2015 UnConference Program & Live Proceedings

Check out the program from the 2015 UnConference below. 

The UnConference is a community effort. Facilitators help to moderate discussions about specific topics, and each session has a designated scribe and time-keeper. This year we piloted using a Scribe form (Google Form) so that all notes were collected in real-time and posted (almost) immediately to the website. And it worked; all but one session has scribe notes! Where session notes are available, there are clickable links in the spreadsheet below.

UnConference 2015 Program


The (Un)Conference experience is of a large community working together. As a result, the best experience is to arrive Tuesday late afternoon, and leave Friday after lunch. We recognize, however, that this may not be possible due to family, financial, or teaching responsibilities. The proposed organization will be such that individuals who can only afford (time or financially) two nights could come Tuesday evening and leave late Thursday afternoon (or similar variation). For those capable of attending for three nights, Friday morning would be a single session outside the official '(Un)Conference', devoted to the Annual General Meeting, and allowing travel home starting around lunch time on Friday. 

Typically soon after the potluck (or while we are still munching away on the wonderful snacks brought by oCUBErs), we introduce ourselves via 5-minute oral presentations about a teaching success/tip called "Shorts".  We generally have two types of sessions: BIGS (Big Idea Group Sessions; ~ 55 min) and GIFTS (Great Ideas For Teaching Sessions; ~ 25 min). We often have concurrent GIFT sessions. 

Continuing this year

Invited Guests. Last year we were delighted to include 3 invited guests: 1. Peter White from Michigan State University; 2. Lisa McDonnell from the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at UBC and 3. Todd Nickel, from Mt. Royal University, Alberta and the Alberta Introductory Biology Association/AIBA. These three participants, now extraprovincial oCUBE members, truly enriched the UnConference and, because we have no money, paid from their own (or someone else's) pockets to do so! Because this was such a wonderful experience for all concerned, we are doing this again. 

UPDATE: Neil Haave, from the University of Alberta, is joining us at oCUBE UnConference 2015!

Pre-Planned Anchor Sessions. See the 'What is an UnConference?' for more information. A survey is going out shortly to votinate on topics that were pitched. Sessions chosen (and those not chosen) will be posted shortly.

UPDATE: We have some pre-planned anchor sessions! Thanks to all who pitched, voted, and otherwise helped with this!

How it all works

  1. Call Shamrock Lodge to book at room; register at UnConference Registration (40 participant maximum). 

  2. Think about the aspects of undergraduate biology education that interest you the most and pick an issue about which you would like to convene a session. The range of potential topics is very wide, including (but not limited to) areas such as: professional and career development for instructors, curriculum/program design, practical laboratory (etc) exercises, edutechnology, assessment strategies, active learning in lecture, skill development, service learning etc. Maybe you have discovered the answer to a question. Maybe you just have a question to explore. Prepare a brief summary of your thoughts. Maybe collect some literature. Maybe prepare a few slides of material to inspire and frame a discussion. Maybe pack a special piece of apparatus. If you have no burning issues at the moment, that's fine; you are sure to engage with topics as they bubble up at the meeting.

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oCUBE Org,
Jun 9, 2015, 9:03 PM
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oCUBE Org,
Jun 9, 2015, 9:03 PM
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