Fall Journal Club

12th September 2014 at 11:53 am

The Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club continues in 2014-15 for its fifth year with two distinct offerings described below. The journal club is a cooperative effort of the Teaching Effectiveness Program and the Science Literacy Program. Meetings feature lively, structured discussions across discipline and rank with occasional small-scale teaching experiments. Participants from all disciplines are invited to join the whole series or stop by for a specific conversation. All sessions will be held in 317 LISB (Lewis Integrated Sciences Building).

Thursday 9am sessions will focus on classroom level assessment techniques used to determine how well our students are learning. We will use a new book Assessment in the College Classroom (Dirks, Wenderoth & Withers, 2014), part of the Scientific Teaching series, as a basis for our discussions. These sessions are designed for participants who have familiarity with active learning and want to explore assessment more deeply.

Friday 12noon sessions will focus on practical teaching techniques that can be applied in the classroom. Discussions will also include pedagogical theory as we read and explore science education literature. These sessions are designed for new or returning participants who want to hone their teaching techniques. Participants are encouraged to bring lunch.

SLP Mission Statement

1st August 2014 at 3:07 pm

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 non-science majors, giving science students mentored teaching opportunities to implement active learning, and proving faculty with teaching professional development.

SLP offers General Education courses for non-science students that promote student-centered teaching and communication of science where non-science majors 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.

Team teaching pays off for students

31st July 2014 at 10:30 am

“Bread 101″ taught as a collaboration between the Science Literacy ProgramClark Honors College, and Food Studies program was featured in the Around the O recently. The interdisciplinary course was taught by Jennifer Burns Bright, Miriam Deutsch, Judith Eisen, Karen Guillemin, and Eleanor “Elly” Vandegrift focusing on the biology, chemistry, physics, history, culture, and politics of wheat and bread.

During the term, students had the opportunity to explore the course outside of the classroom. The group took two filed trips. First up was a trip to Noisette Pastry Kitchen where the students learn from bakers. Then the group traveled to Camas County Mill to learn from growers and millers. On display were several grain varieties including spelt, rye, emmer, teff, among others. The group also learned about the milling process and got to see their stone mill in action. tudents maintained a bread starter throughout the course and tried their hand at baking.

Putting theory to practice, students created and maintained a bread starter throughout the course and tried their hand at baking. Drawing on what they learned about the biological, chemical, and physical nature of the ingredients and baking process, students wrote about their experience experimenting with different conditions and recipes. Read more about how the course transformed the students’ and instructors’ thoughts about science, nutrition, and agriculture in the Around the O article.

Three of the faculty blogged about their experiences during the term as well.

Four UO Faculty Participate in Summer Academy

22nd July 2014 at 8:15 pm

Four UO representatives participated in the West Coast National Academies Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education at University of California, Riverside in June. 

Throughout the National Academies Summer Institute, they focused on applying research on how people learn to develop and create undergraduate science classroom activities. Following the completion of the program Michelle Wood (Professor of Biology), Ann Petersen (Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Institute of Ecological and Evolution) and Elizabeth “Tish” Toomey Wiles (Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Institute of Molecular Biology) have been named National Academies Education Fellows in the Life Sciences for 2014-15 and Eleanor “Elly” Vandegrift (Associate Director of the Science Literacy Program and Senior Instructor of Biology) has been named a National Academies Education Mentor in the Life Sciences for 2014-15.

The program included work in several areas that have been discussed in the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club including: active learning, backward design, assessments, and flipped classes. To learn more about these topics, see our Active Learning Glossary and Bibliography by Topic web pages.

More information about the Summer Institute is available from UCR Today.