Teaching Mammalogy in the 21st century: advances in undergraduate education.

E. Flaherty, H. C. Lanier, J. Varner, Jennifer Duggan, S. Beckmann, C. J. Yahnke, L. P. Erb, L. E. Patrick, L. Dizney, K. E. Munroe, P. K. Connors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the past 30 years, leaders in undergraduate education have called for transformations in science pedagogy to reflect the process of science as well as to develop professional skills, apply new and emerging technologies, and to provide more hands-on experience. These recommendations suggest teaching strategies that incorporate active learning methods that consistently increase learning, conceptual understanding, integration of subject knowledge with skill development, retention of undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors, and inclusivity. To gain insight into current practices and pedagogy we surveyed members of the American Society of Mammalogists in 2021. The survey consisted of both fixed-response questions (e.g., multiple-choice or Likert-scale) and open-ended questions, each of which asked instructors about the structure and content of a Mammalogy or field Mammalogy course. In these courses, we found that lecturing was still a primary tool for presenting course content or information (⁠x¯x¯= 65% of the time); nonetheless, most instructors reported incorporating other teaching strategies ranging from pausing lectures for students to ask questions to incorporating active learning methods, such as debates or case studies. Most instructors reported incorporating skill development and inclusive teaching practices, and 64% reported that they perceived a need to change or update their Mammalogy courses or their teaching approaches. Overall, our results indicate that Mammalogy instructors have a strong interest in training students to share their appreciation for mammals and are generally engaged in efforts to increase the effectiveness of their teaching through the incorporation of more student-centered approaches to teaching and learning.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)655-666
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Mammalogy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 7 2023


  • Mammalogy
  • active learning
  • inclusive teaching
  • pedagogy


  • Science and Mathematics Education

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