2020 Ohio-PKAL Annual Conference Call for Proposals

Evidence-Based Learning: Transforming STEM Education for All Undergraduate Students

May 9, 2020
University of Cincinnati
Blue Ash College
9555 Plainfield Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45236

Join us for the Ohio Project Kaleidoscope (OH-PKAL) 6th annual one-day conference, Evidence-Based Learning:  Transforming STEM Education for All Undergraduate Students on Saturday May 9, 2020. The day includes a vibrant program of oral presentations, posters, and workshops promoting evidence-based practices across five important themes.

Conference Themes

The specific themes to be addressed with this Call for Proposals are:

  • Transformative Teaching Practices in Undergraduate STEM Education:  First Year Through Upper Level Courses
  • Use of Metacognitive Learning Strategies to Support All Students
  • Best Research-based Practices in Use of Technology and Online Learning
  • Promoting Transferable Workplace/Career Skills in the College Setting
  • Creating Learning Environments that Foster Equitable Student Engagement and Success

 

Theme I:  Transformative Teaching Practices in Undergraduate STEM Education:  First Year Through Upper Level Courses
This theme focuses on sessions and presentations that provide faculty with knowledge, materials, and strategies for improving student learning experiences at all course levels, including experiences that support the skills needed for graduate and professional programs, internships, and post-graduation employment. Special emphasis is placed on initiatives that are readily transferable across various institutional types. Proposals that describe the impact of curricular and co-curricular activities targeted toward first-year and/or upper level courses in any STEM discipline (including the social sciences) using valid quantitative, qualitative and/or mixed research methods are highly encouraged.

Examples related to this theme might include:

  • Activities in introductory, general education, or upper level courses that promote student learning, scientific literacy, and/or motivate students to engage
  • First-year experiences that foster students’ research capabilities
  • Assessment of student learning gains related to independent or faculty–directed undergraduate research experiences
  • Activities for upper-level students that help them bring their science into the community as researchers, advocates, or educators

Theme II:  Use of Metacognitive Learning Strategies to Support All Students
Sessions and presentations in this theme will focus on strategies to help all student populations develop awareness of their learning process in order to increase student performance.  Special emphasis is placed on initiatives that are anchored in data and readily transferable across various institutional types.  Proposals that describe the impact of strategies and pedagogy to build self-knowledge of learners from any STEM discipline (including the social sciences) using valid quantitative, qualitative and/or mixed research methods are highly encouraged.

Examples of practices might include:

  • Helping students increase self-awareness as learners by demonstrating the link between student learning outcomes and activities in and out of the classroom;
  • Reflective learning practices that guide students to integrate critical thinking in demonstrating learning; and/or
  • Engaging classroom activities that help students to assess their own learning in order to develop strategies for productive learning.

Theme III:  Best Research-based Practices in Use of Technology and Online Learning
Technology and online learning can facilitate broad access to STEM education.  This theme explores effective ways to ensure high quality STEM education for distance learning, as well as for face-to-face settings. Special emphasis is placed on initiatives that are anchored in data and readily transferable across various institutional types. Proposals representing research and/or practices from any STEM discipline (including the social sciences) that describe the impact of technology or online learning environments using valid quantitative, qualitative and/or mixed research methods are highly encouraged.

Examples related to this theme might include:

  • Effective use of technology tools to support students of all academic abilities
  • Innovative use of technology tools to draw students into course content
  • Strategies for structuring online course activities to promote critical thinking and student–student, student–instructor, and student–content interactions and engagement.
  • Impact of implementation of Quality Matters (QM) standards for online and land–based courses using LMS and new pedagogies

Theme IV:  Promoting Transferable Workplace/Career Skills in the College Setting
The economy and future workforce call for a shift of education goals from content drilling towards fostering higher end reasoning, critical thinking, and problem–solving skills.  These skills can be promoted in STEM through a variety of instructional settings and experiences, such as designing curriculum to promote essential workforce skills and providing students with deliberate and repeated practice in making decisions based on gathered evidence. This theme explores ways to engage students in activities which explicitly promote transferable workplace/career skills. Proposals representing research and/or practices from any STEM discipline (including the social sciences) that describe the impact of these activities using valid quantitative, qualitative and/or mixed research methods are highly encouraged.

