Department of Biological Sciences (BIO)

Full house on Poster Symposium

May 22 was an exciting day for students and staff at the Department of Biological Sciences, when the first Poster Symposium was arranged in Høyteknologisenteret.

Bilde av en gruppe studenter foran en av posterveggene
Both students and employees were present at the Poster Symposium in Høyteknologisenteret
Jonathan Soule, UiB

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The Poster Symposium started with pizza and soft drinks to all the participants, before each of the groups got 1-2 minutes to present their poster. After the presentation all the participants had time to walk around and look at all the posters and talk to the students who made the posters. All participants were encouraged to vote for the poster they liked best.

Ørjan Totland, Head of Department, had the honorable task of presenting the winner of the Best Poster. The winner was the poster How to Overfish – A guide to Unsustainable Management of Marine Resources by Zaw Myo Win, Hedda Ørbæk, Sigurd Korsnes and Frida Klubb. In addition to honor, they recevied diplomas and a gift card at Bergen Kino.

Student-active learning is an important tool in teaching
Katja Enberg, Inger Elisabeth Måren, Sigrunn Eliassen and Øyvind Fiksen, the four course responsible who arranged the Poster Symposium all use active learning methods in their teaching, which means that the students themselves play a key role in their own learning.

Frida Klubb, one of the students behind the poster who won the Poster Symposium, thinks it has been educational and quite liberating with active learning methods.

- We have been through many exercises that I have never done before, is was for example very fun to try out debate, she says. We had to immerse ourselves more in the topics we have gone through in order to complete the various tasks, so I feel I am left with more knowledge because of this.

Zaw Myo Win was also on the group who won the Poster Symposium. He has been an exchange student at the University of Bergen (UiB) since autumn 2018 and is originally from Myanmar.

- I think SDG214 has been a very fun course, I am used to a lot of group work that prepares us for work from my home university, he says.

The two course responsible in SDG214 and SDG215, Katja Enberg and Inger Elisabeh Måren, have both deliberately divided the students into heterogeneous groups. Zaw confirms that there has been a very exciting interaction between the students in the groups because there has been a good mix of people from different disciplines and at different levels in their studies.

Zaw can reveal that he got ideas for his master's thesis, which he thinks he never would have gotten if he was in a homogeneous group where everyone thought the same as him.

Preparation and implementation of the Poster Symposium
In the two SDG-courses, students worked in groups and jointly found a topic they wanted to make a poster about.

Frida thought it was challenging to make a poster because they had to try to find out what the audience wanted, while having to find a good balance between too little and too much information.

Zaw adds that a poster should be a little "eye-catching":

- It's boring to be usual!

It is common in research to present new findings at international conferences, including as a poster presentation. Although this was not an international conference, Zaw though they got a taste of what it is like to be a scientist.

Courses focusing on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
SDG214 and SDG215 are both new subjects that were taught for the first time this semester. Together with SDG110 Perspective on Sustainable Development, the courses constitute the first courses within the UNs Sustainable Development Goals at the Department of Biological Sciences. The courses are interdisciplinary and are open to all students at UiB. External students can apply for admission to the courses through "enkeltemneopptaket".

On October 24, 2018, UiB became the official hub for the UN's Sustainable Developement Goal 14: Life below water. The SDG-courses are an important contribution to UiB's commitment to education about sustainablity.

Frida and Zaw recommend other students to take SDG214.

- I expected the course to be good, since I have taken SDG110 (formerly MNF115) earlier, says Frida. Still, I was pleasantly surprised, the course is very interdisciplinary, which I liked very much.

They both agree that the course is very useful to society. Frida thinks that SDG214 or SDG215 should be mandatory:

- It is so important to get a social perspective on what we are studying and might work with later!

Students on SDG215 were also very pleased and gave these feedbacks:

- This course was the most interesting in spring semester for sure, I inspired a lot from all the lectures and it was so interesting to hear a lot of opinions during class!

- I really liked the course, especially because it was so diversified. I feel this is what we need more in our education. Thanks for doing such a good job!