• Biological Security Education Handbook: The Power of Team-Based Learning.

      Novossiolova, Tatyana (2016-01)
      Introduction Combining Contents with Strategy: A Case for Team-Based Learning. The term "biosecurity‟ has been used in many different contexts for many different purposes. The present Handbook uses the concept of "biosecurity‟ (or biological security) to mean successful minimising of the risks that the biological sciences will be deliberately or accidentally misused in a way which causes harm for humans, animals, plants or the environment, including through awareness and understanding of the risks. Biosecurity thus involves a complex and rapidly evolving set of issues that concern a broad range of stakeholders: policy makers, legislators, industry, academia, the security community, science educators, life science students and practitioners, and the general public.1 Addressing those issues requires continuous cooperation among all concerned parties, that is, biosecurity awareness is a responsibility incumbent upon all. The need for fostering awareness of biological security among those engaged in the life sciences has been widely acknowledged in various fora and, as a result, over the past few years a number of important initiatives have been carried out, designed to further education about the broader social, ethical, security and legal implications of cutting-edge biotechnology.2 The chief objective of the present Handbook is to complement those efforts by combining teaching material in biological security with an active learning training approach – Team-Based Learning (TBL) – to empower educators, students and practitioners as they begin to engage with biological security. The Handbook seeks to supplement the Guide "Preventing Biological Threats: What You Can Do‟ by providing its users with tips and insights into how to implement its content in different educational settings. Part 5 of the Guide introduces the reader to the value of active learning in the context of biosecurity education and training. Chapter 20 in particular details the implementation of the TBL format at an interactive biosecurity seminar and the results achieved by the seminar participants. Consequently, the Handbook aims to: i. Highlight the strengths of the TBL format in teaching biological security. ii. Provide practical guidance on how to organise, run, and facilitate TBL biosecurity seminars. iii. Offer sample sets of exercises based on the individual chapters of the Guide. iv. Explain how each set of exercises can be used for achieving specific learning objectives. Each chapter of the Handbook introduces the reader to a key concept discussed in the respective chapter of the Guide and elaborates on the specific learning objectives, which the TBL exercises are aimed at. Each set comprises Individual and Team Readiness Assurance Test questions, and Application Exercises in the form of multiple-choice problem-solving tasks and practical scenarios (see below). A growing body of evidence suggests that the use of active learning approaches to teaching and training can significantly enhance the effectiveness of education programmes.3 Part of the reason behind this trend is the fact that active learning strategies aid the learner in „unlocking‟ their existing knowledge and linking new subject matter to their established conceptual framework.4 In other words, through case studies, scenarios, problem-solving games, role plays, and simulations – to name few examples of active learning methods – learners are prompted to think critically, reflect and develop understanding of unfamiliar concepts. Active learning approaches allow fostering a learner-centred environment where the learner rather than the instructor is at the centre of the activities taking place in the classroom.5 The Handbook focuses on a specific format of active learning instruction – Team Based Learning (TBL). This is a special form of collaborative learning which uses a specific sequence of individual work, group work, and immediate feedback to create a motivational framework, whereby the focus is shifted from conveying concepts by the instructor to the application of concepts by student teams.6 TBL is an easy-to-replicate, user-friendly approach, that can be applied in many different educational settings at various stages of instruction, and for different purposes. It enables the instructor to cover new material in a way that engages learners as active participants, allowing them to take ownership of their own learning, and develop reflection and self-evaluation skills.
    • Preventing Biological Threats: What You Can Do.

      Whitby, Simon M.; Novossiolova, Tatyana; Walther, Gerald; Dando, Malcolm R. (2015-12)
      The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa in 2014 has underlined the risks posed by outbreaks of highly virulent and deadly diseases, whether caused naturally, accidentally or deliberately. It also emphasised the responsibility of all those engaged in the life sciences, whether in government, industry or academia, to ensure that research is done safely and securely. This book, Preventing Biological Threats, is intended to raise awareness and knowledge of biological security of everyone active in the life sciences, ranging from those engaged in research to those engaged in management and policy-making, both nationally and internationally. The advances in biotechnology over the past decades and in the future have brought and will bring significant benefits to humankind, animals and plants -- however, these advances also bring risks that we need to be aware of and ensure that they cause no harm. The continuing debate about the potential danger of carrying out ‘Gain-of-Function’ experiments with highly pathogenic viruses such as avian influenza has brought the problem of biological security to the attention of many within but also beyond the life science community. It also has left some of them wondering what biological security is and how it can be incorporated into the life sciences. What steps should be taken to ensure that these and other dual use research activities are not misused? It is being increasingly recognised that biosecurity and biosafety are not only relevant to activities within a laboratory, but also extend to the effects that these activities can have outside the laboratory if they result in accidental outbreaks of diseases in humans, animals or plants. The international basis for the prevention of the hostile misuse of life sciences is the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention which this year, on 26 March 2015, has been in force for forty years. The Convention was the first treaty to prohibit the development and possession of an entire category of weapons. At this moment 173 States Parties have ratified the Convention (and the Convention has a further 9 Signatories). At the Seventh Review Conference of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention in 2011, of which I was President, the States Parties agreed on the need for all those engaged in the life sciences to be involved as key stakeholders in the protection of their work from hostile misuse, and therefore on the importance of broad biosecurity education. This book with its 21 chapters addresses the need for biosecurity education, in six sections on the history of threats and responses; scientists, organisations and biosecurity; biosecurity and law enforcement; states and biosecurity; and biosecurity and active learning. It is a significant and welcome step forward both in its integrated content and the active learning focus in the associated Team Based Learning exercises. I am convinced that this approach will help all those engaged in the life sciences - in government, industry or academia – to become more aware of biosecurity and of their responsibilities for it. It is therefore a great pleasure to commend the authors and editors for their work and the Governments of Canada, Jordan and the United Kingdom for their funding and involvement in the production of this book under the Global Partnership. Ambassador Paul van den IJssel
    • Strengthening the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention: The vital importance of a web of prevention for effective biosafety and biosecurity in the 21st Century

      Novossiolova, Tatyana; Whitby, Simon M.; Dando, Malcolm R.; Pearson, Graham S. (Biological Weapons Convention, 2019-11)