Course Dossier – Controlling the Brain

Controlling the Brain: Scientific, Therapeutic, and Ethical Implications of New Neurotechnologies

Course Syllabus


This PowerPoint was from our second lesson of the course.

Things that students liked:
1. The one-minute write1 at the beginning of class was helpful in getting students to recall what we talked about during our previous lesson
2. Reviewing challenging homework questions by using direct responses from students’ work
3. Collaborating during the Gallery Walk2 exercise
4. Working together in small groups to digest figures and information from a scientific article3. This was a modification of a Figure Facts4 style activity. For more details, see the Example In Class Worksheet in the section below.

Things to improve for future classes:
1. The responses the students provided to the gallery walk were not what I expected, likely due to my instruction. Therefore, for future gallery walks, I will emphasize instructions with the intention to be more creative, high-level thinking.
2. Especially in classes with non-majors, I learned to have – what my mentor Becca Price referred to as – “pocket questions”. While working through the questions about the long-term study about DBS, the students worked at very different rates. Some groups finished quickly whereas others worked at a slower pace. To give myself time to help those students working at a slower pace, I would keep a list of thought-provoking questions to pose to students who finished their work to discuss among themselves. This would allow me to be available to students who were still working.

1. Stead, D. R., (2005) A review of the one-minute paper. Active Learning in Higher Education. Vol 6(2): 118-131
3. Hitti et al., (2020) Long-term outcomes following deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease. Journal of Neurosurgery, 132:205-210
4. Round and Campbell (2017). Figure Facts: Encouraging Undergraduates to Take a Data-Centered Approach to Reading Primary Literature. CBE—Life Sciences Education Vol. 12, 39–46, Spring 2013

Example In-Class Worksheet

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Final Project Assignment and sample student posters

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Final Student Evaluations

What is your biggest takeaway from this course?


What did you learn the most from this course?

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