Spring 2018 CIRTL Network Offerings




Tuesday, January 30 2018 at 11:30am EST 
CIRTL Reads is an online journal club and discussion group that reads and discusses articles in STEM pedagogy and current trends in STEM education. Participants in this short course will gain a deeper understanding of STEM teaching and the CIRTL Core Ideas.  Course Schedule The exact schedule for this short course is tentative. Sessions will take place on Tuesdays sometime within the following two-hour time frame: 11:30AM -1:30PM ET / 10:30AM - 12:30PM CT / 9:30-11:30AM MT / 8:30-10:30AM PT.


Diversity in the College Classroom

Monday, January 29 2018 at 3:00pm EST 
Understand the theory behind how diversity affects learning and develop practical classroom strategies in this course designed for STEM/SBE grad students and postdocs. Students will explore what is known and theorized about the ways that diversity affects learning and, in turn, help educators develop practical classroom strategies that address diversity. Together, students and instructors will examine various definitions of diversity, consider research on bias, and build a community of inquiry around ways diversity affects both our teaching and student learning.  Course Schedule This 8-week course has weekly online sessions at 3:00PM - 4:30PM ET / 2:00PM - 3:30PM CT / 1:00PM - 2:30PM MT / 12:00PM - 1:30PM PT on Mondays, starting January 29 and ending March 19.


The College Classroom

Wednesday, January 31 2018 at 11:30am EST 
Get an introduction to key learning principles and the basics of effective teaching practices in this course about teaching in the STEM college classroom. Students will explore how people learn, discuss how to monitor and investigate the effectiveness of the learning environment, learn what it means to create an inclusive classroom environment that engages all learners, and utilize backward design to develop a microteaching project. An emphasis on a learning-centered classroom will provide students with a perspective that highlights the interconnected cycle of teaching, assessment, and learning such that they gain the knowledge and skills to be effective teachers in the college classroom.  Topics for this course will include: 

  1. How people learn 
  2. Expertise/Mindset
  3. Learning outcomes 
  4. Assessments / Feedback
  5. Active learning / Peer instruction 
  6. Using active learning and assessment to guide instruction 
  7. Diversity 
  8. Transparency
  9. The first day of class 
  10. Microteaching presentations (Day 1)
  11. Microteaching presentations (Day 2)

Course Schedule This 11-week course has weekly online sessions at 11:30AM-1:00PM ET / 10:30AM-12:00PM CT / 9:30-11:00AM MT / 8:30-10:00AM PT on Wednesdays, starting January 31 and ending April 11.


Research Mentor Training

Tuesday, January 30 2018 at 2:30pm EST
Work with a community of peers to develop and improve your research mentoring skills in this engaging seminar. Students will develop their personal mentoring philosophy, learn how to articulate that philosophy across a variety of disciplines, and refine strategies for dealing with mentoring challenges.   The content of each session in this seminar is designed to address the key concerns and challenges identified by experienced research mentors. In addition to the general content about research mentoring, all of the case studies and some of the discussion questions draw specific attention to issues related to multidisciplinary research mentoring. Seminar topics include:

  • Aligning Expectations and Assessing Competencies 
  • Promoting Professional Development 
  • Maintaining Effective Communication 
  • Broadening Mentor/Mentee Experiences through Role-Play 
  • Enhancing Intercultural Awareness 
  • Fostering Equity and Inclusion in the Research Context  
  • Fostering Independence 
  • Cultivating Ethical Behavior 
  • Articulating a Mentoring Philosophy and Plan 


Engaging Students in the Teaching of Statistics

Wednesday, March 14 2018 at 2:00pm EST
Learn about engaging, evidence-based pedagogical practices for statistics in this short course designed for current and future instructors (both those teaching in statistics departments and in departments that make considerable use of statistics such as psychology, ecology, etc.). Participants will learn about backwards design, develop an understanding of diversity that maximizes everyone's learning, and explore approaches to engage students actively in their own learning.   Students who complete this course will: 

  1. comprehend the role that backwards design plays in successful teaching 
  2. be able to use Bloom’s taxonomy in developing learning objectives and teaching plans 
  3. be able to construct assessment tools 
  4. comprehend the importance of student diversity 
  5. be able to employ inclusive teaching practices with a focus on active learning 

Course Schedule This 4-week short course has weekly online sessions at 2-4PM ET / 1-3PM CT / 12-2PM MT / 11AM-1PM PT on Wednesdays, starting March 14 and ending April 11. There will be no session on March 28. 



Seminars and Workshops

Engaging all students through developmental faculty advising 
Explore developmental advising at both R1 institutions and community colleges in this two-part workshop.

Getting Ready to teach in the American Classroom Building Rapport and Effective Communication Skills
Develop and practice your own strategies for effective communication with students in this case-study-based workshop.

