I love TQTs!






Hello! I am a tenured instructor in the Department of Life Sciences at Everett Community College (north of Seattle), where I teach human anatomy & physiology. I also have an affiliate appointment in the Division of Biological Sciences at UW-Bothell.

Within the science education community, I am known best (if at all) for my work on educational music and Test Question Templates (TQTs).

My degrees include a Ph.D. in Physiology & Biophysics from the University of Washington (2002), a M.A. in Science Education from Western Governors University (2018), and a B.A. in Biology from Williams College (1995).

It is easiest to reach me by email (gcrowther AT everettcc DOT edu), but go ahead and view my complete contact information if you must.

6/30/24 Kevin Patton's The A&P Professor (TAPP Radio) podcast has just released Episode 149: Examining the A&P Exam. In this episode Ben Wiggins and I offer thoughts about the challenges of creating exams that are simultaneously fair, equitable, and rigorous.
6/4/24 Just posted: a JMBE Live! episode about our recent JMBE paper, supplemented with the Elton John-adjacent tune "I'm Still Grading" (which begins about 17:30 into the webinar).
6/3/24 If you've been waiting for the day when Dr. Crowther would provide a musical explanation of how the statistical phenomenon of Berkson's Paradox may relate to kidney disease research, you're in luck!
5/22/24 Do you teach anatomy and/or physiology? If so, I'd LOVE it if you could complete a survey on A&P instuctors' current exam methods, which will be open until mid-June. It takes 10-15 minutes, but you'll be entered into a drawing for a $250 gift card! We aim to publish our results in a future issue of HAPS Educator.
2/2/24 Published today: an American Physiological Society podcast episode featuring my long-time collaborator Kiki Jenkins and me chatting about our recent paper on using Universal Design in Learning (UDL) to teach science with music.
12/7/23 In a rare Crowther foray into NON-science music, Ed Alexander (EvCC's interim executive director of IT) and I are giving John Olson (executive director of the EvCC Foundation) a farewell song at his retirement party this afternoon. Congratulations, John!
11/29/23 My TQT revisions for Human Anatomy (Biology 231 at EvCC) are now complete! Feel free to check 'em out in my public TQTs folder. As with my revised Human Physiology TQTs (released over the summer), they now include student-facing strategy tips and Creative Commons images that can be freely shared.
11/21/23 Today I return to Steve Heard's "Scientist Sees Squirrel" blog with a follow-up to my previous post there about peer review.
11/20/23 Over the weekend, the following musical milestone was reached: the music video for "Glucose, Glucose" (a parody of "Sugar, Sugar" by the Archies, with new lyrics by me) hit 1 million views!
11/7/23 Published today in the Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education: my new "ChatGPT vs. TQTs" paper, created with help from six wonderful coauthors: Kiki Jenkins, Leena Knight, Tom Knight, Deb Myers, Kevin Patton, and Usha Sankar!
9/25/23 As part of the American Physiological Society's Peer Review Week, I've been named a "Star Reviewer" in recognition of my work reviewing manuscripts for Advances in Physiology Education.
8/19/23 I've just finished a big revision of my human physiology TQTs. Aside from numerous improvements in clarity, they now include student-facing strategy tips and Creative Commons images that can be freely shared!
7/25/23 Summer bloggin' continues at "Scientist Sees Squirrel," with my cranky critique of an awkward aspect of conference community-building.
5/30/23 Today I make another appearance on Stephen Heard's excellent "Scientist Sees Squirrel" blog with a guest post titled The delicate dance of peer review.
5/23/23 The United States Conference on Teaching Statistics (USCOTS) includes an "A-MU-SING competition" for new statistics education resources. This year, a song I wrote with my wife for her Renal Grand Rounds presentation tied for second place in the music category.
4/27/23 Just accepted by Advances in Physiology Education: Teaching science with the "universal language" of music: alignment with the Universal Design for Learning framework, coauthored with Edmund Adjapong and Lekelia (Kiki) Jenkins.
4/26/23 Earlier this month I presented "Wigging Out About ChatGPT: Assessment, Artificial Intelligence, and the Wiggers Diagram" to the Anatomy & Physiology Teaching & Learning Community. My slides are now posted to the A&P TLC Meeting Information page.
3/29/23 Today we published our third TQT-related paper of the year! (It's the fifth TQT paper overall.)
3/9/23 Last Friday I took part in Green River College's professional development day on alternative grading practices. My contribution was to lead two sessions on reassessment (i.e., giving students multiple chances to demonstrate mastery), which greatly expanded and updated last June's 12-minute talk on reassessment for the Grading Conference.
2/6/23 Just published (online) in the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: Student Perceptions of a Framework for Facilitating Transfer from Lessons to Exams, and the Relevance of This Framework to Published Lessons by the wonderful undergraduate student Dilan Evans, my wonderful collaborator Lekelia (Kiki) Jenkins, and me.
1/27/23 For me, one of the many highlights of the TQT project has been reconnecting with Tom Knight, an old friend from grad school who is now a biology professor at Whitman College in southeastern Washington. My paper with Tom on using TQTs to teach physiology core concepts is now posted on the Advances in Physiology Education website.
