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.
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
Derek Bruff, Rique Campa, Trina McMahon and Bennett Goldberg