BioCEED, in collaboration with iEarth, hosted a mini-symposium highlighting STEM Education Research, at UiB and in a few cases, more broadly. Invited speakers included bioCEED PhD candidate Anja Møgelvang Jacobsen, who spoke about her recent work looking at the impact of a digital cooperative-learning intervention on student psycho-social outcomes (e.g., sense of belonging, loneliness), and Sarah Hammarlund (University of Minnesota), who also spoke about a sense of belonging intervention in introdutory chemistry and biology courses. Our other bioCEED PhD, Marius Ole Johansen, shared his work on student autonomy satisfaction versus frustration, and Alyssa Olson (also of the University of Minnesota) spoke about how some hidden identities can be barriers to student engagement in field courses. Robin Costello (Auburn University) presented on “The impact of diversifying and humanizing science role models on student attitudes and interest in science careers” and Christian Strømme presented findings from the curriculum-redesign project, specifically focusing on the acquisition of science skills in the BIO bachelors degree program. Isabela Pires Darcie (UPED) introduced herself to the bioCEED community with an overview of her work on assessment practices in Norwegian higher education, and Oddfrid Førland and Kristin Holtermann shared their work on engaging students during the ongoing curriculum-redesign project. We wrapped up with some updates from bioBEE Emily Christiansen, along with Sarah Hammarlund and Robin Costello, specifically on recent work with sense of belonging in introductory-STEM courses.
The aims of this symposium were to highlight the exciting work of our early-career researchers, give participants some time to network, and ideally generate new ideas for future collaboration. We succeeded on all points: attendees were engaged by the work and there have been several follow-up discussions, including one with INF100 instructors that has led to an in-class belonging intervention, similar to that presented by Sarah Hammarlund and described recently in BioScience. We are also following up with Chemistry and Mathematics, and plan to have more to discuss…ideally at a repeat symposium in 2023 (?!).