Concurrent Workshops

SoCal PKAL Regional Network 2017 Annual Meeting
Broadening Participation and Persistence in College STEM: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion


Workshop A. Broadening participation through academic interventions on your campus

Presenters: Matthew Jackson, Dustin Thoman, Christina Curti, Garam Lee, and Jeanette Zambrano, San Diego State University

Classroom activities that encourage students to connect the relevance (i.e. utility value) of course materials to their lives has been empirically shown to increase student motivation and learning in STEM courses. These findings are especially robust for students who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields. However, without fidelity to the implementation outlined in research paradigms, these utility value interventions display reduced effectiveness. This workshop will outline the procedures to implement, as well as those to avoid, in order to maximize the benefit to STEM students. Attending this utility value intervention workshop will empower STEM faculty and administrators with an additional tool to maximize the achievement of diverse student populations. The workshop will include a presentation reviewing successful and unsuccessful intervention strategies, followed by a small group session where attendees can develop implementation strategies that are tailored to their home institution, with the assistance of the organizers.

Workshop B. Diversity of student identities: Implications for learning and teaching

Presenters: Terra Brannan, Neil Grimsey, and Stanley Lo, University of California San Diego

This workshop will explore the diversity of student identities in our classrooms and learning environments. Through interactive discussions on research data from existing literature, we will examine the implications of these diverse identities on how students learn and how instructors teach. Together, we will consider complex issues such as cultural capital, implicit associations, microaggressions, mindsets, and stereotype threat, as we draw on literature examples from both two- and four-year institutions and across disciplines. Participants can expect to leave this workshop with concrete strategies on creating more inclusive learning environments in their classroom.

Workshop C. Mentoring undergraduate researchers through inclusive, effective, and equitable practices: A faculty professional development series

Presenters: Jane Lehr and Nicole Holm, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

This workshop introduces participants to the development, implementation, and impacts of a 5-part, 10-hour faculty professional development training focused on “Mentoring Undergraduate Researchers through Inclusive, Effective, and Equitable Practices” at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Why undergraduate research mentorship? Undergraduate research experiences (UREs) are a high impact practice that make a difference in the experiences and achievements of students from groups that are underrepresented and underserved in STEM fields (Cole, 2010; Kim & Sax, 2009; Hurtado et al, 2011). However, students who are first generation, from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and/or from underrepresented groups are less likely to participate for multiple complex factors (Campbell et al., 2002; Cole & Espinoza, 2008; Hurtado et al., 2011). In addition, when students from these groups do participate in UREs, these students face additional barriers, including an unwelcoming/inhospitable research environment (Hurtado et al., 2011). Why do these mentorship challenges emerge? While academic faculty who advise and mentor students in undergraduate research experiences are invested in the success of their students and know that “[p]oor mentorship contributes to losses of minority students at each level of education” (Prununske et al., 2013, p. 404), faculty undergraduate research mentors are (typically) not trained or supported in inclusive, equitable, and effective mentoring practices (Chesler & Young, 2014, pg. 7). This faculty professional development program at our institution is designed to address this gap in order to improve access to and inclusive and equitable experiences in undergraduate research. Presenters will share lessons learned, best practices, and next steps.

Workshop D. Discipline-based education research (DBER) 101

Presenter: Brian Sato, University of California Irvine

Study design is one of the most difficult and essential parts of rigorously assessing classroom teaching and pedagogical methods. Oftentimes, true control groups are impossible to come by, and confounding factors are abundant. This workshop is being offered for novice and advanced educators alike who would like to learn more about how to effectively conduct educational research studies in their college science classrooms. Participants will work with the facilitators to critique published educational research studies and identify essential factors that must be taken into consideration when designing research studies. Participants will also design a study that they conduct at their home institutions, and they will receive feedback from their peers and the facilitators on their study design. The facilitators will also share their experiences with designing, conducting, analyzing, and publishing educational research and how their research has informed and improved their teaching.

Workshop E. A conversation forum between two and four-year faculty about transfer

Presenters: Melinda Riccitelli and Stephanie Mel, MiraCosta College and University of California San Diego

The intent of this workshop is to provide a space for dialogue between two and four-year colleagues about transfer students. Workshop attendees will share their unique perspectives on the transfer student: what are the challenges they face at each level, what skills, social and academic, do they need to be successful, and how can we work together to mitigate transfer burden are some of the things we will discuss. Through conversation we will begin to develop a shared plan to reduce the barriers faced by this student population. Community-college and transfer students represent a substantial and diverse population at the four-year university whose education requires additional attention (NAS 2016). Transfer students are a unique population, with wildly different college experiences and varying responsibilities outside of the classroom (Packard, Gagnon, LaBelle, Jeffers, & Lynn, 2011; Porchea, Allen, Robbins, and Phelps, 2010; Townsend & Wilson, 2009). Their success as students is not a guarantee: While 81% of community college students aspire to earn bachelor’s degrees, only 33% transfer to four-year institutions. Of these students, only 42% complete their degrees within six years of entering higher education (Fink, 2016). Better communication, networking, and pedagogical sharing between two and four-year faculty might facilitate successful transfer and graduation of these students.

Workshop F. Building an inclusive syllabus

Presenters: Lisa McDonnell, University of California San Diego

This interactive workshop will focus on how a course syllabus, and course design, can be a powerful tool to create an inclusive classroom. In particular we will examine how our course design and syllabus promote learning for students with diverse abilities and experiences, and what we can do to promote a culture of inclusion. We will also discuss other aspects of classroom structure that may influence classroom culture. Participants will engage in peer review of course syllabi, and are thus encouraged to bring their course syllabi to the workshop.

Workshop G. Creating an inclusive learning environment by noticing and attending to diverse student identities

Presenters: Katie Bjorkman, Lynda Wynn, Matt Voigt, and Stanley Lo, San Diego State University and University of California San Diego

Identity is a broad topic within both mathematics and science education. At its core, identity seems to be an amorphous construct: There is something more than opportunity, experience, or aptitude at play that influences how students might engage or fail to engage in learning. In this workshop, we will explore four frameworks (community, narrative, positioning, and power and agency) that will help us operationalize and understand the diversity of student identities and their intersectionality: how students’ developing sense of self as mathematicians, engineers, or scientists may interact with their class, ethnicity, gender, and race to create complex opportunities and challenges for learning and persistence in STEM. We will learn about these identity frameworks by examining classroom videos of students engaging in a famous inquiry-based calculus activity called the catwalk problem. Through interactive discussions, we will devise concrete strategies for how educators can use the construct of identity to inform their teaching and how focusing on identity can inform what we notice in our interactions with students and their interactions with one another. Even though the catwalk problem is specific to mathematics, our discussions will span STEM disciplines and institution types to help educators notice and attend to student identities in their classroom and create more inclusive learning environments.

Workshop H. 228 Active Learning Strategies

Presenters: Maxie Gluckman, University of California San Diego

The aim of the workshop is to illustrate Active Learning as a technique for improving student outcomes, engagement, and inclusion in STEM courses, and to empower participants with the knowledge and skills to readily integrate these techniques into instruction. In this workshop 228 Active Learning strategies will be shared and the methods for implementation as well as strengths and limitations will be discussed. Participants will be asked to work with a team create a showcase commercial for one of the active learning strategies—products that illustrate the ease with which these strategies can be incorporated into instruction. The key takeaway point will be participant comfort with new strategies, and an understanding of the role of active learning on broadening equity, engagement and inclusion in college STEM courses.