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. This workshop series will help educators become better science communicators through the principles of acting and improv.

Applications due: June 22, 2018

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.



“Even 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.



FridayApril 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