Sehoya Cotner

Sehoya Cotner
University of Minnesota Twin Cities | UMN · College of Biological Sciences

About

99
Publications
16,960
Reads
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1,297
Citations
Citations since 2016
78 Research Items
1073 Citations
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Publications

Publications (99)
Article
Full-text available
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a reimagining of many aspects of higher education, including how instructors interact with their students and how they encourage student participation. Text-based chatting during synchronous remote instruction is a simple form of student-student and student-instructor interaction. The impo...
Article
Full-text available
Interest in biology education research (BER) has been growing over the last two decades, yet few BER publications focus on community colleges, which serve a large percentage of the undergraduate student population and a majority of those students who identify with historically underserved groups. In this paper, we define community college biology e...
Article
Full-text available
In May 2021, the Norwegian parliament voted unanimously to again require the use of two evaluators to assess all student work given a grade on the A-F scale in higher education. This revision of the law regulating higher education marks a return to a rule that had been rescinded with the Quality Reform of 2001, and has the potential to lead to a ca...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT To achieve meaningful learning experiences in online classrooms, students must become self-regulated learners through the development of effective study habits. Currently, there is no set of recommendations to promote study habits in online biology learning environments. To fill gaps in our understanding, a working group associated with a...
Preprint
In May 2021, the Norwegian parliament voted unanimously to again require the use of two evaluators to assess all student work given a grade on the A-F scale in higher education. This revision of the law regulating higher education marks a return to a rule that had been rescinded with the Quality Reform of 2001, and has the potential to lead to a ca...
Article
Doubts about belonging in the classroom are often shouldered disproportionately by students from historically marginalized groups, which can lead to underperformance. Ecological-belonging interventions use a classroom-based activity to instill norms that adversity is normal, temporary, and surmountable. Building on prior studies, we sought to ident...
Article
Full-text available
Course-based research experiences (CREs) are designed to engage students in authentic scientific experiences that are embedded into a standard curriculum. CREs provide valuable research experiences to large numbers of undergraduate biology students, however, CRE implementation can require many personnel. Because limited personnel may be a barrier t...
Article
Full-text available
Despite positive evidence for active learning (AL), lecturing dominates science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) higher education. Though instructors acknowledge AL to be valuable, many resist implementing AL techniques, citing an array of barriers including a perceived lack of student buy-in. However, few studies have explored stud...
Article
Full-text available
To enhance equity and diversity in undergraduate biology, recent research in biology education focuses on best practices that reduce learning barriers for all students and improve academic performance. However, the majority of current research into student experiences in introductory biology takes place at large, predominantly White institutions. T...
Preprint
Full-text available
Open Science (OS) comprises a variety of practices and principles that are broadly intended to improve the quality and transparency of research, and the concept is gaining traction. Since OS has multiple facets and still lacks a unifying definition, it may be interpreted quite differently among practitioners. Moreover, successfully implementing OS...
Article
Full-text available
Inquiry-based laboratory activities, as a part of science curricula, have been advocated to increase students’ learning outcomes and improve students’ learning experiences, but students sometimes struggle with open-inquiry activities. This study aims to investigate students’ perceptions of inquiry-based learning in a set of laboratory activities, s...
Article
Full-text available
To investigate patterns of gender-based performance gaps, we conducted a meta-analysis of published studies and unpublished data collected across 169 undergraduate biology and chemistry courses. While we did not detect an overall gender gap in performance, heterogeneity analyses suggested further analysis was warranted, so we investigated whether a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Doubts about belonging in the classroom are often shouldered disproportionately by students from historically marginalized groups, which can lead to underperformance. Ecological-belonging interventions use a classroom-based activity to instill norms that adversity is normal, temporary and surmountable. Building on prior studies, we sought to identi...
Article
Science as an enterprise has been and continues to be exclusionary, perpetuating inequities among whose voice is heard as well as what/whose knowledge is recognized as valid. Women, people of color, and persons with disabilities are still vastly outnumbered in science and engineering by their White, male counterparts. These types of imbalances crea...
