Proposal Title

Improving Science Education at the University of British Columbia: The Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative

Session Type

Poster

Room

Atrium

Start Date

July 2015

Keywords

active learning, faculty development, evidence-based teaching, Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative, CWSEI

Primary Threads

Teaching and Learning Science

Abstract

Since 2007, the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative (CWSEI) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) has influenced the teaching of faculty and the learning of tens of thousands of students by promoting the "expertise-based classroom", guiding students on the path from novice thinking toward expertise in the discipline. The key factor in this change has been the addition of Science Teaching and Learning Fellows (STLFs) to departments. An STLF has deep disciplinary expertise and training in current learning science in order to partner with faculty members as a course consultant in creating or adapting evidence-based methods and measuring effectiveness toward learning.

The CWSEI has led to extensive success in transforming undergraduate science education at UBC, with a particular specialty in high-engagement methods in large classrooms where traditional lecture had long dominated. Classrooms with active participation, even at the early undergraduate level, are now perceived as relatively normal by students, and feedback has been positive overall from students and faculty involved in these course projects. Within departments and across the Faculty of Science, STLFs and their partner faculty have created communities around teaching innovation -- a culture change essential to any lasting effect. A significant knowledge base of practical resources and published evidence of effectiveness has accrued (see cwsei.ubc.ca, particularly the Resources section), and the STLF model is being adopted elsewhere.

This poster presentation will describe the Initiative as of 2015, lessons learned around the novel STLF role, and key indicators of success including department activity, quantified changes in teaching practice, and research output.

Elements of Engagement

I would like to include a hand-out for people to take away some of the key messages and make it easier to explore some of the key ideas and resources. Maybe a half-page?

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Jul 8th, 5:15 PM

Improving Science Education at the University of British Columbia: The Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative

Atrium

Since 2007, the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative (CWSEI) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) has influenced the teaching of faculty and the learning of tens of thousands of students by promoting the "expertise-based classroom", guiding students on the path from novice thinking toward expertise in the discipline. The key factor in this change has been the addition of Science Teaching and Learning Fellows (STLFs) to departments. An STLF has deep disciplinary expertise and training in current learning science in order to partner with faculty members as a course consultant in creating or adapting evidence-based methods and measuring effectiveness toward learning.

The CWSEI has led to extensive success in transforming undergraduate science education at UBC, with a particular specialty in high-engagement methods in large classrooms where traditional lecture had long dominated. Classrooms with active participation, even at the early undergraduate level, are now perceived as relatively normal by students, and feedback has been positive overall from students and faculty involved in these course projects. Within departments and across the Faculty of Science, STLFs and their partner faculty have created communities around teaching innovation -- a culture change essential to any lasting effect. A significant knowledge base of practical resources and published evidence of effectiveness has accrued (see cwsei.ubc.ca, particularly the Resources section), and the STLF model is being adopted elsewhere.

This poster presentation will describe the Initiative as of 2015, lessons learned around the novel STLF role, and key indicators of success including department activity, quantified changes in teaching practice, and research output.