Inaugural conference hosts more than 550 people from 11 countries

The discipline-based education research (DBER) community at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) hosted an online conference to discuss how theories, methods, and application of education research cross disciplinary boundaries. The X-DBER 2021 conference was held March 1-3, 2021. More than 550 people registered to attend the X-DBER 2021 conference; participants came from 11 countries and 41 states in the U.S.

The goal of this conference was to bring together DBER researchers from across disciplines (e.g., biology, chemistry, engineering, geoscience, math, physics) to learn about ongoing research and develop future directions. The conference opened with a welcome address from Chancellor Ronnie Green, followed by five themed sessions led by keynote speakers:

• Integrating disciplinary practices (Dr. Nicole Becker, University of Iowa, chemistry);

• Learning and cognitive research (Dr. Joanne Lobato, San Diego State University, math);

• Diversity, inclusion, and equity (Dr. Alex Mejia, University of San Diego, engineering);

• Student experiences and affect (Dr. Beth Schussler, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, biology); and

• Educational tools and interventions (Dr. Kathy Perkins, University of Colorado-Boulder, physics).

The meeting allowed researchers and practitioners to identify synergies in theoretical and research approaches across disciplines to help the diverse communities solve novel problems and translate research into classroom practices. This virtual setting allowed researchers across all ranks (e.g., graduate students, postdocs) to present their work to a national audience and helped connect these researchers to broader communities and research projects.

Each session keynote was followed by concurrent talks and small group discussions, which allowed participants to further engage with the session themes. The concurrent talks gave brief but often powerful insights into other work being done in the field, and the subsequent discussions provided a venue for participants to consider cross-cutting findings and future directions. The conference culminated with a virtual poster session featuring more than 150 posters. Altogether, the conference provided a timely venue for the DBER community to consider how cross-disciplinary research can address critical questions in STEM education.

To stay connected or get involved with this group, you can ask to join our Sched site by emailing nebraskamath@unl.edu or follow us on Twitter @NebraskaMATH. We hope to host another conference in the future.

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2021 INAUGURAL X-DBER CONFERENCE: Announcement & Plenary Speakers

When Covariational Reasoning Does Not “Work”: Applying Coordination Class Theory to Model Students’ Reasoning Related to the Varied Population Schema and Distribution Graphs, Nicole Becker

Learning and cognitive research, Joanne Lobato,

Diversity, inclusion, and equity, Alex Mejia

Next Generation PhET Simulations: Simulations: New Opportunities for Education Research New Opportunities for Education Research in Science and Math, Kathy Perkins

Emotion as the hidden curriculum: The case of student anxiety, Beth Schussler