The light of education shone bright at FEBSETC

The inaugural FEBS Education and Training Conference (FEBSETC) in Antalya convened global experts for dynamic discussions and hands-on workshops, fostering innovation and collaboration in education.
The light of education shone bright at FEBSETC
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The crowning achievement of the FEBS Education Committee, the very first FEBS Education and Training Conference in Europe, was held on March 20–23, in Antalya (Türkiye). It was an undeniable success, not only by bringing many experts and more than 120 participants from all over the world together to discuss and reflect on hot-topics in education, but also for keeping participants happy and engaged all the time. Since we are talking about education, if your audience is attending your activities with a smile on their faces and actively participating in all events (including the ones in early morning) I would call it a success. I share photographs of the event below (with humorous captions to help capture the friendliness of the event).

After a warm welcome and introduction by brilliant co-chairs, @Ferhan Sagin and @Nino Sincic, the event began energetically with a plenary lecture by Terry Maguire on educational transformation, followed by insightful discussions led by a panel of experts  (Sybille Reichert, @Manuel João Costa, Robert Harris). The assumed role of the educator and the traditional definition of a good teacher were challenged. Participants completed the session with a hunger in their minds as well as their stomach. I must say that the food was as excellent as the staff were friendly and professional in the conference hotel.

Leanne Williams on the merits and demerits of colourless bar charts.
Steve Rutherford on the importance of circles, boxes and arrows. 
Bill Heslop (LearnSci) explaining his love for Turkish baklava while Aidan Barker is taking notes pensively.

Second day moved the focus from the educator/institutional perspective to a more student-centered level with topics such as "student engagement in large classes" (@Manuel João Costa), "empowering students" (Leanne Williams), "assessment is/as learning" (Steve Rutherford and Nigel Francis), and using arts as a reflective tool (Marco A. de Carvalho Filho). We then shifted the gear back to institutional level with the plenary lecture delivered by Sybille Reichert on European Policies for Innovating Higher Education. Our first tech talk of the event was about the brilliant tools offered by @LearnSci, the industry partner of the conference, and how they can be utilized to transform education for all learning partners. 

Workshop on Active Learning. They were more active during discussions, believe me. 
Workshop on Transferrable Skills. 
Workshop on PhD mentorship. 

The afternoon of the day was reserved for five intense workshops three of which (Active learning by @Manuel João Costa and myself, Transferable Skills by @Luciane Vieira de Mello and Damjana Kastelic, and PhD mentorship by Robert Harris and @Jerka Dumic) were FEBS Education and Training Academy Certified (for more info please visit: FEBSETC).  These were 6-hours hands-on sessions which were spread through 3-days. 

Should I tell you what we are doing here? It is for educational purposes, I promise. 

There were also two one-day workshops including assessment design by Steve Rutherford and Nigel Francis and AI-based molecular visualization by @Angel Herráez.

The day ended with brilliant short-talks delivered by educators from all over the world (including many FEBS countries and Malaysia). 

Marco A. de Carvalho Filho and Phelim Voon Chen Yong. 
Coffee breaks: Catching up with old friends or making new ones. 
Gül Akdoğan not responding to a high-five attempt by
Margarida Fardilha during a poster presentation session. 

The third day kicked off with technology. Leanne Williams shared results of her detailed education science based analysis of digital tools proving their usefulness with scientific evidence, David Smith demonstrated the awe inspiring and frightening power of the AI, and Terry Maguire  shared her insights about how to enable much needed policies for digital tools. Following this, Boris Jokic delivered an inspiring talk on how education will withstand the challenges posed by modern world megatrends.

David Smith in contemplation of everything AI.
I have chosen this picture as it DOES NOT reflect at all
how energetic and engaging he was in his talks.  

The one-day workshops of the third day were on smartworkheet technology by @LearnSci and AI by David Smith to complement the talks of the morning session. 

After the lunch (yes, all of this was before the lunch), participants visited famous historical ruins near the region, Side and Aspendos. Discussions continued throughout the day.

Terry Maguire describing how amazing she was in her karaoke performance the previous night. 

The focus of the last day was on us, the educators. Terry Maguire and Sybille Reichert talked about training of the teachers, Damjana Kastelic shared her experience in the design and implementation of doctoral networks. Then with Marco A. de Carvalho Filho we went back to transforming education in order to embrace change.

The only one-day workshop was by Marco A. de Carvalho Filho on using the "Rich Pictures" method to understand identity development of the teachers, which complemented his earlier talks.

The final plenary lecture was delivered by Robert Harris where he discussed the future of education predicted though TECH (Together, Everything Can Happen).

The closing ceremony was vibrant and moving. Marko Zarak received the FEBS Open Bio Poster Prize.  Akin to Oprah's giveaways many received recognition too. Stars adorned the organizing committee, the LearnSci team received a plaque, Evronas Events received elegant trophies, and workshop participants received certificates. Additionally, everyone enjoyed good food, memorable moments, future prospects, ample inspiration, actionable plans, and expanded networks.

The very first academy certificate owners and the trainers. Could you spot me in there? Hint: I am not tall
The stars of the show: the organization committee. 

The event concluded with applause, warm farewells, and beaming faces, despite the fatigue from the intense experience. Yet, the positive atmosphere persisted, akin to the warmth of sunlight in winter. Did you know there's a word for it? I didn't before. Thanks to @Ferhan Sagin and the exceptional organizing team, now I do. It's called "apricity."


All images by the FEBS Education and Training Conference (FEBSETC).

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Go to the profile of Ferhan Sagin
3 months ago

Such a fantastic writer you are!!!

I can't imagine a better post reflecting everything in our conference - learning, engaging, networking, food and joy!

Million thanks!

Go to the profile of Ali Burak Özkaya
3 months ago

Thank you very much. If you liked it, then it means it hit the mark.   

Missing FEBS conference :)

Go to the profile of Ali Burak Özkaya
3 months ago

Me too!

Go to the profile of Ferhan Sagin
3 months ago

:-)