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The mission of the Department of Biology Teaching and Learning is to discover, adapt, apply, and disseminate innovative strategies that transform biology education. You are now viewing a collection of news, features and opportunities for and about BTL.

Teaching ecology and evolution online

A special issue in Ecology and Evolution showcases teaching innovations during the COVID pandemic and features several articles penned by CBS faculty and students.

The rapid transition to virtual learning and teaching in early spring 2020 brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic upended education for educators, students and parents alike. Alongside many challenges came innovative approaches and new opportunities to center inclusive practices.

New CBS initiative aims to advance racial equity in the classroom

The program kicks off this fall and focuses on advancing anti-racist teaching practices in CBS classrooms and labs. 

Faculty member engages undergrads in an active learning classroom

This fall, a group of faculty members and teaching assistants (TAs) are working together to identify practices and set goals that support anti-racist approaches to teaching.

Independent study to conduct discipline based education research

The Lane research group is looking for 1-2 undergraduate student(s) to engage in an independent study in the Fall 2020 semester conducting discipline based education research. The number of hours/credits is flexible. Because of the topic of the work, this research would be ideal for a student who is considering applying for life science graduate programs in the United States during the next 1-2 years; however, this is not a requirement and may be of broad interest to students who want to learn qualitative research skills. The student(s) would be directly mentored by Dr.

Call for Nominations: Outstanding Performance Award for Teaching Assistants

Teaching assistants in CBS courses (undergraduate and graduate) help make courses run. Please complete the nomination form if you would like to nominate your teaching assistant. Those who have demonstrated excellence in teaching or other instructional activities that enhance the educational experience at the U of M are eligible for the annual CBS Outstanding Performance Award for Teaching Assistants.

Call for Undergraduate Teaching Assistants

The Department of Biology Teaching and Learning has approximately 10 open positions of Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for Biology 1001,1003 or 1009 in the Fall 2020 semester. The essential qualifications for these positions are advanced undergraduate standing (junior or senior carrying at least six credits) and completion of at least Biol 1951/1961 (or equivalent). Successful candidates typically have more experience in biology through additional coursework, jobs, or research.

Teaching Biology in a Classroom-less Class

Charlie Willis and Center for Online Biology Education collaborators aim to use experience in online education to push courses and web-based teaching forward.

Charlie Willis and David Kirkpatrick
Charlie Willis (left) and David Kirkpatrick (right) on the University of Minnesota campus. 

Team Shares Inclusive Science Communication Efforts

Representatives across multiple colleges recently presented at the Inclusive Science Communication Symposium in Kingston, RI. 

Can we leverage the power of Story (from The Story Collider) to impact how students view who does science? The short answer is, yes. Prof Sehoya Cotner (BTL), recently co-presented these findings with Azariah Yonas (3rd year student in College of Liberal Arts) at the national symposium.

U of M faculty continue to lead in STEM education

A new NSF-funded research collaboration will focus on identifying issues relating to equity and diversity in undergraduate STEM classrooms.

A collaborative research network funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) is just getting underway this fall with 14 institutions participating. The network allows educational researchers to escape institutional silos and collectively explore how undergraduate STEM classrooms can support students from all backgrounds.