Transforming Learning with Interactive Animated Case Studies

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Title of Abstract: Transforming Learning with Interactive Animated Case Studies

Name of Author: Kathrin Stanger-Hall
Author Company or Institution: University of Georgia
Author Title: Assoc. Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: General Biology, Integrative Biology, Physiology & Anatomy
Course Levels: Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Adding to the literature on how people learn, Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.)
Keywords: Interactive Case studies, Dynamic Processes, Visualizations, Scientific Thinking, Interdisciplinary Learning

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: My overall goal in changing undergraduate biology education is to help students make the transition to scientific thinking and to develop their critical thinking skills. I also want to help students to integrate their learning within and across traditional disciplinary boundaries. My approach includes introducing students to different thinking skills (for biology and their future careers), identifying learning goals and difficulties, and developing learning supports while assessing their effectiveness for student learning. Previous change projects include the assessment of peer facilitators (Stanger-Hall et al. 2010), how-to-study workshops (Stanger-Hall et al. 2011) and the impact of different exam formats on student learning (Stanger-Hall 2012).

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: My current project focuses on student learning of dynamic processes. Specifically, I am testing the impact of different visualizations (still images vs. animations) on the learning of dynamic processes (diffusion, osmosis, filtration) in introductory biology (core concepts 2 and 4). To promote student engagement these visualizations are embedded in case studies that are based on real-world scenarios (core competency 6). All case studies require students to make predictions and test hypotheses (core competency 1). I am assessing the impact of case delivery and degree of interactivity (non-interactive paper case study versus interactive online case study) and visualization (still images versus animations embedded in interactive online case studies) on student learning. These case studies were implemented in supervised homework sessions, and we are currently analyzing the data from the paper-based case studies (N=400 students) and the online case studies with still images (N=500 students).

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: Student learning gains with each case were assessed by pre-and posttests immediately before and after the case study. Embedded questions and process tasks during the case were used to gauge case-specific thinking and engagement. Final exam questions were used to assess learning at the end of the semester. Within one week after each case students submitted a case utility survey with self assessment of their learning and feedback on the utility and design of the case. Finally, five student surveys throughout the semester served to measure self-reported student characteristics such as motivation, attitude, and learning behaviors.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: We are still analyzing the data on student learning, but a preliminary analysis of student feedback shows that students greatly appreciated the real-world scenarios of the case studies and believe that this helped their learning. Once the learning data are analyzed we will test how well this self-assessment correlates with actual learning gains, whether some students learned more than others, and if yes, which students benefited more. This feedback in combination with the learning data will allow case designers and animators to improve the cases where needed, and use this information for future case design.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: The implementation of this project was logistically challenging due to large student numbers, limited teaching assistant support, and a low priority for student-centered teaching in the use of computer facilities. To address these problems I hired undergraduate assistants to help implement the cases, and we extended the hours of the computer facilities both early in the morning and late at night for this project. An entirely unexpected additional barrier in the process of the current project arose from copyright issues of the case studies. The interactive animated case studies were originally developed for high school students with an NIH SEPA grant (and graciously made available by the NIH SEPA PIs for this change project to adapt and assess them for the college level). NIH supports the maintenance of funded projects through a business model, which in this case had the unintended consequence of creating legal copyright issues. We are currently working on resolving this.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Department: As a direct outcome of the osmosis case I am working with a colleague from plant physiology to translate the different terminology used to describe osmosis in plant and animal physiology. We are implementing these translations in a co-instructed introductory biology class (core competency 4). Biological Sciences: Through weekly meetings and collaborations a group of colleagues and post-docs in the Biological Sciences is working to improve student learning in all Introductory Biology classes, and to implement the core competencies of Vision and Change. STEM: In monthly meetings STEM education research faculty and faculty from the College of Education are working together towards institutional change. Institution: An interdisciplinary team of faculty (biology, veterinary medicine, animal physiology, physics education, science education) is working together to design interdisciplinary assessments (combining elements from physics, chemistry and biology) for biology, physics and veterinary students (assessing core competencies 4 & 5) across departments and colleges. Regional: I am currently collaborating with faculty at another institution to expand the use of interactive cases to their biology classes. National: The University of Georgia is one of the regional sites (Southeast) to host the expansion of the National Academies Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education (PI Jo Handelsman, funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute). Together with my Biology Education Research colleagues, I am organizing the Southeast Summer Institute, which disseminates the ideas and the practice of Scientific Teaching and Vision and Change to more than 30 faculty from institutions across the Southeast every year (Vision 4). This developing Southeast faculty network will work as a catalyst for change in the respective home institutions and is also working on developing and sharing innovations and supports to facilitate change.

Acknowledgements: These change projects would not have been possible without supportive colleagues and funding sources. I am grateful to Peggy Brickman, Norris Armstrong, Paula Lemons, Michelle Momany, Erin Dolan, Jim Moore and Scott Brown for continued support, and especially to Dave Hall for supporting me in both my work and raising a family. The previous and current change projects were made possible by UGA Board of Regents STEM grants (2008/2009, 2011/ 2012), by a UGA Research Foundation grant (2009/2010) by NSF (#1044370) and by HHMI (#52007443).

Enhancing Science Learning through the Arts

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Title of Abstract: Enhancing Science Learning through the Arts

Name of Author: Wendy Silk
Author Company or Institution: University of California at Davis
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: All Biological Sciences Courses, Ecology and Environmental Biology, Plant Biology & Botany
Course Levels: General Education, Introductory Course(s), Science and Society
Approaches: Adding to the literature on how people learn, Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Enhancing understanding and improving communication through art projects, Material Development
Keywords: Science literacy, creativity, arts-based learning, science appreciation, environmental science

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Merryl Goldberg, California State University

