Philip Mixter, School of Molecular Biosciences, is 1 of 13 exemplary biologists chosen to participate in the inaugural Assessment Residency of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM)/National Science Foundation (NSF) Biology Scholars Program. The Biology Scholars Program is a national leadership initiative that seeks to improve undergraduate biology education based on evidence of student learning. The program has brought together more than 100 Scholars to create and disseminate examples of scholarship in teaching in biology; these examples have been made possible through the program’s three independent, but intertwined, virtual residency programs: the Assessment, Research, and Transitions Residencies.
The yearlong Assessment Residency offers its Scholars an opportunity to increase their understanding and use of assessment tools and practices and data analysis. “Assessment Residency Scholars use evidence-based research in student learning to develop and revise the strategies they use to assess student learning,” says institute leader Carol Hurney, an associate professor of biology at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va., and chair of the Assessment Residency Steering Committee. “More importantly, the Scholars explore both summative and formative assessment strategies that align with specific learning goals they develop for their courses.”