Back to top

Learning Goals and Objectives

Teaching by the Entomology Department reflects the broad nature of the departmental mission, ranging from basic aspects of arthropod ecology, morphology, parasitology, physiology, systematics and toxicology to applied subjects in apiculture, agricultural, medical and veterinary pest management.  We offer a wide range of introductory courses aimed at informing and exciting undergraduates about arthropod biology, comprehensive courses for training of undergraduate majors, and advanced course work for outstanding graduate student education. All courses are designed to complement, rather than duplicate, ongoing programs in other departments or divisions at Cornell.

Students studying insects also have a diversity of interests depending upon their career path. Nevertheless, there are common learning goals and objectives that we will help students to achieve through their diverse coursework regardless of their future direction. 

Goals Learning Outcomes How do we assess this ?
To have a working knowledge of mathematics, chemistry and physics Understand principles, ways of thinking, and modes of analysis in chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Grades in college math courses, general and organic chemistry, and introductory physics
To have a working knowledge of statistical methods Be able to design basic statistical analyses and evaluate basic statistical information. Grade in an introductory statistics course
To have hands-on experience with biological research methods and tools Be able to apply and judge the scientific method in conducting inquiry-based research in the laboratory and in the field. Laboratory and field experiments and reports in Entom 2120, 4830, 4550; Reading and discussions in 3310/3311, 3330, 4700, 4710; Problem sets in 4700
To be conversant with scientific literature, especially the literature related to insect biology To have a good understanding of the primary literature in entomology and to be able to critically evaluate information in primary research articles Final papers and projects in Entom 3150, 3311, 4830; Discussion of primary literature in Entom 3070, 3310/3311, 4710, 4830, 4700, 4900
To know and use fundamental concepts and information in several core areas of biology Be able to apply concepts and analytical approaches in evolutionary biology, genetics and two other areas of biology of the student's choice. Grades and performance in core biology classes (e.g., BioG 1500, BioGD 2810, BioEE 2780, BioG 1610, 1440, or 1350).
To understand basic insect biology, as well as natural history and evolutionary relationships of insect orders and families Demonstrate phylogenetic "tree thinking" and be able to categorize insects based on basic ecological, behavioral, morphological, physiological, or developmental attributes. Insect collections in Entom 2120, 3311, 3330; Laboratory exercises in Entom 2120; 3310/3311, 3330; Final project in Entom 3310/3311
To have a deeper understanding of several aspects of the biology of insects To be able to examine insects deeply within a biological level of analysis and compare strategies used by different groups Final papers and projects in Entom 3310/3311, 3330, 4440, 4550, 4630, 4830 (Group A classes)
To appreciate the impact that insects have (both positive and negative) on human society, including human health, agriculture, and the environment Be able to identify the potential impact of different insect species on agriculture, human health, and society in general; to be knowledgeable about potential control strategies Final papers, projects, and grades in Entom 2100, 2410, 3520/3521, 4440, 4630
To explain, critically evaluate, and effectively interpret claims, theories, and assumptions in biology Be able to locate, comprehend and synthesize information important for informed decisions about broader issues in our society Term papers and writing projects in Entom 2011, 2020, 2100, 2150/3150, 4630; In-class discussions in Entom 2150/3150, 2410, 3520, 3070; Debates in 2020, 2011, 2410, 3330, 4630;
Communicate scientific arguments and ideas clearly and explicitly through writing, speech, and graphical media To effectively communicate in written, oral, and graphical form Term papers and writing projects in Entom 2011, 2020, 2100, 2120, 2150/3150, 4630; In-class discussions in Entom 2150/3150, 2410, 3520, 3070; Debates in 2020, 2011, 2410, 3330, 4630; Classroom presentations in 3350