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COVID-19: News and Campus Updates

2021 Symposium Schedule

 Registration is Closed for 2021.

11:30 am - 1:15 pm: Lightning Talks by recipients of the 2020 Assessment mini-grants

11:40 – 11:55 am: Equity in Introductory Chemistry Courses: Formulation of a Placement Test Corina E. Brown, PhD

Literature in chemistry education shows the relationship between success in chemistry and math skills.  Students with low math aptitude scores will encounter great difficulty with many chemistry topics.  All students that enroll at UNC in a math or statistics course are required to take the ALEKS MATH assessment.  Chemistry students are required to take math, and as a result they are all taking the ALEKS MATH assessment.  Chemistry students’ scores (N=1263) achieved in this test was correlated with the final grade in CHEM 111 (General Chemistry course).  Based on this analysis, placement guidelines were formulated and recommended to all the students who enrolled in the general chemistry course starting with the F-20 semester.  The statistical analysis and implication for the course will be presented.

 12:00 – 12:15 pm: Training Future Biology Faculty through a Transformative Course-based Education Research Experience                                                                                                        Emily Royse & Emily Holt, Ph.D

The trajectory of undergraduate science education is increasingly reliant on faculty to practice evidence-based teaching (EBT) in their courses to improve student retention and outcomes. Research indicates that EBT interventions do not have lasting effects on faculty teaching practice, potentially because of lacking support, feedback, and investment. Future science faculty, such as graduate students, tend to be more receptive to learning about EBT. We propose that graduate students must have transformative teaching experiences to become advocates and life-time users of EBT in their future classrooms. Transformative experiences are characterized by expansion of perception, experiential value, and motivated use. We investigated whether conducting discipline-based education research (DBER) could promote transformative experiences for biology graduate students to integrate new perspectives about EBT and education research into their developing professional identities as teachers and researchers. We conducted an ethnographic case study to qualitatively examine how graduate students participating in DBER as a course-based project connected research and learning experiences to their views of teaching practices. Our research questions were: (1) What experiential value do graduate students perceive from doing biology education research? (2) How do graduate students connect biology education research to their disciplinary identity and professional development? Our preliminary qualitative analysis of written reflection assignments students completed throughout the semester suggests that graduate students often experienced one facet of transformative experience, expansion of perception, about DBER in tandem with perceiving competence as researchers and evolving interest in teaching. While data analysis is still underway, our findings so far support how conducting mentored DBER may be transformative for graduate students in both researcher and teacher roles that future faculty must fill.

 12:20 – 12:35 pm: Incorporating Problem-Based Learning in an Undergraduate Allied Health Prerequisite Anatomy and Physiology Course: An Update                                                               Alexandra A. Vita, Emily A. Royse, Nicholas A. Pullen, Ph.D.

The overall goal of our research is to assess if a learning theory-laden educational intervention, Problem-Based Learning, is associated with changes in student attitudes and systemic thinking skills in the Advanced Anatomy and Physiology (BIO246) course at UNC, as measured by their course outcomes (quizzes and concept maps) and by previously validated metrics that measure student affective factors and knowledge of physiology. This presentation will briefly summarize all of our findings so far, as well as dive deeper into the efficacy of one of the main formative assessments of systems thinking skills used in our research: the concept map. 

 12:40 – 12:55 pm: Assessment of the Nurse Educator Competencies in Novice  Nursing Faculty                                                                                                                                                  Katrina Einhellig, PhD, CNE, Kristin Schams, DNP. CNE

The purpose of this project was to evaluate the reported achievement of nurse educator competencies among graduate students, adjunct and novice nurse educators.  The competencies, outlined by the National League for Nursing, were assessed using a validated questionnaire to determine participants’ perceptions of competency in eight areas.  Considering the nurse faculty shortage, it is essential that nurse educators are prepared to effectively teach future nurses.  This project has assisted the nursing faculty to revise and strengthen the PhD and educator certification programs, as well as plan faculty development for novice nurse educators as they transition to the academic role.

1:00 – 1:15 pm: Assessing Student Performance in ENG 123: College Research Paper            Tara Wood, Ph.D. & Marc Santos, Ph.D.            

This presentation will present findings from an assessment of student performance on target outcomes in ENG123: College Research Paper. Special attention will be paid to comparative analysis of findings across ENG 122 and ENG 123, as well as differential performance across various student demographics, such as race/ethnicity, gender, first-generation status, and course meeting type.

1:30 - 2:15: Virtual Roundtable - Teaching After COVID


The rapid shift to remote teaching in March 2020 and the need to keep adapting our teaching into 2021 required us to think about our courses in new ways. Join this virtual round table to discuss which teaching strategies you’ll take with you into a post-COVID classroom (and which ones you’ll ditch forever)! This is a great opportunity to share with and learn from other UNC instructors!

 This session will not be recorded.

2:30 - 3:15:  “The Class Average Went Up by a Full Letter Grade”: How Participation in a Learning Community Improved My Teaching and Students' Learning


Get the inside scoop from four UNC faculty who participated in the How Learning Works and Peer2Peer Learning Communities. They will discuss how participation in a learning community impacted their teaching practice and student outcomes and share their biggest takeaways from joining this multidisciplinary, collaborative, long-term professional development.  

 Panelists: Drs. Julie, Hanks, Kathie Records, and Anne Toewe

3:30-4:45: Keynote Address - Critical and Inclusive Pedagogy: Considerations for Racially-Just Teaching and Praxis

Dr. Chayla Haynes Davison

Full Keynote Details