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: More than ever in human history, global environmental problems inspire us to seek better public access to scientific knowledge and new paradigms for collaboration. For instance, one in five plant species are estimated to be under threat of extinction; sickness of pollinators is threatening food production; and pollution is threatening human health. This paper will review two programs to enhance science learning via the arts: the Art/Science fusion program at the University of California at Davis (UCD), and a networking project to explore incorporating music into biology curricula. Our goals are enhanced scientific literacy and better communication skills for undergraduates and increased appreciation of science and scientists.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: In the hope that artists will better acquire scientific literacy, while scientists will better access art as a means of expression and communication , entomologist Diane Ullman, ceramic artist Donna Billick, meteorologist Terrence Nathan and botanist Wendy Silk have established an Art/Science fusion program at the University of California, Davis. Ullman and Billick teach “Art, Science and the World of Insects” in which students create visual art projects. Silk teaches “Earth Water Science Song” with student songwriting and performance, and Nathan teaches “Photography: Bridging Art and Science.” In each course the students hear lectures on biology or environmental science and then create art projects to communicate their understanding of the science. In our classes students are active participants, not passive recipients, as they translate science concepts into works of art. We use multiple modes of instruction. Moreover, the students become teachers to the community as they create performances and public works of art. Our classes involve cooperative learning, known to increase understanding. By blending science and art in the classroom students learn first-hand how interdisciplinarity can integrate science and enhance creativity. Our curricula include case studies to show the relevance of biology to the world outside academia. Inspired by positive student reaction to her course Earth, Water, Science, Song, Silk sought and led an NSF-sponsored incubator project. The focus of this project was the use of music to expand student access to biology and to magnify collaborative and innovative thinking. We created a consortium across several educational institutions whereby biology and arts faculty engaged in dialogue, practice, and reflection to improve the teaching of undergraduate biology through arts-based methods.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: We followed the number of offerings of Art/Science classes and the numbers of student enrolled. Student appreciation was monitored with written evaluation forms. Learning was assessed with pre-and post- tests. Merryl Goldberg communicated the results of a large study assessing the educational impact of including art on the learning of other subjects in elementary school. Silk, Goldberg, and statistician Marie Thomas collaborated to assess and improve student learning outcomes in undergraduate Art/Science classes.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Participants came from several organizational settings: large public research universities, a public teaching university, a private music college, and industry. Notably, our UC Davis faculty teamed with Merryl Goldberg and her colleagues at CSUSM, an institution known for leadership in arts-based learning and recognized as an Asian American-, Pacific Islander- and Hispanic- serving institution. Goldberg found good evidence that arts can play a role in kinesthetic learning and thus improve general education (https://www.ed.gov/oii-news/dream-integrating-arts-increase-reading-proficiency). We also found that undergraduate students react enthusiastically and work hard to learn science when it is coupled to musical creativity and performance. In the past three years the environmental science class taught with ArtScience fusion has received student evaluations of 4.4-4.9 (out of 5.0) while a class taught by the same instructor with similar class size and subject matter (without music projects) received 3.3-4.1. Monitoring websites with science music videos confirms that these are attracting increasing attention from people of all ages. Pre- and post-tests have confirmed that undergraduate students learn a great deal of science in the ArtScience courses. We had many young participants including 460 students over three years at UC Davis alone. Also, our undergraduate students became teachers to the larger communities who saw student performances and art installations. Teaching assistants (funded by the campus administrations) became network participants and contributed substantially to the project. Our mentoring of graduate students yielded strong outcomes; recently one of our teaching assistants received the campus’ highest honor for graduate student teaching. We have been approached by faculty from science departments in other universities interested in Art/Science fusion and faculty from music and art departments interested in improving their science teaching.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: The effectiveness of arts education in improving learning is well documented at the K-12 level. James Catterall and colleagues have found that youthful involvement in the arts associates with higher levels of achievement and college attainment, higher paying and more professional jobs, and deeper community involvement (e.g. https://www.nea.gov/research/arts-at-risk-youth.pdf ). Furthermore, Merryl Goldberg’s research has found that arts-based methods are powerful tools in the education of English language learners, many of whom are also underrepresented students. For older students evidence abounds that singing works as a memory aid, and neurobiologists are documenting and explaining the positive affect of music. But arts are rarely incorporated into science classes at the university. While informal testing in our classes supports our hypothesis that learning is enhanced when art projects are added to the curriculum, we have not yet been successful in obtaining funding to conduct a large scale study. And without such studies it is difficult to convince administrators and policy makers to encourage these unconventional curricula.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: We produced expansion of course offerings in Art/Science, training of teaching assistants, dissemination of some teaching materials via a networking website, Greg Crowther’s updated database of science songs for teaching, reports to professional societies, outreach publicizing and educating about nature preserves, and web-based dissemination of some student videos. Network participants published three scholarly articles in journals. Silk contributed to a white paper sent to the NSF and published on the XSEAD website. Two meetings facilitated exchange of ideas and learning about experiences in teaching biology with music and visual art. The ArtScience program at UC Davis has recently formed an expanded faculty consortium. We are seeking funding for educational testing and program enhancement.

Acknowledgements: NSF RCN-UBE Incubator # 0956196: Trial network to bring music to the study of biology Prof. Diane Ullman UCD Donna Billick ceramic artist Prof. Terrance Nathan UCD Dr. Gregory Crowther UW Prof. Marie Thomas CSUSM Prof. Betsy Read CSUSM Dr. Anthony Dumas SUNY

DBER-Specialists and Change at Large Research Universities

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Title of Abstract: DBER-Specialists and Change at Large Research Universities

Name of Author: Diane O'Dowd
Author Company or Institution: University of California Irvine
Author Title: Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: All Biological Sciences Courses
Course Levels: Faculty Development, Introductory Course(s), Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Adding to the literature on how people learn, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), TA Training
Keywords: Biology education research / BER TA Training Scientific Teaching Evidence-based instruction

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Adrienne Williams, University of California Irvine

