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Megan Barker

Megan Barker

Genetics

Editor Degrees

  • Ph.D. in Medical Biophysics (specialization in Biomolecular Structure), University of Toronto
  • B.Sc. in Biochemistry, University of Guelph

About Teaching and CourseSource

My academic background lies in biochemistry and structural biology, where we look at individual molecules to see how they function alone and together. I have brought my love of these molecules to my teaching career, and am inspired by helping students find their own appreciation for the incredible ways that life flourishes within and beyond the cell. I first found this inspiration as a teaching assistant, and then during a range of sessional/contract teaching during and after my grad degree. There, like many of us, I learned to teach on-the-fly – and appreciated these opportunities to work with diverse students across disciplines and institutions. Following these formative experiences, I was fortunate to develop a more fundamental understanding of evidence-based pedagogy and discipline-based education research during my incredible post-doctoral fellowship with the Carl Wieman Institute at the University of British Columbia. With fantastic teaching and learning colleagues in my current teaching faculty position at Simon Fraser University, I have happily found my fit amongst the life-sciences DBER community locally and beyond. 

I have a smattering of professional interests: Teaching Assistant professional development; effective teaching in large classrooms; providing equitable access to the authentic process of science; effective visualizations for education-based and wetlab-based findings; and fostering community among students and among teaching colleagues, in any and all formats. And I’m always interested in new collaborations and ideas! Underneath this all is bringing students into the shared love of the life sciences, to help them develop their own interests and skills to succeed at whatever path they choose. 

From the very initial writing workshops held at SABER, it has been clear to me that CourseSource meets a critically important need for scholarly instructors. High-quality, peer-reviewed course materials in an open-source, shareable format linked to clearly-articulated goals: this is awesome. I am thrilled to be an editor, to read about the valuable work that fellow instructors are doing, and to be inspired with new evidence-based innovations that inform my own teaching.