bioCEED – Centre of Excellence in Biology Education

Full name: The Centre of Excellence in Biology Education
Affiliation: The University of Bergen, the University Centre at Svalbard (UNIS) and Institute of Marine Research
Field of study: Biology
Website: bioCEED – Centre of Excellence in Biology Education
SFU-status: 2014–18
Centre director: Professor Vigdis Vandvik

bioCEED develops biology educations that fill future needs in science and society. We achieve this by connecting scientific knowledge, practical skills and societal applications throughout our educations. We build on the strengths of the research culture to develop a collegial and scholarly teacher culture.

There is a rapid development in the roles and responsibilities of biology – and biologists – in society. Today, evolutionary thinking is important not only in the biology sciences, but also in medicine, information technology, management, humanities and social sciences. The practical skills of biologists, from genetic engineering to ecosystem assessment and analysis, are increasingly in demand in research, industry, and governance. The global challenges related to food production, environment and climate also requires biological solutions.

The rapid developments in the role of biology and biologists in society place new demands, not only to the content of biology education, but also to how we, the educators, educate tomorrow’s biologists.

bioCEED will make use of the entire biological ‘triangle’ in education by giving students experience with theoretical knowledge, practical skills, and socially relevant tasks throughout their studies. This will be achieved in part by providing internships in research, management and industry, by strengthening practical training in lab and field, and by providing good resources for teachers and students to build transferrable skills throughout the programmes.

bioCEED works for a change from a culture of "teaching" to one of "Learning", where student learning are at the core of all teaching and learning activities. The students are engaged in their learning process and in developing teaching, with possibilities and responsibility for their own learning. Such a change can only happen if teachers are prepared and willing to change and develop teaching. bioCEED supports a collegial teacher culture with a scholarly approach to teaching and learning. By bringing the strengths of the research culture into educational practice, bioCEED is establishing a culture of sharing, development and scientifically based teaching practice.

bioCEED has four main focus areas:

  1. Teacher culture
  2. Innovative teaching
  3. Practical training
  4. Outreach

bioCEEDs focus areas are reflected in their projects:

biopraksis: Work practice through internships as part of the biology education. The students use their biological knowledge on relevant practical tasks and gain experience from working as a biologist. Go to biopraksis

Artsapp: An app for species identification developed by students. Go to Artsapp

Bioskills: online platform that aims to develop transferrable skills across the biology curriculum by streamlining and linking teaching and learning of skills like numerical competence, scientific writing, communication, lab- and field – throughout the curriculum. Go to Bioskills

Teach to Learn (TE2LE): TE2LE aims to stimulate student creativity and develop collaborative, communicative and pedagogical skills, through student-created video tutorials to teach their peers key scientific concepts. Go to Teach to Learn

Read more about these and more of bioCEEDs projects