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Teaching-as-Research Fellows: Encouraging Scientific Teaching
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Slides for a session at the AAC&U / Project Kaleidoscope conference "Engaged STEM Learning: From Promising to Pervasive Practices," March 2011

Slides for a session at the AAC&U / Project Kaleidoscope conference "Engaged STEM Learning: From Promising to Pervasive Practices," March 2011

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  • “Paraguay,” NASA Goddard, Flickr (CC)

Teaching-as-Research Fellows: Encouraging Scientific Teaching Teaching-as-Research Fellows: Encouraging Scientific Teaching Presentation Transcript

  • Teaching-as-Research Fellows: Encouraging Scientific Teaching
    Derek Bruff & Lily Claiborne
    Vanderbilt University
  • Agenda
    Introduction
    Lily’s Experience
    More on the Program
    Q&A
    Key Ingredients
    Wrap-Up
  • Introduction
  • Teaching-as-Research (TAR)
    “The deliberate, systematic, and reflective use of research methods by STEM instructors to develop and implement teaching practices that advance the learning experiences and outcomes of students”
    – CIRTL Network
  • Challenges
    What challenges do you see in moving teaching-as-research / scientific teaching from a promising to a pervasive practice?
    Especially at research universities?
  • The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning
    Howard University
    Michigan State University
    Texas A&M University
    University of Colorado-Boulder
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Vanderbilt University
  • TAR Fellows Program – The Basics
    5-8 STEM grad students each year
    Faculty hosts / mentors
    $3000 “topping up” awards
    Orientation, working group
    One-credit-hour grad-level course
    Poster session
    http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/tar
  • Lily’s Experience
  • A TAR PROJECTMaking complex concepts accessible through hands-on analogs
    An example teaching Radioactive Decay & Dating
  • Earth & Environmental Sciences
  • Parent Isotope
    Decay
    Daughter
    Isotope
  • Why did I do a TAR project?
    • Make lesson more effective
    • Introduce me to education literature & community
    $
  • Questions
    Can students learn complex, non-intuitive scientific concepts better when they can work hands-on with an analog experiment than through traditional lecture?
    Can they appropriately transfer the things they learn from the analog experiment to the original concept?
  • TAR Working Group
    • Bounce ideas around
    • Tackle issues together
    • Access to variety of educational expertise & experiences
    • Made me accountable/deadlines
    • Became a learning community
  • Study Design
    All Students in Intro Geology (~100)
    Students attend traditional lecture on topic
    POST-TEST
    PRE-TEST
  • Learning Goals
    • What controls radioactive decay?
    • How do we use radioactive decay for dating?
    • Make Predictions about decay/dating
    • Understand (and use) the decay equation
    Learning Goals
  • Parent Isotope
    Decay
    Daughter
    Isotope
  • Results
  • Results
  • Results
    Student Comments & Questions
    “It slows down as it goes, so as there is less parent, there is less decay.”
    “The larger the decay constant or the more parent material, the faster it decays!”
    “If the decay constant depends on what the parent material is, does that mean different kinds of parent isotopes decay at different rates?”
    “So, if you started running out of parent material, would it decay sporadically, like the shampoo starts to slowly drip at the end?”
  • Conclusions
    Can they appropriately transfer the things they learn from the analog experiment to the original concept?
    Can students learn complex, non-intuitive scientific concepts better when they can work hands-on with an analog experiment than through traditional lecture?
    YES – there was only one student who talked about shampoo instead of isotopes on the post test
    YES – improved understanding and confidence
    Second Semester
  • Conclusions
    Problems:
    • Misconceptions
    • Resistance to think past the specific conditions covered in the activity
    • Unclear questions on pre/post test
    Second Semester
    • Repeated study in all 101 lab sections
    • Revised questions for clarity
    • Had students explore variations on the basic system, then ask them to think of others on the post test
    • Addressed misconceptions revealed last semester
  • External Outcomes
    • Denison University
    • San Jose State University
  • Personal Outcomes
    Professional Development
    Community
    Scholarship of Teaching & Learning
    COMMUNITY
    How to assess student learning
    Working Group
    Confidence to experiment
    Center for Teaching
    Literature on T & L
    How to assess my teaching
  • Why did TAR work for me?
  • More on the Program
  • Origins
  • Goals
  • Participants
    2008 – 8 Fellows
    2009 – 7 Fellows
    2010 – 5 Fellows
    Male – 10
    Female – 10
    Presentations – 4
    Publications – 2
    Disciplines
    Biomedical Eng. (4)
    Mechanical Eng. (4)
    Earth & Env. Sciences (3)
    Astronomy (2)
    Mathematics (2)
    Computer Science (2)
    Biological Sciences (1)
    Electrical Engineering (1)
  • A Few Projects
    Getting a Feel for Dynamic Systems through Haptic Robots (Caleb Rucker & Jenna Toennies)
    Enhancing Astronomy Education through Cross-Age Student Tutoring (Erika Grundstrom)
    Implementing and Assessing a Challenge-Based Module for Spectroscopy in a Biomedical Optics Class (Elizabeth Vargis)
    Evaluating the Effectiveness of Clickers in a Biology Lab (Brian Robertson)
  • Assessment
    Lessons learned?
    There is a connection between research and teaching, and this means you can get data to prove effectiveness.
    Teaching can be planned, structured, researched, self-monitored, and improved.
    There are many different and effective ways to teach besides lecture.
  • Questions?
  • Key Ingredients
  • Questions
    Which of these ingredients would be most important on your campus? Why?
    Which of these ingredients could be accessed on your campus?
    For those ingredients not available on your campus, what other ingredients might you substitute?
  • Wrap-Up
  • CIRTL Network Expansion
    From 6 to 25 major research universities
    Letters of intent due:April 22nd
    Application deadline:May 27th
    More info: www.cirtl.net/expansion
  • Derek Bruff
    derek.bruff@vanderbilt.eduLily Claiborne
    lilyclaiborne@gmail.comhttp://cft.vanderbilt.edu/tar
    Flickr Photo Credits
    • “Paraguay,” NASA Goddard
    • “Darts,” BogdanSuditu
    • “Questions,” Oberazzi
    • “Ratatouille,” Ross Spoon