Getting Ready to Teach in the American Classroom: Cross-Cultural Analysis
Learn how to work with undergraduate students in this workshop designed for international teaching assistants.

I Completed My IDP...Now What?
Practice navigating the challenging conversations you might have with a mentor or advisor when pursuing your individual development plan.

Integrating effective teaching and assessment practices in biology lab courses through case studies
Prepare lesson plans for biology labs that pull from case studies and promote active learning in this three-part workshop.

Science Communication for Any Audience
Explore key concepts and strategies in written and oral science communication in this three-part workshop.

Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement
Draft a peer-reviewed statement that reflects your teaching beliefs and experiences.


Network Series


Topics in STEMinism: Strategies for Inclusive Undergraduate STEM Education


The Experiences of Undergraduate Women in STEM

Thursday, February 1 2018 at 12:00pm EST 
In the first of four events on women in STEM, we will define and characterize the participation of women in STEM. We will assess the challenges they face at the undergraduate level. Lastly, we will discuss strategies for creating inclusive environments.   Questions to consider include: 

  • What is the landscape: what are current proportions of women in a range of fields? Which fields are doing the best? What fields are lagging?
  • What have been some of the major successes for leveling the field (e.g. policies, practices, etc.)?
  • What are some common challenge during undergraduate education?
  • What actions can be taken by institutions, departments, colleagues, and students to create inclusive environments? 


Stereotype Threat and Implicit Bias 

Thursday, February 8 2018 at 12:00pm EST 

In the second of four events on women in STEM, we will define and characterize stereotype threat and implicit bias. We will assess the impact of gender bias in STEM teaching and learning. Lastly, we will discuss strategies for creating inclusive environments. Questions to consider include:

  • What is stereotype threat? What is implicit bias? 
  • What are example practices that can reduce identity threats and bias in STEM teaching and learning interactions?
  • What actions can be taken by institutions, departments, colleagues, and students to create inclusive environments?

Institutional Programs to Foster Belonging

Thursday, February 15 2018 at 12:00pm EST 
In the third of four events on women in STEM, we will hear from faculty and institutional leaders about programs and initiatives designed to foster belonging for undergraduate women in STEM.  Questions to consider include: 

  • How can programs be designed to foster belonging for women in STEM?
  • How are partnerships formed among stakeholders (e.g., institutional leaders, departments, funding agencies, STEM departments, etc.)
  • What are some of the affordances and constraints of institutional programs?

Equity-Oriented, Inclusive Teaching in STEM

Thursday, February 22 2018 at 12:00pm EST
In the last of four events on women in STEM, we will define and characterize inclusive practices for STEM teaching. Attention will be given to discuss the affordances, as well as potential constraints of these practices.   Questions to consider include: 

  • What is equity-oriented, inclusive teaching? 
  • What are some of the affordances and constraints with implementing inclusive practices (e.g. institutional, departmental, personal, etc.)
  • What are some examples of inclusive teaching practices in undergraduate STEM courses? 








Productive Mentorship: Bringing Out the Best in Your Students 


Dipping a Toe in the Water: Undergraduate Research Mentorship

Thursday, March 1 2018 at 12:00pm EST
A panel of undergraduate students share their experiences with their research mentors - whether faculty, postdocs, or graduate students - and provide insights into what motivates them in a research context.


A Respected Graduate Student is a Productive Graduate Student

Thursday, March 8 2018 at 12:00pm EST
A panel of graduate students discuss what it means to be respected as a colleague by their mentors and how that sense of respect, trust, and autonomy affect their productivity as researchers.


How Amazing Mentors Think About Mentoring

Thursday, March 15 2018 at 12:00pm EST
A panel of mentors recommended as exemplar by their mentees share their strategies for effective mentorship through specific narratives that illustrate what they think of as pivotal moments for their mentees.


Teaching as Mentorship: Understanding Classroom Impact

Thursday, March 22 2018 at 12:00pm EST 
Learn about inclusive "teaching as mentorship" practices and how to incorporate them into your pedagogy and syllabi in this event led by a Teaching-as-Research mentor. At the end of the event, participants will be able to develop an action plan based on the hour-long discussion.





Digging Deeper: A Focus on Research Using Qualitative Design 


Why Do A Qualitative Study?

Thursday, May 3 2018 at 12:00pm EST 
Explore the fundamental differences between qualitative orientations and more common research designs in STEM. Learn about the theoretical foundations behind qualitative research, and come away with a greater understanding for how and why qualitative research looks and feels different.   In this event, you will learn to… 

  • recognize common assumptions made about qualitative research
  • understand the historical foundations and describe how that makes qualitative research different than research they might be most familiar.
  • list the essential skills needed to do qualitative research
  • problematize the use of term like “soft” science
  • identify ways in which qualitative research can enrich the STEM disciplines. 


