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Skylight Speaker Series – When Active Learning Fails: Faculty Beliefs, Student Outcomes, and Opportunity Gaps by Stanley Lo

March 30, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm


This event is part of the Skylight Speaker Series: Teaching & Learning in Science through the Lens of Indigeneity, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Title: When Active Learning Fails: Faculty Beliefs, Student Outcomes, and Opportunity Gaps
Speaker: Dr. Stanley M. Lo

When: Wednesday, March 30th, 3:00pm – 4:15pm PDT
Where: Both in-person and via Zoom:

In-person: Allan Yap Biodiversity Auditorium in the Beaty Biodiversity Museum (note: Vaccine Card will be required at this location)
Zoom: Please use this link to register: https://ubc.zoom.us/meeting/register/u5Mrfuqppj0vHNT8n9DUdIoYFKk7EbqXgBFw

Abstract: In the past few decades, many commission reports have called for the transformation of undergraduate education. While many active-learning approaches can be effective across contexts, discrepant results raise questions about specific implementations and their efficacies. Our research examines how different instructors implement the same active-learning approaches and what factors contribute to equitable student outcomes. First, we used case studies with qualitative and quantitative methodologies to determine how multiple instructors enacted the same curriculum, why they implemented active learning in distinct ways, and what actions in the classrooms supported student learning. Second, we used phenomenography with in-depth interviews to develop a novel framework for how instructors understand inclusion in higher education. Through campus-level data, we identified conceptions of diversity, assessment, and grading that correlated with reduced opportunities gaps for course grades. Together, we propose a model from these results to understand how and why faculty teach differently and what features of their instructional practices promote student success in an equitable manner.

Dr. Stanley M. Lo is an Associate Teaching Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Affiliate Faculty in Mathematics and Science Education at the University of California San Diego. Collaborative projects in his research group examine how faculty conceptions of diversity, learning, and teaching inform their instructional practices and influence student outcomes; explore how student identities intersect with their experiences to create complex opportunities and challenges for learning; and develop innovative curricula and programs to support student success. Dr. Lo holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Harvard University and was a Research Associate in Learning Sciences at the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching at Northwestern University. He was a National Academies Education Fellow and Mentor in the Life Sciences in 2011-2016 and is currently the President for the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research.