Scientists Teaching Science Online Course

STEM logo
Course Director: Barbara Houtz, STEM Education Solutions, LLC

When: 2020 Spring Course opens unofficially March 30, 2020 | Classes run April 6 - June 5, 2020
Where: Online, asynchronous course | Course Director will email link upon enrollment

REGISTER(Application deadline: Friday, March 27, 2020 @ 12:00pm)

Description: Do your students seem uninvolved in 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? How can you tell if your students really understand the information or have memorized vocabulary terms? How can you address the needs of diverse student groups?

Take the online course “Scientists Teaching Science” and learn about active vs. passive learning, creating course objectives and test items, making your teaching environment a welcoming and supportive place for diverse students, and finding ways to improve your teaching and assessment techniques for students of all ages. You will also be guided through developing a teaching philosophy statement and a model course syllabus.

Come practice with your peers under the instruction of a national award-winning science educator and author. There are no mandatory class meetings times and you can access the course on your phone or any web-enabled device. 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 about 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 their research institution.

Please note that while there is no course fee, the cost of participation is $200 per postdoc. We expect that if you sign up, you are committed to complete the course. 
Application is required. Please note that completed application does not guarantee admission to the course. 

REGISTER(Application deadline: Friday, March 27, 2020 @ 12:00pm)

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.

COURSE EXPECTATIONS & AGENDA

Active Learning and Expert Learners: discussion of active learning and learning styles; assigned reading

  • This class is held completely online using the Canvas course management system.
  • It does not meet at any specific time; you have one week to complete each lesson with assignment due date on Sunday evenings at 11:59 PM Eastern time.
  • The course website is available 24/7 on any device that connects to the Internet.
  • The best browsers to use are Google Chrome or Firefox.

The online course “Scientists Teaching Science” teaches about active learning, creating course objectives and test items, and improving your teaching, assessment, and communication techniques for students of all ages. It involves learning the latest research-based techniques used by model instructors around the world. It is appropriate for graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, current faculty members in the sciences, medical practitioners, engineers, and mathematicians who are interested in improving their teaching, training, mentoring, and/or communication skills.

Come practice with your peers under the instruction of a national award-winning science educator and author.

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 and communicating is guaranteed! The time needed to complete all readings and activities is estimated to be about 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 hosting institution.

Course Objectives: 

  1. Identify at least three active learning strategies.
  2. Know the four major learning styles and three types of learning environments.
  3. Evaluate personal biases and cultural differences and how these affect student outcomes.
  4. Interpret interpersonal relationships in light of cultural and gender differences.
  5. Compare inquiry-based activities to directed instructional activities.
  6. Create course objectives based on Bloom’s Taxonomy.
  7. Assess the level of Bloom’s Taxonomy of course objectives.
  8. Develop valid multiple choice and essay questions based on objectives.
  9. Recognize several steps in effective curriculum design.
  10. Compose a Teaching Philosophy Statement.
  11. Recommend one or more ways to notify potential students about consequences of cheating or plagiarism.
  12. Construct a detailed course syllabus.
  13. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of teaching and learning in an online environment.
  14. Improve your communication skills.

Course Calendar: 

Course opens unofficially 30 March 2020

Class One: 6 April 2020

  • Active Learning and Expert Learners: discussion of active learning and learning styles; assigned readings on current research findings about teaching and learning. Assignments: personal essay on teaching experience; discussion board posts.

Class Two: 13 April 2020           

  • 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.

Class Three: 20 April 2020

  • Diversity and Bias: discrimination and bias in teaching; assigned readings about experiencing bias or promoting diversity in science careers; inclusive classrooms; discussion about strategies to create inclusive learning environments. Assignment: discussion board post.

Class Four: 27 April 2020

  • 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.

Class Five: 4 May 2020

  • 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.

Class Six: 11 May 2020

  • 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.

Class Seven: 18 May 2020

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

Class Eight: 25 May 2020                      

  • 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.

Class Nine: 1 June 2020

  • 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.

Instructor: Barbara Houtz, STEM Education Solutions, LLC

Bio: 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 20 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 thousands of practicing scientists, physicians, engineers, computer scientists, and others learn how to utilize active teaching strategies recommended for effective STEM instruction in every country and field of study.
http://stem-k20.com/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/barbarahoutz