Calling all Summer Institute alumni, facilitators, leaders and friends! 
You are cordially invited to join us for our Scientific Teaching in Practice Webinar Series!
Series Overview

The Scientific Teaching in Practice Webinar Series extends the learning and dialogue that occurs at the Summer Institutes (SI) on Scientific Teaching into a year-round community that supports and inspires evidence-based teaching. Each month, the SI community is invited to attend an interactive webinar related to the practice and/or dissemination of scientific teaching. The webinar will be facilitated by someone experienced in that area, integrating significant time for questions and open discussion. Webinars are open to SI alums as well as those generally interested in scientific teaching and evidence-based teaching strategies. 

Past Webinars 
The Wide World of Inclusive Teaching

Tuesday, December 1, 2020 3 - 4 PM ET/ 12 -1 PM PT

Featuring Glen Davenport, PhD, STEM Program Evaluator, Yale University
We know that ‘inclusive teaching’ is an umbrella term for a collection of practices that make classrooms more welcoming and equitable. A recent study examined four years of Summer Institutes survey data and revealed just how broad and diverse inclusive teaching can be. The study was originally proposed as a snapshot to capture the increasing awareness of inclusive teaching as it happened. However, in looking at responses to a pre-workshop question about what instructors think inclusive teaching is, we found an astonishing breadth of definitions and examples. This webinar presents the results of the study, discusses its implications for professional development programs, and provides an array of examples that instructors might choose from to incorporate into their teaching practice. 

For a link to the slide presentation, click here

Watch a recording of the webinar here 

To view the chatbox discussion, click here

Mind the Gap: Active learning as one tool to achieve equity in STEM classrooms

Thursday, November 5, 2020 3 - 4 PM ET/ 12 -1 PM PT

Featuring Elli Theobold, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Washington
Despite widespread efforts to increase access to and inclusion in STEM, minoritized students remain excluded from both STEM majors and STEM professions. The reasons for this are complex, but instructors can play an active role in disrupting these inequities. Although active-learning techniques have been shown to improve student performance on average, Elli will address the question of whether active learning can also be a partial solution to achieving equitable student outcomes. In this webinar, she will share recent work demonstrating that opportunity gaps—differential performance between PEERs (Persons Excluded due to Ethnicity or Race) and over-represented students—were reduced by 75% in college STEM courses when instructors incorporated active learning strategies, but only when active learning was implemented in a majority of class time. Elli finds these data hopeful, albeit demonstrating only a partial solution to inequity in higher education.
Prior to Dr. Theobold's current position as Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington, she worked as a middle school and high school teacher, completed her PhD in ecology, and transitioned to discipline based education research as a postdoc. All of her research revolves around how to be a better teacher, with particular emphasis on how to achieve equity in college-level STEM classes.

Watch a recording of the webinar here

Access supplementary links here

Integrating Personalized Online Learning with the New Normal

Thursday, October 15, 2020 1 - 2 PM ET/ 10 -11 AM PT

Featuring Martin Samuels and Jessica Silverman, Harvard PhDs
Harvard University’s LabXchange is a free online platform for science education that lets educators remix high-quality content to support personalized learning in the context of their own online classes. Head of Content at LabXchange, Dr. Marty Samuels will discuss how remixing digital content including virtual labs can engage students, increase educator flexibility and provide an authentic experience with the scientific process during remote learning. LabXchange is a completely free, powerful tool aimed at making science universally accessible.
Dr. Samuels builds and curates content to inspire learners to think of themselves as scientists, to approach questions scientifically, and to know that science careers are attainable and exciting. Before joining LabXchange, Marty served as the associate director for science at the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, where he supported STEM courses across the university to incorporate active learning, inclusive teaching strategies, and other evidence-based pedagogies. 

For a link to the Slide Presentation, click here

Watch a recording of the webinar here 

Designing Effective Assessments that Go Beyond the Grade

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 2 - 3 PM ET/ 11 -12 PM PT
Featuring Ben Wiggins, Instructional Manager and regular Lecturer in Biology at the University of Washington.

