Preconference Workshops: 2018 STEM Conference
Thursday, November 8, 2018, 2:00-5:00 pm
Separate registration and fee required ($125 members; $195 non-members); seating will be limited, so register early. Workshops will be confirmed based on meeting minimum registration numbers one month before the date. If the workshop you selected is cancelled, you may transfer to another workshop or request a refund.
Workshop 1: Strategies for Assessing and Providing Feedback to STEM Students on Intellectual and Practical Skills
Intellectual and practical skills such as problem solving, communication, and teamwork are commonly listed as desired outcomes in STEM undergraduate curricula (AAAS, 2009; National Research Council, 2012, 2013). These skills, along with information processing, critical thinking, and management are not only useful for students as they enter STEM fields, but they are also critical for students to be successful learners within active learning classrooms. While the development of these skills is often a general goal for courses and programs, the cultivation of these skills is seldom explicitly discussed or assessed in the classroom. In active learning environments, practical skills can be developed and made visible through student assignments and tasks. The ELIPSS (Enhancing Learning by Improving Process Skills in STEM) project has assembled a team of STEM faculty across disciplines and spanning a range of institution types to develop, validate, and implement rubrics to assess evidence of students’ practical skills in both student artifacts and interactions. In this workshop, participants will explore practical skills and identify how a student task might elicit evidence of these skills; identify characteristics of student artifacts and student interactions that provide evidence of practical skills; and gain experience using rubrics to assess practical skills in student work and group interactions.
Renee Cole, Professor of Chemistry and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Chemistry—University of Iowa; Juliette Lantz, Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean of Curriculum in Arts & Sciences—Drew University; and Suzanne Ruder, Professor of Chemistry—Virginia Commonwealth University
Workshop 2: Emotional Well-Being and Meaningful Learning: Research and Strategies to Improve Learning in STEM
The role of emotions in the human experience cannot be overstated—including how emotions affect the experience of learning. Learning can be enhanced or stifled depending on a learner's emotional state, and, as educators, we need to align what colleges offer with the needs of students. Chief among these needs is the ability to identify student stress triggers that disrupt emotional stability. This interactive workshop will examine the latest research on the role of emotions in meaningful learning—including the neurobiology of learning and the experiences of first-generation, "new majority" students in STEM fields—and help participants consider strategies to optimize students' prosperity inside and outside the classroom. How can faculty help students identify and regulate stress triggers and become self-regulators of their emotional well-being? Participants will explore concrete, evidence-informed strategies to help our STEM courses, no matter what their level, create authentic environments that optimize all students' potential to learn.
Mays Imad, Professor—Pima Community College and Michael Reder, Director of the Joy Shechtman Mankoff Center for Teaching & Learning—Connecticut College
Workshop 3: Designing for Equity in Faculty Teaching and Service Workloads: What We CAN Do Now
There is much research suggesting women and underrepresented minority faculty, including STEM faculty, are dissatisfied with their existing allocation of teaching, mentoring, and service work and that this dissatisfaction is warranted. Research shows women typically spend more time on teaching and service activities and less time on research. Much of the teaching, mentoring, curriculum development, out of class advising, and administrative work associated with STEM reform efforts like PKAL falls into categories that become invisible, uncredited, and unrecognized. There is strong empirical evidence for the problem, but less for the solutions. This preconference workshop will be broken down into three parts. In the first part, the presenters discuss the latest social science research on implicit bias in academic workloads. Participants will then experience how this works by taking part in two experiential exercises. Second, the presenters will share research on the conditions, policies and practices, and individual awareness and action readiness needed of colleagues within departments to improve equity in workload. Third, participants will work in small groups to crosswalk between various identified equity issues and potential solutions, emphasizing different options depending on relevant contexts. Participants will end the workshop by designing their own department equity action plans.
KerryAnn O'Meara, Associate Dean, Professor of Higher Education, and Director of ADVANCE and Courtney Lennartz, Research Assistant and Doctoral Student—both of University of Maryland
Workshop 4: Statistical Thinking in Undergraduate Biology (STUB) Network: Coordinating Teaching and Assessment
The practice of biology has transitioned over the last two decades to become increasingly reliant on quantitative approaches to drawing conclusions from data. Consequently, an introduction to both descriptive and inferential statistical thinking is now standard practice for the undergraduate biology course. Despite the large numbers of students in introductory biology courses, there is a dearth of active discussion about teaching and assessment when integrating statistical thinking into biology courses. The Statistical Thinking in Undergraduate Biology (STUB) network has formed with support from the National Science Foundation’s Research Coordination Network – Undergraduate Biology Education program to address challenges in implementing these changes. Participants will actively engage in thinking about the role of statistics in undergraduate biology courses; examine existing materials, readings, and results; and begin developing new content.
