What this is all about

2013 SI

The Five Colleges Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching (SI) is a 3 ΒΌ-day short workshop on evidence-based pedagogy for teaching undergraduates, particularly for science courses. Through a mix of presentations, demonstrations, discussions, and hands-on activities, participants will learn about current research on undergraduate education and how to apply it to their own classes. Issues discussed will include pedagogy, mentoring, teaching technologies, and assessment. The Five Colleges Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching is modeled on the National Academies Summer Institutes on Undergraduate Education that are now held each summer at several regional locations across the US.

The SI focuses on key themes in scientific teaching, including active learning, assessment, and diversity. These themes are explicitly integrated into the Summer Institute experience, including presentations, activities, and discussions. By the end of the SI, participants will have experienced, evaluated, and collected a portfolio of innovative teaching approaches and instructional materials that are ready to be adopted and adapted to their own teaching environments.

The 2013 SI will be held on May 20-23 on the UMass, Amherst campus. An introductory dinner session from 6:00-8:30 PM on Monday, May 20 will launch the week's activities. Participant teams will be formed at this evening session. The remaining sessions will be full days starting at 8:30 AM with coffee and condiments. Morning sessions will be led by instructors with expertise in specific areas of relevance to scientific teaching. Lunch will follow the morning sessions. Afternoon sessions will focus on group resource development and course planning. They will end at 5:15 PM. The Thursday, May 23 session will involve team presentations during the afternoon session. A post-SI reception will follow the presentations. Meals and break snacks are provided for participants. All participants are expected to attend the dinner as well as the three full-day sessions in their entirety. The text Scientific Teaching will be provided to each participant. Participants are expected to read assignments from this text outside of the regularly scheduled session times.

Up to 30 participants will attend the SI. Five College faculty members are encouraged to apply as teams from the same department so that collaboration can continue afterward within departments. Having someone else in the same department is helpful for the successful implementation of new approaches to learning. Participants from all disciplines are welcome, though the presentations will focus on life science applications.

Participation in the Five Colleges Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching is expected to initiate a long-term commitment to the goals of the SI, beginning before the SI and continuing throughout the academic year following the SI. We also hope that many participants and facilitators will want to remain involved in scientific teaching activities beyond the SI participation year as members of ongoing learning communities in the sciences that will be established through the SI.

Participants are expected to commit to maintain contact with each other and with the SI's instructors in the 2013-2014 academic year. Participants are expected to provide formal updates on the implementation of their instructional plans developed at the SI.

If you wish to participate in the SI, you must create an account and register your preferences. The organizers will be in touch with you regarding the status of your application.

Scientific Teaching text