Open Access Videos to Support Active Learning in Biology

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Title of Abstract: Open Access Videos to Support Active Learning in Biology

Name of Author: Sarah Goodwin
Author Company or Institution: ASCB/UCSF
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: All Biological Sciences Courses
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum
Approaches: Mixed Approach
Keywords: open access, flipped classroom, videos, active learning, educational resources

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Laurence Clement, University of California - San Francisco and American Society for Cell Biology Ron Vale, University of California - San Francisco and Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Our overall goal is to support current efforts to implement and scale Vision and Change-aligned activities by providing the PULSE community with open-access educational resources, which could possibly be included in the ‘PULSE toolkit.’ We hope these tools will help PULSE leaders, Vision and Change ambassadors, administrators and faculty in their efforts to create deep changes in undergraduate biology teaching and learning. With this overall goal in mind, we will be launching two projects in 2013 with separate goals, both aiming at facilitating the implementation of V&C recommendations by faculty. Goal 1: Inform faculty on evidence-based biology pedagogy to facilitate dissemination of the Vision and Change guidelines by administrators and ambassadors. Goal 2: Provide faculty with open-access videos and activities aligned with Vision and Change learning outcomes. Current outcomes: iBioSeminars (, launched in 2006, is a library of free online science talks by leading research scientists. In 2010, iBioMagazine ( was created to include short talks on topics related to the practice of science. Today, the project is supported by the ASCB and funded by the NSF, NIGMS, and HHMI, and has over 85 full-length seminars and 86 short talks, many with English and Spanish subtitles. It also includes Teaching Tools associated with a quarter of the iBioSeminars and over 250 short clips extracted from these seminars. Since January 2009, the iBioSeminars and iBioMagazine websites and YouTube channels combined have had almost 3 million views. Between these sites there are over 4500 subscribers and the project has close to 5000 social media followers. Although the project initially targeted mainly self-learners, graduate students and scientists, it now includes 459 registered users for our Teaching Tools, 21% of which are planning to use these for materials in their classroom.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: In Fall 2013, we will launch iBiology, a platform which will include the existing full-length research seminars and shorter behind-the-scene science talks, as well as a new iBioEducation section whose content aligns with goals 1 and 2 stated above. Activity aligned with Goal 1: iBiology Education series-A series of talks relating to evidence-based biology education. These talks would target faculty and administrators who are curious to learn about ways to implement Vision and Change recommendations in the classroom. This series will be developed in collaboration with some experts in evidence-based pedagogy, including Bill Wood of UC Boulder, Kimberly Tanner of San Francisco State University and Malcolm Campbell of Davidson College. Topics discussed may include : implementing backward design, identifying misconceptions, using formative assessment, maintaining equity and diversity in science, as well as participating in the scholarship of teaching and learning. When possible, talks will be linked to open-access publications and speakers will represent the diverse set of initiatives in the field. Activity aligned with Goal 2: iBioEducation Teaching Materials and Biology videos tagged according to Vision and Change Core Concepts to help faculty search through materials. These videos, which will focus on a wide range of biology concepts, will be of various lengths to allow flexibility of use by faculty (to be assigned as homework or embedded in classroom activities), and will include short assessments. We are also aligning these efforts with existing initiatives such as HHMI’s CourseSource project and the AB Bio Standards. ‘Discovery’ talks where scientists describe revolutionary discoveries in life sciences with their associated research papers and assessments. The use of such tools in the classroom will support the achievement of some of the Vision and Change Core Competencies.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: When possible, all videos and tools on the iBioEducation website will be open-access, creative commons-licensed, to allow faculty, administrators and V&C ambassadors to reuse and distribute them. In the Fall of 2013, we will launch an international outreach campaign to make our tools available to a broader audience. We also plan on collecting evidence on the effectiveness of our new tools by working with faculty at different institutions. In particular, we are looking into developing tools to assess student learning across different institutions.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: One of our long-term goals, funding allowing, would be to use our iBiology Education series as a proof of concept for a full-length, interactive, online course on Evidence-Based Biology Education. An additional goal would be for to build an online community around iBioEducation, allowing faculty to review and submit assessment and activity materials (in partnership with CourseSource), and to use common online assessment tools to allow for wider-scale studies of common misconceptions and other barriers to learning in biology. Overall, we are interested in working with educators to find the most effective way of delivering biological concepts through online videos. We plan on improving our site with content that aligns with the feedback received from these educators.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: These initiatives are not yet launched so we have not encountered any major roadblocks.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: We currently disseminate through email newsletters, the ASCB newsletter and website, and on social media. We also outreach directly to institutions and organizations. Lastly we have presented our materials at the following conferences: National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT), American Society for Microbiology - Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASM-CUE), the UC - San Francisco’s Education Symposium, the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), and the ASCB Annual Meeting. These meetings are very useful for feedback about how we can improve our content and resources.

Acknowledgements: Funding: National Science Foundation, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Support: American Society for Cell Biology