GMS 7950 – Fundamentals of Biomedical Science Education

Fall 2020 Semester

Tuesdays, periods 8-9, 3:00-4:55 pm, Zoom

Course Director:  Wayne T. McCormack, Ph.D., CG-72K, 294-8334,

Catalog Description:  Overview of educational issues faced by biomedical scientists teaching at the undergraduate, graduate, and/or professional level.  Practical guidelines most relevant for beginning biomedical science educators, e.g. teaching skills & strategies and the underlying theory of learning & teaching.

Course Overview:  Biomedical scientists are trained during graduate school and postdoctoral studies to be researchers.  However, those who pursue academic career tracks are also expected to teach, and are often not well prepared for this faculty assignment.  This elective course provides an overview of educational issues faced by biomedical scientists teaching at the undergraduate, graduate, and/or professional level.  The goal of the course is to familiarize biomedical science graduate students interested in pursuing academic career tracks with techniques that are the most relevant for beginning teachers, e.g. teaching skills & strategies and the underlying theory of learning and teaching.  The course will use a variety of teaching formats modeling teaching behaviors, and will provide practical guidelines for a variety of teaching skills.


Date Session Instructor
1 Tue, Sep 1 Meeting a Class For the First Time W. McCormack
2 Listening to Learn, Teach, and Lead W. McCormack
3 Tue, Sep 8 Countdown to Course Preparation W. McCormack
4 Communication Skills W. McCormack
5 Tue, Sep 15 Introduction to Principles of Adult Education W. McCormack
6 How to Make Lectures More Effective W. McCormack
7 Tue, Sep 22 Facilitating Discussion W. McCormack
8 Group-Based Learning W. McCormack
11 Tue, Sep 29 Team-Based Learning (part 1) W. McCormack
12 Team-Based Learning (part 2) W. McCormack
13 Tue, Oct 6 Assessing, Testing, & Evaluation W. McCormack
14 The ABC’s of Grading W. McCormack
15 Tue, Oct 13 Teaching as Scholarship W. McCormack
16 Lifelong Learning (For the Teacher, Too!) W. McCormack
17 Tue, Oct 20 Supporting Students TBA
18 Teaching Online TBA
19 Tue, Oct 27 Practice Presentations
20 Practice Presentations
21 Tue, Nov 3 Practice Presentations
22 Practice Presentations
23 Tue, Nov 10 Student Presentation
24 Student Presentation
25 Tue, Nov 17 Student Presentation
26 Student Presentation
27 Tue, Nov 24 Student Presentation
28 Student Presentation
29 Tue, Dec 1 Student Presentation
30 Student Presentation
31 Tue, Dec 8 Course Debriefing W. McCormack

Required Text

“McKeachie’s Teaching Tips – Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers” by Marilla D. Svinicki & Wilbert J. McKeachie, 14th edition, Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2014.

Sample Topics for Student Presentations:

You may choose any topic related to teaching and learning that is not already addressed.  First come, first served!

Please get approval for your topic by Monday, September 28th.

  1. Problem-Based Learning or Case-Based Learning
  2. Ethics in Teaching – The Teacher’s Responsibilities
  3. What to Do About Cheating
  4. Problem Students (There’s Almost Always at Least One!)
  5. Learning Through Writing (High Stakes & Low Stakes)
  6. Motivating Students To Learn
  7. Teaching Culturally Diverse Students
  8. Laboratory Instruction
  9. Teaching Values: Should We? Can We?
  10. Web-based teaching platforms
  11. Teaching by Distance Education
  12. Application of learning theories or learning styles
  13. Teaching Critical Thinking
  14. Approaches to Curriculum Planning


30% Attendance
20% Peer evaluation of your contributions to faculty-led sessions
50% Student presentations (to be assessed by peers & faculty)

Grading Rubric:

A   90-100       B   80-82         C   70-72         D   60-62

A-  87-89         B-  77-79         C-  67-69         F   <60

B+ 83-86         C+ 73-76         D+ 63-66

Grades will be assigned in a manner consistent with UF policy.

Attendance:  Attendance and participation are expected for all scheduled sessions.  Absences for illness, family emergencies, etc. will be excused per university policy (  Depending on the session missed, makeup assignments may be made.  Planned absences, such as for a conference or extramural training, may be excused, but you must notify the course director in advance.  Depending on the session(s) missed, you may be asked to complete a makeup assignment or assessment either before or after your trip.

Accommodations for Students with DisabilitiesStudents with disabilities who experience learning barriers and would like to request academic accommodations should connect with the disability Resource Center by visiting It is important for students to share their accommodation letter with their instructor and discuss their access needs, as early as possible in the semester.

Course Evaluation Process:  Students are expected to provide professional and respectful feedback on the quality of instruction in this course by completing course evaluations online via GatorEvals.  Guidance on how to give feedback in a professional and respectful manner is available at  Students will be notified when the evaluation period opens, and can complete evaluations through the email they receive from GatorEvals, in their Canvas course menu under GatorEvals, or via  Summaries of course evaluation results are available to students at

Academic Honesty:  UF students are bound by The Honor Pledge which states, “We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honor and integrity by abiding by the Honor Code. On all work submitted for credit by students at the University of Florida, the following pledge is either required or implied: “On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment.” The Honor Code ( specifies a number of behaviors that are in violation of this code and the possible sanctions. Furthermore, you are obligated to report any condition that facilitates academic misconduct to appropriate personnel. If you have any questions or concerns, please consult with the instructor.

Health & Wellness

U Matter, We Care:  If you or someone you know is in distress, please contact, 352-392-1575, or visit to refer or report a concern and a team member will reach out to the student in distress.

Counseling and Wellness Center:  Visit or call 352-392-1575 for information on crisis services as well as non-crisis services.

Student Health Care Center:  Call 352-392-1161 for 24/7 information to help you find the care you need, or visit

University Police Department:  Visit or call 352-392-1111 (or 9-1-1 for emergencies).

UF Health Shands Emergency Room / Trauma Center:  For immediate medical care call 352-733-0111 or go to the emergency room at 1515 SW Archer Road, Gainesville, FL 32608;