives are more than the textbook itself. It is written specially on one topic or one very particular area of interest. Peers’ comments were helpful in a way that they tell one if he or she does a good job and maybe also raise questions so the writer can look into. There is not a topic I would not want to hear about because each topic is essential in learning more about humans such as preventing, studying and curing diseases. I would like to hear more about stem cell research because of its versatility in replacing many irreplaceable parts of the human body.

  6. 1) How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology“?
    I didn’t exactly like our text book. When we weren’t learning difficult topics the text book wasn’t too bad. However, when the lessons got more complex the book didn’t do a good job breaking down those complex topics into simpler, more understandable topics. The book was also extremely boring, it was one of the harder textbooks to read I believe. The pictures were good in the book however. Just from quickly looking at the Essential Cell Biology book, I believe this could be a better more understandable fit for our class.
    2)What would you change about the class? Why?
    I would change the scheduling around in this class. In the beginning of the semester the paper’s due dates were kind of spread out and by time the semester was ending there was one due every week and it just became one after the other and hard to keep track of the due dates. I would try to make it so that one post is due either every other week or if they are due every week keep it that way for the entire semester.
    3)What would you keep? Why? I would keep all the pictures in the powerpoints because it did help a lot while you were explaining a topic to be able to look directly at the picture of what you were talking about. However, i would maybe add some notes into the actual powerpoints themselves. But, otherwise, I am a visual learning so all the pictures really helped me understand the concepts.
    4)Did you find the papers useful?
    I didn’t exactly find the papers useful to our class, but I found them interesting. I dont think they helped reinforce what we had been learning because they just went into such grave details that sometimes it made our original topics more confusing. However, i did find them very interesting and did learn from them, but i dont think they helped me learn the class itself more.
    5)Did you find the peer comments useful? Peer comments never really disagreed with what the other person was saying. I know personally, when I commented on someones topics or writing that I was commenting because I agreed with them, not because i thought they needed to do more or less of something. I believe the peer comments just reinforced whatever the author had originally wrote.
    6)Did you find the writing center sessions useful? I only went to the writing center once before the reflection paper was due because they were just so busy with our class that it was difficult to get into. I, however, do not really find the writing center useful, because as Jordan and I went over, i have a very distinct way of writing and expressing my thoughts, therefore when I’m in the writing center I’m not big on changing my phrasing of things. However, it was useful to have a fresh set of eyes go over my paper for things that were repetitive.
    7)What topics would you like to hear more about? I like the topics regarding drug therapies and which ones have been proven helpful for certain diseases and which ones have completely failed. I find those topics interesting because it really gets into like scientific research and how far that can bring us in our society to help.
    8)What topics would you like to hear less about? I understand that gene expression is a major part of this course but I think that there should be just one period of time dedicated to it, because over time hearing the same thing about gene expression became too repetitive. If the topic needs to be revisited it should just be short quick reminders, not full lectures again. Otherwise though I believe the topics chosen for this class were all very relative to our class and future professions.

  7. 1.How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology”?
    I think the textbook was good but I felt some places it didn’t explain information as clearly as I hoped. It doesn’t explain lot of the background information but it does explain definitions, which is kind of helpful. However, the book had really great pictures and diagrams. I think if the information was simpler, the book would have been much better. I wouldn’t mind choosing another book but the new book has to simplify information. I think Essential Cell Biology seems to be a good book for this course because I read some chapters from the Text Preview, which explained information in simpler way. Even the pictures and diagrams were great.

    2.What would you change about the class? Why?
    I think this class was very organized because the syllabus was given ahead of time so I knew when everything was due. We even received directions on how to do our reflection paper, which was also great. However, if the post questions are given ahead of time or during the class then we can talk about it in class. I think it’s a good idea to discuss the question in class. We have done that for the first two classes but after that we just talked about the paper in class and we found the question in the post. I think that way we can get started on the paper ahead of time and we also wouldn’t get confuse about the post question.

    3.What would you keep? Why?
    I think the posts, reflection paper, and the writing center visits should be part of this class. It helped me find some of the things that I would never find otherwise. The reflection paper helped me see changes in my writing and my posts. Even the writing center visits helped me find my mistakes that I overlooked because they were so small. I think they improved my science writing skills as well and they were really helpful.

    4.Did you find the papers useful?
    Yes, I found the paper useful because they helped me understand some the materials we learned in class. In fact, I liked the fact that the papers were based on the things that learned in class and it helped me get a better understanding of the topic that we discussed before. The textbook is good but the papers added a different prospective to our learning. I think it even helped me look at a scientific paper in a better way.

    5.Did you find the peer comments useful?
    Yes, I found the peer comments useful because it gave me an understanding of what my post was like. I liked the fact that other people read my writing and they gave me feedbacks on my posts. The comments helped me improve my writing in the future. It even showed me was I was doing right or wrong in my writing. This is really great for making improvements.

    6.Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
    Yes, the writing center sessions were useful. I liked the fact that someone else read my posts and gave me feedbacks on them. It was a great way for me to see my mistakes because sometimes I don’t realize my own mistakes since they are so small. I think the writing center sessions helped me improve my posts and showed me what I was doing right and wrong.

