Scientists Teaching Science Online Course

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Course Director: Barbara Houtz, STEM Education Solutions, LLC

When: Unofficial course opening, Monday, August 21 | Formal course runs August 28 to November 5.
Where: Online, asynchronous course | Course Director will email link upon enrollment

Description: Are you interested in teaching, but your students doze off during 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 science than just talking to them and showing them 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” and 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. Learn 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 in a webinar.
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 your home institution (i.e., HMS, Children's, MGH, etc).

Please note that there is a course fee for enrollment: $50 for HMS, Children's, DFCI, and MGH fellows and $200 for all others.
Application is required. Please note that completed application does not guarantee admission to the course. 

APPLY HERE BY Wednesday, August 16, 12:00pm, EDT

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 opens unofficially Monday, August 21, 2017.
Formal opening Monday, August 28, 2017.

Week One: 
Active Learning and Expert Learners: discussion of 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: 
Cultural Awareness and Diversity: discrimination and bias in teaching; assigned readings about experiencing bias in science careers; inclusive classrooms; discussion about experiencing and handling bias/discrimination. 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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