5 Creative Ways to Teach Biodiversity to Keep Students Engaged

Akanksha Saxena

Biodiversity has amazed mankind with its richness. How nature strikes a perfect balance amongst the diversity of biological life is commendable in the sense that all organisms thrive harmoniously since centuries of Earth’s creation. While as enthralling as it sounds to teach the extant varieties of plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, etc, the peculiar details of the subject pose major challenges to educators due to the lack of teaching tools and methods. 

Since intricacies of biodiversity are difficult to accommodate in a defined lesson plan, it eventually leads to perturbations and discomfort for most students in traditional teaching environments. To overcome such issues, we have compiled 5 creative and engaging ways that teachers can utilize to plan and deliver insightful lectures. 

1. Use Interactive Models and Simulations

The use of interactive multimedia platforms, models and simulations improves learner-fit content delivery. The abstract ideas of biodiversity like sampling techniques, taxonomic concepts, etc which are otherwise difficult to follow can be made objective and quantitative.

Learning tough subjects can be made more enjoyable if students are granted an interactive space where they can think freely and bring their creativity to use. Labster provides a similar interactive space in the form of a Biodiversity simulation where students can emulate researchers and gain firsthand experience in assessing biodiversity on an exoplanet.

Preview of BDS - Pitfall Trap simulation.

2. Learning with Games and Activities

Employing gamification elements and user-friendly activities has been reported to yield effective learning outcomes with a more fun-filled overall experience.  

The use of role-playing activities in traditional classroom setups in which students embody different constituents of biodiversity like plants, animals, bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc can also turn out highly productive in explaining their biological roles in the environment.  

The option of virtual games like the one provided by Labster could prove monumental as students can explore an entire planet without even physically moving outside their classes. There are several benefits of this option:

  • Exploration of biodiversity at students’ comfort.
  • Use of minimal aids by educators and teachers.
  • Effective delivery of difficult concepts like sampling, identification, and taxonomy. 
Preview of BDS - Start simulation.

3. Infusing Technology into Study Plans

The employment of animated videos, GIFs and other technological interventions has been shown to simplify biological concepts that are beyond the reach of visualization in students’ day-to-day lives. This will maximize their exposure to the humongous diversity which is other impossible in one’s lifetime.

Students can pay a visit to unreachable distant habitats of the Earth which could be both mesmerizing and invigorating for students. Labster’s unique virtual visit to different habitats like deserts, mountains and forests could give students a wonderful opportunity to assess biodiversity gradient while sitting in their labs. 

Preview of BDS - Quadrant simulation.

4. Inspiring Learners by Connecting to Career Prospects

Connecting any topic to its possible career prospects serves as a prolific way to encourage students in learning the subject with attention. The essence of the topic is appreciated more when it becomes applicable in real life. 

Listing how honing the field skills of biodiversity assessments and a deeper understanding of core subjects like Taxonomy and Systematics could be prioritized in the class. Some of the career prospects to show the way to students are:

  1. Biodiversity Experts and Environmental Consultants in MNCs (for sustainable economic growth plans)
  2. Research assistants in international bodies (CBD, UN, WWF, IUCN) 
  3. Research scientists in R&Ds and corporate firms (for digging in bioresource)
  4. Bio-Entrepreneurs 
  5. Conservation Biologist
  6. Wildlife Biologist & Ecologist
  7. Natural Resource Manager

5. Connecting the Topic to Real-World Applications

Another interesting way to ease the learning journey is to make students aware of the importance of biodiversity in all aspects of life on this planet. Knowing how they can apply their concepts and philosophies to real-world issues and challenges catalyzes learning.

Educators can bring into the picture some latest events related to habitat disruptions, bioresource assessments and the discovery of new disease-curing bioactive molecules to help their students understand the impact and importance of biodiversity on our world.

Topics related to the dependence of the global economy on Earth’s biodiversity (an interesting read from the World Economic Forum) could serve as a propellant for students to learn about biodiversity

Final thoughts

Teaching biodiversity is a job of high responsibility. Since the younger generation is challenged by a novel war of consumerism, making them see the essential nature of biodiversity becomes even more important.

With the incorporation of innovative teaching tools like games, interactive simulations, technological interventions, career prospection, and real-life applications, educators can create a more engaging and interactive learning experience for students.

In the plethora of options available online, Labster's virtual labs can be the choicest tool with easy handling and a immersive-cum-realistic experience of Earth’s distant habitats.

Try our free 30-day All Access Educator's Pass today and play the Biosafety simulation alongside 300+ other virtual labs!


  1. Hooykaas MJD, Schilthuizen M, Smeets I. Expanding the Role of Biodiversity in Laypeople’s Lives: The View of Communicators. Sustainability. 2020; 12(7):2768. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072768
  2. Government boosts R&D efforts for biodiversity conservation (link)
  3. Half of World’s GDP Moderately or Highly Dependent on Nature, Says New Report. (link)

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