Science Literacy Program Newsletter

Spring 2015 – Week 6

Journal Club

For this week read and watch the following about Reacting to the Past. The Teaching Effectiveness Program is sponsoring an Intellectual Play workshop this Wednesday, May 6 that is very relevant to our topic this week. Pre-registration is requested.

Toppo, G. 2014. Role-playing history game gets students jazzed. USA Today 28 March 2015

And look through the Reacting to the Past STEM Games website:

– Thursday 9:00am in LISB 317 facilitated by Julie Mueller, TEP and Elly Vandegrift, SLP
– Friday 12:00pm in LISB 217 facilitated by Elly Vandegrift, SLP

We look forward to seeing you there!
Julie and Elly

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Mary Pat Wenderoth – The End of Lecture: The Future of Evidence-based Teaching
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
4:00 – 5:00pm
110 Willamette Hall

Mary Pat WenderothMary Pat Wenderoth is a Principal Lecturer in the Biology Department at the University of Washington (UW) where she teaches animal physiology courses and conducts biology education research on how students learn biology. Her main research interests focus on assessing implementation of cognitive science principles in the classroom, particularly those associated with conceptual change, use of first principles in constructing conceptual frameworks and student metacognition. She received the UW Distinguished Teaching Award in 2001 and has served as the co-director of the UW Teaching Academy. She is a co-founder of the UW Biology Education Research Group (UW BERG) and the national Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER). She served as a facilitator at the HHMI Summer Institute for Undergraduate Biology Education from 2007 -2011. Dr. Wenderoth earned her B.S. in Biology from the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., a M.S. in Women’s Studies from George Washington University, a M.S. in Exercise Physiology from Purdue University and her Ph.D. in Physiology from Rush University in Chicago.

Abstract: We recently published a meta-analysis of 225 papers that compared student performance under active learning versus lecturing in undergraduate courses across the STEM disciplines. The results indicate that on average, students are 1.5 times more likely to fail when being lectured to compared to taking the same course with an active learning component, and that active learning increases exam scores by almost half a standard deviation.  I will summarize the research results that provide robust data on teaching methods that increase student achievement and I will engage participants in discussion of the way even small changes can close the gap between our teaching and student learning. These teaching methods are based on results from cognitive  and learning sciences and rely heavily on the “Testing Effect” and “Desirable Difficulties”.  I will engage participants in discussion of the way even small changes can close the gap between our teaching and student learning because shrinking that gap has tremendous implications for all students, but especially those from underrepresented groups. Says Toby Bradshaw, Chair of Biology at UW: “By reducing the failure rates, capable students are able to go on, rather than being washed out of the system because they came in a bit underprepared and no one was willing to change the way they did things to help them out….The impact down the road is that we will have a larger, more diverse, more capable work force.” 

Freeman, S., Eddy, S. L., McDonough, M., Smith, M. K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., & Wenderoth, M. P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America,111(23), 8410–5.
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1319030111

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Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching

The deadline for our Local Summer Institute is this week. Submit your application by Monday, May 4, 2015.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the National Academies, and the Science Literacy Program invite you to attend a Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching June 22-25, 2015 (UO faculty and post-docs) OR July 13-18, 2015 (National teams) 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 and will be named 2015-16 National Academies Education Fellows at the end of the institute.

Local Summer Institute June 22-25, 2015, Application due date: May 4, 2015

West Coast Summer Institute July 13-18, 2015, Application due date: May 15, 2015


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In This Issue:

Journal Club

Mary Pat Wenderoth – The End of Lecture: The Future of Evidence-based Teaching

Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching

Upcoming UO and Local Events

Upcoming UO and Local Events:

Beyond your degree in the physical sciences: from graduate school to R&D industrial positions and what you need to get there
Women in Graduate Sciences
Monday, 5/4/2015
4:00 – 6:00
Gerlinger Lounge

Panel discussion and breakout round-table sessions with graduate students, program directors, and industrial scientists.

Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

RSVP to and be entered to win door prizes.

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Writing a Statement of Teaching Philosophy
TEP Teaching Fundamentals and Professional Development Series
Tuesday, 5/5/2015
11:00am – 12:15pm
122 Knight Library

This hands-on workshop offers an opportunity to brainstorm specific ideas for your teaching philosophy statement or to receive feedback about a draft of your statement. Prior to the workshop, participants will be able to view a video and receive materials that outline the various formats, essential components, and best practices for writing an effective teaching statement.

Click here to register.

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Careers in the Public Sector: Technology Transfer at the National Cancer Institute
Melissa Maderia, Technology Transfer Specialist at NCI
Wednesday, 5/6/2015
11:00am – 12:00pm
217 LISB

The UO Science Policy Initiative and the Career Alternatives in Biological Sciences groups present the Spring Featured Seminar.

Melissa speak about her exciting job in the federal government, policy in translational medicine, as well the winding career path that led her from graduate studies as Texas A&M University to a post-doc at the University of Minnesota to Washington D.C. Light snacks will be provided.

Immediately after the seminar, UOSPI/CABS will host lunch with this speaker with interested graduate students. RSVP to

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Intellectual Play
TEP Motivation Series
Wednesday, 5/6/2015
3:00 – 4:30pm
Knight Library Browsing Room

We are always looking for ways in which to engage students in fun and intellectually rigorous activities. Join us as faculty and student affairs panelists share their strategies for incorporating game-play into various classes and co-curricular occasions for student learning. We’ll explore how various gaming strategies merge with newer technologies and teaching approaches to create intellectually engaging class experiences for both students and instructors.

Click here to register.

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