Fall 2013 Teaching Journal Club

Jump to Week number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10

In its fourth year, the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club, a cooperative effort of the Teaching Effectiveness Program and the Science Literacy Program, continues its popular pedagogy reading group. Meetings feature lively, structured discussions across discipline and rank (even including some excellent undergraduate students and graduate teaching fellows) and occasional small-scale experiments with teaching techniques. Participants are invited to join the whole series or stop by for a specific conversation.

There are two sessions to choose from:

  • Thursday 9:00am in LISB 317 facilitated by Julie Mueller
  • Friday 2:00pm in LISB 317 facilitated by Elly Vandegrift

For more information, please contact Julie Mueller or Elly Vandegrift.


Week 1 – October 3 and 4

Reading

For week one we will read two articles to get us thinking about approaching our courses at the start of a new term and pondering science literacy.

Read: Tanner, KD. 2013. Structure matters: twenty-one teaching strategies to promote student engagements and cultivate classroom equity. CBE-Life Sciences Education 12:322-331 Available from: http://www.lifescied.org/content/12/3/322.full.pdf+html

Take the Quiz and Read: PewResearch Center for the People and the Press. 2013. Public’s knowledge of science and technology http://www.people-press.org/2013/04/22/publics-knowledge-of-science-and-technology/

Discussion

We began the Fall 2013 journal club with an ice-breaker activity that encouraged participants to stand-up for introductions. Next we laid out the plan for the year:

  • Fall term Nuts and Bolts: reading and discussing current science education article(s).
  • Winter term Book Discussion: reading and discussing chapter(s) of an assigned book (we are accepting suggestions for a book).
  • Spring term Practice: sessions will alternate between reading and discussing new teaching methods/activities and volunteers demonstrating the activity in a group exercise the following week.

In partners, we discussed the Pew Research Center quiz about the public’s knowledge of science and technology addressing the question: “Does the quiz actually measure science literacy?” before reconvening for a discussion with the whole group. Many participants agreed that while some of the questions did test more than a respondent’s knowledge about a particular concept, the majority of questions were fact-based and did little to measure science literacy. Suggestions to improve the quiz included:

  • Include questions that measure a respondent’s ability to think critically about or analyze information.
  • Test a respondent’s ability to distinguish between theory vs hypothesis or process vs pattern.
  • Take a claim from a “reliable” source and ask the respondent to dismantle the claim by pointing out assumptions, conjecture and logical fallacies.
  • Changing the format of the quiz from a phone interview to a written quiz.

Next, we passed out a list Science Literacy behaviors that were nominated and rated by UO SLP affiliated faculty and used for student research during the 2012-13 academic year. Participants were asked to consider how many of the behaviors they encourage in their teaching.

We ended the session by considering the Table 1 from Kimberly Tanner’s Structure matters: twenty-one teaching strategies to promote student engagements and cultivate classroom equity. Participants talked openly about strategies they had never used or with which they were not familiar. One strategy that few participants had experience with was the “whip-around.” We demonstrated the whip-round by going around the table after a think-pair-share activity and asking for a brief contribution from every participant.

We will continue to have two sessions to choose from:

  • Thursday 9:00am in LISB 317 facilitated by Julie Mueller
  • Friday 2:00pm in LISB 317 facilitated by Elly Vandegrift

We hope to see you there!

Elly and Julie

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Week 2 – October 10 and 11

Reading

This week for the journal club we will read and discuss an article that is hot off the presses:

Pollack, E. 2013 October 3.  Why are there still so few women in science?  New York Times Magazine http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/magazine/why-are-there-still-so-few-women-in-science.html

Discussion

This week’s discussion began with a brainstorming session about examples of diversity in our classrooms. As we compiled the list, it became clear that some forms of diversity that our students bring to the classroom are more difficult to recognize than others. We considered challenges faced by students in the classroom and how instructors can be aware of their own unintended bias and perceived stereotype threat and how this may impact the student experiences in the classroom. Next, we paused our discussion for a one-minute writing assignment about an experience where we had contributed to a non-inclusive environment for another person and strategized ways to minimize this for the future. For the final activity, we compiled a  list of challenges associated with making a classroom more inclusive and a list of strategies for making a classroom more inclusive.

Teaching tip of the week:

It may be challenging to recognize the many forms of diversity in a classroom but the learning environment is better for students when there is an effort to create an inclusive classroom. There are many ways to build an inclusive classroom that can encourage student participation and boost confidence.

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Week 3 – October 17 and 18th

Reading

This week in the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club we will discuss best practices for using clickers in the classroom.  To prepare for our meetings, please read the following materials, developed by the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative (CWSEI) at the University of British Columbia.

The CWSEI has some great resources on its Clicker page, including some videos you may be interested in.

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Week 4 – October 24 and 25

Reading

This week we will explore a having student do close reading of science newspaper articles.  Your homework:

Step 1:  Create a concept map about all of the factors that contribute to or affect obesity and their connections. This site is a good resource for information on concept maps.  Bring your concept map with you.

Step 2: Read Wall Street Journal article, “Study links produce prices to obesity,” by Rhonda L. Rundle (2005). http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB112855170081961018 and define unfamiliar words, draw a diagram or cartoon to depict studies done, and/or create charts or graphs to represent data described but not illustrated.  Bring these with you.

