What to Expect

What to Expect

What will I learn from attending a Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching?

The Summer Institute curriculum enables participants to answer the following questions:

  • What is scientific teaching? What are some challenges I might need to address in implementing scientific teaching strategies?

  • How can I create and sustain a more inclusive learning environment for my students through scientific teaching?

  • How can scientific evidence inform the teaching practices that I implement?

  • How can I use backward design to align learning objectives, assessments, and active learning strategies?

  • What modes of assessment can I use to promote student learning and inform instruction?

  • How does cognitive science research lay the foundation for the scientific teaching approaches and practices to use in my classroom?

  • How can I implement and disseminate scientific teaching in my community?

What will I do at a Summer Institute?
  • Engage in teaching and learning through sessions that model scientific teaching, use of supporting evidence from the literature, and inclusive teaching

    • Activities may include interactive presentations, mini-seminars, group work, discussions with other participants, and opportunities for reflection

  • Work in small groups with peers from other colleges and universities, along with a trained facilitator, to develop instructional materials 

  • Design and adapt instructional materials with clearly defined learning goals that integrate themes of active learning, assessment, and inclusive teaching

  • Present instructional materials to other participants for feedback and review; revise materials for dissemination where appropriate

What is expected of me as a Summer Institute participant?
  • Actively engage in all workshops and events for the entire Institute

  • Incorporate scientific teaching practices into your teaching during the academic year after attending, through use of the instructional materials developed at the Institute and/or adapting the principles learned into your own teaching

  • Participate in follow-up evaluation activities (e.g. surveys) during the academic year after attending

  • Attend a one-day follow-up meeting (at least one member of each institutional team)

What is strongly encouraged of me as a Summer Institute participant?
  • Present your teachable tidbit or experiences from the Summer Institute at a departmental meeting/event or a disciplinary conference

  • Coordinate, or recruit a colleague to coordinate, a scientific teaching workshop for faculty, postdocs, or graduate students during the academic year or following summer after attending the Institute

What is provided to me by the Summer Institute program?
  • Experienced facilitators and presenters to provide advice and expertise to help participants develop and hone teaching materials

  • Resources to help you develop and evaluate teaching skills and instructional materials

  • Access to teaching materials developed by previous Summer Institute participants

  • A newsletter and website to connect with the national network of Summer Institute alumni

What is required of my home institution in order to attend a Summer Institute?
  • A letter of institutional support as part of the application process

  • Travel, lodging, and meal expenses for participants to attend the Summer Institute and a one-day follow-up meeting at the Institute site.

(Please note: Subsidies are available for participants from community colleges and teaching-intensive institutions at Helmsley-funded Summer Institutes. Prior to applying, please contact the individual Summer Institute site leader for more information.)

  • Support and encouragement of teaching development in participant’s home department and throughout campus

How will I be different after the Summer Institute?

After attending a Summer Institute, participants will be able to…

  • Articulate elements of scientific teaching

  • Improve their ability to use education literature to support teaching practices

  • Apply evidence-based teaching practices

  • Address/confront misconceptions about teaching and learning


  • Develop short-term and long-term plans for implementation and dissemination

  • Become part of a national community of scientific teachers

  • Advocate for scientific teaching on their home campuses

  • Consider opportunities to lead scientific teaching initiatives regionally and/or nationally


  • Be inspired to implement scientific teaching

  • Appreciate evidence-based practices

  • Recognize that diversity influences teaching and learning

  • Commit to incorporating scientific teaching practices

  • Be empowered to transform their students’ learning


  • Implement backward design when developing courses and/or curricula

  • Employ inclusive teaching strategies that value diversity in the classroom

  • Use a variety of assessments to measure student learning

  • Incorporate active learning exercises to engage students

Due to the COVID-19 out-break, the Regional Summer Institutes on Scientific Teaching will be postponed to the summer of 2021. The good news is that we will be able to offer an online SI, as we have in the past, led by Bill Wischusen. Keep your eye on the newsletter or the website as we will be looking for ways to engage the community virtually.

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All rights reserved. 301 York Street, New Haven, CT 06520.

Questions? Contact us at summer.institutes@yale.edu