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Our project has had three major goals over the past 7 years: 1. Biology Education Research: Develop and test the effect of specific active learning strategies on student attitudes and learning gains in large lecture classes. We have identified a number instructional approaches that can be implemented incrementally by research faculty that improve learning outcomes and/or student attitudes in introductory biology. 2. TA and Postdoc Training: Train graduate students how to teach actively while serving as discussion leaders for large biology courses. Transformation of education in research universities requires formal training of future faculty in pedagogy and practice in scientific teaching. Each Fall we work with 20-30 graduate student TAs to guide them in creating learning-centered discussion sections for ~2000 undergraduates. TAs are also coached on strategies to help them maintain progress in their research while teaching, a crucial skill for their professional success. We have recently expanded this into a postdoc mentoring program as well. 3. Use of DBERs: Promote embedding of discipline-based education researchers (DBERs) in the Schools of Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences. We have participated in and coordinated a large number of forums in the university to discuss recent findings in biology education research. As research faculty have become more familiar with our biology education program they often ask for help with a small project or change they wish to make in their course. We have found a resident DBER expert can quickly provide assistance to lower the ‘activation energy’ for faculty to make changes to their teaching and help with designing appropriate assessments. Our intended outcomes are to increase the number of faculty and future faculty who are able to make changes in their teaching toward active teaching, and develop scientific teaching skills.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Biology Education Research: We have completed projects on improving student email etiquette, use of physical demonstrations to illustrate biological processes, use of pre-class assignments to make space for active learning in class, tools to help students analyze exam questions, laptop use in large lectures, and use of lecture capture videos. We are currently examining the effect of a ‘flipped class’ on student learning and whether a preparatory biology MOOC can improve student performance in freshman introductory biology. We are particularly interested in how these factors affect at risk students, identified by their low SAT scores. TA and Postdoc Training: We run a 10-week training program each fall that mentors 20-30 graduate students in using evidence-based teaching practices while they are TAing large introductory biology classes. During each 1-hour meeting, TAs practice an active learning technique including group quizzes, posters, demonstrations. The TAs are evaluated twice and improvements are noted. Strong TAs are awarded travel grants upon the completion of the program. Our newest program guides existing UCI postdoctoral researchers in evidence-based instruction. A weekly workshop is open to all interested postdocs during one term a year. Postdocs with permission from their PI are accepted as mentees of a faculty member teaching a course using active methods. The postdoc creates weekly supplemental materials while attending all lectures of that class, and are evaluated when they lead. Postdocs who complete this training are given the opportunity to teach a summer section of the same course they were mentored in, and receive regular support during this course development. Use of DBERs: Funds from an HHMI grant have allowed us to hire full time biology education researchers. They conduct research, use educational technology, are able to develop campus-specific curriculum and speak regularly at workshops.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: Our methods for evaluating effectiveness of instructional methods include comparison of exam scores, normalized for preparation level, between experimental sections and control sections. We use online surveys for feedback from undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty to evaluate attitudes and data from the registrar to track student progress through the major. We are working on developing measures of faculty involvement with evidence-based instruction and scientific teaching.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Impact on students: Over 10,000 undergraduates have taken introductory biology taught by a team of 5 faculty involved to various degrees in increasing use of evidence-based instruction and developing-testing active learning strategies. During this time we have seen significant improvement in student exam scores with a number of the active learning strategies we have employed. In addition, students rate active learning techniques very positively. Impact on graduate students: Over 140 graduate students have been through our program and over 80% report the TA training to be very important in their professional development. We are currently following how this impacts their career choices/success. Impact on faculty: Over half of the 26 faculty in Developmental and Cell Biology now use clickers, online formative assessment quizzes, learning goals, and/or problem sets for group work. Impact on department/ school: We have been part of recent efforts to develop more uniform and critical methods for evaluation of teaching efforts during promotion of research faculty to include peer evaluations, self-statements and assessment of course material.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: The greatest difficulty for our faculty interested in change is lack of time to generate new materials, learn new technology, and assess effectiveness of changes implemented. In our school, having DBERs in the Department who are able to experiment with teaching courses using new platforms, styles and techniques, and help other faculty implement successful strategies in the context of their classes has been very effective in getting more faculty involved in evidence-based teaching.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: We have published the results of our studies in five biology education research papers in science education journals, and we have contributed to authoring two science education advocacy articles in the journal Science. We developed and maintain a website that contains TA training materials, postdoc workshop materials, activity templates for biology discussion leaders, and white papers for faculty on active learning techniques. https://www.researchandteaching.bio.uci.edu

Acknowledgements: This project was funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor Program to Diane O’Dowd.

Peer-Led Success Strategy in Large Enrollment Intro Courses

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Title of Abstract: Peer-Led Success Strategy in Large Enrollment Intro Courses

Name of Author: James Becvar
Author Company or Institution: The University of Texas at El Paso
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: General Chemistry
Course Levels: Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Adding to the literature on how people learn, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development, Mixed Approach
Keywords: Peer-Led Team Learning General Chemistry Learning Success STEM Learning Innovation Peer Assisted Learning Writing in STEM

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Stephanie Moreno, University of Texas at El Paso Ann Darnell, University of Texas at El Paso

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Improved understanding of basic concepts in general chemistry especially those underpinning biological processes. Generating student-created learning materials Increased retention in STEM Improved learning strategies relevant to later courses Many leaders become teachers in local schools.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Peer-Led Team Learning Workshops led by successful advanced STEM students. This experience includes talent development and professional development of significant numbers of undergraduate leaders. These leaders facilitate learning and develop materials to enhance the learning of the next sets of students.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: Grades in course. Performance on widely accepted standardized exams (American Chemical Society end-of-course exams) Retention at the University Retention in STEM degree program Degree attainment Advancement to graduate school and professional school

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Improvement in student learning Increase in faculty interest in student learning Increase in majors in biochemistry and chemistry Generation of new learning strategies and new learning materials Significant impact on professional development of the student leaders

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Financial support from administration at the deans level until the change of Deanship. Sometimes deans move on!

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: presentations and publications at international meetings such as the Peer-Led Team Learning International Society meetings and national meetings such as the annual meeting of the american Chemical Society.