Article
Full-text available
In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic altered instructional and learning strategies at institutions across the globe. This emergency transition to remote instruction (ETRI) resulted in ambiguity regarding what to teach, how to teach, and instructor and student workload. We report on a survey-based study of 44 community college (CC) faculty at 16 ins...
Article
Full-text available
Evidence-based teaching practices (EBTP)-like inquiry-based learning, inclusive teaching, and active learning (AL)-have been shown to benefit all students, especially women, first-generation, and traditionally minoritized students in science fields. However, little research has focused on how best to train teaching assistants (TAs) to use EBTP or o...
Article
Full-text available
Undergraduate student participation in course-based research experiences results in many positive outcomes, but there is a lack of evidence demonstrating which elements of a research experience are necessary, especially for non-biology majors. Broad relevance is one element that can be logistically challenging to incorporate into research experienc...
Article
Full-text available
As Open Science practices become more commonplace, there is a need for the next generation of scientists to be well versed in these aspects of scientific research. Yet, many training opportunities for early career researchers (ECRs) could better emphasize or integrate Open Science elements. Field courses provide opportunities for ECRs to apply theo...
Article
Full-text available
Scientific disciplines face large diversity challenges, with the fields of ecology and evolution being among the most homogeneous—specifically with respect to race and ethnicity. These problems have been recently compounded by large‐scale racial unrest, highlighting some of the underlying disparities that have led to these diversity challenges, and...
Article
Full-text available
Background Understanding student motivational factors such as test anxiety and science confidence is important for increasing retention in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), especially for underrepresented students, such as women. We investigated motivational metrics in over 400 introductory biology students in Norway, a country lau...
Article
Full-text available
National efforts to improve equitable teaching practices in biology education have led to an increase in research on the barriers to student participation and performance, as well as solutions for overcoming these barriers. Fewer studies have examined the extent to which the resulting data trends and effective strategies are generalizable across mu...
Article
Full-text available
Inquiry activities have become increasingly common in Ecology and Evolution courses, but the rapid shift to remote instruction for many faculty members in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for maintaining these student-cen- tered activities in a distance learning format. Moving forward, many instructors will be asked to c...
Article
Full-text available
Recent efforts to promote diversity in the sciences, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines include widening access to colleges and universities for capable but academically underprepared students. Equally important in these efforts is to provide students with support after acceptance, particularly in large, introductory STEM courses....
Article
Full-text available
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) pandemic introduced an abrupt change in human behavior globally. Here, we discuss unique insights the pandemic has provided into the eco‐evolutionary role of pathogens in ecosystems and present data that indicates the pandemic may have fundamentally changed our learning choices. COVID‐19 has indirectly affect...
Presentation
Background Engaging undergraduates in research opportunities is imperative for cultivating a new generation of motivated scientists but offering these experiences to a large number of students in ecology is often challenging. Course-based undergraduate researcher experiences (CUREs) represent a powerful tool for scaling research experiences and red...
Preprint
Inquiry activities have become increasingly common in Ecology and Evolution courses, but the rapid shift to remote instruction for many faculty members in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for maintaining these student-centered activities in a distance learning format. Moving forward, many instructors will be asked to cre...
Article
Full-text available
Overwhelming evidence demonstrating the benefits of active-learning pedagogy has led to a shift in teaching that requires students to interact more in the classroom. To date, few studies have assessed whether there are gender-specific differences in participation in active-learning science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, a...
Article
Full-text available
We report on a brief, simple, online course intervention designed to reduce identity gaps and help students see their "possible selves" in working scientists. Students (n = 238) in a large-enrollment, introductory biology course for nonmajors were assigned nine podcasts, distributed throughout the semester. These podcasts each featured a scientist...
