Teaching Cell Signaling


Teaching Cell Signaling

Invitation to participate

Sep 1 2006 7:16AM

STKE Editors

The STKE editors launch this forum as a platform for those who teach lectures on topics related to cell signaling for sharing ideas and suggestions for effective teaching. STKE provides a variety of materials for teaching and explaining issues in cell signaling as part of the Teaching Resources section of the site. If you have used a particular resource in that section and would like to describe the topic of the class and how you used the Teaching Resource, please feel free to submit a comment here or a comment associated with the specific Teaching Resource you used.

We have started the discussion with a few topics to which you may contribute, or you are free to start a new topic in the discussion.

Where can you find online resources for teaching topics in cell signaling?

Sep 1 2006 7:35AM

STKE Editors

Visit the Educator Sites section of ST on the Web in the Resources section of STKE to find brief descriptions of sites that have been reviewed by the STKE Editors. Additionally, browse or search the Teaching Resources at STKE for lecture materials, animations, online courses, and assessment tools for teaching various topics in cell signaling.

Submit a comment here to let fellow teachers know of sites that you have found that are especially useful. These can be sites with information for the students or with information or tools for lecture or laboratory preparation.

Teaching complex topics and difficult concepts

Sep 1 2006 7:55AM

STKE Editors

What are some of the topics in cell signaling that your students find most challenging and what strategies have you used to explain these concepts?

What resources have you found that enable your students to reach better understanding and how have you assessed their understanding and knowledge?

For example, the dynamic nature of biological processes and cell signaling events can be especially difficult to explain with static images. Animations can be especially helpful in reinforcing the concept of translocation of cellular signaling components from one compartment to another to mediate the cellular response. A few of the animated Teaching Resources available at STKE are listed below.


Many other animations for illustrating dynamic signaling events are available in the Teaching Resource Archive at STKE.

One of the key skills students need to acquire to become effective scientists is the ability to communicate scientific information verbally and in written documents in a clear, concise, and accurate manner. Share what types of assignments you have used to teach students how to communicate scientific information and results effectively.

A Teaching Resource by Adler and Gough describes several options for assessing student laboratory performance, each of which reinforces a different aspect of effective scientific communication.

Science's Education Forum

Sep 6 2006 11:11AM

Pamela J. Hines

Science's Education Forum, published in the last issue of every month, provides a voice for the community interested in the multifaceted world of science education and the science of education. This project continues into 2007, and we continue to seek high-quality articles about science education. Please see the Education Forum for author instructions and for links to the articles already published. Articles may be submitted at www.submit2science.org.

Pamela J. Hines, Ph.D., Senior Editor, SCIENCE (September 2006).

What should a class or course in cell signaling include?

Sep 1 2006 8:10AM

STKE Editors

For instructors that are just starting a new faculty position and teaching for the first time, one of the hardest parts can be creating the course syllabus and deciding what is the essential information the students should know at the end of the semester or course. Share your experiences and opinions regarding what you consider the core concepts in cell signaling.

What lectures should be included in an undergraduate or graduate cell signaling course or cell signaling section of a course?

What primary reference materials, labs, or textbooks do you find most useful?

See Iyengar et al. for a syllabus for the course-- "Cell Signaling Systems: A Course for Graduate Students". Most lectures from that course are also available as lecture notes for preparing similar lectures. Other types of resources may include thought experiments (see Adler or Adler and Schwartz) or undergraduate laboratory exercises (see Adler et al.).

If you have Teaching Resources that you would like to submit to Science's STKE, send the editors a feedback with a brief description of the resources you would like to contribute. If you prefer to simply share suggestions, please send a response to this forum.

Using primary literature (journal clubs)

Sep 1 2006 9:13AM

STKE Editors

Teaching students how to critically assess the primary literature is an important aspect of teaching science, especially for upper-level undergraduate students and graduate students. One way to help students become skilled at both reading and presenting scientific information is to use a journal club format as part of a course in cell signaling. Students may either choose articles (subject to instructor approval) or be assigned articles to discuss. Then, one class or a portion of each class period could be allocated to student presentations of the assigned article and discussion. Students may "grade" each other on the clarity of presenting the information. Students may also provide a written response to a set of questions. There are multiple ways to incorporate the primary literature into a class. Share how you have done it successfully.

The STKE forum Principles of Cell Signaling and Biological Consequences describes one journal club and contains an example of an online student discussion for another. The Teaching Resource by Weinstein describes a student assignment based on primary literature related to microRNA and includes the article to assign, questions for discussion, criteria for assessment, and sample student responses.

Feel free to simply suggest articles for a specific topic or provide comments about your experiences in using the primary literature in teaching topics in cell signaling by responding to this forum. If you would like to contribute a primary literature assignment for inclusion in the Teaching Resources, send the editors a feedback message with a brief description.

Using primary literature (Journal clubs)

Sep 5 2006 1:11PM

STKE Editors

”This Week in Signal Transduction” includes short summaries of the hottest new papers in the signaling literature, providing a great resource for students in search of articles to present in Journal Clubs oriented toward cell signaling.