Spring 2011: Teaching Applications

The Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club explored examples of academic programs that have successfully implemented teaching and learning methods to increase students’ science literacy.

Facilitators: Peter O’Day (Biology), Michael Raymer (Physics), Ellery B. Ames (Physics), and Elly Vandegrift (Teaching Effectiveness Program)

Weeks 1 and 2 – April 1 and 8 – Scale-Up (North Carolina large-class teaching project)

Beichner R. 2008. The SCALE-UP Project: A Student-Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs. Evidence on Promising Practices in Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Workshop 2; 2008 Oct 13-14; Washington (DC). Available from: http://www7.nationalacademies.org/bose/Beichner_CommissionedPaper.pdf

Beichner, RJ, Saul JM. 2004. Introduction to the SCALE-UP (Student-Center Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs) Project. In: Elzer B., editor. Invention and Impact: Building Excellence in Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education. Washington (DC): AAAS Publication Services. p. 61-66. Available from: http://www.aaas.org/publications/books_reports/CCLI/PDFs/03_Suc_Peds_Beichner.pdf

Beichner RJ, Saul JM, Abbott DS, Morse JJ, Deardorff DL, Allain RJ, Bonham SW, Dancy MH, and Risley, JS. 2007. The Student-Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs (SCALE-UP) Project. Research-Based Reform of University Physics. pp 1-42. Available from: http://www.compadre.org/PER/per_reviews/media/volume1/SCALE-UP-2007.pdf

Gaffney JDH, Richards E, Kustusch MB, Ding L, and Beichner RJ. 2008. Scaling Up Education Reform. Journal of College Science Teaching. 37(5): 48-53.

SCALE-UP Project Play-Day, Richard Wagner, April 8, 2011 presentation slides (PDF PDF logofile 588K)

Weeks 3 and 4 – April 15 and 22 – Teaching technology (Smart Boards, Clickers, Blackboard)


  • Milner-Bolotin M, Antimirova T, and Petrov A. 2010. Clickers Beyond the First-Year Science Classroom. Journal of College Science Teaching 40(2): 14-18. Available from: Gale Databases
  • Sevian H and Robinson WE. 2011. Clickers promote learning in all kinds of classes–small and large, graduate and undergraduate, lecture and lab. Journal of College Science Teaching 40(3): 14-18. Available from: Gale Databases




What NOT to do

What works 


Weeks 5 and 6 – April 29 and May 6 – Effective use of Demonstrations

O’Dowd DK, Aguilar-Roca N. 2009. Garage Demos: Using Physical Models to Illustrate Dynamic Aspects of Microscopic Biological Processes. CBE Life Sciences Education 8:118-122. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19487500

Crouch CH, Fagen AP, Callan JP, Mazur E. 2004. Classroom demonstrations: Learning tools or entertainment? Am. J. Phys. 72(6):835-838. Available from: http://mazur-www.harvard.edu/publications.php?function=display&rowid=160

Teach Exocytosis using a Demonstration (YouTube): http://www.youtube.com/HHMIUCI

Weeks 7 and 8 – May 13 and 20 – Simulations and Model Building

Sins, PHM;  Savelsbergh, ER;  van Joolingen, WR;  and van Hout-Wolters, BHAM. 2009. The Relation between Students’ Epistemological Understanding of Computer Models and Their Cognitive Processing on a Modelling Task International Journal of Science Education 31(9): 1205-1229. Available from: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&id=doi:10.1080/09500690802192181 or this reading can also be accessed here

Dermott, LC, Rosenquist, ML and van Zee, EH. 1987 Student difficulties in connecting graphs and physics: Examples from kinematics American Journal of Physics. 55(6): 503-513. Available from: http://ajp.aapt.org/resource/1/ajpias/v55/i6/p503_s1 (This one is a bit too specifically focused on physics, but a quick skim will reveal some issues worth contemplating on connecting mental models with predictions or descriptions of reality.)

Additional reading for week 8:
Dedra Demaree, Assistant Professor of Physics from Oregon State University (http://www.physics.orst.edu/~demareed/) will visit the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club on Friday, May 20th (11am-12noon) to discuss large interactive classrooms and show video of some of her class sessions.  We will meet in B-90 of the Science Library.
You can download Professor Demaree’s PowerPoint slides here.

Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club presentation by Dedra Demaree on Active Learning and ISLE in Physic Classrooms

Human Physiology Seminar by Steve DiCarlo’s lecture on teaching physiology

Weeks 9 and 10 – May 27 and June 3 – Assessment Revisited

Reading for week 9:
Schinske JN. 2011. Taming the testing/grading cycle in lecture classes centered around open-ended assessment. Journal of College Science Teaching 40(4):46-52. Available from: Academic OneFile

Ludwig M, Bentz A, and Fynewever H. 2011. Your syllabus should set the stage for assessment for learning. Journal of College Science Teaching 40(4): 20-23. Available from: Academic OneFile

Reading for week 10:
Cottell P, and Harwood E. 1998. Do classroom assessment techniques (CATs) improve student learning?. New Directions for Teaching & Learning 75: 37-46. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/tl.7504/abstract