Scientists Teaching Science Online Course

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Course Director: Barbara Houtz, STEM Education Solutions, LLC

When: 2019 Summer/Fall Course opens unofficially August 19, 2019 | Classes run August 26 - October 28, 2019
Where: Online, asynchronous course | Course Director will email link upon enrollment

- CLOSED - (Application deadline: Friday, August 16, 2019 @ 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 there is a course fee for enrollment: $50 for HMS and Children's Fellows and $200 for all others.
Application is required. Please note that completed application does not guarantee admission to the course. 

- CLOSED - (Application deadline: Friday, August 16, 2019 @ 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.


Week One:
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.

Week 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.

Week Three:
Bias, Discrimination, and Diversity: bias and discrimination in STEM for women and underrepresented minorities; designing inclusive classrooms; discussion about adapting instruction to reduce discrimination and support diverse groups of students. Assignment: discussion board post.

Week 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.

Week 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.

Week 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.

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

Week 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.

Week 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.

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.

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.

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