Acknowledgements: NSF DUE 0653270 “Project I-STAR: Integrated Science Success, Teaching, and Retention” Chair of Chemistry Jorge Gardea

Learning to Learn

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Title of Abstract: Learning to Learn

Name of Author: John Moore
Author Company or Institution: Taylor University
Author Title: Professor of Biology& NABT Past President
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Cell Biology, Genetics, Plant Biology & Botany
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum
Approaches: Adding to the literature on how people learn, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development, Mixed Approach
Keywords: Cell, Plant, Genetics Flipped Metacognition

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Jeffrey Regier, Taylor University

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The Department of Biology has selected three introductory courses for implementation of the recommendations from the Vision & Change report. Principles of Cell Biology & Introductory Plant Biology classes, and Principles of Genetics were selected because of the eagerness of the faculty to participate and the foundation that these courses have in the students’ future success at the university. The department has set for our main goals to provide the student with a learning environment that truly mimics the reality of the nature of science in biology. The establishment of a student-focused learning environment accomplishes the goal. Both the traditional classroom and course laboratory are designed to focus on (1) the thinking/analytical processes in both learning and biology, on (2) the skills and cognitive tools required in the science, and (3) the foundational knowledge that is used to address the biological concepts, methodologies and research of the science of biology.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: First, students are introduced to learning in biology. Learning that is research based, or more specifically how research supports the understanding of learning in science. This introduction lays a foundation on both metacognitive knowledge and the metacognitive tools that assist them in the process of learning science. Secondly, two major design changes have occurred that help move the program to a student-learning model. The first design change occurs in the ‘classroom setting’ where students are placed in flipped class formats. Students are exposed to the need to read and identify what is being addressed in class prior to the class meeting. The second design change occurs in the laboratory. Lab activities are now project oriented focused on collaboration, information processing, analysis and reflection, and question development. Thirdly, students will be expected to identify, understand, critique and propose research questions to both currently understood ideas in biology and ideas that are much less understood.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: Documentation of those outcomes will come in the form of collaborative presentations; analytical questions with research based answers, and validation of understanding by organizing the learning. The outcomes of the learning are assessed in forms of communicating, elaborating, extending, exemplify or inferring and making of predictions. Additionally the development of models or metaphors may also utilize as well as standard testing and questioning.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Taylor University is in complete support of the changes we are requesting. The faculty in all the science has been influenced highly by our institutions Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE). The university has focused our approach in teaching and learning based on its mission that is preparation of students. This focus and approach has included the construction of our new science building. The building was designed to be one that is student learning directed. Providing interactive and collegial space that moves the teaching and interacting of students to a collaborative process where both formal and informal interfaces where students have the opportunity to live their learning of biological science and to explore biology in a non-traditional ‘cookbook’ format.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Resistant faculty to move away from a traditional approach of if it is covered it is taught and if it is taught then it is learned.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Bring assessed data to the provost and dean of the center for teaching and learning excellence for analysis. Provide modules for other faculty to observe and participate

Acknowledgements: Dr. Jeffrey Moshier Provost of Taylor University Dr. William Toll Dean of the School of Natural and Applied Sciences

Teaching-Research Integration in an Ecological Curriculum

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Title of Abstract: Teaching-Research Integration in an Ecological Curriculum

Name of Author: Tadashi Fukami
Author Company or Institution: Stanford University
Author Title: Assistant Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Ecology and Environmental Biology
Course Levels: Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Adding to the literature on how people learn, Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development
Keywords: inquiry-based instruction, microbial ecology, pollination, research-based laboratory curriculum, student performance assessment

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Sara E Brownell, University of Washington Matthew J Kloser, University of Notre Dame Patricia C Seawell, Stanford University Nona R Chiariello, Stanford University Richard J Shavelson, Stanford University

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: National reports, including Vision and Change (AAAS, 2011), have emphasized the positive impact that a research-based curriculum can have on undergraduate biology students (NRC, 2000, NRC, 2003). However, few research-based curricula have been developed at research-intensive institutions due to logistical challenges and a lack of incentives for faculty to dedicate time to teaching rather than research, with teaching and research often perceived as competing demands. We have designed and implemented an introductory ecology-based lab course at Stanford University (Biology 44Y), a research-intensive institution, that has many of the hallmarks of authentic research - a single longitudinal question that is the focus for the whole quarter, research questions with unknown answers, the use of modern ecological and molecular techniques in the field and in the laboratory, an emphasis on data analysis, and collaboration among lab peers. This lab course is a direct extension of the research platform of a tenure-track professor, synergistically offering students an authentic research experience and contributing to his research (Kloser et al. 2011, Fukami 2013).

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: In this lab course, students used the biotic and abiotic relationships surrounding the sticky monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus), the hummingbirds and insects that pollinate the plant, and the yeast and bacterial communities that assemble in the floral nectar of the plant as a basis for generating and testing hypotheses on ecological interactions.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: External assessment of students was conducted using a mixed methods approach of pre- and post-course Likert-scale surveys, coded open-ended written responses, and a performance assessment task. The assessment revealed that the new course had a significant positive effect on student attitudes regarding authentic research practices and student perceptions of their ability to do lab-related tasks (Brownell et al. 2012). In addition, student perception of the purpose of the course shifted from learning lab techniques to understanding research design and data analysis (Kloser et al. 2013), which was corroborated by significant gains in students’ experimental design and data interpretation abilities measured by a performance assessment. The in-depth teamwork, which included students working with partners and sharing data with the whole class, succeeded in developing students’ collaborative skills.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: The success of this curriculum serves as a case study showing that, by merging research and teaching, a research-based curriculum can provide mutual benefit to undergraduates and faculty. Of note, this curriculum goes beyond its pedagogical functions to provide a source of novel data that has an epistemic function. For example, student-collected data are being used to answer research questions that are the subject of additional research-based manuscripts (Belisle et al. 2012, Peay et al 2012, Vannette et al. 2013).

