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Evidence-Based Course Modification to Support Learner-Centered and Student-Driven Teaching in A Pandemic: Leveraging Digital and Physical Space for Accessible, Equitable, and Motivating Experiential Learning and Scientific Inquiry in A First-Year Biology Course


  • Lisa Robertson
  • Elizabeth Porter
  • M. Alex Smith
  • Shoshanah Jacobs


The COVID-19 pandemic posed, and continues to pose, many challenges to teaching and learning, most notably the need to pivot from traditional in-person course instruction and experiences to entirely virtual course delivery while maintaining course rigor and quality. Our guiding principle for course modification was the critical need for an equitable, accessible, engaging, and motivating learning experience for students that maintained the learning outcomes and objectives of the course in a fully virtual and digitized format. This paper illustrates the evidence-based approach that the instructional team of a first-year biology experiential learning course took in response to the need for instruction to occur in virtual space and time for the Fall 2020 (September to December 2020) semester.

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  • Lisa Robertson & Elizabeth Porter & M. Alex Smith & Shoshanah Jacobs, 2021. "Evidence-Based Course Modification to Support Learner-Centered and Student-Driven Teaching in A Pandemic: Leveraging Digital and Physical Space for Accessible, Equitable, and Motivating Experiential L," International Journal of Higher Education, Sciedu Press, vol. 10(7), pages 1-96, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:jfr:ijhe11:v:10:y:2021:i:7:p:96

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Heather Thiry & Sandra L. Laursen & Anne-Barrie Hunter, 2011. "What Experiences Help Students Become Scientists? A Comparative Study of Research and other Sources of Personal and Professional Gains for STEM Undergraduates," The Journal of Higher Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 82(4), pages 357-388, July.
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