Step 3: Read
Hoskins, S. G. (2010). “But if It’s in the Newspaper, Doesn’t That Mean It’s True?” Developing Critical Reading & Analysis Skills by Evaluating Newspaper Science with CREATE. The American Biology Teacher, 72 (7), 415–420.
Available from: http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.1525/abt.2010.72.7.5

Note also that this is Week 4 of the quarter, a great time to get some student feedback about how things are going in your course!  TEP recommends asking a few simple questions, with perhaps a few others to address issues specific to your course.  Consider asking these questions with an online survey (e.g. through blackboard):

  • What’s working well in the course and helping you learn?
  • What constructive suggestions do you have for improving the course?

Once students have completed the survey, thank them and talk about the results in class, even if you won’t be implementing any of their suggestions!  This makes the students feel that you actually care what they think, predisposing them to evaluate you favorably in the future.  The conversation also makes it more likely that you will follow through on any planned changes.  For details on how to implement the survey, please see the TEP website.

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Week 5 – October 31 and November 1

Reading

1. This week in the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club we will turn our attention to helping students use meta-cognition to develop learning strategies that work for them. To prepare for our meeting, please read: 

Cook E, Kennedy E, McGuire SY. 2013. Effect of teaching meta-cognitive learning strategies on performance in general chemistry courses. Journal of Chemical Education 90:961-967. Available from http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ed300686h (Note that the PowerPoint file the authors used in the meta-cognition lecture may be found athttp://pubs.acs.org/doi/suppl/10.1021/ed300686h .)

2. This is Week 5 of the term, and a great time to do a midterm assessment of how things are going in your class.  TEP recommends asking students a few simple questions, with perhaps a few others to address issues specific to your course.  Consider asking these questions with an online survey (e.g. through blackboard):

  • What’s working well in the course and helping you learn?
  • What constructive suggestions do you have for improving the course?

Once students have completed the survey, thank them and talk about the results in class, even if you won’t be implementing any of their suggestions!  This makes the students feel that you actually care what they think, predisposing them to evaluate you favorably in the future.  The conversation also makes it more likely that you will follow through on any planned changes.  For details on how to implement the survey, please see the TEP website:

http://tep.uoregon.edu/services/midterm feedback/midtermfeedback.html

3. Also note that the Teaching and Learning Center’s annual Get Savvy series of workshops is coming up Nov. 6 and 7.  These free, hour-long drop-in workshops can go a long way to helping students get a handle on their study skills and managing their lives.  Plus, there are prizes!  Encourage them to go!  For more information and a printable flier, seehttp://tlc.uoregon.edu/learningservices/getsavvy.html.

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Week 6 – November 7 and 8

Reading

This week for Journal Club we would like to explore the new UO Academic Integrity website, which is a collaboration between TEP and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. TEP director Lee Rumbarger will join us for journal club to help facilitate a discussion on academic integrity in undergraduate science courses, and to learn how the site can best speak to the concerns and interests of science faculty and students.

Your homework is to visit http://integrity.uoregon.edu/.  Click “Use my Duck ID” to login, then read the following sections:

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Week 7 – November 14 and 15

Reading

This week the Science Literacy Program will host Adina Paytan and Catherine Halversen for workshops on communicating science.  To build on that workshop (which we know not everyone will be able to attend), we would like to read a recent PNAS article about communicating science.

Scheufele, DA. 2013 Communicating science in social settings. PNAS 110(3):14040-14047. Available from http://www.pnas.org/content/110/Supplement_3/14040.full.pdf+html

To read more about Catherine and Adina’s work around communicating science, read this very short article.

Tran, LU and Halversen C. 2010. Helping young scientists learn and practice public engagement  in ASTC Dimensions, November/December 2010: 18-19. Available from here.

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Week 8 – November 21 and 22

Reading

Since it’s the third week of November, we just can’t resist reading this article about using a campus activity to inform science educational opportunities.

Goldsmith ST, Trierwieler AM, Welch SA, Bancroft AM, Von Bargen JM, Carey AE. 2013. Transforming a university tradition into a geoscience teaching and learning opportunity for the university community. Journal of Geoscience Education 61: 280-290. Available from: http://nagtjge.org/doi/abs/10.5408/12-354.1

After reading, your homework is to consider traditions from our local campus community or region which could be used for an educational opportunity.

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Week 9 – November 28 and 29

There is no Journal Club meeting this week due to the holiday.

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Week 10 – December 6 and 7

Reading

We will finish fall term talking about student course evaluations. We have three short articles for you to read

Weimer, M. 2012 End-of-course evaluations: making sense of student comments. Faculty Focus Blog. Available from: http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/end-of-course-evaluations-making-sense-of-student-comments/

Cooper, G. 2013. Using multiple course evaluations to engage and empower your students and yourself. Faculty Focus Blog. Available from: http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/using-multiple-course-evaluations-to-engage-and-empower-your-students-and-yourself/

Lang, S. 2011. Tips for using student evaluations to assess teaching effectiveness. IUPUI Center fro Teaching and Learning. Available from: http://ctl.iupui.edu/Resources/Documenting-Your-Teaching/Assess-Teaching-Effectiveness

Thanks for your energetic participation this fall. We will send out an online journal club evaluation for you to complete before the end of the term.

Looking ahead to winter term we will read a book throughout the term.

Ambrose, SA, Bridges, MW, DiPietro, M, Lovett, MC, and Normal MK. 2010. How learning works: 7 research-based principles for smart teaching. Jossey-Bass,:San Francisco, CA. (http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470484101.html)

Electronic copies are available for free through the UO library, and we will provide instructions for accessing it winter term. The UO bookstore can order it, but does not stock the book.

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