College assessments are often a moment of great stress and inequity, but they are also an opportunity for profound learning, inclusion, and meaningful challenge for students. For those professors who do not have time to recreate an additional PhD in Education, we will use this time to dive into the evidence-based tenets of assessment design. Our goal is to link those tenets to usable steps that you can take in your courses. Because assessment design is such a complex task, we will look for low-hanging fruit wherever possible to allow improvement within the constraints of an already-heavy teaching load. Participants may want to think beforehand about a particular assessment that they habitually use but for which they would like an alternative.

For a link to the Slide Presentation, click here

Watch a recording of the webinar here 

Access the chatbox discussion here

Cancelled August 6th webinar 

Lightning Round Talks: 8 Great Apps for Online Teaching

Wednesday, July 15, 2020 3 - 4:30 PM ET/ 12 -1:30PM PT

Featuring Jack Snoeyink, Kathryn Gardner, Michael Vieth, Annie Zeidman-Karpinski, Karen Myhr, Mark Baillie, and Peter Mirabito

The July STiP Webinar has a slightly different focus than the series' norm due to outstanding requests for more information on technical tools to help organize courses and motivate students. In this webinar, you'll learn of options for time-saving, motivational, organizational and video editing tools in lightning round of demos run by a panel of 7 SI community members, experienced in using these tools for their classes. Panelists will explore the main superpowers of these apps and share how they've successfully used them to streamline their online teaching experience: Gradescope, Top Hat, Panopto, VoiceThread, PowerPoint Voiceovers, Perusall, Doceri and OneNote.

Watch a recording of the webinar here

Taking Field Work Online

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 2-3 PM ET/ 11AM-12 PM PT

Featuring Daniel Barton, Wildlife Department, Humboldt State University

Back by popular demand, recent SI Happy Hour presenter Daniel Barton returns for the STiP Monthly Webinar in June. Expanding on his May 8th short presentation on substitutions for instruction intended for hands-on field experiences, Daniel will present an informative STiP webinar designed to help novice and experienced online course designers alike gain new strategies for use in the Fall. 


For a link to the Slide Presentation, click here

Watch a recording of the webinar here

Applying Principles of Student Engagement to Address the Online Assessment Dilemma

Friday, May 22, 2020 3-4 PM ET/ 12-1 PM Pacific

Featuring Brian Couch, Associate Professor, School of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The transition to remote instruction has left instructors wondering how to conduct meaningful assessment in online environments, where they have less oversight of student behaviors.  Our mixed methods investigations have provided a deeper understanding of how instructor-based activity characteristics affect student buy-in and utilization of in-person and online assessment activities.  Building on this research, we will consider how instructors might implement online assessments to best serve the overarching goals of understanding what students know and promoting student learning.

Brian Couch earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Regis University and a doctorate in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University before transitioning to education research as a postdoc at the University of Colorado-Boulder and now faculty member at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research group has developed several instruments, administration strategies, and question formats to assess conceptual understanding and investigated how activity characteristics impact student engagement with formative assessments.

For a link to the Slide Presentation, click here

Watch a recording of the webinar here 

For a link to Brian's Table, "Categories of Formative Assessment Activity Characteristics," click here

Using Assessment Systems to Increase Student Success: Proven Strategies for Educators

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 3-4 PM ET/ 12-1 PM Pacific

Featuring Erin Scully, Senior Director of Learning Design and Education Research at Macmillan Learning

In this webinar Erin will discuss the learning science foundation of assessment systems, and how these systems- if developed well- can support student success.  The audience will be introduced to Achieve, a next generation learning solution that is built on a comprehensive system of formative and summative, cognitive and non-cognitive assessments, grounded in research-based learning science principles.  The development of the system and the process of optimization based on educator and student feedback prior to launch will be presented. The webinar will conclude with three practical strategies for implementing comprehensive assessment systems that have been shown through rigorous research studies to increase student success.