    7.What topics would you like to hear more about?
    I would like to hear more about the epigenetic diseases and factors that brings about these diseases. This topic was very interesting and it helped me understand environmental changes can be passed down for generations to generations. The topic on radiation was also great and I think it was interesting how people with xeroderma pigmentosum were more sensitive to radiation. I think these topics were very interesting and I would have liked to learn more about such topics.

    8.What topics would you like to hear less about?
    I think there is noting that I would like to hear less about in this class. The topics that we learned in class were very helpful. I think when we go over something more than once I understand it better. When we went over something, I learned little more about that topic. I even learned new things about that topic at the same time. If things are repeated over and over it might get boring but I didn’t feel that happened in this class.

  8. I have to say when I first started this class I thought it would be a class where I was completely confused in, especially because I couldn’t even pronounce the name of the class. And when we first started the class, I found it a tad boring since we were learning straight from the textbook. But as we began using the material from lecture and applying it to science based papers, I began to understand the meaning of pharmocogenomics (or is it Toxicogenomics?).
    The best part of the class in terms of academia was the papers and applying the knowledge we learned in class to new information. I would definitely say to keep doing the blog posts with these papers. I also liked the idea of having peers replying to the blog posts. By having classmates reply to the posts, the writer can get a sense if what they are writing actually makes sense and then improve on their paper. The writing center sessions were a big help in improving the papers but I believe that shouldn’t be required for the class. Students who believe they need help in writing their papers should do so on their own merit and not based on requirement.
    In terms of topics that we have learned in class, it was interesting to learn about the different ways genetics differences can occur. Information about nucleotide mutations, changes in the folding of DNA, double stranded breaks etc was very interesting. But I have to say that learning some of the methods of finding those mutations was confusing. A lot of the methods seemed remarkably similar and confusing. I would have found it useful if we focused on maybe 2 methods of testing the genome and really understood them although the lab classes did help increase my understanding of the process.
    As for the textbook, I found it very useful in giving us examples of various methods of testing DNA, as well as understanding the backbone of genetic material. However it was very wordy and kind of hard to understand. Many times I found myself reading the same paragraph over and over again (many more than 3 times) trying to decipher what they meant.
    Overall the class was very fun and informative and I really enjoyed the relaxed environment. The side comments and light humor kept the class fun on a gorgeous Friday afternoon when most of us would rather be outside in the sunshine.

  9. The textbook I was assigned to use was extremely verbose and difficult to understand. One concept took many words to describe, and I found myself lost most of the time. However, the pictures really kept me on board. They were clear and accurate. I previewed the “Essential Cell Biology” textbook and saw that it was easy to understand. The pictures helped me grasp concepts as well.

    If I could change anything about the course, I would want all the blog post prompts to be given at the beginning of the semester with the respective due dates. This way I can keep in track of my responses, and I’d have an idea on what to write about next. I also can get ahead and prepare myself for the next response.

    The idea of blog posts really intrigued me. They really helped me grow as a writer. To see the other perspectives and opinions of students in our class, really helped me understand the ideas we learned in class. We were also able to have orderly discussions in class, which I thought were interesting. When we discussed concepts in class, we really knew if we understood them or not. I found myself understanding a lot more by having open discussions in class.

    The papers we read were very difficult to understand. They contained a lot of difficult concept. I didn’t like reading the posts at first, but after we went over them in class, it was much easier to understand. It was cool to see when these articles were written, and how they affected people back in those days. It was also interesting to read up on how technology and genetics has advanced over the years.

    I did find some of the peer comments useful. However, by imposing students to make these comments, a lot of them were useless and had no real depth. It would have been better if the students had to naturally respond to posts instead of forcing them to, this way, they can comment in a more comprehensive manner.

    The Writing Center sessions with Jordan, our Writing Fellow, were really useful. I took her for granted in the beginning of the semester, but towards the end she really helped me on my reflection paper. Like I said in the reflection, she gave me a lot of advice on my paper, and helped me with issues I’ve had in my writing since Middle School. Her suggestions really helped and improved my writing significantly.

    I wish we focused more on general human diseases; especially cancer, since it is such a widespread disease today. I also wish we focused more on the effect of terminal illnesses, and how they work, how they spread, etc.

    I don’t think there was anything I would like to hear less about, but we did talk about proteins a lot of the time, such as RNA and siRNA. I wish we focused on the aforementioned subjects more than that.

  10. How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology“?
    I think you explain the concepts better than the textbook does and you should write your own Pharmaco/Toxicogenomics textbook. The illustrations in the textbook were nice, otherwise I didn’t really find it useful. I would appreciate one to two class days on cell biology after the Human Genome Project Introdcution because I didnt learn much in my cellular biology class freshman year.
    What would you change about the class? Why?
    I wouldnt change anything. I enjoyed the class and thought it was pretty amazing. I really think it should be a year long class.
    What would you keep? Why?
    I would keep the weekly online posts because Pharmacogenomics initially seemed like such an abstract topic and almost unreal that genotyping for diseases was possible. The papers helped me understand that pharmacogenetic research is getting popular and that other scientist are learning about it too.
    Did you find the papers useful?
    I found the papers very useful.
    Did you find the peer comments useful?
    I didn’t read the peer comments because I set it up so that I wouldn’t receive email notificaiton when someone commented on my post.
    Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
    The writing center wasn’t as useful only because scientific writing is different from the types of writing the writing center tutors were used to.
    What topics would you like to hear more about?
    I would like to hear more about pathways and maybe animated pictures of the pathways we are describing (similar to how you would see animation on you tube). It would be nice to here about current events in toxicogenomics.
    What topics would you like to hear less about?
    I think every topic was covered appropriately and reviewed as needed.

