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Virtual Event
Scientists Teaching Science
20 Jun 2024



A career in science – whether as a faculty member, researcher, or medical professional – means that someday you will have to present complex information, data, or findings to someone who knows little or nothing about your field.

Scientists Teaching Science (STS) is a nine-week online short course about how to be a more effective teacher and communicate your science for a presentation, training, mentoring, or classroom teaching activity – online or otherwise. The course is specifically designed to assist individuals pursuing a career in teaching science subjects at the university level with first or second-year students. However, the skills covered in this course apply to all career paths in the sciences. STS blends asynchronous learning with opportunities for live lectures and discussions to help you learn new approaches to teaching and assessing learning for your future students.  

The STS course is also an opportunity to create and get personalized feedback on documents required for applying to university faculty positions. For example, documents like a Teaching Philosophy Statement are necessary for any application packet, but students rarely get to practice writing one in medical or graduate school.

This course is designed to fit your schedule by being offered in asynchronous modules, each with a specific due date. The instructor will also work with the participants to schedule optional, live online sessions. Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion from The New York Academy of Sciences.

Whether you are curious about teaching, looking to hone your instructional skills, or simply know you would like assistance with job application documents, consider registering for Scientists Teaching Science.

Course Objectives:  

  • Identify at least three active learning strategies.
  • Know the four major learning styles and three types of learning environments.
  • Evaluate personal biases and cultural differences and how these affect student outcomes.
  • Interpret interpersonal relationships in light of cultural and gender differences.
  • 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.


The course will open on Jun 20, 2024

Week One

Teaching and Active Learning: discussion of teaching & learning myths; assigned readings on current research findings about teaching and learning.

Assignment: Short Essay on Teaching – Instructor provides feedback

Week Two

Holistic Education and Student-Centered Teaching: discussion on rigor and improving academic outcomes in higher education; assigned readings on improving student outcomes.

Assignment: First draft of Teaching Philosophy Statement – Instructor provides feedback

Week Three

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility: the importance of actively developing inclusive practices in STEM. 

Assignment: Draft of Diversity Statement OR Short Assignment Addressing Diversity in the Classroom – Instructor provides feedback

Week Four

Using Data to Drive Instruction: how to create cycles of formative data review that informs instructors of their practice AND how students are doing.

Assignment: NONE.

Week Five

Teaching Online: teaching and learning  online; challenges and advantages; engaging students; resources and examples.

Assignment: Sample Online Learning Activity – Instructor provides feedback

Week Six

Writing Course Objectives: Bloom’s Taxonomy and student learning objectives;  assigned readings about writing learning objectives.

Assignment: 10 Unique Learning Objectives – Instructor provides feedback

Week Seven

Creating Valid Assessments & Alternative Assessments: using rubrics and test blueprints; practical multiple choice and essay questions; designing and evaluating students without using tests for small and large classes; assigned readings on how to write aligned assessment items.

Assignment: Five Test Questions Based on Learning Objectives – Instructor provides feedback

Week Eight

Designing Your Courses: instruction on the steps involved in designing an entire course, a training session, or a single lesson.

Assignment: Final Draft of Teaching Philosophy Statement

Week Nine

Writing a Syllabus & Reflections on Teaching: the purpose of a syllabus; legal requirements of teaching; student/academic honor codes; student study habits; assigned reading on plagiarism and the definition of a  syllabus.

Assignment: Sample Syllabus – Instructor provides feedback


Nik Barkauskas

Dr. Nik Barkauskas completed his B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy at Temple University in Philadelphia and earned his Ph.D. in Education Theory and Policy at Penn State in 2017. He has spent 15 years teaching at various higher education institutions, both in-person and online. His main area of professional research is in public education policy reform, specifically focusing on the influence of private philanthropies on public policy. He has taught the Scientists Teaching Science course for the last six years and firmly believes that good teaching is good teaching, no matter which field we are working in. Dr. Barkauskas works for the Pennsylvania Department of Education in support of schools working on improvement efforts across the state.


The event is open for registration.