Evolution and Revolution in STEM Education


"OER for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in STEM Classrooms" 12 posts Sort by created date Sort by defined ordering View as a grid View as a list

Integrating Social Justice into your STEM Classroom: Redlining & Health

Workshop about models for introducing social justice issues into classes developed in a Faculty Mentoring Network. Presented at the 2021 BIOME Institute.

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Critical inquiry for inclusive teaching of statistics

Professional development workshop slides to help curate conversations in teaching statistics with a critical inquiry lens.

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Structuring Courses for Equity

As instructors, we continually look for new ways to create equitable learning environments and support learning for all students in our courses. Recently, we have explored ways that we can increase structure to better support students. We have identified four evidence-based elements that we include in our course design and implementation: 1) structured assessments and feedback; 2) structured out-of-class learning; 3) structured class time using inclusive practices; and 4) structured assignments using transparent design. In this essay, we identify some relevant literature to address each of these levels of structure and describe our experiences with implementation at each level to support equitable classroom environments.

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STEM Inclusive Teaching Practices Webinar Series: Fixed vs Growth Mindset and Why the Biggest Challenge May be Faculty (Episode Seven)

This webinar will explore how faculty can teach with a growth mindset and identify some potential areas of fixed mindset that might prove to be obstacles for many students.

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Exploring EnvironmenATL Justice with Data Analytics and Visualization

Basic data handling and data analysis skills are introduced to visualize and analyze ‘big data.’ Environmental justice is introduced to give students an understanding of tools and strategies to explore while developing advocacy and communication skills.

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Data on Dead Zones and a Scientist Spotlight Featuring Benjamin Negrete, Jr.

In this lesson, students plot data and interpret graphs of the metabolic responses of fish to hypoxic conditions. Then, students view and reflect on an interview with fish ecophysiologist Benjamin Negrete, Jr., who collected the data that they graph.

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A Hybrid Virtual Kinesiology Laboratory Module for Human Anatomy and Physiology

The integration of virtual technology is becoming a common trend in anatomy education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The incorporation of virtual 3D anatomical models into the classroom is beneficial to students, especially if they do not have access to cadavers. This lesson is a hybrid kinesiology laboratory module that includes virtual anatomical and traditional physiological laboratory components. The module contains procedures that are easy for undergraduate students to follow while also containing advanced content to promote higher order thinking. This lesson provides a brief description of the learning context, time and pace, lesson plan, and teacher and student evaluations. During the learning activities, students will use a virtual dissection Anatomage Table and conduct modified Wingate tests and accumulated oxygen deficit experiments. This module will be useful for anatomy and physiology instructors who want to blend virtual and traditional learning modalities, embrace active learning, and make advanced concepts more accessible to students.

Primary image: A photograph of the Anatomage Table in its vertical orientation, revealing three different layers of the virtual male donor model in virtual dissection. 

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Science and Society: Integrating Historical Science Materials Into an Undergraduate Biology Course

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2011) stresses the importance of fostering an understanding of the relationship between science and society. We describe a library-based activity that enables students in an undergraduate microbiology class to explore this relationship over the course of centuries, with the library functioning as a laboratory. Students are guided by a worksheet as they explore historical materials such as books, newspapers, letters, government publications, articles, scientific treatises, and artifacts. Working in pairs, students answer questions about the content and reflect on how the ideas in the documents relate to the scientific understanding at the time. Exploring authentic materials in a library setting provides a powerful learning experience. This activity was also successful using digitized documents during the COVID-19 pandemic, when remote teaching was required. Student responses to a post-activity questionnaire indicated that the activity sparked a keen interest in the history of science as well as introspection about the relationship between science and society. This approach can be generalized for different biology courses and education levels.

Primary image:  Students examining historical books and microscopes. Students working in pairs to complete worksheet questions during one of two visits to the University of Colorado Boulder’s Special Collections.

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Teaching Cancer Biology Through a Lens of Social Justice

The biology classroom is not separate from the greater context of society; social issues can and should be presented in connection with the content. Here we present an example of antiracist teaching using the molecular/cellular biology of cancer in an introductory biology course as a topic through which to address historic racial disparities. Through this lesson, students analyzed biological science through the lens of social justice, specifically looking at disparities of cancer incidence with ties to health outcomes and environmental racism. The synchronous activity begins with personal tie-ins to the broader subject of cancer and then dives into the molecular regulation involved in creating cancerous phenotypes. Cancer biology is explored using an active-learning style based in process-oriented guided inquiry learning (POGIL) tactics. Multiple levels of assessments pushed students to grapple with data about racial health disparities and make explicit connections between these data and molecular mechanisms of cancer formation. This paper provides activity worksheets, an activity timeline, an example of assessment items, and teacher preparation for other instructors who want to emulate this lesson either directly or as an example of adjusting other science topics towards this lens. For those teaching in different topics, we offer advice and examples to help instructors to include social justice lenses into their science teaching.

Primary image: Malignant History. Artwork by Heidi-Marie Wiggins and Jeannette Takashima.

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Developing Decolonial Consciousness in Biology Students Through Critical Reflection Assignments

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Getting Started with Universal Design for Learning

Three resources for faculty interested in an introduction to Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

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STEM OER Accessibility Framework and Guidebook

This framework, developed by ISKME in partnership with SERC, provides a practical reference for curators and authors of STEM OER, with 23 accessibility criteria, or elements, to reference as they curate, design and adapt materials to be accessible.

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