Innovation in a time of crisis: Adapting active learning approaches for remote biology courses

Erin S. Morrison, Eugenia Naro-Maciel, Kevin M. Bonney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The sudden switch from predominantly in-person to remote learning across all levels of education due to the COVID-19 pandemic posed many challenges, including transitioning in-person active learning efforts to an online format. Although active learning has increased student engagement in science, it can be challenging to effectively integrate into remote courses. Adapting in-person classroom approaches to maintain timely and effective communication, provide equitable access to course materials, and encourage class participation in remote environments proved especially difficult for many instructors engaging in remote learning during the pandemic, often for the first time. As instructors of in-person undergraduate introductory biology courses, we present three different solutions developed during the pandemic to address the challenges of adapting an experiential hands-on activity, an interactive lab, and a research project for remote learning. We found that instructors can leverage the flexibility of the online environment and use existing remote tools to expand active learning possibilities and create meaningful classroom connections, even at a distance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Microbiology and Biology Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Innovation in a time of crisis: Adapting active learning approaches for remote biology courses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this