Starting conversations with colleagues about evidence-based teaching

Dear Education Committee,

I’m a biologist and biology education researcher. I read journals like CBE–Life Sciences Education (LSE) to learn about evidence-based teaching, but most of my biology colleagues do not because this is outside the scope of their research. They don’t have time to focus on research related to teaching and learning. How can I engage my biology colleagues in conversation about evidence-based teaching methods without asking too much of their time?

—Craving Collegial Conversation

Dear Craving Collegial Conversation,

We have heard this question from several people, so thanks for giving us the chance to address it here. It is great to engage colleagues in discussing evidence-based teaching because this is an important part of what we do as faculty and instructors. Although some colleagues like you are deeply engaged with the science of teaching and learning, others understandably are not because their research is in another discipline. In fact, this is one of the reasons we write this column: to provide a quick guide for biologists who may not have the time to dig into educational research. We also try to answer education-related questions and provide practical strategies based on this research.

With that in mind, we are using this question to highlight some of the articles over the past several years that might help you in starting conversations. We also have a challenge for you and the other biology education researchers who are eager to engage colleagues in conversations about evidence-based pedagogy:

If there is a column below that is of interest and you have NOT read it (or haven’t read in a while), please check it out!

If there is a column you have found useful or think a colleague might, please share it! You could even start an online conversation with your professional network and include us by using the hashtag #ASCBeducates.

If your education question has not yet been addressed, contact us at so our next column can address your question!

Here are some past articles that you may find helpful:

If you want to see more, all of our Office Hours with the Education Committee columns can be found here.

—The Education Committee

About the Author: