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Tony Farrell

Tony Farrell is a career writer whose articles on health, education, parenting, and culture have appeared in newspapers, magazines, and books across the US.

Discovering Antibiotics: A Microbiology Lab Where Students Take the Lead

Dr. Lauren Klabonski’s Microbiology lab gives undergraduates a chance to drive research with lifesaving potential.

3 Extra Credit Assignments Your Students Will Actually Want to Do

To introduce chemistry students to new research, Dr. Ellen Matson uses extra-credit assignments with fun foci: Web surfing, live events, and Twitter.

5 Ways to Add High-Level Research to Upper-Level Biology

Biology labs can be downplayed—but not for Phyllis Freeman, PhD. Here is how she makes sure students experience labs as integral to their learning.

Teach TAs the ABCs of Classroom Presentation: Accuracy, Brevity, and Clarity

Even the most enthusiastic teaching assistants may not know how to be engaging speakers. Biology professor Dr. Chuck Welsh offers them these tips.

5 Teaching Tweaks to Make the Most of Mastery-Based Learning

To help underrepresented students succeed in organic chemistry, Dwight Williams, PhD, switched up more than his grading approach.

4 Creative Biome Projects to Jazz Up Introductory Bio

Ciara Reyes-Ton, PhD, teaches biology with an artistic twist, having students write songs, invent creatures, and play Survivor in class.

It (Could Be) Alive! A Create-a-New-Organism Project for Intro Bio

After teaching students the building blocks of life, Dr. Allison Stamatis puts them in a fun role: that of a Dr. Frankenstein (of sorts).

Use “Virtual Drug Screenings” to Make Undergrads Think Like Scientists

Stephanie Maiden, PhD, provides pharmacology students with a project mimicking real-world drug development. No lab required!

Bring History to Life with a Playlist Project

This professor helps students gain a deeper understanding of history by having them dive deep into the music of the past 100 years.

Storytelling in Science: 7 Tips for Turning a Textbook into an Epic Tale

Dr. Samar Abedrabbo shares a collection of innovative ideas for using the power of narrative to engage biology students.

March MATHness: Applying Statistics to College Sports Brackets

Math professor Tim Chartier, PhD, uses the annual college basketball competition to show students how to use data to predict outcomes.

Exam Wrappers (with a Twist): 3 Steps to Assess Study Habits

Jutta Heller, PhD, shares her before-during-after exam wrappers, which help her biology students improve their test prep.

Bringing Biology to Life with Art: 4 Creative Ways to Engage Students

From unusual icebreakers to cupcake sculptures, biology professor Jennifer D. Robison, PhD, gives students artistic license to learn.

Make Math Lovable with Sudoku, Secret Codes, and Teamwork

Agnes Rash, PhD, eases math anxiety with in-class activities that make failure fun, while building teamwork and strategic thinking.

Q&A: Are Bioscience Courses Prepping Students for Employment?

David Rivers, PhD, is challenging the old biology-to-med-school path to help students explore all career opportunities in the sciences. 

Tape a Heart on the Floor … and Other Circulatory System Exercises

To better teach the anatomy and physiology of the heart, Caycee Creamer, MS, uses VARK (visual, aural, read/write, and kinesthetic) tactics.

The Unfaithful Lion: How to Use Storylines to Make Science Enticing

Biology instructor Jason Crean, MS Bio, EdD, weaves semester-long stories to immerse students in the deep science of genetics, evolution, and interdependence.

Q&A: Meet A Real-Life “Spider Woman” Who Makes Cell Biology Less Scary

To bring the mysteries of cytogenetics to life, Dr. Leocadia Paliulis has her students capture their own specimens—especially spiders.

Oral Assessments: How and Why They Are Worth the Time

When Dr. Martin St. Maurice replaced written tests with oral exams, he gained new insight into his biology students—and built stronger bonds.

6 Secrets for Post-Exam Reviews in a Stadium-Size Course

After students turned against him in a post-exam review, biology instructor Dr. Michael Moore experimented with these new approaches to improve results.

Guess That Pathogen: A Fun Game of Case Studies and Role-Play

To help undergraduate students begin to think (and act) like medical professionals, Dr. Aimee Hollander uses role-play—and buzzers.

How a “Study-Partner Attitude” Removes Common Barriers to Learning

Biology professor Dr. Mikhail Khoretonenko shares how he defeats common student stressors, including costs, tests, and conflicting schedules.

