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University of Rhode Island — Animal & Veterinary Science
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AVS 500 - Instructional Methods in Life Science
Course Information

Professor: Dr. Anthony Mallilo
Semester: Fall
Credits: 2
Prerequisites: Graduate standing or permission of instructor for senior undergraduate.

Catalog Description: Organization and development of instructional material and teaching methods for graduate teaching assistants in the life sciences. Emphasis on practice presentation in classroom/lab setting.

Course Goals & Outcomes

By the end of the semester students will learn to:

  • Articulate and communicate information in a clear and concise manner appropriate for the particular audience
  • Prepare a lecture and a laboratory on a topic within the field
  • Use teaching tools that may be instrumental in effectively teaching the information being covered, i.e. demonstration, PowerPoint, projector, video
  • Create an effective style of class presentation
  • Have confidence and composure when speaking in front of an audience
Course Syllabus

Class Topics

  • Learning theory and motivation - "How do we learn"
  • Preparing a lesson/laboratory plan
  • Develop measurable objectives - "You need a map to get where you're going"
  • Instructional methods: lecture, brainstorm, demonstration, group dynamics, debate, etc. - "Which to use and when to use it"
  • Available resources
  • Testing and grading
  • Diverse populations
  • Student presentations

Grades will be based on the following criteria:

  • Assignments
  • Lecture (developed and taught)
  • Demonstration/lab (developed and taught)
  • Attendance and participation
About The Professor

Anthony Mallilo, Ph.D.
Professor, Animal Science

University of Rhode Island
Department of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science
16 Woodward Hall
Kingston, RI 02881
Office: (401)874-4658
Fax: (401)874-7575

Dr. Mallilo is an invaluable member of the Animal Science department. Aside from teaching his many classes during the regular and summer academic sessions, Dr. Mallilo advises all Animal Science majors. Beginning freshman year, students within the major make numerous advising appointments with Dr. Mallilo and he is able to help them map their progression through the department and the university. Dr. Mallilo also organizes Experiential Learning Laboratories (ELL) at the university's Peckham Farm to help non-majors get a taste of what it means to be an animal scientist.


  • B. S., West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
  • M. S., West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
  • Ph.D., Penn State University, University Park, PA
Reasons To Take This Course

"I took this class as a first-year graduate student. Although I was pretty nervous about it at first (class presentations used to be the projects I dreaded the most!), it turned out to be well worth the initial anxiety. Ever since this course, I have been more relaxed and more confident during presentations in other courses and I think this has ultimately made my presentations better." - Lily

"I really did not know what to expect when I signed up for the class. I thought that it would be another class where I sit, listen, take notes and show what I learned by a written exam. Not at all. After a few weeks of instructions and lecturing, we taught the class! I was able to get comfortable teaching in front of my peers. It can be intimidating to try and sound intelligent and professional in front of your peers, but since everyone had to do it, the pressure was somewhat relieved. Anyone who is potentially thinking about attending graduate school on assistantship should definitely take this course. Even if you are not thinking about grad school, this class will build your confidence as you take the role as the teacher." - Beth

"I feel much more confident in my instructional techniques after taking this course. I felt that the constructive criticism you receive from fellow students is invaluable. The course is what you want to make it. The first few sessions review basic instructional methods and background information and then each student is allowed to choose their own topics to teach to their peers. Therefore, the class is always different and you get to learn a lot about things about subjects you may never formally study. One word of advice to students who plan to take the course - Don't wait until the last minute to construct your teaching plan! It reflects during the presentation." - Darcie

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