Article
Full-text available
Field courses, while generally considered as beneficial for students, are challenging to implement and can lead to strained relationships between local residents and visiting scientists. Thus, it is critical to both maximize the educational value of field courses and help students develop contextualized science communication skills. We report on th...
Article
Full-text available
Research over the last decade has indicated that active learning and student-centered instruction lead to better learning outcomes in undergraduate biology courses than traditional methods such as lecturing. This shift in pedagogical approach has been applied to both high-enrollment lecture-based courses as well as smaller laboratory courses. In th...
Poster
Full-text available
Engaging undergraduates in research opportunities is imperative for cultivating a new generation of motivated scientists but offering these experiences to a large number of students in the field of limnology is often challenging. Course-based undergraduate researcher experiences (CUREs) represent a powerful training tool for preparing future resear...
Article
Full-text available
Active-learning pedagogies represent one suite of tools commonly thought to promote greater classroom inclusivity. However, the social aspects of many active-learning techniques, such as in-class group work, may differentially impact students who feel pressure to conceal certain aspects of their identity, such as sexual orientation, political affil...
Preprint
Active Learning Pedagogy has been shown to be a highly effective instructional strategy for teaching in STEM courses. However, the majority of evidence supporting this finding has had a strong North American bias, with relatively little work exploring how faculty and students from different cultural backgrounds interact with active learning. Conseq...
Preprint
Field courses, while generally considered as beneficial for students, are challenging to implement and can lead to strained relationships between local residents and visiting scientists. Thus, it is critical to both maximize the educational value of field courses, and help students develop contextualized science-communication skills. We report on t...
Article
Full-text available
Recommendations for undergraduate biology education include integration of research experiences into the curriculum, regardless of major. While non-biology majors and biology majors differ in affective characteristics, it is not clear if they differ in their incoming science process skills. We created a scenario-based assessment instrument – design...
Article
Full-text available
A persistent “gender penalty” in exam performance disproportionately impacts women in large introductory science courses, where exam grades generally account for the majority of the students' assessment of learning. Previous work in introductory biology demonstrates that some social psychological factors may underlie these gender penalties, includi...
Article
As science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) classrooms in higher education transition from lecturing to active learning, the frequency of student interactions in class increases. Previous research documents a gender bias in participation, with women participating less than would be expected on the basis of their numeric proportions....
Presentation
Full-text available
Engaging undergraduates in research opportunities is imperative for cultivating a new generation of motivated scientists but offering these experiences to a large number of students in the field of limnology is often challenging. Course-based undergraduate researcher experiences (CUREs) represent a powerful training tool for preparing future resear...
Article
Full-text available
Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have the potential to improve undergraduate biology education by involving large numbers of students in research. CUREs can take a variety of forms with different affordances and constraints, complicating the evaluation of design features that might contribute to successful outcomes. In this s...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers in various contexts have long struggled with an apparent disconnect between an individual’s level of understanding of biological evolution and their acceptance of it as an explanation for the history and diversity of life. Here, we discuss the main factors associated with acceptance of evolution and chart a path forward for evolution ed...
Presentation
Full-text available
Research over the last decade has indicated that active learning and student-centered instruction lead to better learning outcomes in undergraduate biology courses than traditionally common methods, such as lecturing. This shift in pedagogical approach has been applied to both high-enrollment lecture-based courses as well as smaller enrollment labo...
Article
It is critical that we understand and address features of learning environments that encumber students historically underrepresented in STEM fields. Here we consider social elements of group work that can either support or impede learning. We tracked gender-bias in student-teaching assistant (TA) interactions in 184 small groups across 27 introduct...
Article
Full-text available
Background The Galápagos archipelago is known worldwide for its contributions to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, and the islands continue to support studies in evolutionary biology. Yet despite the strong association of Galápagos with evolutionary biology, it is unknown if tourists—approaching 200,000 individuals annually...
