Course Syllabus

Course Title: Fundamentals of Scientific Teaching and Pedagogy

Semester: Course offered each summer in July-August

Timing: Class sessions are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12-2 PM, from July 9-August 8, 2019

Location: Fuller Labs Room 320

Course Number: ID527, CRN 31694

Course Credits: Zero credit graduate course with Pass/Fail grades assigned

Course Registration: Registration required, use Banner and search under Interdisciplinary. Postdocs should contact Rory Flinn (rjflinn@wpi.edu) to officially register as a non-degree student.  

Course Directors: Rory Flinn (rjflinn@wpi.edu ; 508-831-6360) and Caitlin Keller (cakeller@wpi.edu

 

A ten session course run each summer for graduate students and postdocs to bolster teaching proficiency through in depth and interactive sessions on the science behind student learning, scientific teaching, assessments and rubrics, active learning, project based learning, teaching technology, inclusive teaching and universal design, classroom and course management, and course design. Participants will learn through both lecture and practicum sessions each week, and will work in small groups to develop a short teachable unit incorporating the techniques learned throughout the course, which they will ultimately present at the conclusion of the series. Students will also individually develop their own statement of teaching philosophy and receive feedback on this document, a required document for most faculty job applications. Learning goals and outcomes for the pedagogy course are as follows:

Course Learning Goals:

  • Transformed teaching philosophy that incorporates current pedagogical best practices
  • Significant gain in knowledge on the practice of scientific teaching and ability to use this knowledge when designing courses and lessons
  • Augmented ability to effectively instruct a lesson using pedagogical best practices
  • Understanding of differences in student learning, universal design, and inclusive teaching practices to effectively and equitably teach to all students

 

Course Learning Outcomes:

  • Recognize the varying ways students learn and incorporate these when designing lessons and courses
  • Learn and utilize cognitive hierarchies to aid in course and lesson design
  • Distinguish significant learning from superficial learning
  • Implement active learning processes, including project based learning, to promote an engaged classroom environment and significant learning
  • Identify methods to formatively and summatively assess student learning in order to promote teaching effectiveness
  • Craft course and lesson learning goals that align with measurable learning outcomes
  • Use backwards lesson design theory to design courses and lessons that align course goals with assessments and learning activities
  • Design a group teachable unit and mock course page that demonstrate proficiency in the fundamentals of teaching
  • Develop a brief instructional plan for a single teachable concept, including learning outcomes, assessment strategy, and learning activities
  • Synthesize a statement of teaching philosophy that reflects a personal vision as a teacher and incorporates pedagogical best practices gleaned from course
  • Recognize that classrooms are diverse environments with variation in human experiences, abilities, characteristics, and resources and be able to integrate this knowledge into course and lesson design
  • Become familiar with recent classroom technologies and innovations and how to incorporate these in the classroom

Each class session will be 2 hours in length, with the first 75 minutes for instruction and the last 45 minutes for group work. 

Students must purchase their own copy of Scientific Teaching, by Christine Pfund, Jo Handelsman, and Sarah Miller. There will be assigned and suggested readings for each class session. Suggested readings will be provided and will be supplemental to the course text book.

Students will be assigned a group and will develop a 15 minute teachable unit with their group, which they will present to the rest of the class in the final class session. Each group will also prepare a mock course website for the ‘course’ their teachable unit would be part of. Each group must complete the assigned worksheets for each session and turn them in for feedback. Students will prepare a statement of teaching philosophy and will be provided feedback for future revision. Students must attend 6 out of 10 of the class sessions and complete the required assignments in order to pass the course.  

The 2019 course schedule is being finalized but a tentative schedule has been provided below. 

2019 Summer Tentative Course Schedule:

 

Course Schedule:

Date

Session Topics

Speaker

Assigned Reading/Viewing

Assignments

July 9

Scientific Teaching; Course overview

Rory Flinn, Graduate Studies

Chapters 1 and 5

Groups assigned, begin Worksheets 1 and 2

July 11

Statements of Teaching Philosophy (SOTP) and US Higher Education System

Barbara Houtz, STEM Education Consultant

None

Students outline SOTP; Groups continue on Worksheets 1 and 2

July 16

How students learn

Taylyn Hulse, Learning Sciences

Chapter 1

Worksheet 1 due end of class.

July 18

Assessments and Rubrics

Mia Dubosarsky, STEM Education Center

Chapter 3

Worksheet 2 due end of class. Groups begin Worksheet 3

July 23

Active Learning and Project Based Learning

Caitlin Keller, ATC

Chapter 2

Groups begin Worksheet 4; Worksheet 3 due end of class

July 25

Online learning and universal design

TBD

TBD

Worksheet 4 due end of class

July 30

Establishing inclusive courses/classroom

TBD

Chapter 4

Worksheet 5 due end of class; SOTPs due 5 PM July 31

August 1

Teaching Technology; Group project working session

Caitlin Keller, ATC

TBD

Groups work on  teachable units and mock canvas pages; Individual instructional plans due 5 PM Aug 2

August 6

Course design and course/class management

Rory Flinn, Graduate Studies and Caitlin Keller, ATC

A Self-Directed Guide to

Designing Courses for Significant Learning by L.Dee Finks

Group course Canvas page due end of class

August 8

Group teachable unit presentations

Groups present teachable units

None

Present Group Teachable Unit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Course Summary:

Date Details