For a link to the Slide Presentation, click here

Watch a recording of the webinar here

Quick Tips for Moving Classes Online
Friday, March 20, 2020 2-3 PM ET/ 11-12 PM Pacific

Featuring Bill Wischusen from Louisiana State University

Responding to the community's need for online tips to transition in-person classes to online modalities, the originator of the Online Summer Institutes and active learning guru, Dr. William Wischusen, brings you a webinar addressing what he sees are three primary areas to consider as the nation's STEM faculty moves their classes online: content delivery, assessment, and social contact. In a short webinar, you will learn to avoid common pitfalls for novices and gain time-saving techniques to smooth the transition.

For a link to the Slide Presentation, click here

Watch a recording of the webinar here 

Take a look at the chat box conversation, and links shared during the webinar here

Classroom Design for Active Learning
This webinar was co-sponsored by Macmillan Learning

Monday, March 2, 2020, 1-2 PM ET/ 10 AM - 11 AM Pacific (Postponed from original date of Thursday, 2/20/2020 2-3pm ET)

Featuring Helen Chu from Stanford University

This webinar demonstrates how to promote active learning implicitly through environmental arrangement of furniture and technology. Setting the stage for interactive learning in the classroom need not be limited to curricular strategies. How spaces that students inhabit are arranged greatly affects atmospheric assumptions and mental patterns in the collaborative teaching and learning process. 

For a PDF of the Slide Presentation, click here

Watch a recording of the webinar here

A Practical Guide to Incorporating Formative Assessment Into Your Classroom

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020, 3-4pm ET (12-1pm Pacific Time)

Featuring Jenny Knight, University of Colorado, Boulder


For the SI grads eagerly anticipating a webinar on assessment, we proudly present an authority in the field and long-time Summer Institutes Fellow, Dr. Jennifer Knight (BA in Neurobiology & Behavior from Cornell, PhD in Neuroscience from the Univ. of Michigan). Knight's extensive publications on the topic of formative assessment are supported by over 2 decades of experience teaching, researching and evaluating evidence-based teaching principles. Currently the President of SABER, editor for CourseSource and the Journal of Cell Biology Education Life Sciences Education, Committee member of the Genetics Society of America and Workshop leader of the Summer Institutes, Jenny can connect with people at their level, facilitating quick communication and practical understanding. More than a refresher course, you will leave this webinar with new inspiration for teaching and listening.

For a PDF of the Slide Presentation, click here

Watch a recording of the webinar here 

CourseSource: A Place to Find and Publish Peer-Reviewed Active Learning Course Materials in the Life Sciences 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019 2-3 PM ET (11 AM -12 PM Pacific Time)

Featuring Michelle K. Smith and Erin Vinson


CourseSource is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal that publishes tested, evidence-based undergraduate biology activities. The articles include details in a format, style, and voice that supports replicability. Publishing activities in CourseSource provides authors with recognition of the creativity, experience, and time needed to develop effective classroom materials, while also supporting the dissemination of evidence-based teaching practices. Authors can list CourseSource articles in the peer-reviewed publication section of their curriculum vitae and use them as evidence for excellence in teaching. Join Editor-in-Chief, Michelle K. Smith, and Managing Editor, Erin Vinson, as they help prospective CourseSource users and authors learn about the journal, the many resources it provides, and the submission guidelines for authors. 

For a PDF of the Slide Presentation, click here
Watch a recording of the webinar here
Open the compressed file of the video recording here
A Focus on Underrepresented Students: Practical Strategies for Inclusive Teaching and Mentoring  
This webinar was co-sponsored by Macmillan Learning

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 3-4 PM Eastern Time (12-1 PM Pacific Time)

Featuring Becky Wai-Ling Packard

Participants will learn about research-based, practical strategies for inclusive teaching and mentoring. Although the demographics on campuses worldwide are becoming increasingly diverse, many colleges are struggling with how to foster a more inclusive climate and equitable outcomes for students. This session highlights the experiences of underrepresented students (to include first-generation, low-income, community college transfer, historically underrepresented racial-minority students, among others). This session also underscores strategies to optimize the interactions we already have on a regular basis in and out of the classroom in order to achieve greater impact. Becky Wai-Ling Packard, author of Successful STEM Mentoring Initiatives: A Research-Based Guide for Faculty and Administrators (Stylus Publishing), is a first-generation college graduate of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. She was recognized with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the US government on early career scientists.
For a PDF of the Slide Presentation, click here
Watch a recording of the webinar here
Concrete Strategies for Inclusive Teaching