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: The large number of students that take our course (about 120 students each year) make it necessary to offer many sections to keep the class size small, and it was important to ensure that the team of instructors each teaching different sections are well trained and informed in the subject matter. For this reason, instructors (normally 4 instructors each year), graduate teaching assistants (normally 5 TAs each year), and the faculty member (Fukami) met for a training session that lasted several hours each week during the academic quarter prior to the offering of the course.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Drawing on our experience developing and teaching this course, we have presented seven recommendations that could be applied to develop courses that can provide students with a research-based experience and contribute to the instructor's research platform (Kloser et al. 2011, Fukami 2013). These recommendations include: (1) a low barrier of technical expertise needed for students to collect data; (2) established checks and balances to ensure that student mistakes will not compromise research quality; (3) a diverse set of variables that present many combinatorial choices for students to investigate without overwhelming the instructional team; (4) a central standardized database into which students can upload data and from which they can download data relevant to their hypotheses; (5) assessment measures that are representative of real-world science; (6) involvement of instructors with expertise in the study system; and (7) small lab sections to cultivate a communal environment for collaborative research. For others interested in designing this type of research-based lab course, specific institutional contexts will likely influence the creation of different courses, but it is our hope that these recommendations can be used as a guide for developing high-enrollment courses based on a faculty research program. In addition, we have gone to Bio-Link workshops and have participated in Stanford Summer Teaching Institute to share our experience with high-school and college teachers.

Acknowledgements: Acknowledgements: We thank the students who took the new Biology 44Y class at Stanford in 2010-2013 for their participation and feedback. For their contribution to the development and implementation of the class, we are grateful to the Biology 44Y staff, including N. Bradon, E. Curten, D. Hekmat-Scafe, M. Knope, S. Malladi, B. Pham, N. Zimmerman, as well as teaching assistants, especially M. Belisle and D. Sellis; Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve staff, especially B. Gomez and T. Hebert; departmental colleagues, particularly R. Simoni, T. Stearns, M. Cyert, and D. Gordon; and R. Dunbar and M. Marincovich at Stanford's Center for Teaching and Learning. Work described here has been funded partly by the NSF (award numbers: DEB1149600 and DUE0941984). References: AAAS (2011). Vision and Change: A Call to Action, Washington, DC: AAAS. https://live-visionandchange.pantheonsite.io/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/VC_report.pdf; Belisle M, Peay KG, Fukami T, Flowers as islands: spatial distribution of nectar-inhabiting microfungi among plants of Mimulus aurantiacus, a hummingbird-pollinated shrub. Microb. Ecol. 63, 711 (2012); Brownell SE*, Kloser MJ*, Fukami T, Shavelson RJ. Undergraduate biology lab courses: Comparing the impact of traditionally-based ‘cookbook’ and authentic research- based courses on student lab experiences. Journal of College Science Teaching. March/April 2012. (*these authors contributed equally); Brownell SE*, Kloser MJ*, Shavelson R, Fukami T. An authentic research-based ecology lab course has a significant impact on student attitudes towards authentic research and achievement. Journal of College Science Teaching. January/February 2013. (*these authors contributed equally); Fukami, T (2013) Integrating inquiry-based teaching with research: an ecological example. Science 339: 1536-1537; Kloser MJ*, Brownell SE*, Chiariello NR, Fukami T. Integrating teaching and research in undergraduate biology laboratory education. PLoS Biology. November 2011. (*these authors contributed equally); National Research Council (2003). BIO 2010, Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists, Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Promoting Scientific Reasoning about Matter & Energy

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Title of Abstract: Promoting Scientific Reasoning about Matter & Energy

Name of Author: April Maskiewicz
Author Company or Institution: Point Loma Nazarene University
Author Title: Assistant Professor
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Ecology and Environmental Biology, General Biology
Course Levels: Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Adding to the literature on how people learn, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development, Mixed Approach
Keywords: Introductory Biology Matter and Energy student-centered instruction Inquiry Scientific reasoning

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Over the past few years my research has focused on identifying ways to promote undergraduate student thinking and reasoning about matter and energy transformations and pathways, one of the five core biological concepts identified in Vision and Change (AAAS, 2011). Conservation of matter and energy are central principles that biologists apply when reasoning about dynamic systems in which matter and energy are exchanged across defined boundaries. Biological explanations of living systems also require the additional cognitive challenge of making connections between multiple levels of biological complexity (atomic/molecular/cellular, organismal, and ecosystem). Research shows, however, that when college students try to make sense of or explain biological systems they tend to focus on only one level of complexity at a time and often don’t conserve matter and energy (Maskiewicz, 2006; Wilson et al., 2006; Mohan et al., 2009; Hartley et al., 2011). My goal has been to identify curricular activities that help undergraduate introductory students develop scientific ways of reasoning about matter and energy in biological systems (NRC, 2003; AAAS, 2011).

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: As a teacher and researcher, I collect data in my introductory biology courses to study the effectiveness of various inquiry-based activities to meet the following two instructional objectives: Students will be able to (a) develop explanations about ecological phenomena that are constrained by the principles of conservation of matter and energy, and (b) begin to reason across biological levels of organization. I began this research by compiling a ‘toolbox’ of previously developed data-rich problems and highly collaborative activities that targeted specific confusions with matter and energy identified in the literature or from my prior research. Each of the tasks encouraged students to work together to solve problems, explore relationships, or analyze data at multiple levels of organization (see Maskiewicz, Griscom & Welch, 2012 and Maskiewicz, 2006 for a sampling of activities). Over several semesters I implemented and evaluated the effectiveness of various revisions and combinations of these activities for meeting my learning objectives. I’ve collected data from over 200 students in two different introductory biology courses (GE biology and the first year biology sequence) as well as collaborated with biology education researchers at other universities who agreed to implement many of the same activities (Maskiewicz, Griscom & Welch, 2012).

