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1.
Acta Biomed ; 93(S2): e2022192, 2022 05 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1848026

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIM: recent studies regarding COVID-19 experiences of nursing students highlighted the effect of the transition from face-to-face to online education, rather than the complexity of the overall quality of educational life. This study aim investigating of how the students perceive the quality of educational life in the forced online training, searching for any shift of meanings concerning the students learning experience, from the first phase of the sudden transition to online and the online stabilization phase. METHODS: a longitudinal qualitative study, carried during two moments of the online teaching activity forced by COVID-19, the first one in May-June 2020 and the second six months later in January -February 2021. A convenience sample of 24 students attending post-graduate courses for health professions recruited at University of Parma, answered in-depth interviews, videotaped, verbatim transcribed and analyzed using the Braun and Clarke model. RESULTS: five themes emerged from meaning shift of data collection: reactions to change in educational life; factors favoring a new quality of educational life; factors hindering the perception of the quality of educational life; adaptation strategies to the new educational life; tools and strategies to facilitate communication and the absence of the classroom. CONCLUSIONS: participants perceive advantages of online teaching, on quality of their educational life. The issue of how to create opportunities for internship period remains open. Further research to understand online internship and exploring what extent it is essential to propose it in face-to-face modality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Computer-Assisted Instruction , Students, Nursing , Education, Graduate , Humans , Learning
2.
Front Public Health ; 9: 727064, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775850

ABSTRACT

Increasing the number of racially and ethnically underrepresented students who pursue scientific graduate studies in programs focusing on science and aging offers an opportunity to increase the number of aging specialists while simultaneously promoting diversity in the research labor market and supporting new ideas. This case study aims to better understand how students participating in an academic preparatory program experience a writing class contextualized within (1) students' writing background and (2) students' future ambitions related to science and aging. The individually-tailored writing class was taught as a critical component of a comprehensive educational program that targets underrepresented racial and ethnic minority undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing scientific graduate studies in fields related to aging. The researchers conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with students (n = 4) enrolled in the 24-month fellowship training program, which included participation in the writing course during the summer prior to their senior year of undergraduate education. All participants were young adult college students who identified as Black or African American and female. Using thematic coding, statements about professional writing skills were divided into four primary themes: (1) prior experiences, (2) class experiences, (3) future goals and ambitions, and (4) structural considerations. These themes suggest potential implications for effective interventions aimed to advance the writing skills and academic and career readiness of racially and ethnically diverse students entering fields of science and aging.


Subject(s)
Career Choice , Education, Graduate , Students , Writing , African Americans/psychology , African Americans/statistics & numerical data , Aging , /statistics & numerical data , Cultural Diversity , Female , Humans , Minority Groups/psychology , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , Science/education , Students/psychology , Students/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
3.
Nature ; 603(7902): 749-751, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1764150
4.
Mol Biol Cell ; 33(3): vo1, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1709244

ABSTRACT

Despite substantial investment and effort by federal agencies and institutions to improve the diversity of the professoriate, progress is excruciatingly slow. One program that aims to enhance faculty diversity is the Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences. IRACDA supports the training of a diverse cohort of postdoctoral scholars who will seek academic research and teaching careers. The San Diego IRACDA program has trained 109 postdoctoral scholars since its inception in 2003; 59% are women and 63% are underrepresented (UR) Black/African-American, Latinx/Mexican-American, and Indigenous scientists. Sixty-four percent obtained tenure-track faculty positions, including a substantial 32% at research-intensive institutions. However, the COVID-19 pandemic crisis threatens to upend IRACDA efforts to improve faculty diversity, and academia is at risk of losing a generation of diverse, talented scholars. Here, a group of San Diego IRACDA postdoctoral scholars reflects on these issues and discusses recommendations to enhance the retention of UR scientists to avoid a "lost generation" of promising UR faculty scholars.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cultural Diversity , Education, Graduate , Faculty, Medical/statistics & numerical data , Fellowships and Scholarships/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Universities/statistics & numerical data , California , Education, Graduate/economics , Faculty, Medical/economics , Female , Humans , Male , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , National Institute of General Medical Sciences (U.S.) , National Institutes of Health (U.S.) , Research Personnel/economics , Research Personnel/education , Research Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Salaries and Fringe Benefits/statistics & numerical data , United States , Universities/economics , Women/education
6.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(2)2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1685571

