Scientists Teaching Science
(Online Summer Course)
Monday, June 15, 2015 - Monday, August 10, 2015
The New York Academy of Sciences
Presented by Science Alliance
Are you interested in teaching, but your students doze off during your lectures? Do they have a hard time answering the questions you ask? Do you find yourself wondering if there’s a different way of teaching science than just talking to them and showing them slides and illustrations? How can you tell if your students really understand the information or have memorized vocabulary terms? Take the online course "Scientists Teaching Science" and learn about active learning, creating course objectives and test items, and finding ways to improve your teaching and assessment techniques for students of all ages.
Come practice with your peers under the instruction of a national award-winning science educator and author. There are no mandatory class meetings, and you can access the course on your phone. One-on-one engagement, personal review of written assignments, and personalized advice on teaching is guaranteed! The time needed to complete all readings and activities is estimated to be no more than 3 hours a week. All participants who complete the course requirements will be eligible for a personal letter of recommendation from the instructor about teaching preparation for future employment. Participants who complete the course requirements will also receive a certificate of completion from the New York Academy of Sciences.
Select Testimonials from participants in Scientists Teaching Science
"After taking the STS course during the summer of 2014, I felt a greater sense of confidence in my teaching ability and immediately began to reorganize my instruction strategy to incorporate newly acquired skills learned by the lessons offered. Barbara Houtz is an excellent educational instructor and the course she has compiled for the STS participants is absolutely unmatched anywhere else. I highly recommend this course if you intend on pursuing a career in education and teaching, whether you’re a graduate student like me thinking ahead or a post-doc"
—Jason L. Quinones, Stony Brook University Medical Center.
"Scientists Teaching Science was my first online course and I loved it. Barbara provided thoughtful guidance and feedback as we developed active learning activities for our students. I will apply these techniques confidently to future courses."
"STS armed us with new pedagogical tools and taught us how to develop and implement active learning techniques. I have become a stronger teacher and mentor."
"STS empowered me to apply new pedagogical approaches to my courses. I feel confident building a dynamic, engaging learning environment for my future students."
"I gained a tremendous amount of practical information about creating effective, dynamic learning experiences for my students."
—Katharine Seip-Cammack, Ph.D., Mount Sinai
"Taking the STS course helped me to establish realistic professional goals and guided me in the right direction to actually land a teaching job opportunity. Course content was always relevant. The instructor provided us with a wide variety of teaching styles and she made the course very fun and interactive with a variety of assignments and optional live discussions. This is an outstanding course that anybody interested in teaching at college level should take."
—Patricia Irizarry, Ph.D., Rutgers Science Explorer Bus - Program Coordinator, Rutgers Geology Museum - Associate Director
This class has really helped me to feel more confident and better prepared to move my career forward. I would definitely recommend this class to anyone in STEM fields who are considering becoming teachers or are already teaching science.
—Itzamarie Chevere, Ph.D. – post-doc at Rutgers University.
"The Scientists Teaching Science course was so enlightening in how lectures should actually be taught! The traditional method of teaching solely through lecturing to a class does not establish a strong foundation of knowledge that will last long after the course is over. The STS course teaches methods that involve active learning, which is far more sustainable than the traditional teaching methods. With this eras information overload, adjustments in teaching strategies are crucial to keep the attention of students and to deeply engrain the knowledge for future courses. Since taking the STS course, I've been implementing active learning into my teaching with great success. Any teacher desiring to reach their students more profoundly will find this course extremely valuable!"
—NIH Fellow, NIAID
- Describe the differences between active and passive learning, expert and novice learners.
- Know the three types of learning environments.
- Evaluate personal biases and cultural differences.
- Interpret interpersonal relationships in light of cultural and gender differences.
- Compare inquiry-based activities to directed instructional activities.
- Recognize several steps in effective curriculum design.
- Create course objectives based on Bloom’s Taxonomy.
