Category Archives: news

Upcoming publication

We are excited to have the following paper accepted for publication in Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education: “Impact Assessment of a Department-wide Science Education Initiative using Students’ Perceptions of Teaching and Learning Experiences“. The Student Learning Experiences Survey or SLES is an an instrument developed for this work and can be found at

Here is the paper’s abstract:

Evaluating major post-secondary education improvement projects involves multiple perspectives, including students’ perceptions of their experiences. In the final year of a seven-year department-wide science education initiative, we asked students in 48 courses to rate the extent to which each of 39 teaching or learning strategies helped them learn in the course. Results were related to the type of improvement model used to enhance courses, class size and course year level. Overall, students perceived unimproved courses as least helpful. Small courses that were improved with support from science education specialists were perceived overall as more helpful than similar courses improved by expert teaching-focused faculty without support, while the opposite was found for medium courses. Overall perceptions about large courses were similar to perceptions of medium courses. Perceived helpfulness of individual strategies was more nuanced and context dependent, and there was no consistent preference for either traditional or newer evidence-based instructional practices. Feedback and homework strategies were most helpful in smaller courses and independently improved courses. Results indicate that students are perceptive to benefits that arise when improvements are made either by expert educators or by research-focused faculty who received dedicated support from science education specialists.

Transitioning from one 2-yr project to the next.

April 2016 marks the end of funding for our two-year UBC Flexible Learning project aimed at cross-fertilizing the best from f2f and distance learning versions of courses. The project is described briefly both here and here. The courses most impacted were eosc326, eosc116, and eosc118.

Starting May 2016 our focus on f2f and DE learning will shift towards our new TLEF project “Development of cost effective strategies for teaching, learning and assessing scientific reasoning abilities in large face-to-face and distance education general science courses“.

EOAS Science Education Initiative blog re-boot

Starting March 2016 we hope to re-invigorate more frequent postings of education enhancement activities and progress by delivering short blog posts about our work in Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences as well as some of the “EOAS-SEI Times” 2-page guidelines or progress reports that were being delivered to our faculty for a number of years.

announcement: Education enhancement activities here in EOAS and across the Faculty of Science will be highlighted at the FoS Science Education Openhouse, April 11th, starting at 9:00 in the Earth Sciences Building attrium. Join us for short talks, posters from across the faculty, and interaction with friends and colleagues who are developing and/or researching education in UBC’s faculty of science.

Now, here is a list of current education improvement activities in Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. Future blog posts and Times articles will focus on specifics from these projects. Click the “readmore” tag here to see details.

Continue reading