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Online Course

An Introduction to Evidence-Based Undergraduate STEM Teaching

Vanderbilt University via Coursera

46
Found in STEM

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Overview

This course will provide graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) who are planning college and university faculty careers with an introduction to evidence-based teaching practices. Participants will learn about effective teaching strategies and the research that supports them, and they will apply what they learn to the design of lessons and assignments they can use in future teaching opportunities. Those who complete the course will be more informed and confident teachers, equipped for greater success in the undergraduate classroom.   

The course will draw on the expertise of experienced STEM faculty, educational researchers, and staff from university teaching centers, many of them affiliated with the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL), a network of 21 research universities collaborating in the preparation of STEM graduate students and post-docs as future faculty members. The eight-week course will be highly interactive, with many opportunities for peer-to-peer learning. Learning communities are at the heart of CIRTL’s activities, and this open, online course is intended to foster a large, healthy learning community of those interested in undergraduate STEM teaching--including current STEM faculty.

"An Introduction to Evidence-Based Undergraduate STEM Teaching" has been developed by faculty, staff, and students at Vanderbilt University, Michigan State University, Boston University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Colorado-Boulder. The course is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1347605.

Syllabus

Week 1 – Principles of Learning, Part 1
We start by exploring a few key learning principles that apply in all teaching contexts such as student’s prior knowledge, mental models and knowledge organization. We’ll consider the research supporting these principles and examples of how STEM faculty put them into practice.

Week 2 – Principles of Learning, Part 2
This week we continue our exploration of learning principles that apply in all teaching contexts.  These include, effective ways of providing feedback to students and student motivations for learning. We’ll consider the research supporting these principles and examples of how STEM faculty put them into practice.

Week 3 – Learning Objectives
Designing an effective learning experience for students means beginning with the end in mind. In this week, we will identify ways to craft meaningful learning objectives for one’s students and discuss strategies for incorporating those objectives in your instruction.

Week 4 – Assessment of Learning
Once we have outlined and implemented our learning objectives we must consider the most effective way of assessing those learning objectives.  This week we will discuss strategies for designing assessments that will align with your learning goals as well as how student mindset can influence their performance on these assessments.

Week 5 – Active Learning
The module begins with a description of the benefits of active learning and how it fits into the overall learning cycle. Then, the module outlines two key features of active learning, teamwork and critical thinking, by showcasing several manifestations of active learning.

Week 6 – Inclusive Teaching
This week we will discuss the importance of inclusive teaching and many of the issues instructors can face when teaching classes composed of students of varying ethnicities and genders.  We provide you with examples of teaching practices and language that can isolate certain student populations along with strategies to avoid these practices.

Week 7 – Lesson Planning
This week you will create an annotated lesson plan for a class you might teach in the future incorporating many of the principles covered in this course.

Week 8 – Conclusion
During the final week of the course, you'll provide feedback to your peers on their draft lesson plans and, in turn, receive feedback on your lesson plan.




Taught by

Derek Bruff, Rique Campa, Trina McMahon and Bennett Goldberg

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