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: The iterative process of implementation, analysis (both quantitative and qualitative), and revision revealed that students can learn to reason scientifically about matter and energy transformations and pathways in an introductory course (Maskiewicz, Vanderburg & Powell, 2012; Maskiewicz, Griscom, & Welch, 2012). The quantitative data show an average normalized gain (g) of 24%. Quantitative analysis was augmented by the use of the Ecology Diagnostic Question clusters (DQCs) (www.biodqc.org) which focus on conservation of matter and energy, and scales of organization. Using application questions, as opposed to questions on the details of biological processes, the results from the ecology DQCs illuminate reasoning patterns that are consistent for a student or even for an entire class. Qualitative data collection included pre- and post-interviews, student written work, and video recordings of both whole class and small group discussions. The qualitative and quantitative data together suggest that as a result of engaging in several specific inquiry tasks, the introductory students can learn to apply the principles of conservation of matter and energy when explaining ecological phenomena. Students begin to reason across multiple scales after only a few specific targeted activities; however, their progress is not linear or stable, but episodic. We also found that an instructor's teaching method had a highly significant effect on students’ reasoning about matter and energy.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: The student centered activities that were found to promote principled reasoning about conservation of matter and energy are now implemented in all of the introductory ecology courses at PLNU, and an inquiry approach to instruction has ‘spilled-over’ into companion introductory biology courses. Department wide instructional changes are occurring for two reasons: (1) the university supports and encourages student-centered instructional practices, and (2) the 11 full-time biology faculty participate in weekly ‘brown bag’ faculty development lunches for the past few years. Most of our biology faculty have modified their lecture classes to include student-centered activities as a result of these lunch sharing sessions. Our lunch discussions have also led to a major revision to our introductory biology course sequence in an effort to cover fewer concepts, but cover them in greater depth (we created a 4 course introductory sequence: cell & molecular biology, ecology & evolution, genetics, organismal biology). As a group, the biology faculty read and discussed Handelsman et al's 'Scientific Teaching' book (2006) with the goal of reflecting on and being intentional about our instructional approaches in both our lower and upper division courses. Finally, all of our non-science major introductory biology courses have been transformed to focus less on coverage and more on the five core themes of biology as identified by Vision and Change (AAAS, 2011).

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Since my goal has been to identify instructional activities that help undergraduate introductory students develop scientific ways of thinking about matter and energy in biological systems, I needed an effective way to measure students’ reasoning. One of the most effective approaches is to conduct interviews, however interviews are labor and time intensive, and the population size of a qualitative study utilizing interviews tends to be small. While concept inventories can be used with large numbers of students to reveal patterns in students’ reasoning, they are not as effective as interviews in uncovering student thinking. Furthermore, limited funding in biology education research has had an impact on our ability to conduct multiple interviews or refine concept inventories that set out to reveal reasoning patterns. I have been working with undergraduate students to teach them how to conduct and begin to analyze interviews, but this process is only partially effective as most undergraduate students remain with a project for only one or two semesters and work only a few hours per week. I continue to search for funding sources that will support small in-depth approaches to identifying the instructional interventions that are most effective for promoting student thinking and reasoning.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Dissemination has included one publication in CBE-Life Sciences Education (Maskiewicz, Griscom, & Welch, 2012), multiple presentations at the Ecological Society of America conferences (ESA 2012, 2010, 2009), and one presentation at the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER, 2012). Currently I am working on validating the ecology DQCs using interviews from students in my courses. I hope to publish these findings in a science education journal.

Acknowledgements: I would like to thank all of the students in my introductory biology courses over the past few years for allowing me to conduct surveys, analyze their inventory responses, video record class sessions, and for volunteering to be interviewed. I would like to thank several undergraduate students for helping me conduct this research (Naomi Delgado, Maria Holman, Lindsay Powell, and Kelsey Alexander). Finally, I would like to thank the administration at Point Loma Nazarene University for supporting the transformation of biology instruction and all that this entails.

Making Small Changes to Big Courses

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Title of Abstract: Making Small Changes to Big Courses

Name of Author: Lori Kayes
Author Company or Institution: Oregon State University
Author Title: Course Coordinator
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: General Biology
Course Levels: Introductory Course(s)
Approaches: Adding to the literature on how people learn, Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development, Mixed Approach
Keywords: Socioscientific issues motivation alignment active learning learning outcomes

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Krissi Hewitt, Oregon State University Robert Mason, Oregon State University

