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Science Education Journal Club


The Science Education Journal Club at UMass Chan Medical School brings together students, postdocs, faculty, and staff to discuss research that guides best practices for teaching and mentoring in the sciences. 

Following the model begun at UCSF, each meeting is a discussion focusing on a classical or recent paper from the field of science education research.  The Science Education Journal Club is organized by a student/postdoctoral organizing committee in partnership with the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Center for Biomedical Career Development. We are partners with the UCSF Science Education Journal Club, and periodically video-connect to build community with like-minded peers across the country. 


What you will get out of the meetings

  • Build a local community interested in science education
  • Develop a better understanding of successful education practices
  • Discuss recent scientific evidence supporting specific pedagogical approaches with peers
  • Gain an appreciation for science education research 


Upcoming Science Education Journal Club events

Meetings for Fall 2018 to be announced.  

Science Education Journal Club Committee Members

  • Alireza Edraki, Graduate Student, RNA Therapeutics Institute (Chair)
  • Ratna Chaturvedi, Postdoc, Department of Neurobiology
  • Jinying Chen, Postdoc, Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
  • Vivek Sharma, Postdoc, RNA Therapeutics Institute
  • Cynthia Fuhrmann, Assistant Dean, Career & Professional Development (Faculty Advisor)


Archive of Science Education Journal Club events

Tuesday, June 7, 2018 (Date Changed) |  12-1 p.m.  |  Room AS4-2042

Using An Assessment Tool to Enhance Teaching and Learning in Biology

Paper to be discussed:  Crowe, Dirks, Wenderoth, and Sundberg. CBE—Life Sciences Education 2008 7:4, 368-38
    Assessment, the process of evaluating student learning, has a great impact on student’s learning habits and outcomes. This paper presents the Blooming Biology Tool (BBT), an assessment tool based on Bloom’s Taxonomy, to assist science faculty in better aligning their assessments with their teaching activities and to help students enhance their study skills and metacognition. The authors discussed the implementation of the BBT in three different collegiate settings, and how this process helped improving teaching strategies and student learning.
Facilitator: Jinying Chen, Postdoctoral Fellow, Quantitative Health Science at UMass Chan

Wednesday, April 4, 2018  |  3:15-4:15 p.m.  |  Room AS4-2042

"Discussion with Special Guest: Bruce Alberts"  (a UCSF event, broadcast to UMass Chan via webinar)

Paper to be discussed:  This event is hosted by UCSF's Science Education Journal Club. It may be an open discussion without a paper.
    Dr. Bruce Alberts is a prominent biochemist who over the past few decades transitioned to being a leader and advocate for science education. He brought an emphasis on education to the National Academy of Sciences during his tenure as President, as Editor-in-Chief of Science, and as one of the first three United States Science Envoys appointed by Barack Obama. He is one of the original authors of the textbook "The Molecular Biology of the Cell", used by universities across the world, and remains active in writing. Co-founder of Rescuing Biomedical Research, in recent years he has been active in advocating for change to better support early-stage academic investigators, as well as to broaden graduate education to better support students and postdocs interested in pursuing any number of career paths through which they might better society. He is an advocate for PhDs engaging in science policy and in K-12 science outreach (founding UCSF's Science and Education Partnership in the 1980s, which has been a model for connecting PhDs with local school teachers). He continues to be active in all of these areas through his current UCSF appointment as Chancellor’s Leadership Chair in Biochemistry and Biophysics for Science and Education. This is a rare opportunity to hear from this preeminent scientist and leader in policy and education.  More about Dr. Alberts >

Thursday, March 1, 2018  |  12-1 p.m.  |  Room AS4-2042

"Teaching More by Grading Less (or Differently)"

Paper to be discussed:  Schinske, J.; Tanner, K.  CBE Life Sci. Educ. 2014, 13,159-166.
    Students dislike being graded, and instructors dislike grading students. Many stakeholders agree that current systems require improvement, but what exactly should be done? After outlining a brief history of grading in the US, Schinske and Tanner discuss the purposes of grading and offer some strategies for improvement, including the provocative proposal to grade less.
Facilitator: Alireza Edraki, Graduate Student, RNA Therapeutics Institute at UMass Chan



Interested in suggesting a paper or facilitating a Science Education Journal Club?  Please contact UMMSciEdJC@umassmed.edu.