Flexible Design and the Rigor Needed

Thursday, May 10 2018 at 12:00pm EST 
Learn why qualitative research is called “flexible” design, why flexibility is needed in qualitative research, and what research rigor looks like in a qualitative context. Understand what it takes to design a qualitative inquiry question and a qualitative research project, and learn the difference between research rigor in quantitative versus qualitative designs.  In this event, you will learn to…

  • recognize goodness of fit between research question and method
  • create a qualitative inquiry question
  • identify the components needed to begin a qualitative project
  • discuss methods for judging quality and credibility in qualitative studies.
  • recall how the qualitative researcher defines and establishes what is expressed as reliability and validity within a quantitative research study.
  • identify the role and purpose of triangulating data.
  • recognize the influence of paradigmatic and epistemological beliefs on the researcher
  • analyze published studies in the STEM disciplines for evidence of credibility and trustworthiness


Becoming Sherlock: How To Master the Art of Observational Data

Thursday, May 17 2018 at 1:00pm EST 
Dig into the tool that is at the heart of qualitative research: the observation. Building off of our previous discussion of research rigor, we will discuss how observational data can add a richness to your research, and participants will learn the basics of observational data collection. Participants will take part in a brief observation exercise and practice the art of taking field notes.   In this event, you will learn to…

  • discuss the methods commonly known as participant observation
  • argue against or defend key ideas associated with observational methods
  • conduct a brief participant observation exercise and explain how principles of qualitative research methods apply to that experience
  • Practice how to write high quality field notes and view and critique relevant examples





Fall 2017 - CIRTL Network Workshops
5 Things To Do on the First and Last Day of Class
Learn essential tips for making the most of your first and last days of class.
Creating and Owning Your Individual Development Plan
Craft a robust IDP draft and action plan by learning the components of successful, sustainable plans.
Diversity Statement Workshop
Learn how to draft a meaningful statement that is a common part of job applications.
Finding and Evaluating Educational Literature
Learn how to find and critically evaluate literature for educational research.
Integrating Civic Learning into the STEM Classroom
Civic learning intentionally prepares students for informed and engaged participation in their communities. Learn how to develop civic learning assignments and learning goals in this workshop.
Introduction to STEM Project Based Learning
In project-based learning, students investigate relevant, complex scientific situations to learn new concepts. Learn how to design project-based learning activities in this workshop.
Leveraging Open Source Principles and Resources for Teaching and Learning in STEM
Learn the advantages and disadvantages of open source educational materials and sample two platforms with hands-on activities.
Qualitative Research Primer: Using Narrative Data In Your Teaching-as-Research Project
Get an introduction to analyzing narrative data (intended especially for students pursuing a TAR project).
Teaching Inclusively
Practice navigating difficult classroom discussions around issues of inclusion and diversity.
Writing a Teaching Philosophy Statement
Draft a peer-reviewed statement that reflects your teaching beliefs and experiences.
Summer 2017 - CIRTL Network Workshops 
Developing a CV or Resume (2 part workshop)
When:  Thursdays, June 22 & June 29;  11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Location:  Blackboard Collaborate
Facilitators:  Samir Iqbal, Peggy Semmingson, and Jim Grover - University of Texas at Arlington
Description:  As grad students and postdocs prepare to launch their careers, they'll need to prepare different types of CVs and resumes for different types of positions and institutions. In this two-part online workshop, participants will learn how CVs and resumes vary for academic positions, non-academic positions, and grant applications. After learning about strong CV content, style, and organization, participants will develop long form academic CVs and short form resumes, and then refine them through a collaborative peer review process.
Registration:  Click here to be redirected to the registration website. 
**Registration for this workshop will be open from 11AM Central Time on May 29 through June 14. This workshop has a cap of 60 students.**
Level Up: Designing a Game-Based Learning Environment
When:  Tuesday, June 27;  1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location:  Blackboard Collaborate
Facilitator:  Shweta Kailani - Texas A&M University
Description:  Increasingly, educational research is examining how games can influence learning through the development of skills like problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. In this online workshop, we will look at the various elements of game design that can help engage and motivate students such as collaboration, autonomy, purpose, competition, feedback, and scaffolding. As a group, we will explore activities that are based around familiar game formats, design frameworks around existing games repurposed to address specific learning objectives, and examine how to embed game structures within a course's design. The workshop's facilitators will also demonstrate Twine (https://twinery.org/) to create simple Choose Your Own Adventure games and showcase a game that is being used at their university, Texas A&M.
Registration:  Click here to be redirected to the registration website.  
**Registration for this workshop will be open from 11AM Central Time on June 5 through June 19. This workshop has a cap of 100 students.**