Did you know that science education is undergoing major changes?
- The UCSF Science Education Journal Club meets monthly to discuss a paper in science education.
- It is a partnership of OCPD and the Science and Health Education Partnership (SEP).
What you will get out of the meetings:
- Build a community of UCSF trainees interested in science education
- Develop a better understanding of successful education practices
- Discuss recent scientific evidence supporting specific pedagogical approaches with peers
Upcoming Journal Club meetings at Mission Bay:
- Wednesday, April 4, 2018 from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. in MH TBD
- Special guest: Bruce Alberts
- Register here
- Thursday, May 17, 2018 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in MH 1109
How to Join:
- Join us in person at Mission Bay
- Can't make it to Mission Bay? Participate via Google Hangout! Email us for information ([email protected]).
- Want to attend but can't? Let us know why!
- Sign-up to receive future announcements about the SEJC: http://bit.ly/SEJC2
Be a facilitator:
Science Education Journal Club (SEJC) facilitators have the opportunity to choose the article and lead the group discussion. If you are interested in facilitating in Fall 2018, please email Allyson Spence at [email protected]. The role of the facilitator is to:
- Choose a paper for discussion and send it to [email protected] at least 2 weeks prior to the journal club date.
- Send a short summary of the article as well as 2-3 discussion questions at least 1 week prior to the journal club date.
- Facilitate the article discussion in any format you would like. For example: pair-share discussions, whips, note card writing, etc. You could also invite the lead or first author to video conference into the journal club.
Spring 2018 Articles:
Wednesday, April 4, 2018 from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. in MH TBD
Special guest: Bruce Alberts
Article: Alberts, Bruce. “Science for Life.” Science, vol. 655, no. 6332, 31 Mar. 2017, p. 1353, doi:DOI: 10.1126/science.aan2924.
Friday, March 23, 2018 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in MH 1109
Guest Speaker: Melinda Owens, San Francisco State University
Article: Owens, M., Seidel, S., Wong, M., et. al. (2017). Classroom sound can be used to classify teaching practices in college science courses. PNAS, 114(12), 3085-3090. doi:10.1073/pnas.1618693114
In recent years, there has been a shift from traditional lecturing to using evidence-based practices, such as active learning, in undergraduate STEM courses. However, it has remained unclear how much active learning faculty actually are using in their classroom. This recent study developed a new tool to measure the presence of active learning during class, the Decibel Analysis for Research in Teaching (DART). DART is a machine-learning-derived algorithm that can analyze audio recordings of class sessions to measure when the instructor lectures versus nonlecture activity such as group discussions and independent writing/thinking. This month, come learn about this new tool and its application from one of the paper’s first authors, Melinda Owens.
- What might be different about the way a classroom that uses active learning sounds than a classroom that only has traditional lecture?
- What do you think you could uncover if you analyzed the noise levels of classes that you've taught or been a student in?
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in MH 1108
Facilitator: Paul Li
Article: Figlio, D. N., Schapiro, M. O., & Soter, K. B. (2015). Are tenure-track professors better teachers? Review of Economics and Statistics, 97(4), 715-724. DOI: 10.1162/REST_a_00529
In 1975, 57% of all faculty were in the tenure system. By 2011 that figure had been cut almost in half to 29%, leading to the increase of contingent faculty. This paper examined first-year students at Northwestern University to investigate the relative effects of tenure track/tenured versus contingent faculty (non-tenured/tenure track teaching faculty) on student learning. They found consistent evidence that students learn relatively more from contingent faculty in their first-term courses. We will explore the measures used in this paper to explain why.
- Why do you think one type of faculty is better at teaching than the other?
- Does this generalize to all types of students (ones who are less academically qualified vs. more academically qualified students)?
- Do subsequent course work that students take and their grades in these courses a good measure of success for having taught effectively?
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in MH 1107
Facilitator: Dave Brown
Article: Erin A. Becker, Erin J. Easlon, Sarah C. Potter, Alberto Guzman-Alvarez, Jensen M. Spear, Marc T. Facciotti, Michele M. Igo, Mitchell Singer, and Christopher Pagliarulo. The Effects of Practice-Based Training on Graduate Teaching Assistants’ Classroom Practices. CBE Life Sci Educ. December 1, 2017 16:ar58; doi:10.1187/cbe.16-05-0162
Evidence based best-practices are seldom adopted without repeated opportunities to practice the new behavior. For example graduate teaching assistants rarely implement recommended teaching techniques spontaneously, even if presented with the underlying evidence. This paper investigates the effects of teacher training on their classroom practices, as part of a larger question, how should we teach our teachers?