  11. 1.How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology“?
    I think the textbook is good in some way but some places in it didn’t explain information clearly, it has really difficult words to understand and I was getting so confused sometimes. It doesn’t explain lot of the background information but it has really good definitions that help to study for exam. The book had really helpful pictures and diagrams. I think if the information was easier to understand and the vocabulary was simpler, the book would have been great. I think Essential Cell Biology seems to be a good book for this course because I read a little bit of the Text Preview; it seems that material was explained in simpler way. And also the pictures and diagrams were great.

    2.What would you change about the class? Why?
    The only thing that I would change in this course would be to be given an outline of what the important information is or what we need to focus on in the book because the material is so confusing in it. The second thing that would be really helpful is the powerpoint slides.

    3.What would you keep? Why?
    I would keep the blog posts. I think this is really good for class because you have to do it due specific day and time, so it force you do read and you have to understand the material in the article before writing the blog.

    4.Did you find the papers useful?
    The papers were very useful. Writing the paper helps you to understand material more because if you can write about science article in your own words that mean that you really understand information in it.

    5.Did you find the peer comments useful?
    I found peer comments very useful because they can found mistakes easier than the person that wrote the paper that helps me to improve my writing. It also let me know what I was doing right or wrong.

    6.Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
    I think the writing center is more useful for more hard and longer essays or research papers.

    7.What topics would you like to hear more about?
    I would like to hear more about different types of cancer. I think that cancer is so interesting to learn about and I think it is the biggest problem in the world. I also would like to learn more specific information about it.

    8.What topics would you like to hear less about?
    I think there is noting that I would like to hear less about in this class. The topics that we learned in class were very helpful. I think it will help us later in studying science. The classes were very interesting and easy to understand.

  12. 1. How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology“? I felt the textbook was excellent for the class. Its level of difficulty was perfect for this class and wasn’t filled with jargon which made it easier to read and understand. The charts and diagrams were clear and in-depth. The textbook was very useful unlike other classes which assign textbooks that are not helpful at all. I was able to understand the topics thought to us in class because of the book. I wouldn’t choose another book for this class in my opinion and it shouldn’t be replaced.
    2. What would you change about the class? Why? The thing I would change about this class is to make it more interactive and lively rather than just sit there listen to the lecture for that particular day. I think student should watch more movies or do more activities and group work rather than only doing group work for papers. One example would be to integrate a little of the lab into the lecture such as watching a film or internet program that is related to the topic of that week. I feel like visual examples would best intrigue students more.
    3. What would you keep? Why? The thing that I would keep in the class is the blog post. They are a good way to see if the students understand what is being assigned. We don’t fall behind in class due to the blog post. It allows us to exchange ideas and I find it very informative & helpful to know the thoughts and Ideas of my peers.
    4. Did you find the papers useful? I find the papers useful because we are exposed to scientific articles which relay the news and ideas which are being discussed within the scientific world. I believed that it’s great that we are exposed early to these papers so we can have an idea of what’s going on. We should be aware of the ideas of our future occupational peers.
    5. Did you find the peer comments useful? I do find the peer comments helpful because a second opinion is always good to have. Also, my peers may inform me of something I did not know or need to add to my post which should have been there. It allows the class to interact on a different level. The comments allow us to bring light to all the thoughts and opinions of the class.
    6. Did you find the writing center sessions useful? Yes, the writing center is helpful because you can go there and improve your writing with people who are capable of doing that. It is one of the best resources on campus and should be implemented more in science classes since we are always doing research papers.
    7. What topics would you like to hear more about? The topics that I would love to hear more about are the old genetic techniques of the past and new techniques that are being developed and/or discussed. I would also like to learn more genetic diseases that our society is faced with.
    8. What topics would you like to hear less about? We definitely were “beating a dead horse” when dealing with the basics such as RNA, mRNA, DNA, etc… I think we are all aware of this and should progress faster through these topics so we can learn about more intriguing things.

  13. 1.How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology“?
    The Textbook explained the material very thoroughly and it had great and colorful pictures but it was very confusing and the wordings are very difficult to understand. Sometimes I feel that the textbook made the materials we are learning more complicated. I’ve never used the “Essential Cell Biology”, but I don’t know if a biology book is good for a toxicology class.
    2.What would you change about the class? Why?
    I think the class is fine the way it is now even though the blog posts are due every week. It helped me to keep up with the material I was supposed to read in some ways. However, I would like the papers to be posted ahead of time instead of a day or few hours before the class.
    3.What would you keep? Why?
    I really like the papers that we talked about in class because it was pretty interesting but some were difficult for me to understand. The online blog posts are something that I’ve done for the first thing for a class, it wasn’t too bad.
    4.Did you find the papers useful?
    I found the papers useful and interesting. Some of the articles were real applications in real life of what we’ve learned in class.
    5.Did you find the peer comments useful?
    Yes, I found the peer comments useful because I can receive other people’s opinion and it helped me to improve my writing.
    Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
    Yes, the writing center session was useful because it helped me to learn how to improve my writing and to organize my thoughts more clearly.
    6.What topics would you like to hear more about?What topics would you like to hear less about?
    There aren’t any topic I would like to hear less about but I would like to hear more about topics on diseases, how it affect human and how different kind of processes and drugs and treatments are being used.

