2023 Ohio PKAL Regional Spring Meeting

2023 Ohio PKAL Regional Spring Meeting

Ohio PKAL Regional Network

May 13, 2023

In Person
Kenyon University

What is the “New Normal” in STEM Teaching and Learning?

Students and faculty have experienced unprecedented change in the last three years. This has been driven, in part, by the COVID-19 pandemic and the evolving landscape in higher education. This conference will explore all aspects of “the new normal” in STEM education. Together we will focus on ways to support students and faculty in this new environment, as well as the changing needs of the STEM workforce.

Call For Proposals

  • Proposal Submission Portal Opens

  • Proposal Submission Window Ends

  • Notification of Proposal Acceptance

Request for Proposals

Join Dr. Eric Mazur and Ohio Project Kaleidoscope (OH-PKAL) for our 7th annual one-day conference, What is the “New Normal” in STEM Teaching and Learning? At our first in-person meeting since 2019, Dr. Mazur will offer the keynote address at Kenyon College, Saturday, May 13, 2023. Join OH-PKAL on that day to contribute an oral presentation, a poster, or a workshop on one of the themes below.

Conference Themes

  • Supporting students in a “post-COVID” world
  • Developing transferrable skills for the STEM workforce
  • Best practices for faculty success
  • Institutional resources: challenges and opportunities

Theme I: Supporting students in a “post-COVID” world

This theme focuses on strategies for supporting students and improving learning outcomes, emphasizing active learning and inclusive pedagogies to help students learn and develop a positive STEM identity.

Examples related to this theme might include:

  • Activities that promote student learning, scientific literacy, and/or motivate students to engage
  • Use of technology tools to support students of all academic abilities
  • Strategies to promote success in an online learning format
  • Investigations into active and inclusive pedagogies
  • Methods to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM

Theme II: Developing transferrable skills for the STEM workforce

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way we work. This theme focuses on high-impact practices that cultivate important skills for work in research and industry. It also explores ways to match curricular goals with the needs of the STEM workforce.

Examples related to this theme might include:

  • Assessment of student learning gains in independent or faculty–directed undergraduate research
  • Activities to help students bring science into the community as researchers, advocates, or educators
  • First-year experiences that foster students’ research capabilities
  • Curricular design to promote essential workforce skills
  • Promoting and assessing critical thinking and problem–solving skills
  • Employer efforts to recruit, orient, and retain STEM workers
  • Industry partner suggestions for better preparing STEM graduates for the workplace

Theme III: Best practices for faculty success

The unique circumstances of the past several years have presented faculty with obstacles as well as opportunities for new growth. This theme explores ways that our work has changed, important skills for navigating the higher education landscape, and strategies for promoting faculty success.

Examples related to this theme might include:

  • Design and implementation of faculty mentoring and professional development programs
  • The implications of online teaching for faculty success
  • Teaching, research, and service in a “post-COVID” world
  • Inclusive hiring and evaluation practices

Theme IV: Institutional resources: challenges and opportunities
The pandemic necessitated a rethinking of how we teach, research, and collaborate. Demographic trends have caused us to re-examine the roles our institutions play in the region. This theme challenges us to reflect on how we can best serve our students with thoughtful allocation of institutional resources: financial, capital, and human.

Examples related to this theme might include:

  • Programs for attracting and retaining a diverse student body
  • Community-engaged learning and service opportunities
  • Curricular models that make efficient use of finite resources
  • Strategies for how our institutions may respond to enrollment trends, both locally and nationally

We encourage proposals using quantitative, qualitative and/or mixed research methods. We also encourage faculty in the beginning stages of a project to present preliminary work/ideas. Special consideration will be given to techniques that are transferrable across institution types.

Session Formats

(1) Poster Presentations (One-hour poster session). Poster presenters could share observations/experiences, strategies for online or remote instruction, models of curricular ideas, preliminary results from work-in-progress, and/or results from finished projects. The poster session provides presenters with an opportunity to reach a broad audience and initiate conversations with colleagues having similar interests.

(2) Oral Presentations (15-minute talks; three talks grouped together on a similar topic with 5 minutes for question/answer). Presenters can share data and findings on scholarly research related to the conference themes. They can also discuss effective practices, milestones for success, strategies for change, and new ways to engage participants in STEM education.

(3) Workshops (One-hour session). Presenters can offer a long-format program to engage the audience in a new technique, method, or strategy. While the speakers may present data and outcomes of scholarly research, these sessions should aim for active participation by the audience in learning a new skill.

Developing and Submitting a Proposal
Proposals for presentations, workshops, and posters are accepted through an online form and must include:

  • Name, title, institution, and email address of each presenter with indication of primary person of contact
  • The most relevant theme for the poster/presentation
  • Presentation format (please indicate preferred format- oral presentation, workshop, or poster)
  • Talk or poster title (100-character limit including spaces)
  • Brief abstract to be used in the conference program

Proposal Review Criteria

Ohio PKAL strives to offer a balanced, informative, and thought-provoking conference that fits within the framework of the conference themes. We also hope the conference empowers participants to positively impact STEM education in Ohio and the surrounding region. The proposal selection committee includes experienced, diverse academic STEM professionals, who will choose and group proposals for oral presentations and workshops based on cohesion within the conference theme. Notification of acceptance for oral presentations, posters, and workshops will be sent to participants by April 15th.

Additional Information

The deadline for proposal submission is March 25, 2023.

Upon submission of a proposal, the session contact should receive an automatic message indicating that the Ohio PKAL Conference Committee has received the proposal. If the contact does not receive this message (and it is not in their spam filter), please e-mail Prof. Aaron Reinhard, Ohio PKAL 2023 Conference Chair and Associate Professor of Physics at Kenyon College, at [email protected] for further assistance.

Meeting Registration Info (All presenters are responsible for conference registration fees)

  • Conference fee: $85

    Faculty with institutional support

  • Conference fee: $65

    Faculty without institutional support, postdoctoral fellows, and students.

Please direct questions to the 2023 Conference Chair
Aaron Reinhard
Associate Professor of Physics
Kenyon College

[email protected]