12/13/22 With fall quarter now over at EvCC, my long-awaited winter-quarter sabbatical has unofficially begun! Today I had the pleasure of talking about TQTs with the UW-Bothell physics department; thanks to Rachel Scherr for the invitation and coordination!
10/5/22 On September 25th, Larry Lesser and I did a VOICES presentation called New-Field Follies: Mistakes to Avoid When Embarking on STEM Education Research.
6/17/22 At the Grading Conference earlier this month, I gave a 12-minute talk on how Test Question Templates (TQTs) can expedite creation of multiple equivalent tests. The talk is now available as a YouTube recording. My PowerPoint slides are also available.
5/6/22 In the American Physiological Society's Physiologist magazine, there's a new article about physiology education at community colleges. I am quoted, along with Jenny McFarland (Edmonds Community College, emeritus) and Pam Pape-Lindstrom (formerly of EvCC).
4/30/22 Today a bunch of Mary Lidstrom's former students and postdocs got together for a celebration of one-carbon metabolism, a primary theme of her research over the past 50 years. My main contribution to the gathering was the song "Prof. Mary," sung to the tune of "Proud Mary."
3/28/22 I sometimes speak, half-jokingly, of a "TQT Revolution" in biology education. Today the revolution just gained a bit more momentum in the form of a nice blog-post testimonial from Julie Gallagher of Barstow Community College.
3/4/22 I have updated my TQT archive with my latest TQTs for undergraduate (1st/2nd-year) courses in human anatomy and physiology. If they might be useful to you, feel free to check them out!
2/22/22 Congratulations to Usha Sankar (Fordham U.) and Marcus Lawrence (Southern Utah U.), who have been named PALM Fellows for 2022. With help from me and the PALM network, they will use TQTs (and more) to augment active learning in their classes.
1/3/22 Congratulations to undergraduate students Brittany Allen (Western Washington U.), Sasha Gradwell (EvCC), and Victoria VanHeel (EvCC), who have been hired as paid research assistants for TQT-related projects.
11/3/21 A new TQT paper is out! This one is on teaching renal physiology -- in particular, teaching filtration, secretion, reabsorption, and excretion.
9/29/21 My latest conference presentation (with Patricia Halpin and the ever-intrepid Hilary Kemp): Engaging Students with Songs and Follow-up Discussions on Difficult Course Concepts. The song starts at about 6:00.
8/16/21 My latest blog entry for Dynamic Ecology: Meaning in the music: when science songs are more than their words.
8/6/21 My latest musical collaboration is What's the Mater?, co-written with Event Rap's Dex McBean, who arranged and performed it, as well as starring in the video!
7/22/21 I am delighted to report that I have been granted a Teaching Career Enhancement Award (TCEA) from the American Physiological Society! I am excited to work on my proposed project, whose title is "Test Question Templates (TQTs): A Promising Model for Biology Teaching and Assessment."
6/17/21 The NSF-funded SMILES team has published a spiffy new music video for my song "Central Limit Theorem," featuring the artwork of cartoonist John Landers.
5/23/21 Tomorrow at the annual meeting of the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society (HAPS), I will present a workshop titled "From Isolated Data-Analysis Tasks to General Skills: Bridging the Gap with Question Templates." Thanks to ADInstruments for sponsoring it! Here is a link to my HAPS slides.
4/30/21 The Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education just released its "Teaching in a Time of Crisis" special issue, which includes the article Tunes in the Zoom Room: Remote Learning via Videoconference Discussions of Physiology Songs by Patricia Halpin (University of New Hampshire) and me.
4/20/21 A new article by Lesser & Pearl in Teaching Statistics cites three of my statistics songs, quoting the lyrics of one ("The Null Hypothesis") in full.
3/8/21 My latest, greatest batch of Test Question Templates (TQTs) for introductory human anatomy and physiology is available for reuse/adaptation/etc. This collection is much better than the one published as the appendix to Crowther et al. (2020). Questions and comments are welcome, as always.
2/4/21 On January 29, I was a co-presenter (with Deb Donovan of WWU and Ben Wiggins of UW) of the Northwest PULSE webinar "Convergent evolution of transparency in biology teaching and testing." My favorite moment of this fun session was the part when an '80s rock icon serenaded us with a marketing idea.
12/4/20 Today I joined the Happy Hour series of the National Institute on Scientific Teaching to make a presentation about Test Question Templates (TQTs). If you want to watch me sweat my way through a bunch of great questions, feel free to consult the video recording of the session.
11/18/20 Last night the EvCC Board of Trustees granted me tenure! I am very grateful to all who helped make this possible, but especially Rene Fester and Al Friedman of EvCC and previous mentors Mary Lidstrom and Wes Van Voorhis of UW. And my wife, Leila Zelnick.
9/29/20 The new Advances in Physiology Education article Physiology core concepts in the classroom: reflections from faculty reports on interviews with four pseudonymous professors who infuse their physiology curricula with core concepts. See if you can guess whether I am "Emily," "Frank," "Jane," or "Mark"!
8/17/20 My new post for the LifeSciTRC.org PECOP Blog: Evidence-based teaching: when evidence is not enough.

(Older news items can be found in the news archive.)