  14. 1. How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology“?
    The Textbook that we used I think was good when it came to diagrams and pictures that really summed up what each topic was about, but I guess the pictures and stuff would have to be useful due to the fact that the information presented didn’t really present much background info to help me understand the topic.
    2. What would you change about the class? Why?
    There isn’t really anything I would change around the class, I think that the way the class is set up is fair so that we can do well and learn a lot, but I do have to admit the weblogs do require you to know do a lot of work to take time to understand the material, on one hand its annoying and on the other hand I do learn a lot.
    3. What would you keep? Why?
    I would keep the weblog because it does keep me on top of my work and up with the class because the papers require me to go into deep details about everything we learned in class and more.
    4. Did you find the papers useful?
    Yes I did as I have stated in question 3.
    5. Did you find the peer comments useful?
    I did find the peer comments useful because when I do post up a weblog I do put in my narrow minded point of view on certain things and I feel as if my blogs are good or bad. My peer then gives me their point of view which gives me a new insight on certain topics and their review do reassure me on my work confirming if they are bad or good.
    6. Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
    Well I didn’t really get a chance to visit the writing center, but from my previous experiences with the writing center I feel that it is very helpful due to fact that my writing skill is not really my strong suit.
    7. What topics would you like to hear more about?
    I would like to learn more about the human genome and if there are any genes that we have recently discovered that actually linked to certain specific diseases.
    8. What topics would you like to hear less about?
    I think all the topics we talked about in class was on point to what we needed to do even though we do get of topics to jump to other related topics it helps the class learn a lot more about the field in general and not just what we have to learn.

  15. I felt that the textbook was difficult to read and to follow. I used it as a supplementary source for the class, but I did not find it very useful overall. I would prefer to use a book that was not as detailed, so that we could easily follow the main aspects that were covered in class.
    If I had to change something about the class, I would change the textbook. Since the textbook was not very helpful, it would have been nice to have supplementary sources given to us such as PowerPoint slides with notes. I would keep the whole aspect of scientific writing included in the class. I think this is a very important skill to learn and know. I thought the papers were very useful. It was nice to be able to read scientific research and connect it with class and current events. I thought that the peer comments were useful, it was nice to have my peers evaluate my writing, especially since they have completed the same assignment. The writing sessions were somewhat helpful. It was good to get an outside (non-science) perspective on how my scientific writing style was. I felt that overall we covered all the essential topics, and the published papers were a nice way to connect the scientific world to the classroom.

  16. 1. How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology“?
    As far as textbooks go, this was one of the most difficult I have ever attempted to read. I really think it would be awesome if you wrote your own book and had it published at a reasonable price. Your explanations and your overall willingness to convey an understanding in this wonder field is much clearer and better to understand than what’s interpreted in the book.
    2. What would you change about the class? Why?
    I wouldn’t change anything because the class is already attempting to convey in a unique way.
    3. What would you keep? Why?
    I would keep the blogs because although they require the “reach-around” to fully understand it, It primes us the students for the vocabulary, analytical thinking, and overall understanding of what one should expect to see in a profession within the field of Toxicology. I would also keep the random facts and analogies that were released to us during lecture. Those really helped to understand the concepts of general biology, and how a scientist goes about studying the function of a fixed area, pathway, etc. It’s really better understood when questions are asked.
    4. Did you find the papers useful?
    At first, I found the papers very confusing and a real challenge to salvage the essence of those papers. However, as this class progressed and I listened in to the lectures, I was finally able to make better sense of the articles In terms of the topic being asked of on the blogs. In addition, I was able to use some facts that were mentioned during Lab lecture and I got to ask questions after the lab was over. I honestly used as many sources as I possibly could gather to make that better understanding come to life and it partially did.
    5. Did you find the peer comments useful?
    Yes. The comments were useful because, It tells me as an individual, that I am not alone in the quest to better understand the material that was handed to us be it in the book or in the lectures. In a very abstract way, we all work together because of the feedback given via peer -to-peer despite the fact that we are graded individually for understanding the concepts exposed within this course.
    6. Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
    Uh……they helped with some concepts with writing the paper drafts.
    7. What topics would you like to hear more about?
    I’d like to hear about more biotechnologies that are in prototype status. I’s also like to hear more about factors considered when going into the study of individualized medicine. Lastly, I’d like to hear more stories that are currently sweeping the nation in terms of toxic -substances and adverse-effects-from-exposure sort of thing. Also I’d like to hear more about drugs that are made that can be tied to this topics.
    8. What topics would you like to hear less about?
    Honestly, there are none. If I was to ask to hear about less stuff that goes on, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the scientific world. This class was like a bridge, In the sense that a person can go from understanding absolutely nothing of the scientific world and its advancements and setbacks to understanding some basics within this regard. The rest is in question asking and analytical thinking. But overall a nice class to promote students to continue within the science field and withdraw something to take home every day from a lecture.

