About the BSP Education Research Course 


» Application Period: January 15, 2016 – March 1, 2016
» Assessment Course: July 19-21, 2016 | North Bethesda, MD

"I found this institute to be an invaluable experience at this point in my professional development. I walked away with a clear idea of where I needed to go next in my research." – 2005-2006 Scholar

2015 Education Research Course Steering Committee
Loretta Brancaccio-Taras, Kingsborough Community College CUNY, Brooklyn, NY
Stephanie Gardner, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Nitya Jacob, Oxford College/Emory University, Oxford, GA
Cynthia Miller, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
Miriam Segura-Totten, University of North Georgia, Dahlonega, GA

The Education Research Course is the flagship course of the Biology Scholars Program and has nine years of experience training Scholars in education research. This Institute seeks biologists who have been trained in effective teaching strategies for biology education and are curious about student learning. Competitive applicants are individuals who are asking questions about the effectiveness of their teaching approaches.

Education Research Course is comprised of key training components including several online pre-assignments, a three-day face-to-face meeting, specialized peer mentoring, and post-institute follow-up.

Course Goals
The overall goals of the Education Research Course are to:

• Conduct evidence-based research on issues associated with student learning in biology
• Identify the role of collaborators from the social, psychological, and statistical sciences, education, and anthropology
• Make research results public through presentations and publications
• Create a community of practitioners that inquire about teaching and learning

The face-to-face meeting of Research Scholars is the Discipline-Based Education Research Institute, a three-day training session held in the summer just before the ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE; located at the same hotel). The face-to-face meeting has its own unique set of goals:

• Develop a research question that explores a specific aspect of student learning
• Formulate a research question to be answered
• Develop an understanding of the IRB requirements for conducting research involving students
• Identify prior work in the field of education research to support research study
• Design a classroom-based research study
• Distinguish different methods of collecting and interpreting data to measure student learning
• Foster networks to sustain improvements in teaching and learning

The Course organizers have compiled a collection of articles and resources for Education Research Scholars, which will be used during the Institute and in follow-up assignments. Consider reviewing this research and progress made in the field of scholarship and teaching before applying.


Once accepted, Education Research Scholars immediately begin working on online pre-assignments and readings intended to prepare them for their work during the face-to-face Institute.  Prospective candidates should review the proposed 2016 syllabus below and plan accordingly.