Workshop Abstracts: 2019 SoCAL PKAL Conference

1. Ideas to Action:  Developing a Plan for Greater Equity and Inclusivity
Presenters:  Janice Hudgings, Pomona College and Darryl Yong, Harvey Mudd

This workshop is a space in which participants can translate ideas about teaching in more equitable and inclusive ways into practice. Come join us in a community with like-minded peers wrestling with similar questions and sharing ideas and classroom practices.  By the end of the workshop, participants will develop some possible strategies for reforms that they plan to implement in a course.

2. Aligning Faculty Work with Systemic Change:   Making Teaching Matter in the Academy
Presenter: Christine Broussard, University of La Verne

Active learning pedagogies enhance student performance, persistence, and degree completion (Lorenzo et al., 2006; Haak et al., 2011; Eddy and Hogan, 2014; Freeman et al., 2014; Becker et al., 2015; Trenshaw et al., 2016). However, student-centered, evidence-based teaching practices are not yet the norm in most undergraduate STEM courses (Stains et al., 2018). Given the volume of supportive literature, it is surprising that a greater level of change in STEM pedagogy has not materialized (Henderson and Dancy, 2007; Dancy and Henderson, 2010; Dancy et al., 2014; Anderson et al., 2011; Singer et al., 2012; Malcolm and Feder, 2016). For teaching and its evaluation to be taken seriously in the academy, the following are also required: support for improved teaching, expectations of quality teaching aligned with incentives, metrics used that accurately reflect teaching effectiveness, and transparent evaluation practices that are not unduly biased (Wieman, 2015). A critical lever for change is the alignment of faculty work to the systemic change we seek. The mission of the Accelerating Systemic Change Network (ASCN), an NSF-funded network, is to establish a community that generates, curates, and propagates knowledge to support pedagogical, curricular, and culture change in higher education. An ASCN working group, Aligning Faculty Work with Systemic Change, has begun identifying and sharing strategies used by institutions, colleges, departments, or programs that have been successful in promoting institutional cultures where quality teaching and its continuous improvement are expected, valued, assessed, and rewarded at various stages of a faculty member’s career

3. What Would You Do if... Addressing Challenges of Inclusive Teaching and Responding to Microaggressions and Bias
Presenter: Colleen Lewis, Harvey Mudd College

In this interactive session, attendees will learn strategies for creating an inclusive classroom and responding to bias. Attendees will then practice those strategies in small groups by playing a research-based game. In this game, groups will discuss how they would respond to challenges in creating inclusive classrooms (round 1) and how they would respond to microaggressions, bias, and other nonsense (round 2). Attendees can replicate this session at their institution because all materials will be provided online.

4. Using BiochemAR: A Novel Augmented Reality-based Tool for Teaching Macromolecular Structure and Function
Rou-Jia Sung, Carleton College

The use of 2D images to convey 3D information can limit the ability of students to grasp key visuospatial elements of 3D macromolecular structures, including depth perception, sense of scale, and the effects of conformational changes on both local and macromolecular levels. Unfortunately, currently available software programs that allow users to view, rotate, zoom, and translate around 3D molecular structures vary widely with regards to hardware and time investments necessary for use. For programs that require a computer, logistical and equity issues can arise in trying to ensure access to the necessary technical resources. In contrast, Augmented Reality (AR) technology has great potential as a simple tool that can be easily used to visualize 3D objects. In AR, a video display shows an overlay a virtual 3D object projected over the real world. Moreover, AR systems can be used on smartphone and tablet devices—hardware many students already have (compared to laptop ownership) and that are significantly more tractable for use in larger classes. BiochemAR is an app freely available for download for iOS and Android that allows users to easily manipulate a virtual 3D model of the structure of the potassium channel. In this workshop, participants will learn how to use BiochemAR and develop a set of questions that can be used to guide student exploration of the potassium channel structure. Participants will leave the workshop with a plan for how to implement BiochemAR as a novel teaching tool for introducing 3D virtual models into their classrooms.

5. Building More Transparent Assignments and Evaluation in STEM Courses
Jessica Tinklenberg, The Claremont Colleges

Transparency is best understood as intentionally connecting the "how" and "what" of student learning to the "why," and this simple practice has been shown to improve student learning across all populations.  However, it is especially beneficial to underserved and underrepresented student groups in STEM fields.  In this workshop we will look at common assignments in STEM classrooms in light of transparent pedagogy, and apply the principles of transparent design, evaluation, and assessment to some of our own class work.  Faculty should bring assignments to workshop, if possible.