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.

ISP Engagement in Skylight

In 2021, the Skylight team started a process of reflection, planning, and learning to work toward the goals outlined in UBC’s Indigenous Strategic Plan (ISP). We have documented our process to provide a roadmap and resources for other groups interested in implementing the ISP within their academic unit at UBC. 

Learning Analytics and Teaching and Learning Data Access 

Learning analytics is the process of collecting, analyzing, and reporting data about learners and learning environments in order to understand and optimize learning. Skylight is working to analyze the use of teaching and learning data in UBC Science with the goal of providing faculty with resources and supporting departments and programs with data-driven decisions toward student success and research/evaluation projects related to teaching and learning. 

STEM Education Research Exchange

The STEM Education Research Exchange (SERE) committee organizes regular cross-disciplinary meetings with a focus on discipline-based education research (DBER), Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) research, and pedagogical practices in STEM at UBC’s two main campuses.  

Inclusive Teaching in the Sciences

Inclusive teaching is an approach to develop equitable, inclusive, and engaging learning opportunities for all students across disciplines. We encourage Science faculty to contact us to learn about leadership and participation opportunities. We are currently including information and resources related to our Indigenous initiatives in this section, however we plan to create a separate page specific to our Indigenous initiatives as we develop additional resources. 

Paired Teaching: Teaching Start-Up

Paired teaching is an efficient and effective model for introducing faculty to evidence-based pedagogy through collaborative teaching. Teaching Start-Up is UBC Science's strategy for implementing the paired teaching model. As part of the start-up package, the Dean’s Office splits the cost of additional paired teaching credits with departments.

Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative

Since 2007, the CWSEI at UBC has supported departments in their efforts to provide an unrivalled education for undergraduate students. To advance this goal, the Initiative funds embedded teaching and learning fellows at the unit level. The CWSEI has achieved system-wide, evidence-based science education by applying the latest advances in pedagogical research, and developed a significant knowledge base of resources and research. The model is being adopted at institutions 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 on challenging biology concepts, enabling instructors to use inventories to assess areas of student misconceptions (as pre/post tests) and as diagnostic tests. The teams makes the inventories available to colleagues at UBC and other institutions 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, it 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.

Master of Data Science Evaluation

Skylight is working with UBC's Master of Data Science program to evaluate the newly launched professional program. A mid-program survey will collect information on student satisfaction with the MDS Program 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 across UBC and the difficulties students encounter are common across campus. This project brings together experienced statistics instructors from Science, Arts, and 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.