Impact of the Science Literacy Program – by the numbers

3rd December 2017 at 11:54 am

The Science Literacy Program has grown tremendously since it was founded in 2010. Last year, nearly 20% of undergraduate students participated in an SLP-affiliated course. The SLP works with faculty instructors, graduate fellows, and undergraduate scholars to improve pedagogy and science communication in order to support undergraduate student success.


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SLP Mission Statement

2nd December 2017 at 7:07 pm

Our mission is to promote student success through evidence-based science education. 

The University of Oregon Science Literacy Program (SLP) makes a real-world difference in the lives of UO students by building science literacy among undergraduate students, giving science students mentored teaching opportunities to implement active learning, and providing faculty with teaching professional development.

SLP supports General Education courses that promote student-centered teaching and communication of science where students are empowered to consider scientific approaches to societal issues and have the opportunity to learn how to process and critique scientific information. Graduate students and undergraduate students in the sciences have mentored teaching opportunities where they learn the theory and practice of scientific teaching and effectively communicating ideas to audiences of non-scientists.  The program enables and assists faculty in improving teaching techniques using evidence-based pedagogy focusing on science literacy.

Winter 2018 Course List

9th November 2017 at 11:51 am

Winter 2018 Courses

  • ASTR 121    The Solar System
  • BI 123    The Biology of Cancer
  • BI 130    Introduction to Ecology
  • BI 212    General Biology II: Organisms
  • BI 322    Cell Biology
  • BI 484    Molecular Evolution
  • CHEM 222    General Chemistry II
  • GEOL 462    Environmental Geomechanics
  • HPHY 112    The Science of Health
  • PHYS 162    Solar and Renewable Energies
  • PHYS 171    The Physics of Life
  • PHYS 205    Introductory Physics Lab
  • PHYS 413    Mechanics, Electricity, and Magnetism

Journal Club: Spring Term Week 4

23rd April 2018 at 12:47 pm

Do you use multiple-choice questions on your exams?  They are much easier on the grader than other exam formats, but their construction requires careful attention if the test is to be fair, able to assess higher-order cognitive skills, and useful in distinguishing different levels of student ability.  This week in journal club we’ll read a review paper that touches on these concerns and others.  To prepare, please read:

Xu, X., Kauer, S., & Tupy, S. (2016). Multiple-choice questions: Tips for optimizing assessment in-seat and online. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology2(2), 147.

Please bring a favorite multiple-choice question with you to journal club this week.

Thursdays, 9:00 in LISB 217

Spring Term Journal Club

18th April 2018 at 10:40 am

The Science Teaching Journal Club invites you to participate in our eighth year of weekly gatherings! The journal club is a cooperative effort of the Teaching Engagement Program and the Science Literacy Program. Meetings feature lively, structured discussions across discipline and rank with periodic small-scale teaching experiments.

This group provides a wonderful space to learn about, discuss and develop new ideas about teaching. Our theme this spring is “Your Course from the Ground Up.” We’ll read about, discuss, and work on some of the fundamental elements of designing and teaching a whole course or individual lesson. We’ll also learn about how UO faculty approach the challenge of designing and teaching their courses by inviting people in to discuss their experiences in detail and by fanning out to observe classrooms in the wild. Please join us for the whole series or drop in for a specific conversation!

We will meet in 217 LISB (Lewis Integrative Sciences Building) at 9:00 am on Thursdays.

See you there!
Julie & Austin

In the News: Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching 2017

18th August 2017 at 3:50 pm

eugene si 2017 (63 of 66)“Even teachers need to go back to school, especially when it comes to learning how to teach science better.  That’s an idea the University of Oregon has embraced with such gusto it has become a leader in efforts to make science classes more effective and engaging. And interest is spreading, from veteran professors to young doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows. Funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and directed by UO Science Literacy Program director Elly Vandegrift, the summer institute brought 55 faculty and postdoctoral researchers from across the country, including 23 from the UO, to campus for a week of evidence-based science teaching workshops.

“We are trained to be experts in our disciplinary fields, but that does not mean we have practiced how to communicate the science to nonexperts or have learned about approaches that support learning for all students,” Vandegrift said.  Andy Karduna has been teaching human physiology for more than two decades. Karduna has tenure and serves as director of graduate studies for the UO’s Department of Human Physiology. Come this fall, he will develop a new a science class for students who aren’t majoring in science. “I’m at a point in my career where I wanted a challenge, but I was never trained to teach,” Karduna said. One of the approaches is called active learning. That’s where students are being engaged, participating and being assessed throughout an entire class rather than sitting passively through a lecture.” To read the rest of this story by Molly Blancett, please visit the website.