Author(s): Chang AL, Pribbenow CM
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Abstract The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) established its ASM-NSF (National Science Foundation) Biology Scholars Program (BSP) to promote undergraduate education reform by 1) supporting biologists to implement evidence-based teaching practices, 2) engaging life science professional societies to facilitate biologists' leadership in scholarly teaching within the discipline, and 3) participating in a teaching community that fosters disciplinary-level science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) reform. Since 2005, the program has utilized year-long residency training to provide a continuum of learning and practice centered on principles from the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) to more than 270 participants ("scholars") from biology and multiple other disciplines. Additionally, the program has recruited 11 life science professional societies to support faculty development in SoTL and discipline-based education research (DBER). To identify the BSP's long-term outcomes and impacts, ASM engaged an external evaluator to conduct a study of the program's 2010-2014 scholars (n = 127) and society partners. The study methods included online surveys, focus groups, participant observation, and analysis of various documents. Study participants indicate that the program achieved its proposed goals relative to scholarship, professional society impact, leadership, community, and faculty professional development. Although participants also identified barriers that hindered elements of their BSP participation, findings suggest that the program was essential to their development as faculty and provides evidence of the BSP as a model for other societies seeking to advance undergraduate science education reform. The BSP is the longest-standing faculty development program sponsored by a collective group of life science societies. This collaboration promotes success across a fragmented system of more than 80 societies representing the life sciences and helps catalyze biology education reform efforts.
This article was published in J Microbiol Biol Educ
and referenced in Journal of Health Education Research & Development