Rochester Institute of Technology

2012 Fall PKAL Upstate NY Regional Network Meeting

STEM Education Research & Reform: What, How, Why, Where?

October 12, 2012
Rochester Institute of Technology
One Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623

What to expect:

  • Featured speaker: Dr. Eleanor Sayre, Kansas State University. Topic: Measuring the Dynamics of Student Learning
  • Group activities to develop leadership skills and techniques
  • Special workshop on identifying critical aspects of student-centered activities
  • Learn how to use the Reformed Teaching Observational Protocol (RTOP)
  • Poster session for attendees to present new pedagogical ideas
  • Brainstorm session about the future direction of PKAL-UNY

Event Notebook:
Agenda, Abstracts, Worksheets


8:30 am

Registration in Lobby of Center for Student Innovation

9:00-10:00 am
PKAL leadership activities

10:00-11:30 am
Activity: Reformed Teaching Observational Protocol
consisting of:

  • Short videos of classroom activities
  • Discussion with table about what they see in the videos
  • Group summaries
  • Applying consensus ideas to other videos to reinforce key ideas

11:30-12:30 pm
Informal poster session & lunch

12:30-1:00 pm
Presentation: “Measuring the Dynamics of Student Learning” Eleanor Sayre, Kansas State University

When do students learn science? How much, and in what way? How quickly do they forget? Physics Education Research (PER) is the field of physics that studies how people learn physics and how to teach them better. A classic method in PER is to pre-test students before instruction, teach them, then post-test afterwards to see how much they have gained. However, this method cannot capture the dynamics of student learning which are common to all disciplines. By testing students more frequently, we can observe rapid learning and forgetting, as well as destructive interference patterns. In this talk, I present data showing three kinds of "response curves" -- flat, step, and peak-and-decay -- and suggestions for how to measure the same kinds of behavior in your classes, be they in physics or other STEM disciplines.

1:00-2:00 pm
Workshop Activity: Rapid Assessment & Web Reports

2:00-3:00 pm
Action Items & Plans for Next Meeting

3:00-4:00 pm
Report out to Full Group & Next Steps

4:00-5:00 pm
Networking Reception

About our network: 

The Upstate New York PKAL Network leverages the expertise and experience of STEM educators within the state of New York. We hope to facilitate greater engagement of STEM faculty and administrators, enabling them to implement more effective, learner-centered teaching strategies in STEM education. The development of this network builds on the success of past and present PKAL initiatives focusing on the development of leaders with the vision, political skills, and personal commitment necessary to make a difference in American higher education in STEM fields. Your participation in the NY PKAL Network is critical to the future of our collective work to improve undergraduate STEM education for STEM majors and non-majors alike.


If you have inquiries regarding the network, please contact Christina Shute (