Deborah Allen, Ph.D.


  • BISC 100* - Freshman Seminar
  • BISC 103 - General biology for elementary teacher education majors.
  • BISC 104* - Principles of Biology with Lab
  • BISC 207* - Introductory Biology I
  • BISC 208 - Introductory Biology II. Taught using problem-based learning strategies, since 1993.
  • BISC 306* - General Physiology
  • BISC 326* - General Physiology Discussion
  • BISC 422 - Teaching Experience: Tutorial Methods of Instruction. In-service course for undergraduates who serve as peer group facilitators in problem-based learning classrooms.
  • BISC 567 - Molecular Biology Through Inquiry. A course for in-service high school teachers that centers on use of exemplary curriculum materials and methods for teaching molecular biology and genetics.

*Course web site available through MyCourses

Research Interests

In 1992 I joined a multidisciplinary group of science faculty at UD (Harold White, Barbara Duch, Susan Groh, Sheella Mierson, and Barbara Williams) who shared a common concern about the outcomes of the traditional methods of science instruction we had been using. I worked with this group to develop courses, write problems, assess the effectiveness of the courses and curriculum materials, and perform a larger analysis of our students' perceptions and attitudes about their learning of science. My current interests continue to include the design, implementation, and assessment of courses/curricula using active, collaborative learning strategies, and the creation of problem-based learning (PBL) problems and materials. I also am involved in the development of a support and education program for use of supervised undergraduates as peer group facilitators in problem-based learning classrooms. This project is being conducted in collaboration with Harold White from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. We currently are producing a manual and accompanying trigger tapes (about group dynamics) for in-house use and national distribution. A related project has been the development of a program for involving undergraduates in inquiry-based instructional activities in both the college and K-12 classroom (the Science Fellows Program). I also am a founding leader of UD's Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education (along with George Watson, Barbara Duch, Susan Groh, Harry Shipman, and Harold White), the winner of a 1999 certificate of excellence, TIAA-CREF Theodore Hesburgh award.

Laboratory science: My earlier research interests were in the interaction of cardiovascular, neural and endocrine mechanisms for preservation of salt and water balance, including underlying cell signaling mechanisms.

Current Projects

  • PBL for Elementary Teacher Education majors - Design of multidisciplinary problem-based learning problems and strategies for basic science courses.
  • PBL and Technology - Will integration of IT support into PBL courses enhance the experience for students in large enrollment, nonmajors courses?
  • PBL peer group facilitators - Currently producing a videotape and accompanying manual designed for diagnosing and troubleshooting problems with groups. Intended for use in preparing undergraduates (and faculty) to be facilitators of collaborative learning groups.
  • Teaching Workshops - Design and implementation of workshops on problem-based learning, collaborative learning, and peer group facilitators at the University of Delaware's Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education and on other campuses.

Selected Publications

Associate Professor

Phone: (302) 831-8958

Fax: (302) 831-2281


Office: 204 Wolf Hall

Department of Biological Sciences
Wolf Hall
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716


  • A.B. - Lafayette College
  • Ph.D. - University of Delaware
  • Postdoctoral - Dartmouth Medical School