The Centre of Excellence in Biology Education (bioCEED) was awarded its status as a Norwegian Centre of Excellence in Education by NOKUT in 2014. Among bioCEEDs goals is to develop and spread new pedagogical practices for biology, while creating a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) culture in the faculty. This mobility grant supported collaborations between Dr. Sehoya Cotner, of the University of Minnesotas Department of Biology Teaching and Learning (and adjunct faculty with UiB), Dr. Cissy Ballen (University of Minnesota), and participating faculty in Bio at UiB. Our overarching goal was to foster an international collaboration focused on discipline-based educational research (DBER) in biology, and promote a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) culture at UiB.
Specifically, we planned to
a. Increase the number of science faculty doing research on their own teaching
b. Involve participating faculty in sharing their experiences with their colleagues in Bio at UiB
c. Submit two manuscripts for publication in the DBER literature
We met all of these objectives, specifically by
a. coordinating with several Bio faculty (Christian Jørgensen, Anne Elizabeth Bjune, and Jon-Arvid Grytnes, among others) to implement evidence-based teaching practices in their courses, collect data, and reflect on their teaching practices as a result of data collected in their courses. Both Jørgensen and Grytnes (and a student, Marie Danielsen) collaborated with us on a paper (Ballen et al., 2017) documenting the existence of gender-biased participation gaps in their courses. C. Jorgensen is currently testing an in-class strategy (i.e., formal assigned groups) for its efficacy in reducing the gaps he observed last Fall. We anticipate a second paper from this work. A. Bjune implemented clickers in her large-lecture introductory biology courses. These were well received by the students. A. Bjune is currently investigating the use of co-creation (between faculty and students) in her Paleoecology course.
b. Several faculty members (J-A Grytnes, C Jorgensen, V Vandvik) collaborated with us on presentations at the MNT Conference in Oslo in April. Anecdotally, we know that A. Bjune has discussed the use of clickers in large lectures with her co-instructors, and C. Jorgensen has discussed his use of groups with colleagues in Bio.
c. We have published two manuscripts (Ballen et al., 2017; Cotner et al., 2017), have one in press, and two in review.
1. Ballen C, Danielsen M, Jørgensen C, Grytnes J, Cotner S. Norways gender gap?: classroom participation in undergraduate introductory science. Nord J STEM Educ. 2017;1(1):179 to 86.
2. Cotner S, Jeno LM, Ballen C. Strategies to document active learning practices in biology. Nord J STEM Educ. 2017;1(1):36 to 42.
The Centre of Excellence in Biology Education (bioCEED) was awarded its status as a Norwegian Centre of Excellence in Education by NOKUT in 2014. Among bioCEED's goals is to develop and spread new pedagogical practices for biology, while creating a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) culture in the faculty. The proposed mobility grant will support collaborations between Dr. Sehoya Cotner, of the University of Minnesota's Department of Biology Teaching and Learning (and adjunct faculty with UiB), Dr. Cissy Ballen (currently of Cornell University), and participating faculty in Bio at UiB. Sehoya Cotner is currently working with bioCEED faculty to facilitate discipline-based education research (DBER) in biology, specifically by identifying teaching excellence that merits publication, and collaborating with faculty to translate their research talents to biology education.
Sehoya's travel to Norway is covered by bioCEED, and includes two, one-week trips per year over the next three years. However, in order to sustain more meaningful collaboration (and have time to design classroom interventions and collect data on-site), we plan to involve Cissy Ballen, a post-doctoral associate specifically dedicated to DBER, and with a track record of success in this area. Cissy will bring her expertise to bioCEED, effectively lowering the activation energy for faculty who are interested in DBER, but who are constrained by their primary research programs. Two faculty members in Biology at UiB have been identified as collaborators on this proposal: John-Arvid Grytnes and Christian Jørgensen. Together, we have identified education-related hypotheses, and have developed a plan for empirically testing these hypotheses during Fall 2016, and publishing the results in Spring 2017.