Mobile Summer Institutes
The Mobile Summer Institutes (MoSIs) are an institution-based iteration of the nationally renowned Summer Institutes on Scientific Teaching that address challenges in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education reform unique to college and universities.
The MoSI model is based on Charles Henderson’s four categories of change strategies to improve adoption of evidence-based teaching. The MoSI team, composed of national leaders in education reform, travels to post-secondary institutions and trains a critical mass of educators within whole departments to create inclusive, student-centered classrooms that engage students to learn – as scientists do – through active problem solving and discussion. MoSI leaders facilitate workshops, group work, and presentations, to train participants on innovations and research in undergraduate education. By the end of the MoSI, participants develop and peer-review teaching materials, plus learn how to implement scientific teaching in their classrooms, and how to evaluate their peers in order to develop as reflective practitioners.
In addition to the proven training paradigm provided by the pedagogy workshop, the Mobile Summer Institutes provide instruction in peer evaluation to drive long-term reflective teaching as well as facilitated strategic planning to leverage newly gained expertise toward educational reform. The MoSIs also include an administrator’s workshop to foster the buy-in and support of local policy makers by developing a shared vision between administrators and MoSI participants.
Learn more about hosting a Mobile Summer Institute here.
If your institution is interested in applying to host a institution-based Mobile SI, please contact Michelle Withers (firstname.lastname@example.org) directly for more information.
MOBILE SI LEADERSHIP
Associate Professor, Biology Department, Spelman College
Assistant Professor, Chemistry and STRIVE Program Director, STEM Education Center, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Research Professor, Biology, Binghamton University SUNY
Director of Integrated Education - Clinical Science, University of Minnesota Medical School
Professor, Plant Biology, University of Georgia, Athens
Professor, Biology, University of California, Riverside
Professor in Residence, Physiology and Neurobiology, University of Connecticut
Associate Professor and Assoc. Dean for Undergraduate Studies, School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University
Associate Professor, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder
Associate Teaching Professor, Cell & Developmental Biology, and Mathematics and Science Education, University of California San Diego
Assistant Professor, Biology, Life Sciences Department, Harford Community College
Associate Director for Curriculum & Instruction, School for Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Assoc. Professor, Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Instructional Consultant and Academic Administrator, Center for Education Innovation in Life Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles
STEM Educator for the Center for Teaching and Learning, Associate Professor, Biology, Binghamton University SUNY
MoSI Host Institutions (2015-2021)
HOSTING A MOSI FAQs
Click here for hosting a MoSI FAQs in PDF format.
What is a Mobile Summer Institute (MoSI) and how does it differ from a
regional Summer Institute?
What is a typical schedule for a mobile SI?
Who can attend?
This choice is up to the host campus. The Summer Institutes started in Biology in 2003, then expanded to serve STEM disciplines in 2008 and has more recently extended further into non-STEM disciplines. We have had success with both STEM and non-STEM audiences, as well as current and future faculty. When planning your MoSI, let your training team know the disciplinary make-up of your participants and they will incorporate examples from those disciplines into the workshop materials. While the majority of our MoSI trainers hail from STEM disciplines, we work with educators from a variety of disciplines to incorporate content that is appropriate for many disciplines.
What is the size limit?
The average MoSI attendance is ~25, however we have successfully served audiences of up to 50+. By the end of a two-year period, a campus can expect to have on average, fifty educators newly trained in Scientific Teaching who can build on efforts into the future Since the active learning strategies employed by the MoSIs scale effectively, size primarily is constrained by two logistical, rather than pedagogical, factors:
space -two types of working spaces are required for the MoSI, a large room for whole-group working sessions and breakout rooms for the smaller group-work sessions, so numbers are limited by the size of the large available large room and the number of the smaller breakout rooms; and
facilitators – each small working groups requires a trained facilitator to guide them through the process. Ideally, facilitators have attended an SI previously (central, regional or mobile), however, people experienced with backward design and evidence-based teaching strategies can also serve as facilitators. The MoSI team will provide training for facilitators on the first morning of the workshop. If necessary, the MoSI team will work with the host leaders ahead of time to find facilitators if candidates are not available. This will add to the budget as a stipend and expenses will be required for external facilitators. The SIs have a large network of potential trainers, so every effort will be made to find regional candidates to reduce travel costs.
What is the strategic planning workshop and who should attend?
What is the administrator workshop and who should attend?
The goal of this workshop is to foster awareness and support by local administrators for MoSI-related efforts to improve teaching and learning on the host campus. The workshop is short to accommodate the busy schedules of administrators. Briefly, there is a 15 minute presentation to make administrators aware of what the MoSI brings to the host campus. This is followed by a very short report out (5 minutes per committee) on the strategic plans (from the strategic planning workshop). This typically occurs over lunch on the last day. While the administrators eat lunch, the presentation occurs, followed by the strategic plan reports ending in a discussion between the administrators and participants around the issues raised. The host leader should invite the administrators whose approval and support would be most important for the success of the strategic plans as well as the efforts by participants to transform their teaching. When determining the invitation list, identify the administrators who would be most helpful in supporting or advocating for the types of reforms efforts that you would like to see happen on your campus as a result of the MoSI, e.g. Department Heads, Deans/Assoc. Deans, Vice Provost of Academic Affairs, new administrators (they’ll be around for awhile)...
Do participants get some sort of certificate or recognition letter for taking part in the MoSI?
Yes, participants who successfully complete the MoSI will get certificates that distinguish them as Scientific Teaching Fellows and facilitators will get certificates as Scientific Teaching Mentors.
Is there any follow-up after the MoSI?
Yes. Early in the spring term of the following year, the MoSI training team will work with the host campus to schedule a virtual follow-up meeting via Zoom. This will last for an hour and will allow the training team to check in on progress - successes and challenges - and provide resources and/or recommendations, as necessary.
What is the cost of a Mobile SI?
While there are several variables that can influence the cost of running a MoSI (choices of venue, food and the need for external facilitators), a good ballpark for the first year is $13-18k depending on whether or not you have local facilitators. There are two primary expenses for a MoSI, the stipends for the training team (and external facilitators if you don’t have local people who can serve in that capacity) and their travel-related expenses. Therefore, the costs vary based on the transportation and lodging costs associated with the training team’s travel. Some institutes have SI alumni at their campuses who can serve as facilitators. If this is not the case for your campus, you will need to bring in external facilitators. We have a list of potential facilitators and can help you find facilitators in your region to reduce costs.
What are options for finding funding?
How does the scheduling of dates work?
MoSI leaders work with the host institutions to arrive at the best dates for their campus. We recommend starting to work with faculty to determine best dates starting late fall term or early spring term before the MoSI. Find three potential dates and work with Michelle Withers (email@example.com) to identify a MoSI training team based on availability.
What are our next steps as hosts/leaders/organizers?
Here is a link to a Host Leader Checklist to provide guidance in planning for your MoSI.