Nathan Tintle, Professor of Statistics—Dordt College; Beth Chance, Professor of Statistics—California Polytechnic State University; Lance Waller, Professor of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics—Emory University; K. Greg Murray, Professor of Biology—Hope College; and Mark Condon, Professor of Biology—Dutchess Community College-SUNY
Workshop 5: Which Instrument Should We Use? Demystifying Classroom Observation Protocols
Educators turn to classroom observation protocols to improve individual or institution-wide teaching practices or to conduct disciplinary-based educational research. However, the value of classroom observations for course improvement and/or research depends on use of a valid and reliable observation protocol. Several observation protocols have been devised and published in recent years, but the affordances and constraints of these protocols are not always obvious. This workshop enables practitioners and researchers to experience and sort through a variety of protocols. After beginning with a discussion of purposes for which participants might wish to use observation protocols, participants will use three protocols to score a 13-minute video clip of a postsecondary STEM lesson: the Teaching Dimensions Observation Protocol (TDOP; Hora, 2015) , the Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS; Smith et al., 2013), and the Practical Observation Rubric to Assess Active Learning (Eddy et al., 2015). Next, participants will be introduced to the widely used Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP; Sawada et al., 2015). Since this protocol requires extensive training, participants will not score the video using RTOP, but instead expert RTOP scores of the video will be presented. Finally, participants will be introduced to the machine-scored Decibel Analysis for Research in Teaching (DART; Owens et al., 2017). A DART profile will be presented of the 13-minute video clip and also of the first hour of the workshop, and results will be discussed in light of the other protocols as well as first-hand experience in the workshop. Finally, participants will evaluate the five protocols and discuss which instrument would be appropriate for applications such as measuring pedagogical strategies, determining level of student engagement, measuring classroom management style, and considering classroom climate.
Paul Wendel, Associate Professor of Education, Joan Esson, Professor of Chemistry, Meredith Frey, Professor of Psychology, and Kathryn Plank, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning—all of Otterbein University; and James McCargar, Professor of Chemistry, Baldwin Wallace University
Workshop 6: The Change Dashboard: A Tool for Conceptualizing Change Projects to Advance Campus STEM Reforms
Planning for successful institutionalization of effective instructional strategies and policies in undergraduate STEM education requires understanding the complexity of the system under consideration and purposefully coordinating the key change strategies. Infographics, dashboards, visual communication and data visualization may seem like a new trend, but these and other visual tools have been widely used for years to represent and communicate business strategies and objectives. The Change Dashboard, one such tool, enables change agents to organize and align information about their project goals with their change strategies, tactics, and project activities. The purpose of this workshop is to help campus change agents understand how to use the Change Dashboard to plan for successful sustainable change. The presenters will provide an overview of systemic change processes and explain the elements of the Change Dashboard. Participants are invited to come with a current project in mind and will begin creating their own Change Dashboard.
Charles Henderson, Director, Mallinson Institute for Science Education and Kate White, Program Manager, Accelerating Systemic Change Network—both of Western Michigan University; and Linda Slakey, Senior Advisor—Association of American Universities;
Workshop 7: Project Kaleidoscope Leadership Development for STEM Faculty
Project Kaleidoscope’s (PKAL) mission is “to empower all US college and university STEM faculty – through a robust community of practice framework – to competitively train and liberally educate every STEM undergraduate.” In order to carry out PKAL’s mission, effective leadership at the departmental, institutional, and national level is necessary. Thus, the PKAL STEM Leadership Institute (SLI) was founded in 1996 to provide leadership development for STEM faculty. The SLI provides both early- and mid-career faculty with the theory and practice required to effectively manage the politics of change and contribute to the national STEM higher education reform effort. This highly interactive, preconference workshop will serve two purposes. First, the workshop will introduce participants to the underlying theory that supports PKAL’s unique approach to leadership development: experiential learning. Next, the workshop will engage both SLI alumni and other STEM faculty and administrators in hands-on leadership training experiences, including experiential learning exercises designed to impart immediate efficacy in directing campus-based and/or national undergraduate STEM reform initiatives.
Judith Dilts, Associate Dean, College of Science and Mathematics, Retired—James Madison University; Sylvia Nadler, Retired Director, Pryor Center for Leadership Development—William Jewell College; William Davis, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education—Washington State University; Mary Majerus, Lee Hunter Professor of Mathematics and Physics—Westminster College; and Brandon Schwab, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs—Western Carolina University