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bioCEEDsters: Kseniia Kalian

Hey, my name is Kseniia and I have been working at UNIS since 2020. Initially I joined the interdisciplinary “FieldPass” project as a postdoc where I am investigating possible ways to strengthen the constructive alignment between learning activities (with fieldwork as a key element), forms of assessments and learning outcomes. Here I am going to test reflective diaries both as a tool to assess students` performance and as a source of valuable insights about what students actually learn during the fieldwork (so it is possible to improve their experience). I am also going to study the effect ofVirtual Field Guides (VFG) as a tool to fill the gap between what students learn from lectures and what they experience during their fieldwork (and, as a result, to strengthen the alignment between different learning activities). The last part of the project is about field laboratories for assessment of practical skills. However, due to due to the COVID-19 situation and the cancellation of all courses at UNIS, the FieldPass project is paused to the beginning of 2021. So, I am currently working as a researcher at the Arctic Biology Department. My main task now is to look into how we can restructure the course packages at the AB department, in terms of time suitability and course content, to better meet the needs of the biology programmes at the mainland universities. I will also look into how the courses are structured and how to improve course alignment. In order to achieve this goal, I need to find out what affects the number of students that come to UNIS.

I made my way from a practicing teacher to an educational researcher. It took me many years and a lot of degrees (currently – 4, and this number is growing), and gave me a diverse background, that includes, among other things, comprehensive training in pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning, research methodology (including social science research and advanced applied research methods), educational policy analysis etc. All this is combined with experience of actually teaching. So, I am ready for vast varieties of tasks and challenges.

People who know me tell that I am an explorer by nature, because I am interested in testing new tools for education and comparing them to conventional approaches. As a person I am very passioned about tackling unique challenges – it is an important part of my life.

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