An international consensus on effective, inclusive, and career-spanning short-format training in the life sciences and beyond

Williams, Jason J, Tractenberg, Rochelle E, Batut, Bérénice, Becker, Erin A, Brown, Anne M, Burke, Melissa L, Busby, Ben, Cooch, Nisha K, Dillman, Allissa A, Donovan, Samuel S, Doyle, Maria A, van Gelder, Celia WG, Hall, Christina R, Hertweck, Kate L, Jordan, Kari L, Jungck, John R, Latour, Ainsley R, Lindvall, Jessica M, Lloret-Llinares, Marta, McDowell, Gary S, Morris, Rana, Mourad, Teresa, Nisselle, Amy, Ordóñez, Patricia, Paladin, Lisanna, Palagi, Patricia M, Sukhai, Mahadeo A, Teal, Tracy K, Woodley, Louise (2023) An international consensus on effective, inclusive, and career-spanning short-format training in the life sciences and beyond. PLoS One, 18 (11). e0293879. ISSN 1932-6203

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DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0293879


Science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) fields change rapidly and are increasingly interdisciplinary. Commonly, STEMM practitioners use short-format training (SFT) such as workshops and short courses for upskilling and reskilling, but unaddressed challenges limit SFT's effectiveness and inclusiveness. Education researchers, students in SFT courses, and organizations have called for research and strategies that can strengthen SFT in terms of effectiveness, inclusiveness, and accessibility across multiple dimensions. This paper describes the project that resulted in a consensus set of 14 actionable recommendations to systematically strengthen SFT. A diverse international group of 30 experts in education, accessibility, and life sciences came together from 10 countries to develop recommendations that can help strengthen SFT globally. Participants, including representation from some of the largest life science training programs globally, assembled findings in the educational sciences and encompassed the experiences of several of the largest life science SFT programs. The 14 recommendations were derived through a Delphi method, where consensus was achieved in real time as the group completed a series of meetings and tasks designed to elicit specific recommendations. Recommendations cover the breadth of SFT contexts and stakeholder groups and include actions for instructors (e.g., make equity and inclusion an ethical obligation), programs (e.g., centralize infrastructure for assessment and evaluation), as well as organizations and funders (e.g., professionalize training SFT instructors; deploy SFT to counter inequity). Recommendations are aligned with a purpose-built framework-"The Bicycle Principles"-that prioritizes evidenced-based teaching, inclusiveness, and equity, as well as the ability to scale, share, and sustain SFT. We also describe how the Bicycle Principles and recommendations are consistent with educational change theories and can overcome systemic barriers to delivering consistently effective, inclusive, and career-spanning SFT.

Item Type: Paper
CSHL Authors:
SWORD Depositor: CSHL Elements
Depositing User: CSHL Elements
Date: 2023
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2023 20:12
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2023 20:12
PMCID: PMC10635508
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