Monday, October 21, 2019 4-5 PM Eastern Time (1-2 PM Pacific Time)

Featuring Kelly A. Hogan and Viji Sathy


Kelly Hogan and Viji Sathy have been reinventing UNC's classrooms with the implementation of groundbreaking, inclusive & interactive teaching methods. Active learning is a big component of inclusive teaching. Asked to expand upon a recent article featured in the SI August newsletter, these long-time Summer Institutes affiliates highlight how concrete active learning strategies encourage inclusive classrooms, and show research explaining how the two are linked. Structure is key.


Watch a recording of the webinar here 

Scaling Active Learning Strategies to Large Classrooms

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 3-4 PM Eastern Time (12-1 PM Pacific Time)

Featuring Deb Pires, Professor in the Biology Department at UCLA


Now that you are freshly armed with active learning techniques to transform your class into an inclusive, engaging and amplified learning environment, you remember experimenting with a technique or 2 in front of your peers with the teaching tidbit. But could you apply what you've learned to a classroom of 100?  400? 800? Deb Pires, a long-time Summer Institutes fellow and 2019 leader at Adelphi, Sam Houston State University and Shanghai Tech, regularly uses active learning to bolster engagement in classrooms of over 1000 students. According to Pires, "inclusive practices work for any classroom, but that might not be obvious to some faculty."


For the slide presentation click here.

Watch a recording of the webinar here

Promoting Practices that Advance Gender Equality
Friday, April 26, 2019 3-4 PM Eastern Time (12-1 PM Pacific Time)

Featuring Nancy Niemi, Director of Faculty Teaching Initiatives, Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning at Yale University


With all of the recent and sustained efforts towards making STEM education – and higher education in general – gender equitable, it is frustrating to know that gender equitable outcomes are still not in hand. In most aspects of science education: coursework, majors, publications, student evaluations, grant awards, for example, men still benefit from and are rewarded by cultural and structural biases in science education and production. In this webinar, Nancy Niemi, Director of Faculty Teaching Initiatives at the Yale Poorvu Center for Teaching & Learning, will offer a brief overview of why gender equity in science education has been so difficult to achieve, and then offer in-class as well as extra-curricular strategies that work towards ameliorating gender inequities.


Download slides from this webinar here 

Watch a recording of the webinar here

Working with and Supporting the Development of Interest in STEM Classrooms

Friday, March 22, 2019 3-4 PM Eastern Time (12-1 PM Pacific Time)

Featuring K. Ann Renninger, Dorwin P. Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action


This webinar addressed how students can be supported to develop their interest, even when they do not have much, if any, interest to begin with. An overview of research on interest development and learning was provided, and its implications for working with and supporting higher education students in the STEM classroom. Interest refers to the way that individuals engage particular content, or subject matter (e.g. physics, tinkering). It describes their psychological state as they work with this content, as well as whether they will return to working with it voluntarily and independently. Developing even some interest can be beneficial for students.

Ann recently co-edited Interest in Mathematics and Science Learning (AERA, 2015), and The Cambridge Handbook of Motivation and Learning (Cambridge University Press, 2019). Those looking for a readable, succinct, and up-to-date overview of the research on interest are pointed to the volume she co-authored with Suzanne Hidi: The Power of Interest for Motivation and Engagement (Routledge, 2016).


Teaching and Assessing Qualitative Reasoning in STEM Courses

Friday, February 22, 2019 3-4 PM Eastern Time (12-1 PM Pacific Time)

Featuring Mays Imad, Professor of Life & Physical Science at Pima Community College


One of the core competencies outlined in the 2011 AAAS “Vision and Change” report is the ability for students to use quantitative reasoning to understand and interpret data. The report further recommends that students are able to understand the relationship between science and society. While not explicitly stated, critical thinking skills are a recurrent theme in the report. However, the report does not explicitly nor implicitly include the need for students to develop qualitative reasoning, including logical reasoning. In our STEM courses, what does it mean to think critically and to reason logically? How can we assess it? Do we currently assess whether our students are able to distinguish between facts and opinions in their daily lives? Do we engage our students in ethical or dialectical reasoning within different points of view? For students (including STEM students) to become autonomous thinkers, it is necessary to acquire the skills necessary to think critically and to make judgements which are grounded in careful reasoning. In this webinar, we deliberated on the meaning of critical thinking and examine the value of logical reasoning. We examined practical strategies such as writing logically, constructing sound & cogent arguments, and detecting & avoiding reasoning errors (fallacies) and how to incorporate these skills into our STEM courses.