ABSTRACT

The public health context is becoming increasingly more complex requiring highly trained professionals equipped with knowledge, competencies and tools to address or transform current and future challenges. Doctoral degree training offers an opportunity to build the capacity to detect and respond to such dynamic health challenges. In this paper, we discuss how Africa's public health doctoral students can be better positioned for the different career pathways to provide leadership on complex health and development challenges. Public health PhD graduates can take up careers in academia, civil service, private sector and civil society, among others. To thrive in these pathways, PhD training should equip them with knowledge, skills and competencies in leadership, creativity and social competence among others. To produce career-ready PhD graduates, there is need to rethink training curricula to build critical skills for diverse career pathways, introduce students to entrepreneurship, and enhance linkages between universities and industry. Experiential learning, exposure to networks and partnerships, postdoctoral programmes and mentorship and exchange programmes can further equip PhD students with key knowledge, skills and competencies. For students to position themselves for the different careers, they ought to plan their careers early, albeit with flexibility. Students should build their soft skills and embrace technology among other transferable competencies. By identifying potential career pathways and being positioned for these early, Africa can produce transformative PhD students on a path for success not just for themselves but for society at large, including in new environments such as that created by COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Public Health , Education, Graduate , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Students
8.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257872, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443846

ABSTRACT

The current challenges at the forefront of data-enabled science and engineering require interdisciplinary solutions. Yet most traditional doctoral programs are not structured to support successful interdisciplinary research. Here we describe the design of and students' experiences in the COMBINE (Computation and Mathematics for Biological Networks) interdisciplinary graduate program at the University of Maryland. COMBINE focuses on the development and application of network science methods to biological systems for students from three primary domains: life sciences, computational/engineering sciences, and mathematical/physical sciences. The program integrates three established models (T-shaped, pi-shaped and shield-shaped) for interdisciplinary training. The program components largely fall into three categories: (1) core coursework that provides content expertise, communication, and technical skills, (2) discipline-bridging elective courses in the two COMBINE domains that complement the student's home domain, (3) broadening activities such as workshops, symposiums, and formal peer-mentoring groups. Beyond these components, the program builds community through both formal and informal networking and social events. In addition to the interactions with other program participants, students engage with faculty in several ways beyond the conventional adviser framework, such as the requirement to select a second out-of-field advisor, listening to guest speakers, and networking with faculty through workshops. We collected data through post-program surveys, interviews and focus groups with students, alumni and faculty advisors. Overall, COMBINE students and alumni reported feeling that the program components supported their growth in the three program objectives of Network Science & Interdisciplinarity, Communication, and Career Preparation, but also recommended ways to improve the program. The value of the program can be seen not only through the student reports, but also through the students' research products in network science which include multiple publications and presentations. We believe that COMBINE offers an effective model for integrated interdisciplinary training that can be readily applied in other fields.


Subject(s)
Education, Graduate/methods , Interdisciplinary Studies , Humans , Mathematics , Models, Educational , Neural Networks, Computer , Professional Competence
9.
Ann N Y Acad Sci ; 1508(1): 137-154, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430012