Virtual Volcanoes and More: Using Past Data to Predict Earth’s Future

To help environmental science students analyze the past and forecast with data, Dr. Stephen MacAvoy turns to carbon storage, volcanoes, and ice cores.

4 Ways to Enhance Scientific Learning with Art

Genetics professor Dr. Ahna Skop uses assignments that teach effective visual communication of science.

5 Times to Try Old-School Teaching Alongside Digital Formats

Biology lecturer Dr. Shereen Sabet shares her views on the pitfalls of modern teaching trends and when traditional methods can be more beneficial.

5 Writing Exercises to Engage Science Students

Iona Baldridge, EdD, advocates creative prompts to build critical thinking among biology students, using a low-stakes Q&A, a 27-line paper, and more.

8 Ways to Help Freshmen Outsmart the “Forgetting Curve”

Holly Greiner-Hallman, MS, a special lecturer in biology, structures her courses to help freshmen retain as much classroom learning as possible.

Online Students Crave Connection: This Business-World Tool Can Help

To get virtually face-to-face with her distance learners, accounting professor Jamie Seitz, DBA, introduces Zoom, a tool they might use in their careers.

Flipped-ish: Praise (and Tips) for High-Structure Course Design

Flipped classrooms are fine, but chemist Dr. Justin Shaffer adds a bit more structure to ensure that learners do their part outside of class.

Use Argument-Driven Inquiry (and Caffeine) to Spark Interest in Labs

Dr. Bethany Melroe Lehrman uses a sequential group-learning approach—and a lab on caffeinated beverages—to add zing to her chemistry class.

6 Class-Time Tweaks That Move Students Beyond Memorization

Brad Richardson, MBA, adjusted his lectures, class discussions, and other classroom elements to teach students biology concepts—and better ways to learn them.

Q&A: A Former Biotech SVP Shares What Science Students Lack

Former cancer researcher and biotech manager Dr. Timothy Veenstra brings working-world experience—and expectations—to students seeking a science career.

Make Ethics Real by Sharing Your Life Lessons

Dr. Erinn Tucker helps hospitality students prep for complex cultural conundrums by role-playing her own lived experiences.

Q&A: A Dialogue-Education Expert’s Tips on Teaching Open-Mindedness

To foster inclusive thinking in government accounting students, Antonette McCaster, MBA, CPA, uses a blend of teamwork and self-reflection.

Build Essential CPA Skills with a Modified Monopoly Game

Dr. Rania Mousa has turned this money-based board game into an activity that is proven to forge real-world accounting skills.

Fuel an Open Mind with International Food Day

Carrie Awadzi, EdD, uses the age-old ritual of breaking bread to help students appreciate cultures and perspectives different from their own.

5 Tips for Using Instagram to Improve Student Engagement

A special Instagram account helps Christie Novak, DBA, CPA, connect with her accounting students—and gives learning a whole new look.

Add Value to Economics Class with Mind-Blowing Data

Michael Eaton, JD, sheds light on today's financial markets by sharing surprising historical narratives and the tricky side of reporting statistics.

6 Tips for Using POGIL in a Stadium-Seating Course

Dr. Naina Phadnis uses a technique called Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) to make massive biology classes easier to follow—and pass.

Teach Intro to Theatre with Shocking Scripts and 3-D Art

G. “Max” Maxin, MFA, gives students a proper intro to theatre with a design inspiration project that requires thought, research, and sometimes a glue gun.

How to Enrich the Research Experience of Transfer Students

Transfer students can be a step behind in terms of conducting scientific research. Katelyn Cooper, PhD, co-runs an ASU program to help them leap ahead.

Boost Theatre Appreciation: Help Nonmajors Put on an Original Show

Sarah J. Fabian, MFA, takes students behind the scenes to show them the amount of work and skill that goes into a play.

6 Actions to Help Students Develop a Growth Mindset

Dr. Kimberly Mulligan shares her adaptation of the DAPPS goal-setting system that helps biology students see—and seek—their own potential.

Turn Students into Museum Pros to Spark Interest in Local History

By partnering with the surrounding community, Dr. Sarah Scripps creates opportunities for students to create actual museum exhibits on local history.

Prep Social Work Students for Research with a Proposal-Writing Project

Christopher Shar, PhD, MSW, immerses students of social work in a research skills class that helps them become smarter consumers of research.

Build Critical-Thinking Skills by Examining Popular Health Claims

To help her biology students separate fact from fiction, Brigitte Morin, MS, has them compare notes from popular media versus evidence-based research.

