Tools for improving teaching and outreach in life sciences

General description

The aim of the course is to acquaint the students with the basic and innovative forms of face-to-face and distance learning, as well as forms of popularization and dissemination of knowledge among the general public. Specifically, we aim to provide in-depth knowledge of principles, methods, and organizational approaches in teaching biological sciences; to form practical abilities, skills, general and special professional student-teaching competences as well as to convey approaches for the dissemination of the biological knowledge to the general public.

1. Pedagogical skills and personality of the future teacher.

The main stages of formation of a professional educator. Pedagogical skills and their structure. Criteria and levels of mastering professional skills.

2. Fundamental pedagogical techniques and features of professional and pedagogical communication.

New roles of the teacher in the modern educational environment. Individual approach as the basis of personality-oriented learning. Cooperative learning. Development of critical thinking. Informal education.

3. Overview of teaching methods.

Basics of teaching methods, popularization, and dissemination of scientific knowledge. Innovative educational technologies at universities and in schools: expediency and advantages. Popular innovative methods of teaching:  contextual learning, simulation learning, problem-based learning, modular mastery-based learning, distance learning.

4. Progressive teaching methods.

Flipped classroom: typical, discussion-oriented, focused on demonstration, pseudo-flipped, group teaching, virtual classroom, "flipped teacher". Case-technologies and problem oriented learning. Methodology of application.

5. Team-based learning in face-to-face and virtual environments.

Components of team-based learning (managed teams, frequent and timely feedback, problem-solving, student peer evaluation). Benefits of team-based learning for students, educators and facilitators. Using breakout rooms (Zoom, Google meet, etc.) for online team based learning.

6. Digital technologies in biological education.

Google tools, Kahoot, Flipgrid, the use of YouTube, etc.

7. Specific organizational forms of training and popularization of biological knowledge.

Scientific seminars and conferences, competitions, trainings, development of promotional materials and presentations, interaction with social networks, participation in grant programs, academic mobility, etc.

8. Vocational guidance among students as a way of popularizing biological knowledge.

General concept of the means of teaching and popularization of biological knowledge. Meetings with scientists. Sunday, summer, and winter schools. Weeks of biological experiments. Thematic clubs. Days of biological sciences, etc.

9. Dissemination of knowledge among the general public and educational work.

Popular science lectures and books. Participation in public outreach events (such as days of health, scientific picnics., etc), interviews in newspapers or magazines. Cooperation of teachers and students during the presentation of scientific results to a wide audience.

10. Assessment of the quality of educational activities and learning achievements of students in the study of biology.

The concept of diagnostics of educational activity of students. Forms of control of learning results. Assessment of knowledge. Educational reflection, identification of the dynamics of educational changes and personal achievements of students. Correction of the content of educational programs, the course of training, forecasting the further development of the educational process.

1. General basics of the teacher's professional skills.
2. Organizational forms of teaching and popularization of biology. Project-based learning.
3. Use of digital technologies in the study of biological disciplines. Creating a Kahoot quiz.
4. Types of assessment of learning. Types of examination. Formative examination.
5. Intellectual property of practical developments in teaching methods and popularization of biological sciences.
Undergraduate students
10 Lectures
Practical classes
5 Lessons
1 month
1 credit ECTS
Professor of the Department of Social Pedagogy and Social Work of Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University, Ivano-Frankivsk