- Figure 1. What makes encouraging student participation so counterintuitive?
- Figure 2. Cold calling. It’s supposed to be good, why does everybody hate it?
- Figure 3. Is inconsistent feedback responsible for the unstable implementation?
Fall 2017 Articles:
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in MH 1109
Facilitator: Robert Newberry
Article: Schinske, J.; Tanner, K. “Teaching More by Grading Less (or Differently)” CBE Life Sci. Educ. 2014, 13, 159-166.
Perhaps nothing draws more ire and exasperation from both students and instructors than grades. Many stakeholders agree that current systems require improvement, but what exactly should be done? After outlining a brief history of grading in the US, Schinske and Tanner discuss the purposes of grading and offer some strategies for improvement, including the provocative proposal to grade less.
Some things to think about:
- What are your personal experiences with grades, either as a student or as an instructor? Can you think of examples of how a grading scheme helped or hurt your learning?
- What information should grades capture?
- What is your ideal grading scheme? How could it be implemented?
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in MH 2109
Facilitator: Stephen Filios
Article: Hossain, Z., Bumbacher, E., Brauneis, A. et al. Design Guidelines and Empirical Case Study for Scaling Authentic Inquiry-based Science Learning via Open Online Courses and Interactive Biology Cloud Labs. Int J Artif Intell Educ (2017). doi.org/10.1007/s40593-017-0150-3
Researchers at Stanford created a model for “inquiry based learned”, in which students learn about science by making hypotheses, performing scientific experiments, and analyzing the resulting data. This study was unique in that the authors built the experience in a scalable manner, allowing large numbers of remote students (300+) to participate in authentic inquiry based learning without the presence of an instructor.
What are the limits of scalable learning in biology?
What other experiments would work, and what would not yet work?
Thursday, October 26, 2017 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in MH 1109
Facilitator: Laurence Clement
Article: Cooper K, Ashley M, Brownell S. 2017. Using expectancy value theory as a framework to reduce student resistance to active learning: a proof of concept. J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. 18(2): doi:10.1128/jmbe.v18i2.1289
Worried about students resisting your new teaching strategies? Active learning summarizes a group of classroom strategies that have been shown to be effective at improving learning, including in the science classroom. This study looks at the potential reasons why some students may resist active learning in an introductory biology classroom. These findings could impact how you set-up your classroom and curriculum, and how you choose to engage your students to get better results when using active learning strategies.
Thursday, September 28, 2017 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in MH 1108
Facilitator: Sabine Jeske
Article: Robert, J. and Carlsen, W. S. (2017), Teaching and research at a large university: Case studies of science professors. J Res Sci Teach, 54: 937–960. doi:10.1002/tea.21392
A potential shortage of STEM professionals from the future American workforce is now recognized and there is new interest in attracting and retaining STEM students in postsecondary education. These developments point to a need for more research on interventions that might improve STEM faculty teaching practices at the college level, but developing interventions and understanding their effects is predicated on better understanding professors’ values, beliefs, and priorities, as well as their origins. This article utilized four phenomenological case studies conducted to address the following research question: How do individuals in a sample of tenure-track science professors prioritize teaching among their other professional roles and responsibilities? Contrary to literature speculation, the results of this study indicate that the participants make decisions about the way they allocate limited time in an unlimited work environment based on their intrinsic, personal career goals and aspirations and appear to be only minimally affected by external pressures to “prioritize research over teaching.”
1) Based on the article and your own experiences, what are your thoughts about the main finding of the study: "The participants in this study indicated that they made decisions based on their intrinsic goals, which is in contrast to existing assumptions that departmental or institutional culture exerts a significant influence on professors’ career decisions. Although participants' choices were typically in alignment with institutional norms and goals, they viewed this alignment as incidental rather than causal."2) What is your view on the authors' following statement: "Beyond classroom instruction, participants in this study also engaged in mentoring and training graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, advising undergraduates, and sponsoring independent study. Further empirical and theoretical work is needed to refine the field’s scholarly definition of “teaching” at the postsecondary level. A more complete description of teaching activities could also lead to practical implications such as integrating a wider variety of teaching activities into promotion and tenure guidelines, yearly teaching requirements, etc."
Spring 2017 Articles:
Facilitator: Debbie Thurtle-Schmidt
Article: Bissonnette SA, Combs ED, Nagami PH, Byers V, Fernandez J, Le D, Realin J, Woodham S, Smith JI, Tanner KD. (2017) Using the Biology Card Sorting Task to Measure Changes in Conceptual Expertise during Postsecondary Biology Education. CBE Life Sci Educ. 2017 Spring;16(1). pii: ar14. doi: 10.1187/cbe.16-09-0273.