A Life-and-Death Experience: 3 Positive Writing Prompts on Dying

Professor Patrick Ashwood, PhD, challenges sociology students’ perspectives on death by helping them explore history, culture, and their own assumptions.

Use Blogs, YouTube, and TED Talks to Help Refine Students’ Digital Presence

This professor helps MBA students enhance their digital presence with assignments that produce clickable, shareable materials.

Look for Leadership Qualities in News Headlines

To flesh out textbook principles on management, Stefanie Wilson, DM, has students look for leaders—good and bad—in the media.

6 Tactics from Business Leaders to Boost Student Engagement

Immunology Professor Dante Descalzi-Montoya has student engagement down to a science, thanks to business-style background checks, work-review check-ins, and more.

Free Your Class from Cell Phones—Without Making Threats

Biology professor Eric Rubenstein, PhD, has some strong feelings about the problems with tech in the classroom—and a clever solution that students love.

Introduce Best Practices in Business with a Peer-Driven Group Project

Susan Schanne, MA, builds business skills with a 30-page group paper—complete with lessons in grammar, research, teamwork, and grounds for dismissal.

5 Assessment Tricks That Inspire Deeper Learning

Organic chemistry professor Dr. Stephen Branz shares simple tweaks to quizzes and extra credit that boost motivation—and success.

11 Steps to Help Students Conduct Effective Research Surveys

Dr. Jerrod Penn shows his agricultural economics students how to use cold facts and human behavior to craft a survey that provides useful results.

5 Ways to Turn Online Courses into Two-Way Conversations

By taking advantage of modern technologies, Dr. Marie Mallory offers distance learners more face-time than they would get in some on-campus classes.

A Writing Pro’s Tips on Building an Online Writer’s Workshop—for Any Major

Professional writing consultant Theresa Stevens helps students of all majors turn a headful of ideas into a clearheaded research paper.

Jump-Start Students’ Writing by Reverse Engineering the Thesis Statement

To circumvent writer’s block, students engage in a variety of creative approaches to reading, annotation, and analysis—then start on their thesis.

Bring Complex Math Down to Earth with Real-World Examples

Using visual modeling and some helpful computer programs and platforms, this professor brings differential equations into clear focus.

Create Team-Driven Chefs with Community-Focused Instruction

This professor of the culinary arts prepares future chefs for the real world by emphasizing teamwork—and the in-class community—over individual egos.

Help Students Bridge Cultural Gaps Starting with Identity Pie Charts

This professor pushes her students to proclaim their true selves—and step into unfamiliar worlds—to overcome cultural misunderstandings.

Teach Investment Theory with Real-Time Stock Trading

Using an online stock-trading simulation helps students put theory into practice—with a safety net. The payoff for top performers? A grade boost.

Build Community by Sharing Language Stories

Students build Spanish and English speaking skills—and intercultural awareness—when they trade life stories in the community.

Teach Holistic Thinking with a Five-Senses Lab

Reading medicine labels is a good start, but this professor shows students that there is more to being a pharmacist than meets the eye.

Use Real-World Work to Improve Student Expertise

A collegiate competition is giving this Washington College professor the chance to immerse his marketing students in real-world agency life.

Increase Creativity with Progressive Relaxation Exercises

This architecture professor has adopted a practice that helps students from multiple disciplines tap into their creative minds and generate new ideas.

Inspire Future Teachers to Be Agents of Equality

By examining historic primary documents and modern-day pedagogy, aspiring educators learn how to promote educational excellence for all.

Tackle Real-World Business Decisions in the Classroom

Analyzing data, metrics, and consumer habits gets real—and really easy to understand—when students serve as actual business consultants.

Draw Out Students’ Best Work with a “Contract for B”

For students writing and revising a semester-long research paper, the promise of a minimum grade of B can shift their focus from grades to effort.

Unlock Student Potential with “T-Teaching”

This botanist has a growth mindset when it comes to adapting his approach to suit each student's needs. Here is how he digs deep to find out what they need.

Keep Students on Track with a Range of Grading Strategies

By midterms, it can be too late to course-correct. This professor uses high- and low-stakes grading—and other approaches—to identify problems early.

Identify Unique Strengths with a Multiple Intelligences Test

This former public school teacher shows future educators how to adapt quickly to meet the needs of each student’s unique learning style.

Strengthen English Composition Skills with a Lesson in Tattoos

This professor helps English composition students form and support strong opinions by considering how body art reflects the human experience.

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