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Work With Us!

Projects for which we are currently recruiting collaborators, graduate students, or undergraduate student workers. A few projects listed here are restricted for graduate students and faculty collaborators only. Contact Us if you are interested in volunteering, working on a formal research project, or want to learn more.

STEM Writers Project

Icon: writing by Creative Stall from the Noun ProjectLast update: 6/15/17

We’re looking for:

  • Undergrads & grads interested in computational linguistics to design text analysis strategies
  • Coders who know Java or R to develop text analysis scripts
  • Science education students interested in evaluating implementation and impact

Lots of students struggle with learning how to write for the sciences. We brought together a multi-disciplinary team to find better ways to teach these skills, give students useful feedback, AND evaluate writing more consistently. It includes professional writing instructors, biology teachers, computational linguists, data scientists, and computer programmers. This project has been funded by NSF for 3 years (Aug. 2017 to 2020).

BioBook

      Last update: 3/1/17

We’re looking for:

  • Content developers and authors.
  • Copy editors and reviewers (especially undergraduates)

BioBook is an online biology book. Unlike static print textbooks, our content is open-source. Concepts are organized as branches on a tree, with connections to all supporting materials. Teachers can modify BioBook to fit how they teach & their students’ specific needs. To use such a modified version that is taylored towards a specific course has a fee, but it still costs a fraction of what commercial books do.

We release a new edition each summer. BioBook 2018 will be a major upgrade. We will not only moving to a fully mobile-friendly format, there also will be a BioBook edition for Majors, building on our past success. BioBook for Majors will align with the 2011 Vision and Change model for science education. BioBook for Non-Majors is available for adoption now, and is in use at several locations. BioBook for Majors is in active development.

Teaching Genetics with Dogs

Last update: 6/17/17

We’re looking for:

  • Humanities students interested in learning Omeka for digital media curation and exhibition.
  • Genetics-minded students who can re-annotate the project’s photo library, and add new resources.
  • Science education-minded students to create a more organized curriculum for the project.

This is a library of problems and cases using body shape, coat color, and other features of dogs to illustrate genetics and inheritance. The project has been a low priority for a couple years, so needs updating. You will help convert our existing photos, text, and guides for a new web space then help me devise a strategy for growth.

Biology TAs Support Site

Last update: 7/1/17

We’re looking for:

  • Experienced TAs to review content for accuracy and clarity
  • TAs or faculty to author some of the guideline sections
  • End-users to give us feedback on organization, content, and overall message

This site is part of our graduate TA training program, AND a test site for a larger collaboration with BioTAP (Biology TA Professional Development Program) at UT-Knoxville.

Artisan Analytics Project

Icon: demographic by S Madsen from the Noun ProjectLast update: 7/19/17

This project is restricted to graduate students and external faculty collaborators.

We’re looking for:

  • Scholars of teaching and learning interested in a research collaboration.
  • Students familiar with data structures to organize, encode the data.
  • Statistical modelers and data miners to conduct the initial analysis, then test for congruence with class-level sub-sets.

Analytics is mining routinely collected data for actionable information about a process, organization, or activity. Schools use analytics routinely to describe, predict, and improve student performance outcomes. Traditional methods require large datasets. We want to adapt big-data tools and strategies to smaller “artisan” scales (multi-section courses or even individual classes.)

If successful, individual educators could use analytics to: 1) identify students who are struggling; 2) evaluate learning outcomes more consistently; and 3) identify the best predictors of student success for their students.

We have a large dataset with 10 years of students’ instructor and course evaluation responses. We are looking to mine that dataset using traditional analytics, then determine which analytics tools scale down successfully to a single or multi-course level.