Pre-conference Workshops

Thursday, November 6, 2014, 2:00–5:00 p.m. 

Separate registration and fee required ($100 members; $150 non-members); seating will be limited, so register early.

Workshop 1: Applying Insights from the Social Sciences to Help Guide and Support Students in STEM
Efforts to increase persistence of undergraduates and graduate students in STEM typically emphasize enhanced academic success, experiences doing authentic research, and increased knowledge of STEM careers. Yet, faculty and program leaders often scratch their heads when, despite their best efforts, students don’t complete STEM majors or seek STEM careers. Our current research and experimental interventions are drawing on well-established social science theories and models to explain STEM career choices and intercede to enhance STEM persistence, particularly among underrepresented minorities and women. This workshop will introduce these social sciences theories and provide the opportunity for participants to apply them to their own teaching and leadership roles. The workshop will also share research findings from a large-scale longitudinal qualitative study of more than 250 life scientists in training, and introduce a novel coaching model from the Academy for Future Science Faculty.
Richard McGee, Associate Dean for Faculty Recruitment and Professional Development, Northwestern University

Workshop 2: Digital and Blended Learning: Evolving Practices in STEM Education
With technology breaking traditional barriers to research and knowledge formation, what are the implications for STEM teaching and learning in particular?  How can digital and blended learning be designed in ways that enhance the quality of learning and lead to advances in discovery, research, and development in college and beyond? Dr. Bier will examine the intersections of teaching, learning, and technology and share the latest evidence-based approaches to digital and blended learning designs.  
Norman Bier, Director, Open Learning Initiative and Core Collaborations, Carnegie Mellon University

Workshop 3: Collaborative E-Portfolios to Foster Metacognitive Inquiry Thinking
How can metacognitive approaches foster collaborative learning?  Workshop participants, applying "folio thinking" toward the development of ongoing scientific inquiry, will explore a case study using a group project that maps student learning through reflective inquiry. The process of ‘thinking about thinking’ is scaffolded through e-portfolios. The approach validates uncertainty as a component of the iterative model of scientific inquiry and is unique in its collaborative application of the e-portfolio. Students shift from an outcomes-focused approach to an iterative, reflective approach that cultivates the habits of mind for scholarship. Participants will develop a framework to apply collaborative folio thinking to student projects in large introductory courses as well as upper level or interdisciplinary courses.
Kathy Takayama, Executive Director of the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Brown University

Workshop 4: A Scientific Framework for Leading Strategic STEM Reform
The Keck/PKAL Scientific Framework for Strategic Change takes a scientific approach to facilitate change and offers leadership, planning, assessment and practical tools for developing an evidence-based strategic plan.  It provides tools for assessing the capacity for change in terms of faculty expertise, resources, and campus infrastructure.  Project leaders will present the framework which participants will then apply to their campus. This workshop will be of particular relevance to PKAL network members and those who have attended the PKAL Summer Leadership Institute.  
Susan Elrod, Interim Provost, California State University, Chico; and Kathleen Weaver, Director of the La Verne Experience and Associate Professor of Biology, University of La Verne

Workshop 5: Quantitative Reasoning and Data:  From Analysis to Visualization 
Big data has caught the imagination of the public and the pocketbooks of corporations.  Google’s flu trends predict flu outbreaks faster than the CDC—until they don’t.  Yes big data offers new possibilities but data is still not information until interpreted by humans.  Students need to be critical users of data—fluent in both data analysis and visualization tools.  Participants will discuss how to create a curriculum to address these needs; learn how to effectively interpret and use data; and gain concrete ideas for nurturing students who are critical consumers of, and practitioners with data.
Eric Gaze, Director, Quantitative Reasoning Program, Bowdoin College, and President, National Numeracy Network; and Heather Van Volkinburg, Associate Director, Learning Initiatives and Data Services, Barnard College and Vice President, National Numeracy Network

Workshop 6: Using the Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP) to Help Frame STEM Learning
Quality Collaboratives: Assessing and Reporting DQP Competencies in the Context of Transfer is a three-year AAC&U project engaging campuses on issues of learning outcomes, curricular change, high-impact practices, and assessment. Campus project representatives will share their latest findings on mapping and assessing STEM learning in the undergraduate curriculum.  Participants will consider the implications for STEM learning frameworks, policies, and practices. 
Zachary G. Goodell, Co-Director, Center for Teaching Excellence, and Scott F. Oates, Director, Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness, both of Virginia Commonwealth University; and Susan Albertine, Vice President, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success, AAC&U