Article
Full-text available
Performance gaps in science are well documented, and an examination of underlying mechanisms that lead to underperformance and attrition of women and underrepresented minorities (URM) may offer highly targeted means to promote such students. Determining factors that influence academic performance may provide a basis for improved pedagogy and policy...
Chapter
In Galápagos, whose economy is based on tourism, the idea of evolution is common throughout society—including in school curricula. Biology teachers in Galápagos love the idea of evolution and are confident that they understand evolution. However, this confidence is not accompanied by a corresponding knowledge of evolution or an acceptance of severa...
Presentation
Full-text available
Engaging undergraduates in research opportunities is imperative for cultivating a new generation of motivated scientists but offering these experiences to a large number of students in the field of limnology is often challenging. Course-based undergraduate researcher experiences (CUREs) represent a powerful training tool for preparing future resear...
Article
Full-text available
Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) are a type of laboratory learning environment associated with a science course, in which undergraduates participate in novel research. According to Auchincloss et al. (CBE Life Sci Educ 2104; 13:29–40), CUREs are distinct from other laboratory learning environments because they possess five co...
Data
Appendix 1: Supplemental tables, Appendix 2: Science self-efficacy survey, Appendix 3: Project ownership survey
Article
Full-text available
Women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Evidence suggests the microclimate of the classroom is an important factor influencing female course grades and interest, which encourages retention of women in STEM fields. Here, we test whether the gender composition of small (8-9 person) learning...
Data
Self- and Peer-evaluation midterm dataset. (CSV)
Data
Self- and Peer-evaluation final dataset. (CSV)
Data
Students’ sense of social belonging in the classroom environment assessment. (DOCX)
Data
Performance and social belonging dataset. (CSV)
Data
Students’ self- and peer evaluation in same or mixed gender groups. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
Gender differences in academic performance and attitudes are widespread in male-stereotyped disciplines but rarely are studied in the social sciences. To assess the extent that gender influences the behavior of undergraduate women in political science, participation was analyzed in a large (N = 130) introductory comparative-politics class at the Un...
Article
Full-text available
Many factors have been proposed to explain the attrition of women in science, technology, engineering and math fields, among them the lower performance of women in introductory courses resulting from deficits in incoming preparation. We focus on the impact of mixed methods of assessment, which minimizes the impact of high-stakes exams and rewards o...
Data
Individual results from fall 2016 (de-identified). Student data are combined (“Fa2016”) and sorted by courses as described in the manuscript. (XLSX)
Data
Summary statistics. Tables A-C: statistical results for performance metrics and accounting for potential demographic predictors across nine introductory biology courses in fall 2016. We used AIC model-selection statistics to determine variables to include in the models. Significant variables are shown in bold. Tables D and E: descriptive statistics...
Article
Full-text available
The gender gap in STEM fields has prompted a great deal of discussion, but what factors underlie performance deficits remain poorly understood. We show that female students underperformed on exams compared to their male counterparts across ten large introductory biology course sections in fall 2016 (N > 1500 students). Females also reported higher...
Data
Mediation analyses. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
Background Evolution is everywhere in Galápagos, especially regarding the role the islands have played in the history of evolutionary thought. In turn, the Galápagos National Park guides are in a unique position as informal science educators, as they are the primary points-of-contact for the islands’ ~ 200,000 tourists per year. Our goal was to ass...
Article
Full-text available
Recent calls to action urge sweeping reform in science education, advocating for improved learning for all students—including those majoring in fields beyond the sciences. However, little work has been done to characterize the differences—if any exist—between students planning a career in science and those studying other disciplines. We describe an...
Article
Full-text available
Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) for non–science majors (nonmajors) are potentially distinct from CUREs for developing scientists in their goals, learning objectives, and assessment strategies. While national calls to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education have led to an increase in research revea...
Article
Laboratory-based research provides great control over individual experimental replicates, but lacks the ecological realism of field work. Therefore, results from laboratory-based work may not reflect natural processes. Field-based studies have the advantage of ecological realism but often lack control over environmental variables and have low rates...