bioCEED news

Visiting friends in Minnesota

A few weeks back bioCEEDers Oddfrid Førland and Vigdis Vandvik visited our collaborators Sehoya Cotner and Cissy Ballen at the Biology Teaching and Learning Unit at University of Minnesota.

Ass. Prof. Sehoya Cotner preparing for practical teaching in her course “Evolution and Biology of Sex”.

We got the chance to observe biology teaching in their unique active learning classrooms (picture below), and hear much about the great work they do to promote and research excellent teaching and learning. 

Some of this work has recently been published, in particular,  Cissy, Sehoya and collaborators have published a paper exploring how and why active learning tends to close various kinds of achievement gaps (gender, race, first-generation students) in biology education by supporting the students’ sense of belonging: ‘“I think I can” is key to closing achievement gap in biology education’ , and the full paper is available here.

Another study finds that women are disadvantaged by high-stakes exams because of higher test anxiety. This work has relevance across academic fields, as it suggests that lowering the stakes in assessment can be an efficient way of closing gender and other achievement gaps in Higher Education. The full paper is available here.

Active learning room at the Biology Teaching and Learning Unit, University of Minnesota (Click to enlarge)


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