  17. 1. How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology“?
    Personally, I found our lectures in class to be more useful than the information provided in the textbook. Though the textbook was able to clarify some questions and concerns that I had regarding a few topics, the clarifications I obtained using the textbook was not incredibly different than information I could have obtained using the internet or other outlets of research and information gathering. Thus, though I found the textbook to be occasionally useful, I would advise future students to take reliable notes and notate any topics that might be of difficulty or in need of clarification. Considering the expenses an average college student is confronted with during their course of study, an expensive textbook that may not prove to be more useful than lecture notes or the internet may be an unnecessary expense that should be avoided.
    2. What would you change about the class? Why?
    For the benefits of the students especially, I would suggest making available to the students the slides covered in class. Some students, like myself, prefer to take the information in the slides and gather further outside information to better crystallize the material to help it “sink in”. However, I understand the conflict in making these slides available to the students. Some students may use the slides to excuse themselves from class and study independently. A possible alternative to combat this may be regular attendance checks or pop quizzes that would require students to be in class regularly or pay for it academically. Thus, I believe that by making the slides available to the students, the students will be able to use the slides, responsibly, to bolster their comprehension of lecture materials.
    3. What would you keep? Why?
    I would keep the blog entries. The blog entries are important as it requires students to be punctual and practiced about their work. As a freshman level class, the writing requirement will force new college students to do their work with punctuality and professionalism. Thus, the blog entries, though occasionally frustrating and at times tedious, serve to prepare students for the difficult work they will encounter through the course of their collegiate careers.
    4. Did you find the papers useful?
    The papers did prove to be useful as I was able to expand my knowledge and familiarity with different aspects of the field and course of study. However, many of the papers were difficult to surmount as some of the subject material covered research or topics that were beyond my scope of understanding. As a result, I did not appreciate the full value of some of the papers as I spent more time attempting to recognize to the purpose of the paper then gaining a full appreciation of why what I was reading was important.
    5. Did you find the peer comments useful?
    In all honesty, I rarely found the peer commentary to be useful or provident in any way. Personally, I believe for certain blog entries, responses weren’t really necessary, and it showed in the quality, or lack thereof, of the blog posts. Furthermore, I sensed that students weren’t really moved or concerned with the responses they received, unless of course it was from Dr. Gillespie, understandable from a student standpoint, but, counterproductive to the goals of the peer commentary. Thus, I would suggest the peer commentary not be a requirement in following semesters, and instead held as an option, or even perhaps extra credit.
    6. Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
    Honestly, I hadn’t ever gotten a chance to attend the writing center sessions. Though I regret this, I personally believe that this requirement should be tailored more to freshman and perhaps sophomores. But as a junior in the program, and a senior academically, I’ve paid countless visits to the writing center before so I have experience with how the writing center works and how it helps to improve writing skill. Thus, I believe the writing center appointments must be made with consideration of the fact that not all students in the program are freshman and with the packed academic schedules of upper classmen, it may be difficult to find the time to attend two appointments for the writing center.
    7. What topics would you like to hear more about?
    I would like to hear more about the contributions of pharmacogenomics to scientific research today. The more recent developments will be able to demonstrate to students the value of pharmacogenomics in a modern world. Not that we haven’t heard enough about recent developments regarding pharmacogenomics, but I would like to hear more about the contributions of pharmacogenomics to modern healthcare and science.
    8. What topics would you like to hear less about?
    Honestly, I believe every single topic discussed had value for the students to learn. I don’t think there was any topic or group of topics discovered that didn’t benefit students to know or understand.

  18. 1.How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology”?
    The textbook in general contained a lot of vocabulary that sometimes made me look up the glossary in the back in order to understand what I was reading. The information given was also really dry; I had trouble concentrating, especially since I’m more of a visual person. However, there were images and diagrams that made it easier to understand. Plus, the images were explained more in depth during class. I don’t really know any other textbook, so I wouldn’t choose another, but using “Essential Cell Biology” can be an alternative. Based on the small info provided, it doesn’t seem like such a bad book since it comes with a DVD that has animations. I would say give it a try and see which is best.
    2.What would you change about the class?
    The only thing I would change is probably the schedule of when the assignments are due. At first I thought the posts were due every Friday, but the due date turned out it to be the next class time. There’s a syllabus, so I should be responsible, but half the time I forgot about it, plus there were certain changes.
    3.What would you keep?
    I would keep the papers since they helped me to better understand the material taught in class. It also provided more information on how pharmacogenetics is used in the science fields. The papers also made me research more on the topic to enhance my knowledge of it.
    4.Did you find the papers useful?
    Yes the papers were useful. (Same answer as question 3)
    5.Did you find the peer comments useful?
    Reading some of the posts by other students was beneficial and interesting. Everyone was writing about the same topic, but in his or her own way to convey what he or she got out of the paper. In terms of the comments, they were helpful, but to me didn’t really have a purpose. Many of the comments were more like agreements; it would be better if there were certain feedback or comments as to what should be added or what can be done to make the post better.
    6.Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
    I only went to the writing center once and it was useful. I received some advice on how to make my writing post stronger by discussing both the pros and cons, instead of just stating what was best for one side. It’s good to look at everything around and not just one small portion. Also, more vocabulary does not mean higher quality.
    7.What topics would you like to hear more about?
    I found the topics about genetic testing and diseases such as mutations the most interesting. Learning about how to detect certain genes through a certain method helps me to visualize how such technology can be so advanced. Some of the tests were also done in lab, I was able to experience some of the jobs are for the people in my field.
    8.What topics would like to hear less about?
    There’s nothing that I would want to hear less about because each topic discussed in class has some connection to each other. Hearing a little of each topic will only increase my knowledge of what pharmacogenetics consists of.