How People Learn

Friday, November 16, 2018 3-4 PM Eastern Time (12-1 PM Pacific Time)

Featuring Meghan Bathgate, Postdoctoral Researcher and SI central team-member at Yale University.


Students and instructors hold assumptions about how we best learn. Many of these assumptions can conflict with learning research data. This can leave instructors and students feeling frustrated when hard work is not leading to great results. How can we identify and address assumptions about learning to best shape our teaching and encourage effective study habits? How can we effectively bring learning principles into our classrooms in an interactive and inclusive way? In this webinar, Meghan Bathgate, a cognitive psychologist researching faculty and student science motivation, facilitated a discussion about how to bring the psychology of learning into your classroom. Using a series of short interactive examples, participants walked through how to use real-time data collection to demonstrate psychological principles of learning in college classrooms. These activities can be applied to a variety of classrooms to generate group discussions about how to best study and learn course material. 


Download slides from this webinar here


Implementing Active Learning in Online Courses

Friday, October 26, 2018

Featuring Marguerite (Peggy) Brickman, Professor in the Plant Biology department at the University of Georgia.

Online courses can be incredibly useful for non-traditional working students or students with physical disabilities because the course materials can be presented asynchronously (at any time) or any location. The problem for instructors teaching these courses is to provide mechanisms for students to interact and engage in meaningful peer learning opportunities that engage students in a learning community.  How can active learning strategies instructors use in the classroom be implemented in asynchronous environments? How do we embrace and leverage the diverse perspectives, backgrounds and experiences our students bring to a course? In this webinar, Peggy Brickman, developer of curriculum designed to foster scientific literacy in introductory biology students, lead participants through a discussion of concrete strategies to enhance interactivity in an online setting. We encouraged participants to bring their ideas and questions on this most timely and important topic on today’s college campuses.


Download slides from this webinar here

Download other shared resources here


Course Reform Focusing on Non-Science Majors General Education Experiences
Friday, September 21, 2018

Featuring Eleanor (Elly) Vandegrift, Associate Director of the Science Literacy Program at the University of Oregon.


Elly Vandegrift will share experiences from the University of Oregon Science Literacy Program (SLP) launched in 2010. The SLP was designed to reform courses for non-science majors and is specifically focused on improving science literacy. The SLP supports course transformations through teaching professional development with a weekly science education journal club, Summer Institutes, and other workshops. Teaching teams including faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students have now begun to adapt lessons learned in the non-science majors courses to courses for science majors. Webinar participants had the opportunity to reflect on their experiences teaching non-science majors and identified elements of the SLP experience that were applicable to their home institutions.


Download slides from this webinar here

Download other shared resources here


Introduction to the Summer Institutes Community and Resources
Friday, August 17, 2018


In this kick-off to our 2018-2019 webinar series, Elizabeth Luoma, Summer Institutes Program Director, led a discussion of SI community resources and engagement opportunities. The recording of this webinar is linked below. This webinar was an excellent opportunity for new SI alumni to learn about the many ways the SI community can support their implementation of scientific teaching on their home campuses. We encouraged previous SI participants, facilitators and leaders to view the webinar to learn more about current resources. 


Download slides from this webinar here.

Download the recording of this webinar here.



Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs)
Friday, May 18, 2018

Featured Guest: Cissy Ballen, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Associate, University of Minnesota

with Special Guest: David Q. Matus, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor, Stony Brook University


Exposing undergraduate students to the process of science through authentic research opportunities results in multiple benefits, such as improved interest in science, increased in confidence in performing scientific research, and completion of a STEM major. Unfortunately, true research opportunities are only available to a small subset of students due to lack of supporting resources, such as lab space, time, financial support, and participating faculty. Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) integrate research experiences into undergraduate courses, and provide opportunities for all students to participate in the scientific research process. In this webinar, Cissy Ballen (University of Minnesota) described how a CURE differs from a traditional 'cookbook' laboratory environment, and shared her experience developing CUREs for non-biology majors. Cissy shared her recent research that connects desirable student outcomes to assessments of CUREs for non-biology majors. Our special guest, David Matus (Stony Brook University), shared experiences from his upper-level CURE for biology majors.


Download Cissy's presentation, Moving Beyond The Cookbook Lab: Key Ingredients for Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences here.

Download David's presentation, Developmental Genetics Lab CURE here.



5-Minute Teaching Ideas
Friday, April 20, 2018

Featured Guests:

David J. Gross, Ph.D. - Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

E. William (Bill) Wischusen, Ph.D - Associate Professor, Louisiana State University


When implementing evidence-based teaching practices, SI alumni report challenges when creating class activities, a lack of time when preparing course materials, and a lack of time when implementing class activities. In an interactive webinar on 5-minute teaching ideas, David Gross, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, at the University of Massachusetts and Bill Wischusen, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University discussed (and applied!) a variety of active learning activities that can be quickly implemented in the classroom without significant prep work. They split the categories of learning activities into knowledge, understanding, and formative assessment, and gave examples as to how to implement each. 


Download the slides from this webinar here



Overview of the Summer Institutes on Scientific Teaching
Friday, March 2, 2018

Featured Guests: The SI central team and SI regional leaders


In this webinar, we hosted an informational session for those interested in attending one of our regional Summer Institutes. This webinar includes an overview of the program as well as a Q&A session with regional SI site leaders and facilitators. 


Download the recording of this webinar here
Download the slides from this webinar here

Working with Underprepared Students (Featuring Karin Gosselink)
Friday, January 26, 2018

Featured Guest: Karin Gosselink, PhD - Director of the Academic Strategies Program and Associate Director of Writing & Tutoring at the Yale University Center for Teaching and Learning


College students come from many different backgrounds with varying levels of scientific and general academic experience. How do we assess our students’ readiness to engage in scientific coursework? How can we construct inclusive classes that are designed for students with different levels of experience? What supports can we provide for our students so they can succeed in the classroom and in the laboratory? In this kickoff to the 2018 Scientific Teaching in Practice webinar series, Karin Gosselink, Director of the Academic Strategies Program and Associate Director of Writing & Tutoring at the Yale University Center for Teaching and Learning, presented strategies and facilitated discussion on working with underprepared students in first year courses and increasing student success in more advanced courses. By defining “hidden prerequisites”, Karin describes how clear expectations, asking what students know already, and integrated teaching can catch students up who are underprepared. 


Download slides from the presentation
Yale's academic strategies department



Publishing Your Teachable Tidbit on CourseSource (Featuring Jess Blum) 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Featured Guest: Jess Blum, Ph.D. – Education Program Specialist, Managing Editor of CourseSource, University of Minnesota


In this webinar with Jess Blum, managing editor of CourseSource, an open-access journal of peer-reviewed, evidence-based teaching resources for undergraduate biology education, Jess invited instructors who have a “teachable tidbit” to publish and disseminate their teaching resources widely. She provided participants with an introduction to CourseSource as well as an overview of the submission and publication process. 

Download slides from the presentation

Measuring the Impact of Scientific Teaching (Featuring Jenny Knight) 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Featured Guest: Jenny Knight, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado Boulder

Facilitator: Tracie Addy, Ph.D., M.Phil. – Associate Director, Faculty Teaching Initiatives, Yale University


After implementing scientific teaching principles, how do instructors know whether their approaches are working? During this webinar, Jenny Knight, Associate Professor of Biology-MCD Instruction at the University of Colorado Boulder, led a discussion on how instructors can evaluate the impacts of their scientific teaching efforts. Jenny is the author of many publications on measuring student understanding. Her work focuses on clicker discussions, concept tests and other assessments in the undergraduate science classroom. She discussed the benefits of using clickers as an interactive teaching tool and how it can be especially effective when paired with group collaboration, among many other strategies.


