CEILS Senior Associate Director and CEILS Affiliates Receive Physics & Astronomy Department Teaching Awards

Shanna Shaked, CEILS Senior Associate Director and lecturer in Physics received a teaching award for her work revising and teaching Physics 5B.

Ian McLean, faculty in Physics and Astronomy who serves as the Chair of CEILS Advisory Board, received an award for Physics 5C.

Josh Samani, CEILS Instructional Consultant and Lecturer PSOE received an award for Physics 5A along with the prestigious “Teacher of the Year Award” for his work and in recognition of his scholarship in pedagogy, service to the department, and his role providing the backbone of the new Physics 5 series from its introduction in Fall 2017.

Shanna, Ian, and Josh were among several faculty awarded for their teaching efforts in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2018 – congratulations to all!

Student Learning Outcomes and Attitudes Using Three Methods of Group Formation in a Nonmajors Biology Class

– CBE Life Sciences

Group work is often a key component of student-centered pedagogies, but there is conflicting evidence about what types of groups provide the most benefit for undergraduate students. The authors investigated student learning outcomes and attitudes toward working in groups when students were assigned to groups using different methods in a large-enrollment, student-centered class, with particular interest in how students entering the class with different levels of competence in biology performed in homogeneous or heterogeneous groups, and what types of group compositions were formed using different methods of group formation. They found that low-competence students had higher learning outcomes when they were in heterogeneous groups, while mid- and high-competence students performed equally well in both group types. Students of all competence types had better attitudes toward group work in heterogeneous groups. The use of student demographic variables to preemptively form groups and allowing students to self-select their group mates both yielded heterogeneous competence groups. Students in the instructor-formed, demographic groups had higher learning outcomes compared with students allowed to self-select. Thus, heterogeneous groupings provided the most benefit for students in our nonmajors, large-enrollment class.

A Low-Intensity, Hybrid Design between a “Traditional” and a “Course-Based” Research Experience Yields Positive Outcomes for Science Undergraduate Freshmen and Shows Potential for Large-Scale Application

CBE Life Sciences

Based on positive student outcomes, providing research experiences from early undergraduate years is recommended for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors. To this end, the authors designed a novel research experience called the “STEMCats Research Experience” (SRE) for a cohort of 119 second-semester freshmen with diverse college preparatory levels, demographics, and academic majors. The SRE targeted student outcomes of enhancing retention in STEM majors, STEM competency development, and STEM academic performance.

Congratulations to two CIRTL Scholars for presenting their Teaching as Research projects on the CIRTL network to the national cross network community.

Congratulations to two CIRTL Scholars for presenting their Teaching as Research projects on the CIRTL network to the national cross network community.

Elizabeth Mills: “Mixed Methods Assessment of Introductory Physics for Life Sciences Labs at UCLA” and Elizabeth Reid-Wainscoat: “Does temperament composition impact group dynamics in an upper division biology lab course?”

Elizabeth Mills

Elizabeth Reid-Wainscoat

Check out the videos of their presentations on the CIRTL.net website!

Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis Online Professional Development Opportunities

Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education and Synthesis (QUBES) project offers an online platform to facilitate faculty professional development and sharing open educational resources for teaching quantitative skills. QUBES offer professional development opportunities called Faculty Mentoring Networks (FMNs). FMNs are semester-long professional development opportunities designed to engage you with other faculty to enhance your teaching.
This Spring 2019, QUBES are offering four different FMNs! The options are:

AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative: Matrix of Summative Evaluation of Teaching Strategies

AAU is aware that there is a large body of literature on how people learn as well as a number of valid ways for faculty members to engage in formative assessment of their teaching. AAU has created a matrix that is intended to capture strategies campuses are using to incorporate evidence beyond student course evaluation in the summative evaluation of faculty members’ teaching (e.g., promotion and tenure, and annual/merit reviews).
AAU is continuously developing the matrix and considers it a living document. If you are aware of an effort not included in this list and would like to add it, please visit http://bit.ly/AAUmatrix. As a critical lever for change, AAU is intentionally working to highlight these strategies. They are also engaged with national projects focused on this topic.
The matrix can be found online by following this link.

The Promoting Active Learning and Mentoring (PALM) Network is Now Accepting Applications for the Next Cohort of PALM Fellows and their Mentors.

PALM Fellows Will:
  • Gain mentorship from leaders in undergraduate biology teaching and learning
  • Learn best practices in teaching and in assessing active learning
  • Create an original teaching module that engages students in active learning
  • Join a community of scientists dedicated to active teaching and learning, and share ideas and support
  • Participate in Fellow-mentor journal clubs, meetings, and networking opportunities
  • Obtain invaluable career development for faculty careers
More information about the program and application materials are here.
Application Deadline: January 31, 2019