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Teaching and Learning

I teach biology in the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). For the academic year 2016-2017, I was a U.S. Fulbright Scholar at Charles University in the Czech Republic, working with faculty there to increase the use of evidence-based pedagogies and to design Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) projects. I was trained as a neuroscientist (B.A. and Ph.D) and physiologist (Ph.D. and postdoc), and I teach physiology, nutrition, reproduction, and related topics.

I am always trying to learn new things about teaching and learning, so I’m involved in a lot of projects:

  • I co-coordinate the Biology Teaching Circle with Cynthia Wagner; we read the primary scientific teaching literature and discuss our own practice at monthly meetings.
  • I’m the co-founder, former director, and active member of UMBC’s Team-Based Learning Interest Group, where those faculty at UMBC who use, or who are interested in, TBL can read new papers on the topic and share our experiences so we can keep improving.
  • I’m a member of UMBC’s team implementing our new (August 2018-August 2023) NSF IUSE (Improving Undergraduate STEM education) award, Collaborative Research: A Model of Institutional and Community Transformation for Teaching and Learning Quantitative Reasoning in the Biological Sciences, which itself follows on the heels of our HHMI-funded NEXUS collaboration, integrating quantitative concepts into introductory biology courses.
  • Another UMBC team I’m a part of, ALEF, is developing computer simulations of biological processes to improve conceptual understanding in undergraduate biology labs. We have recently published some of our work on this topic.
  • I’m interested in increasing the use of reflection and metacognition in our pedagogical approaches, a topic about which I often give faculty development workshops. An interesting subset of these methods are the  contemplative pedagogies, which take reflection beyond the student’s work to the student’s experiences. I co-facilitated a Faculty Learning Community at UMBC on this topic, with Robin Barry, and continue to explore it and its evidence base.

I love to share what I’ve learned so far with others, and I’m a certified trainer-consultant in Team-Based Learning, about which I frequently give workshops. I also lead workshops on several other topics, described in more detail on the Workshops and Consulting page. My goal is for this site is for it to be a repository of useful articles, links, and information about these topics I’m interested in, as well as a source of information about the faculty development workshops and consulting I can offer if they’d be useful for your faculty.