Welcome to CourseSource, an open-access journal of peer-reviewed teaching resources for undergraduate biology and physics

We publish articles that are organized around courses in both biological and physics disciplines, and aligned with learning goals established by professional societies representing those disciplines. Please let us know what you think as you explore the articles and other information in the journal. We welcome your comments, questions, and/or suggestions. You can also follow us @CourseSource on Twitter to receive notifications about newly published articles and announcements!

Latest - view more


Resource Image

An Active Learning Workshop to Teach Active Learning Strategies

Eva Y. Ma, Karen Freisem, Salwa Al-Noori, Elaine R. Klein, Rebecca M. Price*

Version: 1.0

Published on 11.2021

College instructors who learn how to teach actively at the beginning of their careers do not have to modify deeply set habits that rely on lectures. Instead, they develop their teaching while they learn evidence-based practices. We developed a workshop for the Science Teaching Experience Program: Working in Science Education (STEP-WISE), a professional development opportunity for postdoctoral scholars who want to learn how to teach effectively and gain undergraduate teaching experience. The program’s mission is to “engage a diverse pool of postdoctoral scholars at the University of Washington and affiliate institutions in a closely mentored apprenticeship to learn how to teach scientifically with inclusive, demonstrably effective, student-centered pedagogies.” In this workshop, STEP-WISE participants learn how to implement active learning techniques they can use in their own classes by experiencing inclusive strategies that include individual quick writes, think-pair-share, gallery walk, and a jigsaw. Through these activities, workshop participants experience the different learning techniques as they explore different aspects of teaching. Afterwards, they reflect on how they can use these same strategies in teaching their own classes. This workshop was developed for postdoctoral scholars who are new to active learning, but it can also work for graduate students, faculty, and others interested in the topic.

Primary image: Teaching active learning actively. Our workshop participants discuss and reflect on several active learning strategies including individual write, gallery walk, and jigsaw while experiencing these strategies themselves. ­­

211 Views
30 Downloads
0 Adaptations
professional development, Active-learning strategies, jigsaw, think-pair-share, Pedagogical approaches, Gallery Walk, Small group discussion, Inclusive practices

There is a growing call to decolonize curricula in academia, including in scientific disciplines. In the biology classroom, this includes highlighting a diverse array of scientists and illuminating injustice and exploitation carried out by Eurocentric biologists and medical professionals. Despite this general roadmap, literature presenting and assessing classroom modules on decolonizing science is lacking. Here, I present an activity designed to shed light on the deep, historical relationship between natural history collections and the exploitation of slaves and Indigenous peoples and encourage students to critically evaluate how society influences science. Due to COVID-19, this activity was conducted remotely and included two synchronous discussion sessions and three asynchronous homework activities for Mammalogy students. Assignments were evaluated for student outcomes including reflections on their previous educational experiences related to the unjust history of science and engagement with decolonial theory. In the four homework questions in which students could interpret and answer from either a biological or decolonial perspective, 84% of students offered at least one response consistent with decolonial theory. Based on student responses, this three-week module successfully engaged upper-level biology students in decolonial thinking.

Primary image: A blue monkey (Cercopithecus mitis) skull collected from South Africa for the zoology museum collection in 1984. Image courtesy of Phil Myers, animaldiversity.org, Creative Commons.

204 Views
19 Downloads
0 Adaptations
primates, society, Zoology, antiracism, decolonizing, student activism, museum science

CourseSource Blog - view more

Two postdoc positions in biology education research

September 1, 2021

We are excited to share the below advertisements for two biology education research postdoc positions.  These postdocs will join our research team to explore how Open Educational Resources (OERs) have helped the biology community enact Vision and Change principles.  

One postdoc will work at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and one postdoc will work at Cornell University.  Applicants wishing to be considered for both positions should apply to both.  Applicants wishing to be considered for only one location should apply just to that position.  

More information and directions for application submission can be found below.  Applicants may wish to read news stories about the project from Nebraska, Cornell, and UMaine.  We welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds and look forward to bringing new ideas, perspectives, and expertise to our team.

Sincerely,

Michelle Smith, Cornell University

Brian Couch, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Erin Vinson, University of Maine

 

News articles about the project:

https://news.unl.edu/newsrooms/today/article/nsf-funded-husker-led-project-to-evaluate-open-access-educational-resources/

https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2021/08/2m-grant-fund-assessment-biology-education

https://umaine.edu/news/blog/2021/08/13/researchers-assess-whether-open-educational-resources-improved-biology-instruction/

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Cornell University

College of Arts and Sciences

 

Postdoctoral Associate: Evaluating how open educational resources facilitate implementation of Vision and Change principles across diverse institutions

Applications are invited for a full time postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) at Cornell University. The successful candidate will advance undergraduate biology education by examining how Vision and Change (V&C) principles are being enacted in biology courses across a variety of undergraduate institutions. This project is part of a collaboration that includes Dr. Brian Couch (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) and Erin Vinson (University of Maine).