ABSTRACT

There is emerging literature on the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on college students, but little is known about the impacts on undergraduate researchers (UGRs). On the basis of survey data collected in Summer 2020, this paper examines how less competent mentorship and COVID-19-related difficulties shaped UGRs' graduate school intentions. Results suggest that the pandemic strengthened UGRs' graduate school intentions when UGRs experienced fewer COVID-19-related difficulties. The pandemic weakened URG's graduate school intentions when they had a less competent faculty mentor. Having a more competent postgraduate mentor had a positive effect on UGRs' graduate school intentions in response to the pandemic. Those findings indicate that higher quality postgraduate mentorship may serve as an effective surrogate for lower quality faculty mentorship. Findings suggest that immediate strategies are needed to bolster graduate school aspirations among specific groups of UGRs in response to the pandemic. UGRs of particular concern include those who were highly impacted by COVID-19 with less competent mentors, were first-generation college students, had less prior research experience, had their Summer 2020 research experiences canceled, and were social/behavioral sciences majors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Education, Graduate , Intention , Research Personnel/psychology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Mentors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
10.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0256687, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416873

ABSTRACT

COVID-19-associated university closures moved classes online and interrupted ongoing research in universities throughout the US. In Vanderbilt University, first year biomedical sciences PhD students were in the middle of their spring semester coursework and in the process of identifying a thesis research lab, while senior students who had already completed the first year were at various stages of their graduate training and were working on their thesis research projects. To learn how the university closure and resulting interruptions impacted our students' learning and well-being, we administered two surveys, one to the first year students and the other to the senior students. Our main findings show that the university closure negatively impacted the overall psychological health of about one-third of the survey respondents, time management was the aspect of remote learning that caused the highest stress for close to 50% of the students, and interaction with their peers and in-person discussions were the aspects of on-campus learning that students missed the most during the remote learning period. Additionally, survey responses also show that students experienced positive outcomes as a result of remote learning that included spending increased time on additional learning interests, with family, on self-care, and for dissertation or manuscript writing. Though a variety of supportive resources are already available to students in our institution, results from our survey suggest enhancing these measures and identifying new ones targeted to addressing the academic and emotional needs of PhD students would be beneficial. Such support measures may be appropriate for students in other institutions as well.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/psychology , Education, Graduate/statistics & numerical data , Students/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Biomedical Research/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Education, Graduate/methods , Epidemics/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Health/standards , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Tennessee , Universities
11.
Adv Physiol Educ ; 45(4): 670-678, 2021 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403119

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic forced teaching to be shifted to an online platform. Since the flipped teaching (FT) model has been shown to engage students through active learning strategies and adapt both synchronous and asynchronous components, it was a convenient choice for educators familiar with this instructional method. This study tested the effectiveness of a virtual FT method during the pandemic in a graduate-level physiology course. Besides assessing knowledge gained in the virtual FT format, student surveys were used to measure student perception of their adjustment to the new FT format, their confidence in completing the course successfully, and the usefulness of assessments and assignments in the remote FT. Students reported that they adjusted well to the remote FT method (P < 0.001), and their confidence in completing the course in this teaching mode successfully improved from the beginning to the end of the semester (P < 0.05). Students expressed a positive response to the synchronous computerized exams (90.32%) and the formative group (93.51%) and individual (80.65%) assessments. Both collaborative activities (93.55%) and in-class discussions (96.77%) were found to be effective. The course evaluations and the overall semester scores were comparable to the previous semesters of face-to-face FT. Overall, students' perceptions and performance suggested that they embraced the virtual FT method and the tested teaching method maintained the same strong outcome as before. Thus, this study presents a promising new instructional method in the teaching of future physiology courses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Education, Graduate , Humans , Problem-Based Learning , SARS-CoV-2 , Teaching
13.
Biochem Mol Biol Educ ; 49(6): 841-842, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1353435

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic results in the suspension of universities' academic laboratory activities. This brought a difficult time for graduate students majored in molecular biology and their mentors, since the student's thesis progress relies on the data from wet experiments in the lab. Even facing the challenges during the pandemic, mentors could still play an active role. This COVID-19 crisis requires mentors to have more thinking, innovation, and sharing in guiding graduate students.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Education, Graduate/organization & administration , Mentors , Students , COVID-19/virology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
16.
Annu Rev Virol ; 8(1): 537-558, 2021 09 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1304281

