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The Curriculum = IRIS

IRIS = Integrated Reflection and Inquiry in the Sciences


With IRIS, students are engaged in the scientific process throughout their tenure at Augustana.

Deep learning of the science of biology is fostered through intentional reflection and gaining fundamental skills related to independent learning, accessing information, and communication.

IRIS Coursework

Year 1 / Becoming Biologists BIOL150 / A seminar for first-year students that provides opportunities to begin thinking and working as a biologist / Students generate hypotheses based on problem/data sets collected from real experiments conducted by biology faculty

Years 1-4 / core and upper level classes where students work more rigorously with the scientific method / students reflect more deeply about their growth as a person and future as a biologist

Year 4 / "Senior Inquiry" (see below) / Seniors work more rigorously than ever before with the scientific process that brings synthesis to their time as a biology student

Course Options in Senior Inquiry

Course Name Course Description Recent Classes
Biology Literature BIOL464 Students develop a research question and complete an extensive literature search on a topic related to a specific area of focus, culminating in a formal report.

Winter Biology, Conservation Biology, Epigenetics, Comparative Anatomy, Bird Conservation

Intensive Lab or Field Research BIOL465

Students participate in a laboratory/field research project under the direction of an Augustana faculty mentor that includes data collection, analysis, and summarizing results in a technical report. Research in Field Biology, Molecular Genetics
Off Campus Research BIOL466 Completed in summer immediately preceding the senior year. Students participate in a lab/field research project as part of an 8-10 week research program at another institution. As with BIOL465, students collect data and summarize results in consultation with the advising coordiantor and institution. Texas Medical Center Internships


The Biology Learning ePortfolio

Biology Learning ePortfolio Each student will develop an online portfolio, "The Biology Learning ePortfolio", which captures the scope, richness, and relevance of their intellectual and personal development during their time at Augustana College. The ePortfolio will help students understand the process of learning and in finding creative ways to articulate who they are as students and future professionals.

Indeed, students will display what they have learned about biology and themselves, and, borrowing from the words of the Augustana Mission Statement, students will demonstrate that they are prepared for a life of leadership and service in our complex, ever-changing world.