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Everybody can learn—and love—biology

In the Cotner lab, we’re all about promoting opportunities for everybody to learn biology. To that end, we focus on bioliteracy from a range of perspectives, including STEM equity, active learning, teaching assistant (TA) training, and course-based research experiences (CUREs).

Key collaborators include (but are not restricted to) the Center of Excellence in Biology Education (BioCEED) in Norway, Randy Moore in BTL, JD Walker in the Center for Educational Innovation (CEI), Andamio Games in Minneapolis, and the Program in Human Sexuality, and the STEM Education Center.

Our current burning questions are:
  1. What factors are barriers to achieving equity in STEM education and practice?
  2. How can we help our students realize the benefits of research in a course-based research setting?
  3. What active-learning techniques can we employ to meet our goal of bioliteracy for all students?
  4. What training methods will help our teaching assistants facilitate inquiry in their lab sections?