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: In our Principles of Biology for Majors at Oregon State University (OSU), we have been implementing elements of the Vision and Change (V&C) over the last year. This course is a year-long series with almost 1200 students per quarter. Our goal is to redevelop the entire series to be more aligned with the V&C and thus increase our student’s learning, engagement, and long-term retention of materials. The goals and intended outcomes in progress include 1) the development of course learning outcomes that are aligned with the V&C core concepts and competencies; 2) assessment of the current lecture learning outcomes to determine where they are or are not aligned with V&C; 3) incorporating clickers and on-line homework into the large lecture classroom to encourage student engagement, active learning, peer teaching and provide multiple types of assessment; and 4) the development of a laboratory curriculum that is driven by educational theory and incorporates a socio-scientific issues-based approach.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: 1) We redesigned the learning outcomes based on what is already occurring in course to more fully align with V&C. 2) A GTA visited lectures and developed learning outcomes for each lecture based on what is currently being taught in the lecture. Our next step will be to assess the alignment of these outcomes with the V&C and look for ways to augment and streamline the curriculum in conjunction with the NW Biosciences Consortium. 3) Due to modeling of clicker technology in our labs, lecture instructors quickly became interested in using them in lecture. As new instructors come on board, we encourage them to use the clickers and our campus provides training and classroom support. The course coordinator manages and designs all of the on-line homework assignments. 4) The socio-scientific issues-based approach to undergraduate biology education not only adheres to the core concepts, competencies, and pedagogical approaches outlined in V&C, but also focuses on the development of biologically literate citizens capable of informed decision-making. The laboratory activities include active learning discussion and reflection sessions that focus on global and local social problems that intersect with science (i.e. GMOs, etc). They are also being built on the idea that students should be engaged in authentic activities that reflect the current state of biological research. A science education graduate student who focuses on university biology education is conducting this curriculum redesign and educational research study. In addition to the development of laboratory curriculum, extensive support was provided for GTAs to increase likelihood of the curriculum being implemented as it was intended.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: 1 -2) We are developing a course assessment based on the concepts and competencies in the V & C in conjunction with the NW Biosciences Consortium to determine if alignment assists students in meeting these outcomes (intended). 3) We evaluated student exam scores to see if there was an improvement after adding on-line homework and clickers. 4) In order to assess the effectiveness of this laboratory curriculum, a mixed methods research study is being conducted that compares laboratory sections that participate in the socioscientific issues-based curriculum (520 students) with the sections that participate in the current curriculum in place (520 students). Specifically, we are investigating the motivating aspects of the classroom environment and students’ motivation to inform themselves about socioscientific issues. The research study will be part of the graduate student’s dissertation and published in peer-reviewed journals that contribute to the state of knowledge on science education.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: 1-2) We have seen an increase in interest on the part of the faculty in what the V&C is and why it is important. The faculty, also, appear to appreciate the effort that is being made to help the students make learning gains in this course and in upper division courses. We hope to better prepare students for upper division courses so that they are able to more easily transition from our course to others. 3) Students have shown great appreciation for the addition of multiple forms of assessment. We anticipate that we will be helping them develop better study skills over time by incorporating these types of activities into our classes. 4) While we are still evaluating the impacts of these efforts on GTAs, we involved 28 GTAs in the laboratory curriculum research study as participants, giving them an opportunity to better understand both education research and different pedagogical strategies for effective instruction. Data on the impacts of the reformed laboratory curriculum on student motivation, attitudes and biological literacy is currently being analyzed.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: The largest barriers we have faced are typical of this type of undertaking, including time, resources, and buy-in from faculty, students and graduate students. 1-2) It is difficult to make changes to learning outcomes in a series that is already in progress with such a large number of students. We have found that working on small steps makes it possible to move towards a complete redesign of the series while offering a quality experience for current students. 3) There are challenges with technology required to utilize the on-line homework and clickers. Finally, for all of the first three goals, there is some reticence on the part of the long-time faculty to change the way and what they teach but seeing improvements in learning has encouraged their participation. These barriers are balanced by some advantages that we feel may be unique to the OSU Biology Program. We have a very supportive administration and are situated in a small unit dedicated to teaching biology. This condensed faculty, primarily focused on teaching, gives us a lot of momentum to change and to improve the curriculum. We also have a very dedicated group of GTAs that have helped with the curriculum development. Utilizing graduate students has also allowed us to involve researchers in Science and Math Education who bring knowledge about student learning and educational research design to ensure the effectiveness of our efforts. 4) Implementation of new laboratory curriculum by GTAs, some with very little teaching experience, has proven to be challenging at times. The focus of the curriculum on active discussion of sensitive topics was new for most GTAs. In order to increase the competency of the GTAs in these areas, they were prepped weekly and given support throughout the term. We plan to make more supportive documents and training sessions in the future, so they feel confident in teaching the curriculum. The students in the course were occasionally upset about various topics or how discussions we

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: We plan to disseminate this information through a number of outlets. A recently awarded grant to expand the NW Biosciences Consortium will allow for dissemination of materials (such as learning outcomes, assessments, and laboratory activities) developed for use in introductory biology curriculum within the PNW and the rest of the biological sciences teaching community. The research study will be part of the graduate student’s dissertation and published in peer-reviewed journals that contribute to the state of knowledge on science education.

Acknowledgements: GTAs, students and faculty in the BI21x series

Vision and Change in a Reformed Biology Curriculum

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Title of Abstract: Vision and Change in a Reformed Biology Curriculum

Name of Author: Richard Cyr
Author Company or Institution: Penn State
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: Cell Biology, Ecology and Environmental Biology, General Biology, Organismal Biology, Physiology & Anatomy
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Faculty Development, Introductory Course(s), Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Adding to the literature on how people learn, Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development, Mixed Approach
Keywords: Large Courses Pedagogy Training Learning Communities Post-doctoral Teaching Fellows Faculty Workshops

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Denise Woodward, Penn State

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: The Penn State Department of Biology considers Vision and Change (V&C) a roadmap for the future in education in the Life Sciences and our long-term goal is to fully integrate all Core Concepts and Competencies into Biology’s curriculum. Initially our efforts are and will continue to be focused on the freshman/sophomore curriculum, but there will be spillover into the junior/senior (and graduate) levels. The intended outcome is a reformed Biology curriculum that better retains students in their first two years, focusing on matriculating metacognitive undergraduates who have a solid grasp of how science is done and how this knowledge can help solve problems facing society.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: All V&C Core Concepts and Competencies have been adopted as Biology’s goals. Scaling learner-centered approaches in large classrooms is a challenge and our strategy involves experimenting with techniques in one course, then transferring effective techniques to others. Learning communities are essential to scaling and a ‘Peer Learning Corp’ has been created along with a pedagogy course that focuses on what the current research reveals about how students learn, along with applications of this knowledge to specific courses learning activities. A need for formal pedagogy training of graduate students was recognized and a graduate student-level pedagogy program was developed. In the first semester students participate in a discussion-based classroom, while in the second semester they help in a teaching lab and receive feedback that helps them improve their classroom effectiveness. A ‘V&C Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellows Program’ has been developed, which provides pedagogical training as well as a mentored teaching experience for post-docs. The pedagogy training consists of either the graduate-level pedagogy course and/or participation in workshops. Once pedagogy training is completed, they teach a small class, where a mentor reviews their course materials, attends classes and provides feedback. To better educate our faculty about the value of learner-centered instruction, a one-week workshop was developed. Freshman/sophomore labs have been reformed to a more inquiry-based format. With College of Education assistance, our labs have become more relevant to the problems that face society. Several faculty members now introduce their own research questions into the freshman/sophomore labs. In addition, our large courses are now used as test beds to gain insights into student learning, resulting in co-published papers with Education faculty.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: Using V&C as a roadmap, a matrix was created of how our freshman and sophomore courses aligned. This process identified gaps, and steps have been taken to fill these curricular voids. We are currently developing a systematic approach to assess learning outcomes that are aligned with V&C. In the coming year, we plan to map each question from all freshman and sophomore course exams to the V&C Content and Competencies. Once done, student performance data on each question will be collected. This will allow us to track student exam performance in a categorical matrix. In future years, we also plan to assign some type of Bloom taxonomy scale to each question so that insight is gained into the depth of learning that is taking place. Student attitude surveys are being administered to reformed introductory labs, both at the beginning and at the conclusion of each course.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: Using Learning Assistants, large lecture halls have been transformed into communities of 25 neighborhoods, with Learning Assistants helping students understand complicated worksheets and problems posed by their instructors. There has been an increase in the number of freshman/sophomore courses that are taking a deliberate, learner-centered approach. All four of Biology’s core courses plan to expand their learner-centered activities. The number of students in the Peer Learning Corp has similarly grown. Course material developed in Biology for pedagogy training is now in use around the College. In the coming years, we plan to engage more faculty members in learner-centered instruction and to make further improvements in Biology’s freshman/sophomore lab courses. Our Peer Learning Corp is essential for scaling, and next year we anticipate having 210 participants. Students taking our pedagogy courses say it helps them not only work more effectively with their own students, but it also reveals to them how their own learning works. Although envisioned as a program to help students enrolled in a biology course, evidence reveals that this peer-learning engagement helps the leaders too. We have found that students who participate in the Peer Learning Corp are retained in science majors at a higher frequency, compared to the general student population. The faculty workshop (sponsored by the College’s Center for Excellence in Science Education; CESE) was held for the first time this year. Five sessions were presented by 6 faculty members (from PSU and elsewhere), with 43 Penn State registrants.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Not all students welcome learner-centered instruction, which is exhibited in various ways. In the coming year, students’ resistance will be addressed by being more transparent as to why they are asked to engage in various activities. In addition, we will strive to take a more proactive position in identifying these resistant students early and, with the help of our experienced Learning Assistants, these students will be targeted for interventions.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: As mentioned, Biology’s pedagogy course material has been shared with faculty in the Eberly College of Science. In addition, faculty members at other institutions have been given access to the materials. The CESE webpages contain materials used in the workshop described earlier herein. Information on the Peer Learning Corp is being collected and will be posted on the Biology website. Penn State is a system that comprises 22 locations. (A total of about 50,000 student credit hours of biology instruction are delivered system-wide.) The Biology faculty members throughout the system meet annually and the activities described herein will be shared with them at our next meeting and via a discussion group that is available to Biology faculty throughout the system.

