Explore How to Use a Scientific Approach to Improve Biology Teaching and Learning

Join an online learning community and learn the fundamental concepts of biology education research through this webinar series, with option to engage in skill-building activities at an in-person ASMCUE workshop. Together, we will explore how to use a scientific approach to assess biology teaching and learning. This series will include online interactive tutorial-style webinars and asynchronous assignments in which participants will be introduced to the different stages of development of a Biology Education Research (BER) study, to the role of theory in BER work and to BER-specific qualitative and quantitative research methods. After engaging with the series, biology educators will be empowered to create a culture of learning for growth and change in teaching. 

Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research logo
Source: SABER
This series is co-sponsored by ASM and SABER, the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research. Course leaders and speakers are representatives of both organizations. The series is based on the highly successful ASM/NSF Biology Scholars Program (2005–2017).

The audience for this webinar series is faculty and future faculty (including graduate students and postdocs) who have experience implementing evidence-based course design and teaching methods and are ready to begin identifying interventions to improve their students’ learning. Given that this field is highly collaborative, during this series, participants will gain background knowledge of the research methods and learn where to identify potential collaborators who could advance their research questions.  

Webinar Schedule 

Wednesday, May 22, 2-3 p.m. ET

Overview of the Biology Education Research Field and How to Get Involved

Presenter: Julie Dangremond Stanton, Ph.D.

Tuesday, May 28, 2-3 p.m. ET

Mixed Methods Study Designs in BER 

Presenter: Abdi Warfa, Ph.D. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2-3 p.m. ET

Features of a Strong Research Question and the Role of Theory in BER Research

Presenter: Carlos C. Goller, Ph.D.

Wednesday, June 5, 2-3 p.m. ET

Qualitative Research Methods in BER

Presenter: Stanley M. Lo, Ph.D.

Wednesday, June 12, 2-3 p.m. ET

Developing Assessment Tools in BER

Presenter: Nancy Boury, Ph.D.

Thursday, June 20, 2-3 p.m. ET

Quantitative Research Methods in BER

Presenters: Elli Theobald, Ph.D.

Wednesday, June 26, 2-3 p.m. ET

Considerations in Publishing Your Study: IRBs and Ethics

Presenter: Stanley Maloy


How will you learn in this series?

  • 60-minute interactive tutorial-style webinars presented by active researchers in the field. Live webinars are recorded for later viewing in case of conflicts.
  • Participate in live activities and Q&A sessions with presenters during the tutorial-style webinars.
  • Participate in a peer mentoring group with learning activities between webinars.
  • Optional: additional in-person conference fee required—Participate in a skill-building 3-hour workshop at the ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE), enrollment is limited to only participants in this webinar series. 

Learning Goals 

After the completion of the webinar series, participants will be able to:
  1. Develop a community of colleagues, collaborators or mentors that will support them in their biology education research (BER) work.
  2. Feel empowered to create a culture of learning for growth and change in teaching.
  3. Describe how theory informs BER studies.
  4. Develop a biology education research question that is specific and measurable and could possibly be carried out at your institution.
  5. Design a feasible study that will allow them to answer the research question using BER-specific methods.

Course Leaders 

Brian G. Gentry, Ph.D.

Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Des Moines, Iowa


Faculty (at any career stage), postdocs and graduate students who satisfy these prerequisites are encouraged to apply:
  1. Prior to registration, participants should be able to: 
    1. Distinguish student-centered teaching from instructor-centered teaching.
    2. Use backward design or other evidence-based framework for designing biology courses.
    3. Construct assessable learning outcomes.
    4. List characteristics of effective learning experiences.
    5. Use learning outcomes to align summative assessments with active learning activities.
    6. Develop a repertoire of active learning group activities.
  2. Prior to registration, participants should have a demonstrated interest in improving undergraduate biology education through conducting education research in their classrooms. This could be through reading BER journals (JMBE, CBE-LSE) or attending ASMCUE, SABER or other teaching-focused conference.

Registration Details

Application and Enrollment
  • Short application is required to participate. Application components: contact information, 1-3 sentence statement of interest, 1-2 sentence statement of how you satisfy pre-requisites, identification of ASM or SABER membership.  
  • To be considered for the course, please apply by May 21.
  • Membership to ASM and/or SABER is not required, but members of both organizations are eligible for a member discount. Membership status will be verified during the application process.
  • Current SABER members are eligible for the member discount. To receive the discount, after applying, email proof of current SABER membership to education@asmusa.org (such as your member number or card, which can be found through the SABER website).   
  • If your application is approved, you will receive and email from education@asmusa.org within 2-3 business days with instructions to register. Register by May 22 to ensure participation in the first live webinar.
  • Enrollment is limited to the first 80 participants.

Registration Fees
  • ASM members (all categories except basic) and SABER members: $375.00.
  • ASM supporting members and non-members: $475.00.

Registration Inclusions and Benefits
  • Participation in a virtual learning community and faculty network around biology education research.
  • Upon completing the 7-webinar series and providing feedback through surveys:
    • Certificate of Completion.
    • Invitation to participate in a pre-conference skill-building workshop at ASMCUE in Pittsburgh, Pa., Nov. 15, 2024.
    • Invitation to participate in a learning community about Biology Education Research after the series is completed.
    • Invitation to participate in a variety of volunteer roles at ASM Education, such as being a reviewer for posters at ASMCUE. 

Registration Policies
  • Apply for registration in advance.
  • All sales are final. No refunds will be issued.
  • All registrants will be given access to recordings of all webinars through Jan. 31, 2025.



Contact Information

ASM Education, ASMCUE@asmusa.org