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. 

Upcoming Webinar
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."

Past Webinars


Promoting Practices that Advance Gender Equality
Friday, April 26, 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 video recording here

Working with and Supporting the Development of Interest in STEM Classrooms

Friday, March 22, 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, 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, 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. 

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