Ivona Mladenovic

Senior Lecturer

Areas of interest

My teaching is built on sound and evidence-based pedagogy, built on results of published research and extensive personal teaching and research experience. I maintain learning-centered approach to teaching, which is at the same time inclusive of all students’ personalities and learning styles.

I have been involved in lecturing and laboratory instruction of first-year biology courses at SFU since 2003. I was a pioneer in establishing course instruction of first-year courses in 2005 in, at that time newly established SFU campus in Surrey along with a new BISC 101/102 teaching laboratory that started with its operations in SFU Surrey in the Fall 2011. I also taught BISC 100 and BISC 202 and have developed the new BISC 106 blended course.


  • PhD in Educational Theory and Practice: Curriculum and Pedagogy, Simon Fraser University
  • PhD in Medicine, University of Belgrade
  • MSc in Endocrinology, University of Belgrade
  • BSc in Molecular Biology and Physiology, University of Belgrade
  • Diploma in Education, University of British Columbia
  • Professional Instructor Diploma, Vancouver Community College


Current Professional Development:
SFU Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines Grant (G0353 for $5,000) for the project entitled: “Through the Looking Glass: Students’ Learning Experiences” (2019-2020)
SFU Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines Grant ($5,000) for the project entitled: “Why and how students use electronics to enhance their learning.” (2016-2017)
SFU Teaching and Learning Development Grant ($5,000) for the project entitled: “Enhancing students’ understanding of biology concepts by engaging them in research” (2012-2013)
Graduate Fellowship (Dean of Graduate Studies) for my PhD in education (2013-2014)

Current Research:
My main research interest is in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL). One of my key areas of research is to analyze and understand the conceptions and experiences of quality teaching among first-year students taking science courses at SFU. In my research I ask questions such as: What are the perceptions, expectations, and experiences of students taking first-year science courses at SFU and elsewhere? How do students describe good science teaching? What do we know about students’ perceptions of our teaching? I am also interested in good teaching through the pedagogical lens that transcends carefully crafted and content-rich lesson plans and learning outcomes. Questions I ask are: How do students describe good, perhaps even exceptional teaching? Can skills of good teaching be learned and practiced until achieved? In which ways can pedagogical thoughtfulness, understanding and tact, be transferred to teaching university students? I am mostly interested in pedagogical practices and learning-centered approach when teaching the wonders and awes of biological sciences.

Selected Publications:
1. Judson G. and Mladenovic, I. 2022. Using cognitive tools in imaginative assessment for learning in higher education: Engaging learners in times of calm and crisis. In: Teaching in the Post COVID-19 Era. (Ed. Fayed, I. and Cummings, J), Springer, Switzerland
2. Author of the self-test questions for the textbook Russell et al, (2018). Biology: Exploring the Diversity of Life, 4th Canadian Edition, Nelson Education, Canada
3. Author of the test bank for the textbook Fenton et al., (2015). Life Matters: Connecting Biology with Your World, 1st Edition, Nelson Education, Canada
4. Author of the online Test bank for the textbook Russell et al., (2014). Biology, The Dynamic Science, 3rd Edition, Nelson Education, Canada

Recent Presentations:
1. Mladenovic, I (2018): In-class quizzes with a twist. 14th Annual UBC Okanagan Learning Conference, Kelowna
2. Mladenovic, I (2018): How and why students use electronics in their learning. 14th Annual UBC Okanagan Learning Conference, Kelowna
3. Mladenovic, I (2017): What we could do before the final grading. 13th Annual UBC Okanagan Learning Conference, Kelowna

1. Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE)
2. Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER)


Future courses may be subject to change.