Availability of cookies during an academic course session affects evaluation of teaching

– National Center for Biological Information

Results from end-of-course student evaluations of teaching (SETs) are taken seriously by faculties and form part of a decision base for the recruitment of academic staff, the distribution of funds and changes to curricula. However, there is some doubt as to whether these evaluation instruments accurately measure the quality of course content, teaching and knowledge transfer. This paper investigated whether the provision of chocolate cookies as a content-unrelated intervention influences SET results.

Students Are Rarely Independent: When, Why, and How to Use Random Effects in Discipline-Based Education Research

– CBE Life Sciences Education

Discipline-based education researchers have a natural laboratory—classrooms, programs, colleges, and universities. Studies that administer treatments to multiple sections, in multiple years, or at multiple institutions are particularly compelling for two reasons: first, the sample sizes increase, and second, the implementation of the treatments can be intentionally designed and carefully monitored, potentially negating the need for additional control variables. However, when studies are implemented in this way, the observations on students are not completely independent; rather, students are clustered in sections, terms, years, or other factors.

When Group Work Doesn’t Work: Insights from Students

– CBE Life Sciences Education

Introducing group work in college science classrooms can lead to noticeable gains in student achievement, reasoning ability, and motivation. To realize these gains, students must all contribute. Strategies like assigning roles, group contracts, anonymous peer evaluations, and peer ratings all encourage student participation. In a class using these strategies, we conducted in-depth interviews to uncover student perceptions of group work in general and the utility of these support strategies.

Research Coordination Networks in Undergraduate Biology Education – Program Funds Deadline

The RCN-UBE program funds the creation of networks of researchers, educators, and other stakeholders that improve undergraduate biology. Among other things, awards can be used to build community, develop standards, address interdisciplinary topics, and minimize duplication of efforts. The theme of an RCN-UBE proposal can be any topic likely to improve undergraduate biology education.

Full awards: up to $500K, five years
Incubator awards: up to $75K, one year

A list of recent awards can be found at the program summary.

Informational webinars:

  • 12:00 p.m. ET, 9 November 2018 (Friday)
  • 4:00 p.m. ET, 13 November 2018 (Tuesday)

Register for a webinar here. Connection information is on the registration page.

Proposal deadline: 22 January 2019

Congratulations to the Inaugural Faculty Fellows from UCLA’s Center for Diverse Leadership in Science

The Center for Diverse Leadership in Science (CDLS) is proud to announce their inaugural faculty fellows. CDLS, created by Dr. Aradhna Tripati (Institute of Environment and Sustainability – IoES; Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences- AOS; Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences – EPSS; and Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics), was created to recruit and retain underrepresented people in Environmental Science. In addition to providing research and outreach opportunities, CDLS brings faculty together to engage in professional development, including workshops offered by CEILS and BruinX. In this way, the center aims to empower their fellows in increasing diversity, equity and inclusivity in STEM and beyond. Twenty-two Faculty Fellows were selected across disciplines, for their dedication to implement inclusive practices and for their commitment to equity in the field: Alan Barreca (IoES), Daniele Bianchi (AOS), Jacob Bortnik (AOS), Justin Caram (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Kyle Cavanaugh (Geography), Robert Eagle (IoES, AOS), Jennifer Jay (IoES; Civil and Environmental Engineering), Peter Karieva (IoES), Abby Kavner (EPSS), Jasper Kok (AOS), Yung-Ya Lin (Chem & Biochem), Carolina Lithgow-Bertelloni (EPSS), Karen McKinnon (IoES; Statistics), James McWilliams (AOS; IoES), Jonathan Mitchell (AOS; EPSS), Stephanie Pincetl (IoES), Margot Quinlan (Chem & Biochem), Deepak Rajagopal (IoES; Urban Planning), Pablo Saide (AOS), Benjamin Schwartz (Chem & Biochem), Andrew Stewart (AOS), and Tina Treude (EPSS; AOS; Ecology & Evolutionary Biology).

The application period for 2019-2020 CDLS faculty fellows will open Spring of 2019. Please stay tuned to our website: www.ioes.ucla.edu/diversity for further details.

UCLA’s top teachers recognized at ceremony at Chancellor’s residence

The recipients of UCLA’s highest honor for teaching, the Distinguished Teaching Awards, were honored by the UCLA Academic Senate at the Andrea L. Rich Night to Honor Teaching awards ceremony at the Chancellor’s residence on Oct. 25. The winners were selected in three categories: senate faculty members, non-senate faculty members and teaching assistants.

Recipients of the award are chosen from nominations by colleagues and leaders across campus, recommendations by students and their involvement in community outreach, along with many other criteria. The senate faculty awardees were professors Vilma Ortiz, Christopher Kelty, Lorrie Frasure-Yokley, David MacFadyen, Sarah Abrevaya Stein and Casey Reas.

View full article along with video interviews on UCLA’s Newsroom website.