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CBE Life Sciences Education

Devasmita Chakraverty, Donna B Jeffe, Robert H Tai
MD-PhD training takes, on average, 8 years to complete and involves two transitions, an MD-preclinical to PhD-research phase and a PhD-research to MD-clinical phase. There is a paucity of research about MD-PhD students' experiences during each transition. This study examined transition experiences reported by 48 MD-PhD students who had experienced at least one of these transitions during their training. We purposefully sampled medical schools across the United States to recruit participants. Semistructured interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed for analysis; items focused on academic and social experiences within and outside their programs...
September 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Melanie L Styers, Peter A Van Zandt, Katherine L Hayden
Although development of critical thinking skills has emerged as an important issue in undergraduate education, implementation of pedagogies targeting these skills across different science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines has proved challenging. Our goal was to assess the impact of targeted interventions in 1) an introductory cell and molecular biology course, 2) an intermediate-level evolutionary ecology course, and 3) an upper-level biochemistry course. Each instructor used Web-based videos to flip some aspect of the course in order to implement active-learning exercises during class meetings...
September 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Ana Maria Barral, Veronica C Ardi-Pastores, Rachel E Simmons
A flipped-classroom environment generally strives to create more in-class time for activities that enhance student learning, while shifting some content delivery to outside the classroom through the use of short didactic videos. We compared a flipped-classroom setting with the traditional ("control") setting for an accelerated lower-division general biology course. Student self-reporting and video analytics functions showed ample and variable video viewing among individual students. Student learning was evaluated through quizzes administered after a set of concepts were covered (post 1) and at the end of the course (post 2)...
September 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Christopher J Lee, Brit Toven-Lindsey, Casey Shapiro, Michael Soh, Sepideh Mazrouee, Marc Levis-Fitzgerald, Erin R Sanders
We sought to test a hypothesis that systemic blind spots in active learning are a barrier both for instructors-who cannot see what every student is actually thinking on each concept in each class-and for students-who often cannot tell precisely whether their thinking is right or wrong, let alone exactly how to fix it. We tested a strategy for eliminating these blind spots by having students answer open-ended, conceptual problems using a Web-based platform, and measured the effects on student attrition, engagement, and performance...
September 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Clifton A Poodry, David J Asai
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Michal Haskel-Ittah, Anat Yarden
Understanding genetic mechanisms affords the ability to provide causal explanations for genetic phenomena. These mechanisms are difficult to teach and learn. It has been shown that students sometimes conceive of genes as traits or as trait-bearing particles. We termed these "nonmechanistic" conceptions of genetic phenomena because they do not allow the space required for a mechanism to exist in the learner's mind. In this study, we investigated how ninth- and 12th-grade students' conceptions of genetic phenomena affect their ability to learn the underlying mechanisms...
September 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Daniel Z Grunspan, Michelle Ann Kline, Sara E Brownell
The benefits of student-centered active-learning approaches are well established, but this evidence has not directly translated into instructors adopting these evidence-based methods in higher education. To date, promoting and sustaining pedagogical change through different initiatives has proven difficult, but research on pedagogical change is advancing. To this end, we examine pedagogical behaviors through a cultural evolutionary model that stresses the global nature of the issue, the generational time that change requires, and complications introduced by academic career trajectories...
September 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Jana L Bouwma-Gearhart, John D Ivanovitch, Ellen M Aster, Andrew M Bouwma
This paper attends to challenges for postsecondary science education improvement initiatives, notably understanding and responding to the realities guiding educators' teaching practices. We explored 16 postsecondary biology educators' instructional planning, providing novel insights into why educators select certain strategies over others, including lecturing. Our findings point to an array of factors that educators consider, factors that we believe push against the lecture versus active-learning dichotomy that we hear in some improvement rhetoric...
September 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Sarah L Eddy
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Marenda A Wilson, Wayne Turner, Anthony L DePass, Andrew J Bean
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Geoffrey D Findlay
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Luis R Martinez, Dwayne W Boucaud, Arturo Casadevall, Avery August
We report the outcomes of a survey of underrepresented minorities (URMs) in life science academic (e.g., faculty) and nonacademic (e.g., research-related) positions seeking to ascertain variables that contribute to their success (e.g., favorable or desired outcome). Given that they had positions in research careers, all respondents were presumed to be successful, and we sought to identify shared factors that were associated with this success. As in previous studies, respondents reported that undergraduate research opportunities, performing research in small- to medium-sized laboratories, and access to mentors throughout all stages of training were important factors for success in their careers...