ABSTRACT

The pervasive effects of the current coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic are but one reason for educators to refocus their efforts on virology teaching. Additionally, it is critical to understand how viruses function and to elucidate the relationship between virus and host. An understanding of current virology education may improve pedagogical approaches for educating our students and trainees. Faculty who teach undergraduate microbiology indicate that approximately 10% of the course content features viruses; stand-alone virology courses are infrequently offered to undergraduates. Fortunately, virology taught to undergraduates includes foundational material; several approaches for delivery of lecture- and lab-based content exist. At the graduate education level, there is growing appreciation that an emphasis on logic, reasoning, inference, and statistics must be reintroduced into the curriculum to create a generation of scientists who have a greater capacity for creativity and innovation. Educators also need to remove barriers to student success, at all levels of education.


Subject(s)
Curriculum , Virology/education , COVID-19 , Education, Graduate , Guidelines as Topic , Humans , Students , Teaching , Universities
19.
J Genet Couns ; 30(4): 1057-1068, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1293205

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the globe in the past year, demanding shifts in all aspects of life including health profession education. The New York City area was the first major United States epicenter and is home to four genetic counseling graduate programs. We set out to explore the multifaceted programmatic changes required from the four institutions in an early pandemic epicenter, providing the longest time horizon available for assessing the implications of this restructuring on graduate education in the profession. Using practitioner-based enquiry, our iterative reflections identified three phases of COVID-19 response within our programs from March through December 2020. The spring months were marked by significant upheaval and reactivity, with a focus on stabilizing our programs in an unstable environment that included a significant medical response required in our area. By summer, we were reinvesting time and energy into our programs and prioritizing best practices in online learning. Relative predictability returned in the fall with noticeable improvements in flexibility and proactive problem-solving within our new environment. We have begun to identify changes in both curricula and operations that are likely to become more permanent. Telehealth fieldwork, remote supervision, simulated cases with standardized clients, and virtual recruitment and admission events are some key examples. We explored early outcome measures, such as enrollment, retention, course evaluations, and student academic and fieldwork progress, all indicating little change from prior to the pandemic to date. Overall, we found our programs, and genetic counseling graduate education more broadly, to be much more resilient and flexible than we would ever have realized. The COVID-19 pandemic has awakened in us a desire to move ahead with reduced barriers to educational innovation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Education, Graduate , Genetic Counseling , COVID-19/epidemiology , Curriculum , Humans , New York City/epidemiology , Pandemics
20.
BMC Med Educ ; 21(1): 294, 2021 May 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238719

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: It remains unclear to what extent the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the normal progression of biomedical and medical science graduate programs and if there was a lasting impact on the quality and quantity of supervision of PhD-students. To date, multiple editorials and commentaries indicate the severity of the disruption without providing sufficient evidence with quantifiable data. METHODS: An online survey was submitted to the administrative offices of biomedical and medical PhD-programs at eight major universities in Sweden to gauge the impact of the pandemic on the students. It consisted of multiple-choice and open-ended questions where students could provide examples of positive and/or negative supervision strategies. Open answered questions were coded as either examples of positive or negative support. RESULTS: PhD students were divided into two groups: those with improved or unchanged supervision during the pandemic (group 1, n = 185), versus those whose supervision worsened (group 2, n = 69). Group 1 received more help from supervisors and more frequent supervision via both online and alternative platforms (email/messages and telephone). There was no significant difference in educational-stage, gender or caretaking responsibilities between the groups. CONCLUSIONS: It is important for the scientific community to learn how to provide the best possible supervision for PhD students during the pandemic. Our data suggests that more frequent supervision, and using a diverse array of meeting platforms is helpful. In addition, it is important for the students to feel that they have their supervisor's emotional support. Several students also expressed that they would benefit from an extension of their PhD programs due to delays caused by the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Cross-Sectional Studies , Education, Graduate , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Students , Sweden/epidemiology
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