Dr. Klymkowski, (see also this one)

I came across your work after struggling to construct my own inventory of topics essential to introductory biology for biology majors. I am the academic professional responsible for the intro biology sequence at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Since taking over this position I've been trying to improve the sequence for both students and instructors. The common problem is the sheer mass of material to be covered. I have proposed extending our sequence from two to three semesters to allow more time for complex topics, but that proposal hasn't been well received by the department. Instead, the chair suggested I identify which topics are essential and cut the rest. After beginning the inventory on my own, I quailed at the enormity of the task and cast about for a shortcut. Which led me to your Concept Inventory, which in turn led me to your Biofundamentals.

I haven't been through a tenth of the materials you present, but I am already amazed by the work you've done. The text is clear and concise, and the images and tutorials you've chosen are excellent. I've been blundering about for the last few years trying to adapt the textbooks offered to my (often unfocused) vision of how students could best make sense of biology. I've incorporated clickers and more activities, both in-class and online in an effort to break away from the standard lecture-homework-exam model, but now I see how clumsy my efforts have been. I am sorely tempted to direct my students to your website and cease lecturing entirely.

Since I have become fond of receiving regular paychecks, I will probably continue lecturing. I would however, like to make use of some of your materials in my classes. I see that some of your tutorials are links to external sites, but I was particularly taken by the embedded animation of covalent bonding from ChemThink. I've just signed up to the site and can now see more of their stuff, but I don't see how you were able to embed their animation into your page. I'd be very grateful for your technical advice on this and really anything else you might have to pass along. I've been struggling with this course revision for a while now, but your work has re-energized me. If nothing else, thank you very much for that!

Sincerely,
Matthew W. Brewer, PhD
Biology Department
Georgia State University