  19. 1. How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology“?
    I thought I was the only one found this textbook is so difficult as an international student but I saw many comments on this textbook saying this is really difficult to understand. I had difficulty following the ideas of the topics while reading it. There are just tons of information.
    2. What would you change about the class? Why?
    The thing I would like to change is be given what the important information should be focused on with the powerpoint slides.
    3. What would you keep? Why?
    The posts, but sometimes the posts were put up very close to the due date, and it is very difficult for me to follow up.
    4. Did you find the papers useful?
    Yes, I can gain more knowledge.
    5. Did you find the peer comments useful?
    Yes, I can get some ideas of how and where I should improve or rewrite from the papers.
    6. Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
    Yes, it helps me with the grammar.
    7. What topics would you like to hear more about?
    More details about what causes the diseases.
    8. What topics would you like to hear less about?
    There is nothing that I would like to hear less.

  20. 1. How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology“?
    The textbook is great when it comes to information but I feel that it gives the students too much information at one time, making it difficult to really understand the topics and keep up with the pace. I had to read the material a good three to four times before my brain would actually understand what it was talking about and then another two times to put all the pieces back together. I felt that in this way it was hard for me to keep up with the reading material since it took me a while to finish a chapter. I would choose another book that would have less examples since remembering all the examples per topic was imposible. I do not know how the “Essential Cell Biology“ differentiates from this book so I do not know which one I would prefer.
    2. What would you change about the class? Why?
    I would have liked this class to be in a smaller room. The reason as to this change would be the fact that I felt we were not a lot of student to be placed in such a big room. Smaller rooms have better atmospheres and I could have probably focused better and also discuss things with other student more easily. I would have also liked to lear les chapters. Like I mentioned earlier, it was hard for me to keep up with the reading due to the difficulty of the book. I would have also liked to have gotten a review by the professor of my comments to see in what I needed to improve in my writing.

    3. What would you keep? Why?
    I really liked the in class discussions that we had. I liked taking the material from the lecture and applying it to real life examples. I also liked it when the professor used visuals to help us learn a concept.

    4. Did you find the papers useful?
    Some of the papers where useful and some where not. I felt that for the last half of the semester though the papers gave us a background as to what we had to write about, it did not give us information on what we had to write about in the responses.

    5. Did you find the peer comments useful?
    I didn’t find the peer comments useful at all. I felt like no one was really critiquing the writing, just praising one part of it. I would have liked to get more comments as to how I can improve my writing not what I did to make it sound good, as some people said.

    6. Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
    I don’t feel the writing sessions were useful. I think in order for me to improve as a science writer I need to be reviewed by a science writer. While I agree that having the english part of it is essential, specially for me since I tend to make many mistakes since I am an immigrant, it does not fulfill the purpose of the blogs, which is to improve as a science writer.

    7. What topics would you like to hear more about?
    I would have liked to hear more about DNA cloning. It’s a topic that interests me personally a lot and would have liked to discuss more about in class. Also, I really liked chapter 16 but I felt I did not understand well enough and would have liked to spend more time on it also.

    8. What topics would you like to hear less about?
    I would have liked to skip learning about old methods of testing. I understand they led to the new methods we have today but since the corse was full of information already I felt this could have been taken out without a problem.

  21. 1. How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology“?
    The textbook was okay. The concepts and the material described were a little bit hard to understand because of the wording and the diction used. I would choose another book because it wasn’t adequate for the subject to read off because of the wordy texts. The lecture definitely helped clarify certain topics I wasn’t sure about that the book couldn’t.
    2. What would you change about the class? Why?
    I’d like a outline, review of each chapters, review of the lectures. Because the book is so heavily worded and the lectures fly by just with the picture slides, it’d be nice to have some sort of note I can study off few weeks later after the materials have been covered.
    3. What would you keep? Why?
    I would definitely keep the online blog papers because it’s a nice way to communicate with the students from class about science topic. There’s always a fresh idea every time I look at the replies and people can give me feedback of what I think. Since even the teacher stop by time to time give his feedback on the students, it is a nice environment to have.
    4. Did you find the papers useful?
    No 3.
    5. Did you find the peer comments useful?
    No. 3
    6. Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
    I think the writing center would be more useful for the longer papers than short blogs we post up.
    7. What topics would you like to hear more about?
    I’d like to learn more about disease and cancer. Learning about the types of disease and how the genetics play into some and how they are cured through processes.
    8. What topics would you like to hear less about
    Nothing really.

  22. 1. How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology“?
    The text book was good for the most part, however, there were some difficult words which sometimes made it difficult to understand what is being explained. Essential Cell Biology will be best. I read a bit and it seem very simple and straight forward. Not so many complex words
    2. What would you change about the class? Why?
    I, in particular will not change a thing about this class. It just flows. Everything was very straight forward; no surprises. I followed the syllabus and it was great.
    3. What would you keep? Why?
    I like the online posts and I would definitely keep them. They encourage us to read and learn outside the class, although it pertains to the class
    4. Did you find the papers useful?
    The papers were very useful. They had to do with what was going on in class and not just any random scientific paper.
    5. Did you find the peer comments useful?
    Peer comments were very useful. They pointed out where you were wrong and where you were strong
    6. Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
    Yes, Jordan was very helpful
    7. What topics would you like to hear more about?
    siRNAs sounded very interesting since I thought there were only m,t and RNAs. Once this siRNA was introuduced I wanted to know more about them.
    8. What topics would you like to hear less about?
    All the topics were interesting and would like to hear them over and over again.

