Building Adaptability for Teaching Online through Peer-Reviewed, Active-Learning Resources and PD

Sarah Prescott
BioQUEST/University of New Hampshire

The Online4Bio collaborative project aims to serve the national interest by helping life science college instructors teach online lessons using active-learning instructional practices. This project leverages the infrastructure and community of both the peer-reviewed journal CourseSource and BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium, to accomplish the goals of publishing peer-reviewed Open Educational Resources (OER) that implement research-based, effective pedagogical techniques. Increasing the number of freely-available online OER addresses an immediate need by providing lessons and professional development to instructors. It also addresses a long-term need by assembling an extensive set of curated and annotated resources that meet the growing demand for online education. In the first phase of this project, we supported online professional development opportunities using the existing Faculty Mentoring Network (FMN) structure developed by BioQUEST and modified for the needs of CourseSource’s resource creation and peer-review system. These FMNs focus on supporting instructors in creating new resources to submit for publication or in adapting and implementing existing resources on CourseSource. BioQUEST facilitates the work of an FMN by providing a digital space and structure for interaction on the QUBES platform, including private workspaces, discussion forums, material collections, and a full OER publishing platform. The multiple entry points for faculty lower the barriers to participation and allow for sustainability throughout the OER lifecycle, and are aligned with the Reflective Teachers Change Strategy (1,2,3). This strategy focuses on the instructor as a change agent who is supported to engage in reflective practice. This presentation will provide details on the FMN structure as a means of supporting faculty in designing, implementing, adapting, and sharing OER along with specific examples of resources created and implemented to date. Additional information and discussion on the FMN model as supported by BioQUEST will also be shared. This project has broad impacts as a model for OER development across disciplines. Finally, an invitation to collaborate on future projects involving the creation and implementation of OER in supportive professional development opportunities using the FMN model and BioQUEST’s capacity to host and support projects is extended. References 1. Senn L, Heim A, Vinson E, Smith M. 2022. How Do Undergraduate Biology Instructors Engage With the Open Educational Resource Life Cycle? Front Educ 7. DOI:10.3389/feduc.2022.8357642. Henderson C, Beach A, Finkelstein N. 2011. Facilitating change in undergraduate STEMinstructional practices: An analytic review of the literature. J Res Sci Teach 48:952–984.DOI:10.1002/tea.20439.2. Borrego M, Henderson C. 2014. Increasing the use of evidence-based teaching in STEM highereducation: A comparison of eight change strategies. J Eng Educ 103:220–252.DOI:10.1002/jee.20040.


Michelle Smith, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; Erin Vinson, University of Maine, Orono, ME