Diving into the wonderful world of insects—at a distance

Hear from Ronald Batallas Huacon on studying Insect Biology (ENT 220) remotely in Fall 2020.

Katie Willis - 11 August 2020

From a home insect-rearing kit to collecting insects in the comfort of your own backyard, the reimagined coursework and activities for Insect Biology (ENT 220) will provide students with unique, hands-on learning—even from a distance—in Fall 2020.

“This is a new and exciting opportunity to think outside the box and to look for new ways to teach entomology remotely,” explained Ronald Batallas Huacon, instructor and invertebrate lab coordinator in the Department of Biological Sciences. “With more than 1 million known species and many more to be discovered, there is no shortage of knowledge to gain from these fantastic organisms.” 

Batallas Huacon is leading ENT 220 alongside colleagues Maya Evenden, professor of biology, and others. 

The format of ENT 220 has been restructured to include short, asynchronous video lectures, recorded lab demonstrations, and synchronous group work, as well as a variety of do-it-yourself activities to give students hands-on experience in the comfort of their homes. For example, one activity will encourage students to photograph insects in their habitats. Students will then use their self-curated photos in other lab activities in the remainder of the course. Students will also receive an insect-rearing kit, raising insects from tiny eggs in a project that is part of the lab. 

“Who knows? Maybe learning about insects in this way and the function of insects and the sheer diversity of insects will spark in you an interest in entomology that you never knew you had,” said Batallas Huacon. “That happened to me when I first took an entomology course.” 

Hear more about studying ENT 220 in Fall 2020. 

The global COVID-19 pandemic has required a mass migration to the digital world, and post-secondary learning is no exception. As the University of Alberta prepares to continue delivering course content primarily remotely in the Fall 2020, the Faculty of Science has connected with some of our top instructors and scientists to illustrate what the university experience will look like in the Fall 2020 term. While delivery may look different, what remains the same isour strong commitment to an engaging and quality education and experience for our students.

Learn more about how the University of Alberta is preparing to engage students for September and beyond on our Fall 2020 hub.

Students, faculty, and staff can stay up-to-date with the latestinformation on COVID-19 for the campus community online.