Examples related to this theme might include:

  • Design of curriculum for promoting essential workforce skills
  • Impact of laboratory or mathematical modeling activities on students’ critical thinking skills
  • Experiences that transform students from consumers of scientific knowledge to producers of scientific knowledge
  • Mathematical modeling activities assisting students with problem-solving and informed decision-making skills
  • Assessment of higher end reasoning, critical thinking, or problem–solving skills

Theme V:  Creating Learning Environments that Foster Equitable Student Engagement and Success
This theme focuses on sessions and presentations that will help faculty develop culturally responsive STEM teaching strategies to increase student success and retention.   Special emphasis is placed on innovative pedagogy that recognizes the importance of including students’ cultural references in STEM learning and strategies that can increase STEM participation from students of diverse backgrounds. Special emphasis is placed on initiatives that are anchored in data and readily transferable across various institutional types. Proposals that describe the impact of strategies and pedagogy from any STEM discipline (including the social sciences) using valid quantitative, qualitative and/or mixed research methods are highly encouraged.

Examples related to this theme might include:

  • Impact of adopting culturally responsive STEM pedagogies, such as interventions for social belonging, on student learning;
  • Use of data to identify underlying issues affecting the differential participation and graduation rates in STEM;
  • Evidence of innovative strategies for enhancing STEM education, pedagogy, and/or STEM persistence among students underrepresented in STEM; and/or
  • Institutional collaborative models that have significant impact on increasing diversity and equity in STEM.
     

Session Formats

Poster Presentations (60 minutes; 4’ x 3’, horizontal x vertical poster), in which presenters share visual models of research findings; course, program, curricular/co-curricular designs; concept maps; assessment rubrics and feedback loops; strategic planning frameworks and high-impact practices. The poster session provides an opportunity to reach a broad audience and initiate conversations with colleagues with similar interests. Posters are displayed on 4’ x 3’, horizontal x vertical poster boards.

Oral Presentations (15 minute presentations [12 minutes to speak, 3 minutes for questions]; computers and video projectors are standard in the presentation rooms) in which presenters share current work—in research, theory, or practice—related to one or more of the conference themes. They engage participants in considering how to use this framework to promote student success. Proposals should explicitly connect to a particular theme and use any of the guiding examples. Presenters should provide data/findings related to the topic, effective practices, milestones for success, and strategies for change, and engage participants. Ideally, oral presentations should detail analyses of effective frameworks, theories, and practices that are adaptable to others; they should not be merely a show-n-tell of what you did.

Workshops (1 hour) in which facilitators briefly share current work—in research, theory, or practice—related to one or more of the conference themes and then engage participants in considering how to apply these ideas in their local contexts. Proposals should explicitly connect to a particular conference theme.  Workshop facilitators should provide data/findings related to the topic, effective practices, milestones for success, and/or strategies for change. In addition, details should be provided for how workshop participants will be engaged during the one hour session as well as learning outcomes.  Ideally, workshops should detail analyses of effective frameworks, theories, and practices that are adaptable to others; they should not be merely a show-n-tell of what was done.
 

Developing and Submitting a Proposal
Proposals for presentations 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
  • Session theme
  • Presentation format (please indicate preferred format,  to least or no preference)
  • Session title (100 character limit including spaces)
  • Brief abstract to be used in the conference program if accepted (150 word limit)
  • Statement of intended audience (100 word limit)
  • Participant outcomes (100 word limit)
  • Description of evidence indicating that the method, activity, or pedagogy was effective (150 word limit)

Click HERE to access the online form.

Proposal Review Criteria

Ohio PKAL strives to offer a balanced, informative and thought-provoking conference that best fits within the framework of increasing STEM student and/or faculty success, which also empowers and emboldens STEM academicians to dramatically impact the quality of STEM education in Ohio and the surrounding region. The conference proposal selection committee includes experienced, diverse academic STEM professionals. In evaluating conference proposals, reviewers are asked to consider both the technical aspects of the proposal and the way in which the presentation/session contributes to increasing STEM student success. The following elements are considered in the review of conference proposals:

  • the potential for the proposed session/presentation to advance knowledge and understanding of undergraduate STEM education;
  • the extent to which the session/presentation offers creative, novel and transformative mechanisms for enhancing STEM learning, particularly for diverse audiences;
  • the extent to which the proposed session/presentation effectively incorporates two or more of the conference themes; and
  • the ease by which conference session/presentation materials and outcomes can be adapted to a wide range of institution types.
     

Additional Information

The deadline for proposal submission is January 15, 2020.

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 his/her spam filter), please e-mail Prof. Krista Wood, Ohio PKAL 2020 Conference Director and Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Cincinnati, at Krista.Wood@uc.edu for further assistance.  

Notifications
The session contact will be notified via email of the decision on the proposal by February 28, 2020.

Expenses and Fees
All presenters are responsible for conference registration fees ($85), travel, and hotel expenses. The conference is from 8:00 am – 4:45 pm on Saturday May 9, 2020, with all contributed presentations between 10 am - 4:15 pm at the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College, Blue Ash, Ohio.

Please direct questions to the 2020 Conference Chair
Krista E. Wood
Associate Professor of Physics
University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College
Krista.Wood@uc.edu