Robin Young

Faculty: Department of Biology, Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science  

Faculty website:   

Teaching Fellow: 2023 

Courses: BIOL 116, BIOL 200, BIOL 420N 

Teaching Awards: UBCO Golden Apple Award Nominations – 2019 and 2023; UBCO Thank-a-Prof – 2019 and 2022; UBCV – Nomination for the Faculty of Science Killam Teaching Award, 2017 and 2018.  

Teaching and Learning Activities related to Teaching Fellows

  • Open Education Resource (OER) Champion:Fundamentals of Cell Biology” open textbook for Cell Biology (BIOL 200) that will be the first specialized resource of its kind in the area. It is expected to be taken up by ~ 1000 students (300 of which are at UBC Okanagan) in its first year, saving students over $100,000. 
  • TA Training: Initial creator and current steering committee member of TA Foundational Training program supporting training for hundreds of TAs every year. 
  • Co-Leader of Community of Practice on Access, Inclusion, and Place-based Teaching along with fellow UBCO Teaching Fellow, Dr. Natalie Forssman and CTL Educational Consultant for Inclusion, Dr. Electra Eleftheriadou. 
  • Teaching Mentorship: Mentor new instructors and help others become better instructors through peer review and feedback. 

Teaching Fellow opportunity provides

“A recognition of my teaching and learning contributions, a stronger voice to advocate for new teaching initiatives and best practices, and a community of Teaching Fellows for learning and sharing ideas.” 


Teaching Passions and Philosophy

In my teaching, I’m interested in finding ways to make science more accessible to all, both through creating open educational resources for my students, and teaching them how to communicate science effectively to non-scientist audiences.  

I’m also very interested in the networks we create to support new teachers at all levels to learn their craft. Programs like the Foundational TA training program are essential in this, but also acting as a resource/ mentor for new research and contract faculty to “learn the ropes” helps to support and promote teaching excellence in the entire UBC Community. 


Ongoing and Future Goals

  • Add increased disciplinary training and perspectives for TAs when completing TA training. 
  • Continue to develop and refine science communication course that uses lots of feedback and ungraded evaluation. 
  • Examine ways to improve peer review, which will be especially important with UBC’s emphasis on the integrative evaluation of teaching.