This project will focus on the use of open educational resources (OERs), which are educational materials that are available in the public domain. The research will involve conducting a scoping review of OER article content from a variety of journals (e.g., CourseSource), surveying authors and users to determine their engagement with OERs, developing student assessments, and observing instructors teaching with OERs in a variety of classrooms. The primary duties and responsibilities include leading the scoping review, developing and deploying surveys, designing protocols to observe instructors teaching with OERs, and analyzing student and instructor data. There will be opportunities to engage with instructors in professional development activities. The successful candidate will disseminate the results through publications and presentations at meetings.

Discipline-based education research is an important area of study at Cornell, with collaborators (faculty, postdocs, and graduate and undergraduate students) in physics, biology, and other STEM fields. The successful candidate will have an opportunity to mentor and work with many individuals and participate in weekly education journal clubs and research meetings with the larger EEB and Cornell community.

Qualifications:

The Postdoctoral Associate will be appointed for a one-year period with the possibility of extension for additional years based on satisfactory performance.

To apply: Applicants should submit their cover letter, CV, a 1-2 page research statement including relevant background and experiences, and a diversity statement, as well as the names and email or phone contacts of three professional references to:  https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/19170.

Review of applications will begin on October 1, 2021.

Please contact Dr. Smith (mks274@cornell.edu) with any questions.

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University's heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

School of Biological Sciences

 

Postdoctoral Associate: Evaluating how open educational resources facilitate implementation of Vision and Change principles across diverse institutions

Applications are invited for a full time postdoctoral researcher in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). The successful candidate will advance undergraduate biology education by examining how Vision and Change (V&C) principles are being enacted in biology courses across a variety of undergraduate institutions. This project is part of a collaboration that includes Dr. Michelle Smith (Cornell University) and Erin Vinson (University of Maine).

This project will focus on the use of open educational resources (OERs), which are educational materials that are available in the public domain. The research will involve conducting a scoping review of OER article content from a variety of journals (e.g., CourseSource), surveying authors and users to determine their engagement with OERs, developing student assessments, and observing instructors teaching with OERs in a variety of classrooms. The primary duties and responsibilities include developing and deploying surveys, optimizing assessment instruments, contributing to the scoping review, designing protocols to observe instructors teaching with OERs, and analyzing student and instructor data. There will be opportunities to engage with instructors in professional development activities. The successful candidate will disseminate the results through publications and presentations at meetings.

Discipline-based education research (DBER) is an important area of study at UNL, with collaborators (faculty, postdocs, and graduate and undergraduate students) across STEM disciplines. The successful candidate will have an opportunity to mentor and work with many individuals and participate in weekly education journal clubs and research meetings with the larger DBER community.

Qualifications:

The Postdoctoral Associate will be appointed for a one-year period with the possibility of extension for additional years based on satisfactory performance.

To apply: Applicants should submit their cover letter, CV, a 1-2 page research statement including relevant background and experiences, and a diversity statement, as well as the names and email or phone contacts of three professional references to Dr. Brian Couch (bcouch2@unl.edu).

Review of applications will begin on October 1, 2021.

Please contact Dr. Couch with any questions.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) seeks to achieve a working and learning environment that is open to all people. Diversity is the hallmark of great institutions of learning and has long been one of the strengths of our society. Dignity and respect for all in the UNL community is the responsibility of each individual member of the community. The realization of that responsibility across the campus is critical to UNL's success. For UNL's non-discrimination information, see http://www.unl.edu/equity/notice-nondiscrimination.

As an EO/AA employer, qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation. See http://www.unl.edu/equity/notice-nondiscrimination.

July 2021 Online Writing Studio a Success!
July 2021 Online Writing Studio a Success!

July 22, 2021

The next Online CourseSource Writing Studio will take place in August focused on writing lessons for online classes. This coming fall, we will host semester-long Faculty Mentoring Networks focused on writing lesson articles (in collaboration with QUBES). Applications for Fall 2021 FMN participants will be open soon. If you are interested in applying, keep an eye out for announcements on the website (https://www.coursesource.org/), on Twitter (https://twitter.com/CourseSource), through the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER) listserv, and other biology professional society listservs.