Hot Topics in Microbiology Education

Disciplinary Based Education Research (DBER) Design and Implementation 

Registration for this course is closed. View other courses.

Course Schedule: September 14, 2017 – December 21, 2017

The ASM has trained over 300 faculty, through the ASM/NSF Biology Scholars Program, in the development and testing of interventions and strategies designed to increase student learning. The principles of this training are now being offered online through the Hot Topics in Microbiology Education Course. Participants will learn how to design classroom or laboratory education research investigations, posing significant student learning questions that can be investigated empirically. Guided by the National Science Foundations’ Common Guidelines for Education and Research Development, course facilitators will lay the groundwork for good research design and address the current body of knowledge in the field. Participants should come to the course with a hypothesis or student learning issue they hope to address with their research design. The course syllabus includes a focus on building discipline-based education research skills, pre- and post-webinar assignments, in-depth training, and a faculty mentoring community dedicated to supporting leaders interested in advancing education reform.

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Program Details

The course is based upon successful ASM professional development models in which participants:

  • Attend interactive webinars presented by experts in the field,
  • Complete pre- and post-webinar assignments, and
  • Participate in an online community of participants, mentors, and facilitators

Course Participation
In order to get the most out of the course, you are strongly encouraged to:

  • Participate in all seven webinars,
  • Complete all pre- and post-webinar assignments in a timely manner,
  • Interact with online community,
  • Participate in surveys for a maximum of 24 months, and
  • Have a personal computer

If you successfully complete all assignments, you will receive a Certificate of Completion.

All participants will receive pre- and post-webinar assignments designed to enhance the online learning experience and to allow for facilitator feedback.

Course Coordinators: Dr. Loretta Taras and Dr. Stephanie Gardner
Meeting Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 pm EST

August 28 Registration deadline

Assigned: August 29

Due:  September 4

Assignment #1- Fellow Introductions and goals


September 6 OR September 7 Using Adobe Connect - Mandatory practice: Session 1 OR Session 2

Assigned:  September 5

Due:  September 12

Assignment #2- Pre-webinar preparation


September 14


 Webinar #1 - Formulating a Strong DBER Research Question (RQ)


  • Identify learning/teaching problem
  • Describe the types of RQs
  • Describe the attributes of a strong research question
  • Formulate your research question

Assigned:  September 14

Due:  September 18

Assignment #3  - Post-webinar reflection


Assigned  September 19

Due:  September 26

Assignment #4 - Pre-webinar preparation
September 28

Webinar #2 - Journal Club Part 1 : Types of DBER research/questions, study designs and data sources


  • Describe and identify types of DBER research/questions in the papers
  • Identify, describe, and evaluate the study design in the papers
  • Identify and evaluate the types of data sources in the papers
  • Draft study design to answer RQ with data sources likely needed

Assigned:  September 28

Due:  October 2

Assignment #5 - Post-webinar reflection: 


Assigned:  October 3

Due:  October 10

Assignment #6 - Pre-webinar preparation
October 12

Webinar #3 :  Journal Club Part 2 - Types of data, methods, and analysis and Human Studies protocols in DBER


  • Identify and evaluate the types of data sources in the papers (e.g. affective/cognitive/performance data, data gathering methods and tools)
  • Describe the data analysis and inferences
  • Evaluate the pros/cons of the study design, data sources, and analysis
  • Identify the type(s) of human studies (IRB) protocols
  • Identify your local IRB application procedures

Assigned:  October 12

Due:  October 16

Assignment #7  - Post-webinar reflection


Assigned: October 17

Due: October 24

Assignment #8 - Pre-webinar preparation
October 26

Webinar #4:  Mid-point check in/progress reports


  • Identify questions and concerns with the formulation of the research question and preliminary study design and IRB protocols

Assigned: November 7

Due: November 14

Assignment #9 - Pre-webinar preparation

November 16


Webinar #5:  Qualitative data and analysis in DBER


  • Describe qualitative data
  • Identify methods for collecting qualitative data
  • Perform thematic coding of text
  • Identify ways in which qualitative data are summarized
  • Identify appropriate inferential statistical tests that can be used with qualitative data

Assigned: November 16

Due: November 20

Assignment #10 - Post-webinar reflection

Assigned:  November 28

Due: December 5

Assignment #11 - Pre-webinar preparation


December 7

Webinar #6:  Quantitative data and analysis in DBER


  • Describe quantitative data
  • Identify methods for collecting quantitative data
  • Identify strategies for statistical analysis of quantitative data in DBER
  • Evaluate the appropriate means for summarizing quantitative data in DBER
  • Summarize quantitative data

Assigned:  December 7

Due: December 11

Assignment #12- Post-webinar reflection

Assigned: December 12

Due: December 19

Assignment #13- Pre-webinar preparation
December 21

Webinar #7:  Next steps and wrap up


  • Identify the challenges and overcomes for DBER scholarship
  • Reflect on the purpose and extent of DBER scholarship in your career
  • Identify funding opportunities and professional development resources to support your DBER

Assigned:  December 21

Due:  December 23

Assignment #14- Reflection on webinar series

*All webinars are subject to change

Sponsorship and Credentials 
The Hot Topics in Microbiology Courses are sponsored by the ASM Committee on Undergraduate Education of the ASM Education Board.


Eligibility & Registration

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be familiar with evidence-based teaching practices
  • Currently have teaching responsibilities
  • Have an interest in conducting disciplinary based education research

Registration is closed. 


ASM Members: $275
Non-Members: $350

BECOME AN ASM MEMBER! To qualify for member discounts, you must purchase a Contributing Membership or above.

Please note, no refunds will be given. Instead, all participants who pay the registration fee will be given access to the recordings for a limited time.

Contact Us

Questions? Contact the ASM Education Department.   


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