Facilitator: Katherine Nielsen
Article: Mendoza-Denton R, Patt C, Fisher A, Eppig A, Young I, Smith A, et al. (2017) Differences in STEM doctoral publication by ethnicity, gender and academic field at a large public research university. PLoS ONE 12(4): e0174296.
When applying for faculty positions, one's publication record is a key factor in hiring decisions. A recent study at a large research institution probed Ph.D. candidates' publication rates by gender, ethnicity, and department. Underrepresented minority groups (URM) were about half as likely to submit research for publication as their non-URM male counterparts. The study also found a smaller gap for women as well as some striking differences across graduate programs.
Guest Speaker: Jeff Schinske, Biology Instructor, De Anza College; Organizer: Allyson Spence
Article: Schinske JN, Perkins H, Snyder A, Wyer M. Scientist Spotlight Homework Assignments Shift Students' Stereotypes of Scientists and Enhance Science Identity in a Diverse Introductory Science Class. CBE Life Sci Educ. 2016 fall;15(3). pii: ar47.
For many students, their first experience with a “real” scientist is in their college STEM courses, which in the US may likely be a professor who is male and white (NSF, 2013). In this study the investigators examined the impact that presenting students with counterstereotypical examples of scientists would have on their perceptions of the types of people that do science as well as their ability to relate to scientists.
Facilitator: Emily B. Anderson
Article: Increased Preclass Preparation Underlies Student Outcome Improvement in the Flipped Classroom Gross, Pietri, Anderson, Moyano-Camihort, Graham, CBE-LSE Vol. 14, 1–8, Winter 2015.
In this study, the authors converted an upper-level chemistry course from a standard lecture format to a "flipped classroom" where classtime is devoted to problem solving. Following the conversion, student exam scores increased. The authors attribute at least part of the improvement to increased student engagement in online problem solving homework.
Facilitator: Robert Newberry
Article: The Scientific Status of Learning Styles Theories. Daniel T. Willingham, Elizabeth M. Hughes, and David G. Dobolyi. Teaching of Psychology 2015, Vol. 42(3) 266-271.
In order to promote success among students with a variety of abilities, many educators attempt to tailor their instruction toward a student’s “learning style,” defined as the student's preference for processing information in a particular way. Though learning styles are broadly accepted and commonly invoked, there is little evidence that addressing student learning styles actually improves learning, raising questions about best practices in the classroom.
Fall 2016 Articles:
Facilitator: Christina Fitzsimmons
Article: Improving and Assessing Student Hands-On Laboratory Skills through Digital Badging. Sarah Hensiek, Brittland K. DeKorver, Cynthia J. Harwood, Jason Fish, Kevin O’Shea, and Marcy Towns. Journal of Chemical Education 2016 93 (11), 1847-1854
Digital badges are online tokens that can be awarded by instructors to assess the completion of a project or the mastery of a skill. This study asks wether the use of digital badges is associated with better student hands-on performance.
Guest Speaker: Lisa McDonnell, Assistant Teaching Professor, UC San Diego; Organizer: Katherine Farrar
Article: Concepts first, jargon second improves student articulation of understanding. McDonnell, L., Barker, M. K. and Wieman, C. (2016) Biochem. Mol. Biol. Educ., 44: 12–19. doi:10.1002/bmb.20922
Do students learn scientific concepts better when these concepts are first presented without the scientific jargon? This January 2016 paper by Nobel-laureate Carl Wieman and his team investigates this question in a large undergraduate biology course.
Facilitator: Katherine Farrar
Article: Promoting Student Metacognition. Kimberly D. Tanner. CBE—Life Sciences Education Vol. 11, 113–120, Summer 2012
Studies show that many undergraduate students lack the metacognitive skills to be successful in college. Metacognition, in the context of education, is the process by which learners think about their own thought and learning process, how they plan their studying process, monitor their learning (test themselves) and correct their learning strategy and understanding if needed. This article includes a wide variety of metacognitive strategies that are broadly applicable and easy to integrate into different courses. It also addresses metacognitive approaches for teachers.
Vanderbilt Center for Teaching, Guide on Metacognition, Nancy Chick, Assistant Director: https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/metacognition/
Bransford, J., Brown, A. L., and Cocking, R. (2000). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
Crowe, Alison, et al. Biology in Bloom: Implementing Bloom's Taxonomy to Enhance Student Learning in Biology. CBE - Life Sciences Education Vol. 7, 368-381, Winter 2008.
