Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Supporting the Redesign of STEM Gateway Courses with Dr. William B. Wood

 Dr. William B. Wood, Distinguished Professor Emeritus

Changing the Way We Teach: Why We Should & How We Can
Thursday, September 12, 2013, 3:30-4:30 pm in Rm 100 Castetter Hall (Dept. of Biology)
Large introductory undergraduate courses often fail to give students an adequate understanding of science and discourage some from pursuing science majors.  Part of the problem is the way these courses are traditionally taught.  We can do better, by taking a more scientific approach to teaching and applying recent research on how people learn.  The seminar will discuss the rationale for and practice of alternative teaching approaches for large classes, some evidence that these approaches result in more student learning, reasons why such change is hard for both students and faculty, and ideas for how to help it happen anyway.   
Workshop: Active Learning, Student-Centered Teaching, & Departmental Change
Friday, September 13, 2013, 12:00-2:00 pm 
(Register at: http://redesignstemgateway.eventbrite.com; location will be announced to registrants)
Participants in this interactive workshop will discuss what is meant by active learning and student-centered teaching, work with and design clicker questions and other interactive classroom activities, and consider the challenges in bringing about departmental change in teaching approaches as well as strategies for meeting these challenges, including successful examples from the Science Education Initiative at University of Colorado, Boulder.  Time spent on each of these topics will depend partly on the interests of the participants. Lunch will be provided, starting at 11:30 am.

William B. Wood has been a faculty member at Caltech and at the University of Colorado  and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  His research includes genetic control and molecular biology of axis formation and patterning in embryos of C. elegans, as well as biology education.  In the 1970’s and ‘80’s, he was lead author of the textbook Biochemistry: A Problems Approach, which helped introduce problem-based learning to biochemistry.  He was a member of the National Research Council (NRC) committee that produced the 2002 report Learning and Understanding: Improving Advanced Study of Mathematics and Science in U.S. High Schools and was editor of the Biology Panel Report from that study. He has continued to serve as a consultant to the College Board on revision of the Biology Advanced Placement course and examination.  Wood is the former Editor-in-Chief of the biology education journal CBE – Life Sciences Education, and now serves as a Senior Editor. He also recently served on the National Academies Board on Science Education (BOSE) and the NRC Committee on the Status, Contributions, and Future Directions of Discipline-Based Educational Research. Currently, he is co-director of the National Academies Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education in Biology and serves on the Science Education Advisory Board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He received the Bruce Alberts Award of the American Society for Cell Biology for distinguished contributions to science education in 2004 and the Viktor Hamburger Outstanding Educator Award of the Society for Developmental Biology in 2013.