- Assess the level of Bloom’s Taxonomy of course objectives.
- Develop valid multiple choice and essay questions based on objectives.
- Revise test questions to be clearer and match the identified level of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
- Identify at least three alternatives to straight lecturing.
- Compose an Educational Philosophy Statement.
- Construct a detailed course syllabus.
- Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of teaching and learning in an online environment.
Certificate of Completion and Reference Letter Requirements
Each Scientists Teaching Science assignment builds from the previous one, culminating in two documents you can use as templates for job applications and in teaching. Participants must satisfactorily complete six written assignments and all the required elements of nine lessons in order to be eligible for a certificate of completion and a personalized letter of recommendation from the instructor.
|Member (Student / Postdoc / Resident / Fellow)||$300|
|Nonmember (Student / Postdoc / Resident / Fellow)||$350|
Course opens unofficially 6/1/2015
Week One: 6/8/2015
Active Learning and Expert Learners: discussion of learning styles; assigned readings on current research findings about teaching and learning. Assignments: personal essay on teaching experience; discussion board posts.
Week Two: 6/15/2015
Learning Environments and Assessments: discussion on rigor and improving academic outcomes in higher education; assigned readings on improving student outcomes. Assignments: first draft of Educational Philosophy Statement; discussion board posts.
Week Three: 6/22/2015
Cultural Awareness and Diversity: discrimination and bias in teaching; assigned readings about experiencing bias in science careers; inclusive classrooms; discussion about experiencing and handling bias/discrimination. Assignment: discussion board post.
Break (June 29 – July 5)
Week Four: 7/6/2015
Inquiry-Based Science Education: differences between traditional laboratory activities and inquiry-based investigations; assigned readings on inquiry-based teaching in a college biology class. Assignments: NONE.
Week Five: 7/13/2015
Writing Course Objectives: Bloom’s Taxonomy and student learning objectives; assigned readings about writing learning objectives. Assignments: discussion board posts; 10 learning objectives for a proposed class.
Week Six: 7/20/2015
Creating Valid Assessments & Alternative Assessments: using rubrics and test blueprints; effective multiple choice and essay questions; designing and evaluating students without using tests for small and large classes; assigned readings on how to write valid assessment items. Assignment: 5 sample test questions based on previous objectives.
Week Seven: 7/27/2015
Teaching Online: teaching and learning online; challenges, advantages, and common mistakes; course management systems; engaging students. Assignment: online quiz.
Week Eight: 8/3/2015
Alternatives to Lecturing: discussion on going beyond a lecture to increase student attention and interest. Assignment: final copy of Educational Philosophy Statement to include educational theories/strategies from course.
Week Nine: 8/10/2015
Writing a Syllabus & Reflections on Teaching: purpose of a syllabus; legal requirements of teaching; student/academic honor codes; student study habits; assigned reading on plagiarism and the purpose of a syllabus. Assignment: model syllabus.
Additional requirements include assigned readings and participation in ONE 45 minute live, online discussion. The instructor will schedule several sessions of live, online discussions and ask you to attend one of these over the course of the class.
STEM Education Solutions, LLC
Barbara Houtz is a former Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, a science educator, an author of three books on effective teaching strategies in science, a science curriculum developer, and a trainer for K-20 teachers in science, engineering, and literacy. After 13 years of classroom teaching, she moved to the federal government, where she spent several years working at the National Institutes of Health, Office of Science Education, advising on curriculum and teacher professional development for multiple federal research agencies. She spent four years as the Director of Outreach for the Pennsylvania State University’s Eberly College of Science, where she developed multiple educational programs to promote interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers and ensure college and career readiness for K-12 students. Barbara has over 17 years of experience in training educators in both a face-to-face and online environment. Her class on best practices in science education, Scientists Teaching Science, has helped hundreds of practicing scientists, physicians, engineers, computer scientists, and others learn how to utilize active teaching strategies recommended for effective STEM instruction.
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