ASM events
This conference is managed by the American Society for Microbiology
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1. abstract of journey

Before the Institute, I did active learning in the classroom (think-pair-share, concept mapping), and I regularly performed informal assessment (student surveys) to improve my teaching.  But the Biology Scholars experience has now raised me to a whole new level.  I am now collaborating with two colleagues in true educational research.  Obtaining IRB approval was a major challenge, but now that the process is clearer to me, I am confident with IRB related to future research projects.  For the Fall 2012 semester, I was only able to obtain preliminary data.  However, I was also able to develop the collaboration, and refine the survey forms and the content questions (to assess student learning gains).  This Spring 2013 semester we are collecting data, and I plan a microbrew at CUE on this project. Because of Biology Scholars, I have read far more of the teaching and learning literature related to science higher education.  I have also learned more about how to analyze data, but quantitative and qualitative.
For more professional development opportunities, there is simply an event: seminar, conference, etc. I think that Biology Scholars is far more effective, with the use of pre-assignments, and webinars, and post-assignments; all of these activities to keep the participants engaged and active before, during, and after the Institute.  This has made a permanent change in my teaching (making it more evidence-based and assessment-driven), and converted me into a researcher.  In the Fall 2013, I plan to also initiate another project with a second faculty member.  Analysis of our nursing microbiology course shows high rates of failure (grades of D or F, or dropping the course), as high as 50%.  We will test if adding a recitation to the lecture and lab course components will increase student success rates.  The recitation session will consist of all active learning exercises. If successful, we plan to ask the institution to convert the optional recitation to a permanent part of the course for all students. We may also extend it to other pre-nursing courses.

2. figure to illustrate past year's work

I have not yet analyzed data from this semester, as my IRB requires me to submit grades for the course before looking at the survey and exam data.  But here are some facts that drive me, from a survey that students completed on the first day of class in my pre-nursing microbiology course:
50% expected a course grade of A, and 50% expected a course grade of B.
When asked how many hours a week they expected to spend on the course outside of clas, including all reading, studying, etc, they answered a mean of 4.8 hours/week.
The actual course grades that that class were 6% A and 17% B, with 23% dropping the course.
National recommendations for science courses are 2-3 hrs/week of outside class studying for each hour of course credit.  Since my BIOL 2420 course is four hours, they should spend 8-12 hours a week.
So, they expectations are not close to reality, thus I need to help them adjust quickly.

3. references that have informed your work

Andres et. al. CBE-Life Sciences Education, Vol. 10 (2011), p.394-405.
This describes active learning without improvements in student learning. This helps me to think carefully about what active learning I add to my courses, not just consider activities as a fix-all.

Freeman et al, CBE-Life Sciences Education, Vol. 10 (2011), p.175-186.
This analysis shows increase course success rates with increasing learning activities and quizzes, which the authors call “course structure.”  Increasing success rates in pre-nursing microbiology is a major goal of mine, so this gives me ideas on what to try, and what to assess.

Vision and Change report from AAAS and NSF.  This is foundation to much of what we do, and a great high-level overview guide.

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