Kathy Nomme

Professor of Teaching Emerita

Student Learning: Transitions to learning in university, student attitudes toward learning in science, student ‘misconceptions’, efficacy of inquiry-based learning, self-regulation of learning.

Intertidal and Plant Ecology: Interactions between native and introduced species.

Academic History

  • Emerita (2019)
  • Professor of Teaching (2016)
  • Senior Instructor (2008)
  • M.Sc. Plant Ecology (1989) University of British Columbia
  • BC Teacher Certification (1980) Simon Fraser University
  • B.Sc. Biology (1978) University of British Columbia

Contact Information


Research Interests

My role in the Biology Program is to teach. This encompasses the many elements of teaching biology to undergraduate students; curriculum design and implementation, course administration and coordination, and graduate student preparation for teaching.

I have adopted a scholarly approach to teaching and have initiated research projects to investigate elements of student learning. My research interests include investigating the effectiveness of curriculum revisions and active-learning strategies on student attitudes and student adjustment to higher education. In conjunction with colleagues we have developed assessment tools designed to measure changes in student attitudes towards Biology as a Science and concept inventories to measure learning gains in fundamental concepts (Questions for Biology Q4B http://q4b.biology.ubc.ca/). The results of these investigations have been shared at conferences, Teaching and Learning meetings and are at various stages of publication.

Teaching Interests

I am very interested in student learning and have been involved in many aspects of undergraduate teaching and student learning.

My role in the Biology Program has been to teach, primarily First-Year students, to pursue teaching and learning research interests, and to facilitate the training of graduate student Teaching Assistants. Using an evidence-based approach I have investigated best-practices in teaching that facilitate student transition to learning in university.  Areas of research include:

1. Investigation and measurement of student attitutdes towards Science.

2. Development of active-learning teaching strategies and field experiences.

3. Measurement of conceptual learning (Q4B https://q4b.biology.ubc.ca/).

4. The intersection of self-regulation and inquiry-based learning.

I have also contributed to the development of a series of Teaching Assistant training workshops (BioTAP https://blogs.ubc.ca/biotap/) and continue to participate in the workshops promoting best practices in teaching and learning.

Selected Publications

Jeffery, E., Nomme, K., Deane, T.D., Pollock, C. and Birol, G. (2016). Investigating the  Role of an Inquiry-Based Biology Lab Course on Student Attitudes and Views  toward Science.  CBE-Life Sci. Educ. 15: ar 61 DOI:10.1187/cbe.14-11-0203.

Deane, T.D., Nomme, K., Jeffrey, E., Pollock, C. and Birol, G.  (2016). Development of  the Statistical Reasoning in Biology Concept Inventory (SRBCI).  CBE – Life Sci.  Educ. 15, no. 1, ar 5 DOI: 10.1187/cbe.15-06-0131. 

Nomme, K.M., M. Moussavi, and C. Pollock. (2015).  Twenty years of inquiry-based labs:  Does it work? Pages 35-37 in Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching, Volume 36 (K. McMahon, Editor). Proceedings of the 36th Conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE). 3 pages. HTTP://www.able.wcb.org/volumes/vol-36/v36reprint.php?ch= 

 Nomme, K. and Birol, G. (2014). “Course Redesign: An Evidence-Based Approach,” The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Vol 5: 1, Article 2.  DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5206/cjsotl-rcacea.2014.1.2 Available at: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cjsotl_rca cea/vol5/iss1/2

 Deane, T.D., Nomme, K., Jeffrey, E., Pollock, C. and Birol, G. (2014).  Development of the Biological Experimental Design Concept Inventory (BEDCI).  CBE – Life Sci. Educ. 13: 540-551.

Recent Conference Presentations and Posters

 Nomme, K. Overview of BIOL 140. First-Year Educators’ Symposium: Teaching Strategies Focus on Undergraduate Research Experience as a Vehicle to Teach Communication Skills: How and Why. UBC (January 2018), Local.

 Nomme, K. Overview of BIOL 140 Investigations in Biology in First-Year. Exploring the CURE: A UBC-based symposium bringing together life science educators with shared interests in Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences.  (May 2017), Local.

 Kalas, P., Nomme, K., O’Neill, A., Pollock, C., Suarez, A. Workshop: Using Active Learning Techniques for Teaching Effective Instructional Strategies. BC BIO :Supporting Student Growth, SFU (May 2017), Local.

Nomme, K., Schimpf, N., Kalas, P., Assessing Student Learning Following Course Revision. The Western Conference on Science Education (WCSE): Embracing Change. London, Ontario (July 2017) National.

 Nomme, K., Kalas, P., Schimpf, N. Using Concept Assessments to Evaluate Student Learning Gains and Course Curriculum Revision. 6th International Assessment in Higher Education conference (AHE). Manchester, UK (June 2017) International.

Nomme, K., O’Neill, A., Pollock, C. Using Active Learning Techniques for Teaching Effective Instructional Strategies. Northwest Biology Instructors Organization Annual Conference (NWBIO) Tacoma Washington (May 2017) International. 

Kalas, P., Schimpf, N., Nomme, K. Standardizing Scientific Conventions Across the Biology Program, (August 2016), Local.

Schimpf, N., Nomme, K., Kalas, P.  BIOL 140 Renewal:  Responding to Student Feedback. UBC Sceince Education Open House (April 2016), Local.

Nomme, K. Kalas, P., Schimpf, N., Engaging and Learning in Authentic Environments – Does Scaffolding of the Inquiry Process Enhance Student Learning. UBC-O 12th (May 2016) Local

 Nomme, K., Kalas, P., Schimpf, N., Developing Scientific Writing Skills, NWBIO Eugene Oregon, (April 2016), International.