Major Initiatives and Projects

Skylight identifies, plans, leads, and evaluates a wide range of science teaching and learning projects and initiatives with science faculty and partners across campus.

LTE Renewal Project

Canvas has been selected as UBC's new learning technology environment (LTE), which will eventually replace Connect (Blackboard). Skylight's LT team developed a transition plan for Science courses that are currently in Connect. The plan was informed by input and feedback from our stakeholders, including faculty members, department heads and directors, leadership at the Science Dean’s Office, departments’ internal IT and LT support teams, and UBC IT and CTLT leadership.

Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative

Since 2007, the CWSEI at UBC has supported departments in their efforts to provide an unrivalled education for all undergraduate students. To advance this goal, the Initiative funds embedded Science Teaching and Learning Fellows at the unit level. STLFs bring deep disciplinary expertise and training in learning science in order to partner with faculty members as consultants in creating or adapting evidence-based teaching methods and measuring their effectiveness. The CWSEI has achieved highly effective, system-wide evidence-based science education by applying the latest advances in pedagogical and organizational excellence, and developed a significant knowledge base of practical resources and research. The model is being adopted at instituitions across North America.

Questions for Biology

This large initiative brings together faculty members from Botany, Zoology and Microbiology and Immunology, UBC Science teaching and learning fellows, graduate students and Skylight expertise. Q4B designs and validates concept inventories targeting challenging biology concepts, enabling instructors to use these inventories in biology classrooms to assess areas of student misconceptions (as pre/post tests) and as diagnostic tests. The teams makes the inventories available to colleagues at UBC, at other institutions across Canada and beyond through publications.

Science Writing Resources for Learning

ScWRL brings together students, faculty, educational strategists, science writers, writing centre professionals and tutors to provide students and instructors the resources they need to develop important skills associated with good science writing. Since the onset of the project in 2012, the project has focused on developing freely available resources to address the skills that students find especially difficult to master, based on student feedback and rigorous assessment of scientific written work.

Learning Technology Rovers Initiative

The LTR initiative is a campus-wide project that provides funds and resources to hire and train a team of UBC co-op students from a variety of academic backgrounds to provide in-person, onsite, online and just-in-time support to instructors using learning technologies.

Master of Data Science Evaluation

Skylight is working with the leadership of UBC’s Master of Data Science program to evaluate the newly launched professional program. The project includes a mid-program evaluation survey and an end-program evaluation survey. The intent of the mid-program survey was to collect information on student satisfaction with the MDS Program so far as well as student perceptions of their learning and learning experiences. The timing of the survey allowed the instructional team to make adjustments for the remainder of the program. An end-of-program evaluation survey is currently being developed.

Introductory Statistics Flexible Learning Project

Introductory statistics is taught in many departments at UBC and the difficulties students encounter are common across the campus. This project brings together experienced introductory statistics instructors from Science, Arts, and the School of Population and Public Health to develop, adapt and use instructional resources that address conceptually challenging topics in introductory statistics. The resources are open, adaptable, consistent in look and feel, and grounded in existing research on learning and statistics.