Download slides from the presentation



Inclusive Teaching (Featuring Kimberly Tanner)

Friday, September 29, 2017

Featured Guest: Kimberly Tanner, Ph.D. - Professor of Biology Education and Director of SEPAL, San Francisco State University

Facilitator: Beth Luoma, Ph.D. - STEM Education Program Director, Yale University


How do we ensure that our students feel a sense of belonging and respect in our classrooms? How do we build a learning community in which students collaborate and solve problems as scientists? How do we embrace and leverage the diverse perspectives, backgrounds and experiences our students bring to our disciplines? In this webinar, Kimberly Tanner, author of the frequently-referenced article “Structure matters: twenty-one teaching strategies to promote student engagement and cultivate classroom equity,” led participants through a discussion of concrete strategies to teach inclusively, including a summary of 21 teaching strategies for undergraduates.


View slides from the presentation

View summary of teaching strategies for undergraduate classrooms

Papers recommended by Kimberly:



Teaching in Large Lecture Courses (Featuring Sue Wick & Jess Blum) 
Friday, April 28, 2017

Featured Guests: Sue Wick, Ph.D. – Professor of Biology Teaching & Learning and Plant & Microbial Biology, University of Minnesota

with Jess Blum, Ph.D. – Assistant Education Specialist, Managing Editor of CourseSource, University of Minnesota

Facilitator: Tracie Addy, Ph.D., M.Phil. – Howard Hughes Medical Institute Program Director, Associate in Faculty Teaching Initiatives, Yale University


Teaching in large lecture courses can have distinct advantages and challenges, from navigating stadium-style seating to reaching hundreds of students. There are many effective teaching strategies instructors can employ to create a high-quality, inclusive learning environment based on fundamental principles of how students learn. During this webinar, Sue Wick shared her experience with teaching in large lecture courses with an emphasis on providing practical strategies and solutions to common challenges.  In addition, Sue and Jess Blum described the Promoting Active Learning & Mentoring (PALM) network, a grant-funded opportunity for faculty and postdoctoral fellows to receive extended one-on-one mentorship on implementing evidence-based, active learning in their classrooms.

Read more about the PALM Network

See slides from the presentation



Backward Design Within a Course and Across a Curriculum (Featuring Clarissa Dirks) 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Featured Guest: Clarissa Dirks, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Biology, The Evergreen State College and author of Assessment in the College Science Classroom

Facilitator: Beth Luoma, Ph.D. - Helmsley STEM Education Program Director, Yale University


When sitting down to plan a course, it may be tempting as instructors to consider what we would like to “cover,” from including our favorite textbooks on the syllabus to planning lectures on the topics and concepts we find the most exciting. But is this the best way to design a course for our students? In this second installment of the Scientific Teaching in Practice Webinar series, Clarissa Dirks introduced participants to backward design - a goal-driven, student-centered approach to course and curriculum planning that aligns learning objectives, assessments and learning activities. After defining what backward design is, participants had the opportunity to discuss the successes and challenges they have encountered (or might expect to encounter) implementing backward design in their teaching.


Download the slides from this presentation



First Steps in Implementing Scientific Teaching (Featuring Beth Luoma & Tracie Addy) 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Facilitators: Beth Luoma, Ph.D. & Tracie Addy, Ph.D., M.Phil.

Summer Institutes on Scientific Teaching Program Directors, Yale University

What does it look like to implement scientific teaching in your classroom? How does one launch the first “experiment” by trying out an active learning activity, a new inclusive strategy or a new form of assessment in his/her class? In what ways have you already achieved success? What barriers have you encountered? In this inaugural webinar of the Scientific Teaching in Practice Series, the Summer Institutes on Scientific Teaching Program Directors led participants through community sharing of that first scientific teaching “experiment” and how the first steps in implementing scientific teaching can lead to incremental and impactful change in undergraduate STEM education.

Download the promotional flyer (.pdf) here.