Acknowledgements: Howard Hughes Medical Institute Eberly College of Science

Discipline-Based Faculty and Curriculum Development Program

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Title of Abstract: Discipline-Based Faculty and Curriculum Development Program

Name of Author: Stanley Lo
Author Company or Institution: Northwestern University
Author Title: Lecturer
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: All Biological Sciences Courses
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Faculty Development
Approaches: Adding to the literature on how people learn, Assessment, Changes in Classroom Approach (flipped classroom, clickers, POGIL, etc.), Material Development, Mixed Approach
Keywords: authentic research experience, curriculum development, evidence-based methods, faculty development, institutional cultural change

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Stanley M. Lo, Northwestern University Su L. Swarat, Northwestern University Gregory J. Light, Northwestern University Denise L. Drane, Northwestern University

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: Vision and Change and other commissions have called for evidence-based pedagogical methods in biology education, but transforming engrained practices can be challenging. We designed and implemented a faculty development program that is meaningful to participants’ teaching contexts and aims to change conceptions of teaching in addition to approaches. Faculty development is coupled with a curriculum revision of our introductory biology course sequence.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: Rather than focusing on teaching strategies (approaches), the program aims to foster reflection on teaching. Participants engage in workshops that reconsider teacher-focused paradigm in favor of learner-focused paradigm (conceptions). Faculty development is situated in practical context of redesigning and teaching an introductory biology curriculum (300-500 students). Peer-review meetings promote reflections on teaching methods that participants have implemented. In addition, the program follows the Henderson model of effective change strategies as theoretical framework: developing curriculum and reflective instructors, creating shared vision (collaboration among 10 instructors), and enacting policy (program supported by senior administration and external funding).

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: Our program is evaluated by a quasi-experimental design with historical comparison groups of faculty and students. For faculty teaching, pre/post interviews uncover changing conceptions, and pre/post surveys reveal significant gains in approaches aligned with learner-focused paradigm. Classroom observations triangulate that participants shifted from lectures to evidence-based methods, and laboratories transformed from cookbook exercises to student research projects. Analysis of exam questions by Bloom’s taxonomy tracks how faculty assess student learning over time. For student learning, pre/post concept inventories and surveys indicate improved cognitive and affective learning. Focus groups and interviews reveal deeper student approaches to learning, away from memorized algorithms. Evidence for institutional cultural change includes program adaptation in other departments.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: For faculty colleagues, their conceptions of teaching changed from transmission-based ones to beliefs that are more aligned with student learning. Their approaches also changed to incorporate student interactions that promote learning, and they adapted many evidence-based practices in their classrooms. At the course level in the department, introductory courses changed to be more active-learning environments, and laboratory courses changed into include open-ended research projects. For students, their approaches to learning changed from memorized algorithms to more conceptual approaches. Their view of the purpose of laboratory changed from reinforcing lecture content to learning to become scientists. Their learning of course concepts improved, and their motivation and interests in biology are also enhanced compared to the historical baseline. For the institution, other departments are beginning to consider adapting these approaches, including open-ended research projects in General Chemistry Laboratory.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Student resistance to change was unexpected and continues to be a challenge. However, we are observing over time that students are becoming more aware of the changed teaching methods, and support from senior students who went through the old, lecture-based courses have been helpful. In addition, faculty resistance to change was one of the most prominent challenges in this project. Willingness to listen to our colleagues’ concerns was important. We engaged senior administration to provide additional support, and we asked senior students to sit on a panel for faculty to ask them their experiences in the old, lecture-based courses. We also engaged our Office of Change Management to discuss continuing strategies in providing support for faculty and curriculum changes in our teaching culture.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: The results of this program have been presented at the American Educational Research Association (paper presentation), Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (keynote address), and the Chicago Symposium for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (workshop, breakout session). We will continue to present these results at similar conference, and manuscripts based on previous presentations are in preparation.

Acknowledgements: This work was made possible by an institutional award from HHMI.