BC Bio 2020 Schedule

BC Bio is in less than a week! Here’s the plan for the 2-hour session (May 13th, 2-4pm):

We will open the zoom environment up between 15 and 30 minutes early, to allow everyone time to check their connections, and test audio/ video. Please feel free to join us and say hello!

  • 2:00-2:10: Arrivals, welcome, land acknowledgement, ground rules
  • 2:10-2:25: “Building Community in Online Classes” Short talk by Peter Newbury, Director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning, UBCO
  • 2:25-3:05: “Learning from our Students: My 40 years in Biology Education” Plenary talk by Joan Sharp, Teaching Professor SFU
  • 3:05-3:10: Transition to Breakout Sessions, Round A
  • 3:10-3:25: Breakout Sessions, Round A (15 min)
  • 3:25-3:30: Return from breakout sessions, and transition to Round B
  • 3:30-3:45: Breakout Sessions Round B (15 min)
  • 3:45-4:00 (and beyond, if folks wish to stay): Report on breakout rooms, chat, socialize, discuss.

If you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time! Click here to register (link removed)!

About the Breakout Rooms:

We will have two round of breakout rooms (we have named them Rounds A & B). During the first 30 minutes of the event, you will be asked to navigate to a Google Doc and sign up for one session in Round A, and one session in Round B. At 2:30pm, we will take this information and build the breakout groups. We will only have space for a specific number of members in each breakout room, so we please ask you to choose another room if all of the spots are full.

Here is a draft list of the breakout rooms we are considering (subject to change).

Round A:

  • Online Course Design
  • Continuing the conversation with Peter Newbury: Developing course community
  • Continuing the conversation Joan Sharp: Connecting with students and pedagogy
  • Hands-on lab activities at home
  • Active learning in an online environment
  • Course planning: asynchronous vs synchronous components
  • Instructor workload and burnout
  • Best practices in asynchronous environments
  • Supporting TAs
  • No specific topic, I just want to chat!

Round B:

  • Effective videos and lecture-capture
  • Inclusivity & Accessibility
  • Academic integrity and assessment
  • Structuring labs
  • Large classes
  • Semester-long group projects
  • Student approaches to learning
  • Increasing engagement in asynchronous environments
  • Exams and assessments
  • No specific topic, I just want to chat!

BC Bio 2020 – May 13, 2-4pm

You are invited to BC Bio 2020: Building our Teaching Community in a Time of Turbulence.

We have decided: we’re not letting COVID keep our fantastic BC teaching community apart.
So far, this year has seen some incredible challenges, and in response, some incredible resilience and connection. Further, we have an incredible keynote speaker lined up, excited to speak about the pedagogy and practices that span her impressive career: the indomitable Joan Sharp.

So, let’s celebrate both our community and Joan’s research, and share highlights and lowlights of recent/future teaching, by coming together for a virtual BC Bio meeting.

Unlike our in-person meetings, we’re keeping this short and sweet: two hours total including an invited speaker, and an interactive workshop.  In keeping with BC Bio tradition, we’ll have a sharing session with practical, useful tips that you can implement directly in your remote teaching.

So, please save the date: Wednesday May 13, 2-4pm (Pacific time) to help us plan in a responsive way.

Virtual location (Zoom) and further details to be announced.  We’re an inclusive community –  housemates, coworkers, pets, kids, houseplants, and other non-Biology teaching folks are of course welcome to join your screen!  Click to add this date to your calendar.


Keep safe & sane, and we look forward to seeing you all soon.

Your BC Bio organizers,

Megan Barker (Simon Fraser; megan.barker@sfu.ca)
Marcia Graves (UBC Vancouver; marcia.graves@ubc.ca)
Robin Young (UBC Okanagan; robin.young@ubc.ca)   &  Matt Nelson (UBC Okanagan)



Images from:




Contingency Planning

Like many folks in BC, we are carefully considering the rapidly changing world events in the planning of BC Bio. Since this event is tied to the BC and Yukon Biology Articulation Meeting we are considering them as a unit. We’d really like this event to run, but but not at the expense of human health, and it is impossible to predict where things will stand by May 13th. For now we are continuing with our planning of this event. This is a relatively small, regional conference, with no expectation of international participants, so based on this we are still considered to be a low risk event. We are considering best practices as laid out by the Health Canada Guidelines in our event planning. We are also taking time to ensure that our registration system will be able to easily offer full refunds, should the need arise.

We encourage you to also plan for contingency in your preparations for attendance. We will continue to monitor the situation, and will work to have our registration up and running as soon as possible. We will keep you informed as best we can.



Spam prevention powered by Akismet