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Scientists Teaching Science Online Course

Scientists Teaching Science Online Course

Monday, June 4, 2018 - Sunday, August 12, 2018

Presented By

The New York Academy of Sciences


Are you interested in teaching, but your students doze off during your lectures? Do you find yourself wondering if there’s a better way to teach science than just lecturing with 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” to 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. You'll discover the latest research-based techniques used by model instructors around the world.

The asynchronous course is available 24/7 on any web-enabled device. Unlike other online courses, one-on-one engagement, personal review of written assignments, and personalized advice on teaching is guaranteed! There are also scheduled discussions where you can meet with the instructor -- an award-winning science educator and author -- via webinar.  

The time needed to complete all readings and activities is about 3 hours a week. All participants who complete the course requirements will be eligible for a personal letter of recommendation from the instructor, plus a certificate of completion from the New York Academy of Sciences.  

Testimonials from Scientists Teaching Science participants

“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."

"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.

Course Objectives:

  • Identify at least three active learning strategies.
  • Know the four major learning styles and three types of learning environments.
  • Evaluate biases and how these can affect student outcomes.
  • Design a personal statement about promoting diversity in STEM.
  • Compare inquiry-based activities to directed instructional activities.
  • 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.
  • Recognize several steps in effective curriculum design.
  • Compose a Teaching Philosophy Statement.
  • Recommend one or more ways to notify potential students about consequences of cheating or plagiarism.
  • 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. In order to be eligible for a certificate of completion and a personalized letter of recommendation from the instructor, participants must satisfactorily complete six written assignments and all the required elements of nine lessons


Nonmember Student, Undergrad, Grad, Fellow
Member Student, Post-Doc, Fellow


June 04, 2018

Class One: Brain-Based and Active Learning


Brain-based learning theory; learning styles theory; active learning strategies; assigned readings on current research findings about teaching and learning.
Assignments: personal essay on teaching experience; discussion board posts.


June 11, 2018

Class Two: Learning Environments and Assessments


Discussion on rigor and improving academic outcomes in higher education; assigned readings on improving student outcomes.
Assignments: first draft of Teaching Philosophy Statement; discussion board posts.


June 18, 2018

Class Three: Bias, Discrimination, and Diversity


Bias and discrimination in STEM for women and underrepresented minorities; designing inclusive classrooms; discussion about experiencing and handling bias/discrimination.
Assignment: discussion board post.


June 25, 2018

Class Four: 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.


July 02, 2018

Holiday Break July 2-8


July 09, 2018

Class Five: 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.


July 16, 2018

Class Six: 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.


July 23, 2018

Class Seven: Teaching Online


Teaching and learning online; challenges, advantages, and common mistakes; course management systems; engaging students.
Assignment: online quiz.


July 30, 2018

Class Eight: Elements of Curriculum Design


Instruction on the steps involved in designing an entire course, a training session, or a single lesson.
Assignment: final copy of Teaching Philosophy Statement to include educational theories/strategies from course.


August 06, 2018

Class Nine: 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.
To view full attendee list, you must first register for the event, then log in to the Academy website. This list is provided for the personal, noncommercial and informational use only of event attendees, in a manner that is consistent with the New York Academy of Sciences’ mission, goals and activities.
  • Adelphi University

  • Albany Medical College

  • Brooklyn College of CUNY

  • Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

  • Columbia University

  • Columbia University Irving Medical Center

  • Fairleigh Dickinson University

  • National University of Mexico

  • New York Medical College

  • NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • NYU - The Sackler Institute

  • population council

  • Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

  • Rutgers University - New Brunswick

  • SUNY Upstate Medical University

  • The Albert Einstein College of Medicine

  • The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

  • The University of California, Berkeley

  • University of Manchester

  • Yale University