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The Science Literacy Program invites you to attend a Mobile Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching on September 10-14, 2018 at the University of Oregon. The Summer Institute will expand and sharpen participants teaching skills with workshops on evidence-based, inclusive, and active teaching practices. Participants will develop original, innovative classroom materials with a group of colleagues and participate in STEM education strategic planning. At the conclusion of the institute, participants will be name 2018-19 Scientific Teaching Education Fellows.

Concurrently the Science Literacy Program will host a Communicating Science Workshop. Open to UO faculty only, this workshop series will help educators become better science communicators through the principles of acting and improv.

Applications due: June 15, 2018

Click to view full-size schedule.

Click to view full-size schedule.

In the words of a previous MoSI 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

About the Science Communication workshop, inspired by the Alda Center for Communicating Science, from an Alda training alumnus:

I have to admit to some skepticism about taking the Alda workshop.  I’d been communicating my science for over 20 years and thought I was doing a pretty good job.  But as it turns out, there is always room for improvement.  This became apparent after I failed miserably to explain the basics of a baseball game to someone who pretended not to know anything about baseball.  Same thing with science.  If you don’t talk at the right level for your audience, you are likely not getting your message across.  The Alda workshop helped me see my communication in an entirely different way – from the perspective of my audience.

- Andy Karduna, Professor Human Physiology


The Science Literacy Program is hosting a seminar and round-table discussion with Professor Victoria Sork, UCLA, ” for Student Success and Inclusive Education in STEM Disciplines.” The seminar is on Wednesday, May 23, 9:00-11:00am in 240D Willamette Room. Click here to RVSP.


Victoria Sork Announcement


“Eeugene si 2017 (63 of 66)ven 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.

AAU STEM Initiative 

Emily Miller, associate vice president for policy at the Association of American Universities (AAU), will be at the university January 10-11 to discuss the AAU’s commitment to teaching excellence. Dr. Miller will hold a public presentation on January 10 from 8:30 – 9:50 a.m. in the EMU’s Redwood Auditorium, titled Aligning Practice to Policy: Teaching Excellence at AAU Institutions. The talk is open to the public and pre-registration is not required.

Discussion topics will include the AAU’s findings about key institutional elements that support teaching excellence, the responsibility of AAU universities to use evidence-based teaching methods to promote student success, and how misalignment of practice and policy can get in the way of that success.

On Monday, February 5th  Noah Finkelstein of University of Colorado, Boulder will be visiting U of O sponsored by SLP and Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs.  At CU-Boulder Dr. Finkelstein serves as Director of the Center for STEM Learning and Professor in the Department of Physics with focus on physics education research.

You are invited to join any and all of the following sessions:

10:00- 10:50                CU’s Center for STEM Learning Programs https://www.colorado.edu/csl/

What programs are found under this umbrella, and what can we learn about this model that is applicable to UO?

Willamette 147

3:00 – 3:45 pm           CU’s Teaching Quality Framework Initiative


Price Science Commons Viz Lab

4:00 – 4:50 pm           Physics Education Research Talk

125 McKenzie