Mynlieff, Michelle, et al. Writing Assignments with a Metacognitive Component Enhance Learning in a Large Introductory Biology Course. CBE - Life Sciences Education Vol. 13, 311-321, Summer 2014.
Pintrich, Paul R. (2002). The Role of Metacognitive Knowledge in Learning, Teaching, and Assessing. Theory Into Practice, 41: 4, 219-225.
Facilitator: Christina Fitzsimmons
Article: Full STEAM Ahead: The Benefits of Integrating the Arts Into STEM. Michelle H. Land. Procedia Computer Science, Volume 20, 2013, Pages 547-552, ISSN 1877-0509, .
Spring 2016 Articles:
May 2016 :
Article: Connecting biology and organic chemistry introductory laboratory courses through a collaborative research project. Boltax AL, Armanious S, Kosinski-Collins MS, Pontrello JK. Biochem Mol Biol Educ. 2015 Jul-Aug;43(4):233-44. doi: 10.1002/bmb.20871. Epub 2015 Jul 3.
Facilitator: Charlie Morgan, PhD, UCSF alumnus and National Academies Fellow in Science Education, joining us via Skype from Washington DC.
Article:Transforming Science Education at Large Research Universities: A Case Study in Progress (2010) Wieman, Carl; Perkins, Katherine; Gilbert, Sarah. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v42 n2 p7-14 Mar-Apr 2010
Special Guest Speaker: Erin Dolan, PhD
Article: Modeling Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences: An Agenda for Future Research and Evaluation. Lisa A. Corwin, Mark J. Graham, and Erin L. Dolan
CBE Life Sci Educ vol. 14 no. 1 es1
Caution, Student Experience May Vary: Social Identities Impact a Student’s Experience in Peer Discussions
Sarah L. Eddy, Sara E. Brownell, Phonraphee Thummaphan, Ming-Chih Lan, and Mary Pat Wenderoth
Facilitator: Deborah Thurtle-Schmidt
This study found that self-reported preferred roles in peer discussions in introductory biology classrooms can be predicted by social identities and that barriers to participation in peer discussions may impact certain student groups more than others.
Fall 2015 Articles:
How important is it to encourage interest in science early in children's lives? How early in their lives do students decide to pursue a science-related career? This month's SEJC will examine a paper which used longitudinal data to investigate 8th grade expectations and science related careers.
Case Study Teaching Method Improves Student Performance and Perceptions of Learning Gains. Kevin M. Bonney.
Case studies have been used in medical education for decades, but basic science instructors are just beginning to use them. Can case studies help a diverse population of introductory biology majors learn biological concepts more than more traditional models of teaching? This article focuses on the effectiveness of published case studies versus case studies developed by the instructor on student performance on exams, as well as on perceived learning gains relating to oral and written communication skills and connection to real-life situations.
Just the Facts? Introductory Undergraduate Biology Courses Focus on Low-Level Cognitive Skills. CBE—Life Sciences Education Vol. 9, 435–440, Winter 2010 Article
Jennifer L. Momsen,*† Tammy M. Long,‡ Sara A. Wyse,*§ and Diane Ebert-May*
Spring 2015 Articles:
Implicit Theories of Intelligence Predict Achievement Across and Adolescent Transition: A Longitudinal Study and an Intervention. Blackwell, L.S., Trzesniewski, K.H., & Dweck, C.S. (2007). Child Development, 78, 1, 246-263.
Effect of Teaching Metacognitive Learning Strategies on Performance in General Chemistry Courses. Cook, E., Kennedy, E., & Mcguire, S. Y. (2013). Journal of Chemical Education, 90, 961– 967.
A threat in the air. How stereotypes shape intellectual identity and performance. Steele, CM. Am Psychol., 1997 Jun;52(6):613-29.
Related article: Thin Ice: Stereotype Threat and Black College Students. Steele, CM.
Using online lectures to make time for active learning. Prunuske, A. J., Batzli, J., Howell, E., & Miller, S. (2012). Genetics, 192(1), 67–72.
Structure Matters: Twenty-one Teaching Strategies to Promote Student Engagement and Cultivate Classroom Equity by Kimberly D. Tanner. CBE Life Sci Educ vol. 12 no. 3 322-331
- This series is part of the Academic Career Development program and is offered by the UCSF Office of Career and Professional Development: http://career.ucsf.edu/
- Contact: Laurence Clement, Program Director of Academic Career Development, UCSF Office of Career and Professional Development, [email protected]
- To receive updates about similar events, sign-up to the PFF listserv.