June 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Julia S Gouvea, Matt R Simon
In biology education research, it has been common to model cognition in terms of relatively stable knowledge structures (e.g., mental models, alternative frameworks, deeply held misconceptions). For example, John D. Coley and Kimberley D. Tanner recently proposed that many student difficulties in biology stem from underlying cognitive frameworks called cognitive construals ( CBE-Life Sciences Education, 11[3], 209-215 [2012]; CBE-Life Sciences Education, 14[1], ar8 [2015]). They argued that three such frameworks-teleology, anthropocentrism, and essentialism-cause undergraduate students to hold a range of misconceptions about the biological world...
June 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Joshua Premo, Andy Cavagnetto, William B Davis, Peggy Brickman
Collaboration is an important career skill and vital to student understanding of the social aspects of science, but less is known about relationships among collaborative-learning strategies, classroom climate, and student learning. We sought to increase the collaborative character of introductory undergraduate laboratory classrooms by analyzing a 9-week intervention in 10 classrooms ( n = 251) that participated in cooperative-learning modules (promoting interdependence via a modified jigsaw technique). Students in an additional 10 classrooms ( n = 232) completed the same material in an unstructured format representative of common educational practice...
June 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Kathryn P Kohn, Sonia M Underwood, Melanie M Cooper
While many university students take science courses in multiple disciplines, little is known about how they perceive common concepts from different disciplinary perspectives. Structure-property and structure-function relationships have long been considered important explanatory concepts in the disciplines of chemistry and biology, respectively. Fourteen university students concurrently enrolled in introductory chemistry and biology courses were interviewed to explore their perceptions regarding 1) the meaning of structure, properties, and function; 2) the presentation of these concepts in their courses; and 3) how these concepts might be related...
June 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Erin D Solomon, Michelle D Repice, Jacinta M Mutambuki, Denise A Leonard, Cheryl A Cohen, Jia Luo, Regina F Frey
Active learning with clickers is a common approach in high-enrollment, lecture-based courses in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In this study, we describe the procedures that faculty at one institution used when implementing clicker-based active learning, and how they situated these activities in their class sessions. Using a mixed-methods approach, we categorized faculty into four implementation styles based on quantitative observation data and conducted qualitative interviews to further understand why faculty used these styles...
June 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Katelyn M Cooper, Lu Ding, Michelle D Stephens, Michelene T H Chi, Sara E Brownell
Instructor-generated videos have become a popular way to engage students with material before a class, yet this is a relatively unexplored area of research. There is support for the use of videos in which instructors tutor students, but few studies have been conducted within the context of a classroom. In this study, conducted in a large-enrollment college physiology course, we used a randomized crossover design to compare the impact of two types of instructor-generated videos that students watched as part of their preclass assignments...
June 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Mindi M Summers, Brian A Couch, Jennifer K Knight, Sara E Brownell, Alison J Crowe, Katharine Semsar, Christian D Wright, Michelle K Smith
A new assessment tool, Ecology and Evolution-Measuring Achievement and Progression in Science or EcoEvo-MAPS, measures student thinking in ecology and evolution during an undergraduate course of study. EcoEvo-MAPS targets foundational concepts in ecology and evolution and uses a novel approach that asks students to evaluate a series of predictions, conclusions, or interpretations as likely or unlikely to be true given a specific scenario. We collected evidence of validity and reliability for EcoEvo-MAPS through an iterative process of faculty review, student interviews, and analyses of assessment data from more than 3000 students at 34 associate's-, bachelor's-, master's-, and doctoral-granting institutions...
June 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Karen Peterman, Kelley Withy, Rachel Boulay
A common challenge in the evaluation of K-12 science education is identifying valid scales that are an appropriate fit for both a student's age and the educational outcomes of interest. Though many new scales have been validated in recent years, there is much to learn about the appropriate educational contexts and audiences for these measures. This study investigated two such scales, the DEVISE Self-Efficacy for Science scale and the Career Interest Questionnaire (CIQ), within the context of two related health sciences projects...
June 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
Audrey S Halim, Solaire A Finkenstaedt-Quinn, Laura J Olsen, Anne Ruggles Gere, Ginger V Shultz
Student misconceptions are an obstacle in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses and unless remediated may continue causing difficulties in learning as students advance in their studies. Writing-to-learn assignments (WTL) are characterized by their ability to promote in-depth conceptual learning by allowing students to explore their understanding of a topic. This study sought to determine whether and what types of misconceptions are elicited by WTL assignments and how the process of peer review and revision leads to remediation or propagation of misconceptions...
June 2018: CBE Life Sciences Education
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