  23. 1. How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology”?
    I believe the textbook was very detailed and long. The context seemed like serious information where one would need prior knowledge and time to actually sit down and read it. I had to reread some of the sections and chapters. I would choose another textbook just so it would be easier to relate to the research papers. By looking at “Essential Cell Biology”, I think it is better suited for the class. I believe it would do a better job in explaining how things work at the molecular level with an understandable language.

    2. What would you change about the class? Why?
    I would make attendance a part of our grade because it felt like only a few selected people were actually there in the class. I was pretty surprised when I came in for the midterm, the class was actually filled for once. Maybe it was because we all skipped seats between us, but it definitely felt like everyone who was supposed to show up, showed up for class.

    3. What would you keep? Why?
    I would keep the papers because it actually kept me up to date with the material. I’ll admit, I started to lag behind towards the end of the semester. It probably was the papers that made me remember what we went over in class.

    4. Did you find the papers useful?
    I found the papers pretty entertaining and useful. I felt like it was one of the conditions that can show up on House M.D. but without the suspense and drama, which cuts all the fun. It was great to learn more about the wide range of diseases out there and the current stage of research it is at. I especially enjoyed the CYP2D6 paper where the gene was related to so many diseases.

    5. Did you find the peer comments useful?
    The peer comments were useful. It probably showed the most useful in the writing center when I went over what people had said about my posts. It shows the points where I could have improved on more. If more people were more critical with the comments, it would have been even better. I feel that the majority of the people were just agreeing and didn’t mention anything wrong with the paper.

    6. Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
    The writing center was helpful. It was where I learned that scientific writing is not like a conventional English paper. There is a certain style that I should stick to when writing about scientific articles. Especially in blog posts, we assume that people have the background knowledge of some scientific terms, so those elements do not have to be explained.

    6. What topics would you like to hear more about?
    I would like to hear about diseases that are commonly seen in society. Some applications would have made understanding better. I probably wanted to hear more of environmental toxicology and common things outside. The XP paper covered this but some other diseases related to the environment would have been great.

    7. What topics would you like to hear less about?
    I was pretty much opened to everything in the class, so I wouldn’t want to hear anything less about.

  24. I thought that the textbook was very useful just because there are so many diagrams and it was clearly explained. It was easy to understand for someone new to learning about genetics. If I could change the class, it would be most likely the blog posts. Not that the blog posts were bad, but I thought it would be better to make it a separate but relevant thing that was not required. I would rather have the class be like first semester where we learned straight from the textbook and the tests were based on the textbooks. I did learn a lot from the papers, but I think it would have been more interesting to learn more about genetics from the textbook. I think the peer comments were not as useful because they basically said a lot of the same stuff over and over again because it was required. I did find the writing center useful because I was able to improve my writing. I would like to hear more about diseases and the affected genes. I would like to hear less about the papers, specifically.

  25. The text was a little confusing and had a lot of info that we did not cover but I also heard that the text from last year did not cover all of the material that you would have liked so you have to have what you need and there is not much that you could do about that. Otherwise it was not that bad. I would not change much if anything about the class. It did get a little confusing at times where it seemed that we were a little over our heads in information but you did a pretty decent job at explaining and breaking down things to a point where we could understand it. You can only break it down so much until you get to a point where we are not really learning of the subject we are in and are learning the way you explained things to the seventh and eighth graders that we taught in lab.
    The Writing center was useful to a point. Jordan did a good job at helping me with my papers, its just that she does not have the science background that we do so if we are having trouble understanding things I could only expect her to have trouble understanding them as well. I liked it better when we discussed the papers as a group then had to post on the blog. It was more organized that way and was easier to write because I had a better understanding of what you wanted us to write. After we stopped getting in groups to discus the papers I felt the blog post questions just getting more and more vague as time went on finding myself looking to what other people were doing as of what the assignment was to do.

  26. 1.How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology“?
    I thought the textbook was great because it had images that were capable of summarizing several paragraphs into small charts/cartoons/diagrams. I also liked how the end of each chapter had additional referrences in case you wanted more information. Overall, it was a solid textbook, and was capable of being read straight through, without many confusing stops.
    2.What would you change about the class? Why?
    Everything about the class is fine
    3.What would you keep? Why?
    I would keep the in-class paper discussions, they help put all the students on the same page. This is was due to the fact that people were grouped together and were able to ask questions to one another.
    4.Did you find the papers useful?
    I enjoyed the papers because of the fact that they not only forced me to re-read certain chaters in order to develop a stronger arguement for the question, but they also helped in understanding the lessons taught within the week.
    5.Did you find the peer comments useful?
    Not really, most of the comments were either positive criticism or a simple “I agree with your statement…” statements.
    6.Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
    I believe if we had a larger writing assignment, that required a lot of time consuming practice, then the writing center would had played a bigger role.
    7.What topics would you like to hear more about?
    I would have enjoyed to learn more about OMIM.
    8.What topics would you like to hear less about?
    None

  27. The textbook in my opinion was very long and I felt like it was the boring science that we learn not to write like in the beginning of the semester. I think I would have chosen another I spoke with an older tox student they said that essential cell biology was easy to comprehend. If I had to change something about the class I would probably change the focus on more textbook stuff then the papers. I did like the papers to an extent but just grade wise. I found the papers useful I thought some of them were very interesting. For the peer comments I kind of found them to be useful but not too much. I did find the writing center useful they helped me pinpoint my writing style. The topics I would like to hear more about is cancer, AIDS therapies and maybe things that can potentially affect college students. The topics I would like to hear less of are kind of hard to say because we needed to read about them. But I can say which ones I thought were a little hard to follow and there were the ones involving sequencing of genes.

