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Journal Club

For this week, please read Chapter 3 “Mix Up Your Practice” of Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning.

Brown, P. C., Roediger, H. L., & McDaniel, M. A. (2014). Make it stick: the science of successful learning. Harvard University Press.

Last week we read about frequent testing supporting student learning.  We found two articles that offered practical and relevant advice for those who would like to read more.  Advice for Teachers: How to Make Daily Quizzes Work and Small Changes in Teaching:  The First 5 Minutes of Class.

For your convenience, we will continue to offer two weekly meetings:

Thursdays at 9:00 am (317 LISB)
Fridays at 1:00 pm (217 LISB note room change for this week only)

Elly and Julie

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Flame Challenge

The deadline has been extended to Tuesday, Jan 26, 2016 to submit your entry.

The challenge is to explain “What is Sound” to 11-year-olds. Entries can be written or visual and are judged by thousands of 5th and 6th graders from around the world. Winners are honored at the World Science Festival in June where they will meet Alan Alda and get a $1000 prize. Scientists can enter at

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Teaching Workshops with Joan Middendorf 

On February 8-9, the Division of Equity and Inclusion will host Dr. Joan Middendorf, the Director of the Faculty Learning Community at Indiana University for a series of four teaching workshops for faculty and administrators.

1. Faculty Workshop: Managing Hot Moments in the Classroom

Many instructors avoid controversial issues in the classroom because of the difficulty involved in managing heated discussions. Instructors who are willing to bring up such issues may face disheartening challenges in the classroom or low student ratings, in part, because of their identity‹their race, gender, accent, etc. Controversy can be a useful, powerful, and memorable tool to promote learning. Research has demonstrated that conflict or controversy during classroom discussion can promote cognitive gains in complex reasoning, integrated thinking, and decision-making. In this session we will discuss how instructors can successfully manage discussions on controversial topics. Participants will consider problematic scenarios and discuss approaches to avoid problems.

ED 176, Monday, February 8, 2:00pm  3:30pm
RSVP: space is limited. RSVP by Monday, January 25 at noon:

2. Faculty Workshop: Transformational Teaching and Learning

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning has created a shift in higher education through evidence-based teaching. We can approach teaching not only from content or methods, but from a feedback loop established between teachers and learners. Working in cross-disciplinary groups we will examine evidence of student learning‹like x-rays of student understanding. We will consider the most essential learning in our fields and the places students tend to get stuck so that our students are not only more likely to learn to, but also gain an understanding of the underlying ways of operating in our disciplines. When we have a methodology at our disposal that produces real change our relationship to teaching is transformed.

Ford Alumni Center Board Room (4th floor), Monday, February 8, 10:00am  11:30am
RSVP by Monday, January 25 at noon:

3. 1:1 consultation appointments with Dr. Middendorf: Instructional Design for Diverse Populations

Dr. Middendorf will reserve time during her visit to meet individually with faculty members who are facing challenges in their classrooms and would like to explore how to address issues of instructional design for diverse populations. Appointments are scheduled for a duration of 25min. and 50min.

DEI Conference Room  1 Johnson Hall, garden level, Tuesday, February 9, 8:00am  11:00am
RSVP: space is very limited. RSVP by Monday, January 25 at noon:

4. Deans and Heads of Departments Workshop: Evaluating Teaching: Best Practices OR Research on Evaluation of Teaching

While student ratings can provide helpful and legitimate feedback, all things being equal, an instructor who teaches a challenging course will score lower than an instructor whose course is less rigorous. Research has shown implicit bias in student ratings. While student ratings are very good for measuring customer satisfaction, under the best of circumstances, there¹s only a mild correlation between student learning and an instructor¹s rating. Dr. Middendorf will explain the shift towards other tests and learning assessments that can serve as evidence of student learning to document teaching effectiveness along with student ratings. Learning assessments are not only are useful in the evaluation of teaching but are an important element in program review.

Ford Alumni Center Ballroom, Tuesday, February 9, 2:00pm  3:30pm
RSVP: space is limited. RSVP by Monday, January 25 at noon:

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In This Issue:

Journal Club

Flame Challenge

Teaching Workshops with Joan Middendorf

Upcoming UO and Local Events

Upcoming UO and Local Events:

TEP Winter Workshops

This winter, TEP begins its High Impact Change series, which asks “How can faculty teach to ensure the relevance, rigor, continuities, and needed departures of a 21st century undergraduate education?”

Our first events and workshops are clustered around the notion of fostering students’ sense of belonging in our classes. We’ll foreground inclusive teaching designed to convey to students that their presence matters; and we’ll consider how to construct classes that can address questions of equity and belonging that are urgent to society more generally.

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Inclusive Course Design

Week 4: Fri, Jan. 29
Proctor 41, Knight Library
Lunch served—please register

Using the syllabus itself as a reflection of the attitudes and possibilities of a course, this workshop will consider student learning objectives, course descriptions, policies, content, and assignments as we build inclusion into the very architecture of each participant’s course. We will consider what intellectual skills and habits of mind a truly inclusive course develops in students, and offer suggestions for how to build a supportive environment and signal to students that they bring something valuable to the class community.

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UO Science Literacy Program
1210 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403