Friday, April 21, 2017, EMU Swindells Room

Faculty, graduate students, and post-docs are invited to drop-in for one session or attend the entire day. RSVP required for lunch and recommended for workshop sessions to help us plan.

9am-12pm Thinking Skills for the 21st Century: Teaching for Transfer
A key factor in meeting global challenges is producing college graduates who can use their scientific knowledge and skills to synthesize and evaluate, problem solve, and create. Participants will learn six features of instructional design that promote higher-order thinking among students and generate plans to apply their new knowledge in their own science classrooms.

12-1pm Lunch (RSVP required by April 7, 2017)

1-2pm Scientific Storytelling: Humanities Meets Science Facilitated by Jennifer Yates
Learn how student understanding of science is improved through efforts to re-state, visualize, simplify, and make into stories more complex scientific concepts.

2:15-3:15pm Encouraging Your Students to Make More Mistakes Facilitated by Amy Mulnix
This session will explore pedagogical practices that plan for and encourage mistakes and then capitalize on them as opportunities to deepen learning.

3:30-4:30pm TIESERs – Tasks Inspired & Enhanced by Science Education Research Facilitated by S. Raj Chaudhury
Research on learning has inspired “en[gauge]ments” (Handelsman et. al. 2007) – tasks to “engage” and “gauge” students understanding. Practice with tasks from Physics and design your own in this hands-on workshop.

Workshops presented by:
Amy Mulnix, Director of the Faculty Center, Franklin and Marshall College
Jennifer Yates, Associate Professor of Psychology & Director of the Neuroscience   Program, Ohio Wesleyan University
S. Raj Chaudhury, Executive Director, Innovation in Learning Center, University of South Alabama
Elly Vandegrift, Associate Director of the UO Science Literacy Program




MoSI logo


  • August 8-11, 2016 – All sessions of the Mobile Summer Institute
  • August 11, 3 – 5:30 pm, and August 12,  8 am – 12 pm – STEM strategic planning (those planning to attend must attend both sessions)
  • August 12, 2016  12 pm – 1:30 pm – Optional STEM strategic planning lunch with UO administrators

The Science Literacy Program invites you to attend a Mobile Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching August 8-11, 2016 at the University of Oregon. The Summer Institute will expand and sharpen participants teaching skills through workshops facilitated by national science education experts.  Participants will develop original, innovative classroom materials ready for immediate implementation. A post-workshop UO STEM strategic planning session with administrators will be held on August 12, 2016.

Applications were due: June 13, 2016



Week at a Glance UO Mobile SI August 2016 (6)

In the words of a previous participant, “I’m pretty confident in my abilities to give a good lecture and run a well-organized course, and I get good ratings from students. But I could tell that many students weren’t really learning the material in any depth. I’d heard the compelling evidence that swapping out lecture time for in-class problem-solving was the way to go, but of course I was worried about how much extra work that would be for me, and I wasn’t really sure what class time would look like. The Summer Institute was exactly what I needed – practical advice on how to make this change, including what works and what doesn’t. The good news is that even the best students have been shown to do better with this style of teaching. I switched out about a third of my lecture time in each of my courses this year, and I was very pleased with how engaged students seemed to be and by how stimulating and fun it was for me too. I plan to make a full switch next year. I highly recommend the Summer Institute – it’s an easy way to jumpstart the process of improving your teaching.”

- Tory Herman, Associate Professor Biology, 2015-16 National Academies Education Fellow

“Attending the Summer Institute (SI) was a transformative experience for  me professionally. I am a new instructor and a postdoc, and the intensive training, motivation, and “re-education” on higher education provided at the SI gave me with new skills, confidence, and a boost to my CV while applying for jobs. The basic philosophies promoted and explored in the SI are nothing short of revolutionary. The workshops provided me with practical skills for transitioning these ideas into the classroom as well. Participating in this institute has made me feel like I am tuned into the most current and nationally accredited best practices for teaching in the college classroom, and has given me tools to excel as an instructor. It is an extremely worthwhile and inspirational experience that has literally inspired and transformed my teaching and my career.”
- Ann Petersen, Institute of Ecology and Evolution and 2014-15 National Academies Education Fellow

The Science Literacy Program is excited to host the 2016 Mobile Summer Institute on the UO campus.

The goal of the Summer Institutes for Undergraduate Education is to transform education at colleges and universities by improving classroom education and attracting more diverse students to research. We undertake to train faculty and instructional staff in a scientific approach to teaching that reflects the way we work as researchers. The target group is comprised of both new and experienced instructors who teach introductory or survey courses, but anyone with an interest in transforming their classroom is invited to attend.

The theme for the Summer Institute is “scientific teaching.” Participants learn practical strategies for enhancing student learning. The institutes model the scientific teaching principles of active learning, assessment, and diversity, which are integrated into all aspects of the week’s schedule. Activities include reflective writing, planning, reading, researching, discussing teaching methods and philosophy, interactive presentations, and developing teaching materials. By the end of an institute, participants will have observed, evaluated, and collected a portfolio of innovative teaching approaches and instructional materials that are ready to be adopted and adapted to their own teaching environments.

In addition to developing teaching skills and materials, participants learn how to teach workshops and seminars about scientific teaching. Scientific teaching workshops can be used to foster dialog with faculty and instructional colleagues about teaching, to train TAs in teaching, and to enrich the graduate curriculum in teaching.

The UO Mobile Summer Institute grew out of the National Academies Summer Institute.  Additional information about those nationally held summer institutes is available through the National Academies Summer Institute site.

For an in-depth discussion on the use of Summer Institutes to stimulate change in the approach to undergraduate science education, see Pfund, C., et al. (2009)

Pfund, C., Miller, S., Brenner, K., Bruns, P., Chang, A., Ebert-May, D., … Handelsman, J. (2009). Professional development. Summer institute to improve university science teaching. Science (New York, N.Y.), 324(5926), 470–1. doi:10.1126/science.1170015