  28. 1. How was the textbook? Would you choose another? What about “Essential Cell Biology“?
    I found the textbook to be a bit tedious. They went into too much detail and actually ended up confusing me. I was able to highlight the main points of interest but overall it didn’t provide much aid in the midterm. I would much rather read a textbook with more simplistic terminology or with better understandings of their explanations.
    2. What would you change about the class? Why?
    I enjoy a more hands on type of class. I enjoyed when you got the students involved and actually gave us a visual play of how mechanisms work. I would also recommend a possible outline for the midterm so we can have a better understanding of what to focus on. Also, being consistent with when you post the online assignments. It was difficult at times to keep up with them especially when the syllabus kept changing.
    3. What would you keep? Why?
    I would keep the blog questions. It was a great way to improve our writing and interpreting skills and keep in contact with our fellow peers because we all share a common major.
    4. Did you find the papers useful?
    Yes, extremely useful. Even though some of them were a bit difficult to comprehend at first glance but with further interpretation, it really expanded my use of language and description.
    5. Did you find the peer comments useful?
    Yes, I enjoyed getting feedback from my fellow peers especially since they are experiencing the same assignments as I am.
    6. Did you find the writing center sessions useful?
    I feel that the Writing Center sessions should be more for other majors because it’s difficult for a person to critique a scientific paper and not understand what they are reading especially with the terminology we are exposed to.
    7. What topics would you like to hear more about?
    Genetic testing’s on cancer and genetic disorders of common concern in our world today.
    8. What topics would you like to hear less about?
    There really wasn’t anything I found excessively talked about.

  29. I thought the textbook was just alright, it was very descriptive but a little difficult to understand at times. I liked the teaching style but it would have beneficial to have the powerpoints to look at and study from. I thought most of the papers were interesting and the built upon the fundamentals of toxicology. The peer comments made me read what others were writing, which taught me more about the topic. I thought that was beneficial. I found the writing center useful, the people in the writing center had a lot of positive comments and constructive criticism. I liked all of the material leaned in class, except for the chapter about the different geneotyping/cloning tests. Though overall, I enjoyed the class and it went more into depth of things I have learned in the past. Thanks!

  30. In the beginning of the course, when I began to read the textbook, I thought that it would be really complicated. As I started to read the starting chapters, I noticed that it was relatively easy. Having taken note in lecture, the material all made sense. Nevertheless, after the finals, the chapter began to become more difficult where lengthy explanations and advanced vocabulary began to be used. I would have to reread many of the paragraphs in order to understand a point that they were trying to make. Fortunately, the lectures and papers helped me to understand most lessons of the course. I would advise any future students to take notes during the lecture and to read all of the papers.
    What I would have changed about the class is quizzes every 2 or 3 classes in order to know that we have been reading the material and ensure that we understand all of the main points of the lectures. I personally think this would be a great way to allow students to learn and to add more points to the overall grade. If students do well, they will be confident in the class, and if they do badly, they know what they will have to study for to guarantee mastery of the course. Aside from augmenting confidence in students, this would also secure attendance of all students.
    I would keep the comments. This was the first class that I have ever taken that has had a writing aspect and I feel that the comments allowed me to gain confidence in my writing. It has also managed to make me a better writer, allowing me to expand on my creativeness and add a scientific aspect to all of my pieces of writing.
    The papers have added a great aspect to this class. The papers allowed me to expand on my knowledge of diseases. It turned out that the diseases that I thought I knew much about, I did not know much at all. The papers in this class allowed me to see the cause of every disease and the uses of Toxigenomics in life. I hope to learn more about other diseases during my medical career.
    The peer comments were useful. They helped me step back and correct some of my writing. Hearing good reviews of you writing helps you to feel satisfaction from the accomplishment. It also helps to see if any more detail is needed, a very important aspect in any form of writing.
    It took me a while to get to the writing center, mainly because of my busy schedule. Even though I only went there once and towards the end of the semester, I feel that the session really helped. Jordan helped me to see some of my grammatical mistakes, but also gave me positive feedback on my writing. I came to her to ask her if she saw any improvement in my writing, because I saw substantial progress. She told me that she could definitely saw the improvement and that I would do fine on the final.
    The topic that I would like to hear more about is the brain. I find the brain very interesting, so much that I hope to become a neurosurgeon one day. The first lab of the semester, where we experimented with neuronal rat cells was such a great lab. It really spiked my interest for this class.
    The topic that I would like to hear less about is the gene expression process. I know that this is an essential procedure that must be known by all students in this class, but it seemed very repetitious. It seems as though every class the gene expression process seemed to come up in every topic discussed. This is something that most of us if not all of us know, so I did not feel the need for the topic to keep being mentioned.

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