James Gober, Ph.D.
Chemistry & Biochemistry
Science Faculty Integrate Smartphone Technology into Instructional Materials
Dr. Jim Gober, a Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, studies developmental biology using the model system, Caulobacter crescentus. The developmental program of this bacterium encounters a number of differentiation events during the cell cycle, including the generation of asymmetry, differential transcription, and the execution of positional information.
In addition to being an accomplished research scientist, Dr. Gober is a champion of undergraduate education. He teaches Biochemistry 153L (Biochemical Methods I), a laboratory course that introduces science majors to fundamental techniques in molecular biology and biochemistry. Recently charged to redesign this course, Dr. Gober embraced the principles of backwards design described in CEILS active learning workshops and created a laboratory experience based in inquiry, with each laboratory experiment driven by specific learning outcomes. To ensure students were prepared to perform the technical requirements of each experiment, and ask relevant questions for steps they did not understand, Dr. Gober introduced QR Codes in the Laboratory Manual, enabling students to rapidly and easily link the assigned readings to online videos describing various techniques. Students need only scan the QR code with their smart phones or tablets and relevant websites pop up immediately. So Dr. Gober is embracing the technology his students use everyday for learner-centered instructional purposes, allowing students to view their lessons anywhere!
Dr. Gober’s commitment to improving undergraduate education goes beyond the classroom. In addition to teaching and mentoring student, Dr. Gober currently serves as the Chair of theUndergraduate Council, a committee charged with making policy decisions in undergraduate education at UCLA.