thousands on textbooks, received grants to promote learning in team environments, prepped a new biology education course to help students learn more about education research and was selected to provide stimulating enrichment opportunities as an Honors Faculty Fellow.Sami Raut, Ph.D., is no stranger to developing innovative and engaging education experiences. Since 2017, this assistant professor has helped save students
In August, she decided to expand that innovation from UAB’s campus to Nagpur, India. She and colleague and Assistant Professor Mickie Powell, Ph.D., applied for a fellowship from the developers of Avida-ED, an educational application that enables undergraduate biology students to learn about evolution and the scientific method by designing and performing experiments on a virtual platform. Avida-ED awarded Raut a dissemination grant to conduct a digital workshop with faculty in the Department of Microbiology at Shivaji Science College in Nagpur.
“We always talk about STEM outreach in the U.S. — I’m taking it international.”
“I’ve always been inspired to try new things and innovations that make learning more engaging in the classroom,” Raut said. “Avida-ED was excited about the possibility to do something beyond the U.S. I asked them if I could present this workshop in India where there isn’t as much exposure to cutting-edge technology in the classroom.”
Taking it global
Raut presented the software to 15 faculty in Shivaji Science’s Department of Microbiology and its graduate students, who often teach in the classroom. All participants were equipped with cell phones and internet access, which is all that is required to use the Avida-ED software.
To maximize her trip to Nagpur, Raut presented a second, unrelated workshop with students from Shivaji Science that focused on opportunities abroad for STEM majors. She also presented that workshop at Nagpur’s Hislop College, where she delivered a seminar on evidenced-based teaching practices.
“These students rarely have exposure to anything going on in the Western world, so we talked about cutting-edge methods available to students in the classroom,” Raut said.
“I’ve always been inspired to try new things and innovations that make learning more engaging in the classroom.”
Raut is pleased with the response to her presentations in India and now is looking forward to present evidence-based teaching seminars to the Faculty of Science at the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería in Lima, Peru, who invited her to talk in spring 2019.
“There are so many parts of the globe that are literally deprived of cutting-edge teaching technologies and never have access to anything like this,” Raut said. “I want to bring those people up to par with the Western world. We always talk about STEM outreach in the U.S. — I’m taking it international.”