Description of Core Competency Professional development related to best practices for developing curriculum and pedagogy by completing ISE 870: Teaching College Science (2014).
Course taken: ISE 870: Teaching College Science (2014) Instructor: Dr. Joyce Parker
Description of course “To introduce participants to the theory and practice of student-centered college teaching. Students will be able to use an understanding of how people learn, the basics of curriculum design, and a range of teaching and assessment strategies and instructional technology to plan for, teach, and analyze effective science teaching.”
Artifact Rationale The ISE 870: Teaching College Science (2014) course consisted of weekly readings, discussions of best practices for developing curriculum and pedagogical considerations. In this course we developed constructive learning activities (i.e. think pair share), mini lectures, lesson plans, and active learning activities using techniques from the weekly readings and discussions.
Materials developed during the course In this course I learned how people learn and I learned the value of developing backward designed assessments. I learned methods of how to organize and develop teaching practices to be effectively student centered. In this course I developed a syllabus for a team taught "Concepts of Biology" course, with Isis Kuczaj. I also developed lesson plans, mini lectures, and active learning activities.
An example mini lecture developed for this course “Form and Function” along with the assigned homework can be found below. These materials, developed during this course allowed me to practice making student centered exercises and to get feedback on their effectiveness.
Interpretation/Reflection In this course I learned best practices for teaching science at the college level. This course had a profound impact on how I approach teaching. I benefited greatly from learning how people learn, as a scientist understanding how cognition works with learning at the college level helped me improve my teaching practices to be more effective. This course also gave me an understanding of the purpose of assessments and better ways to do assessments. It was critical in my development as a teacher to shift from how I was assessed as an undergraduate to designing effective assessments that allowed me to understand if students had incorporated content knowledge from class into their previous knowledge.
In this course students took turns teaching each other using their mini lectures and constructive learning activities. I benefited greatly from being bad at my fellow students constructive learning assignments. I was terrible at the calculus and physics constructive learning activities. As a teacher it’s good to be reminded what it feels like when you struggle to learn. In your courses you will have students that are smart but are not getting the material for other reasons. It’s good to be reminded how being upset because you think you are not learning as fast as others, affects your ability to learn. From this experience I was reminded to slow things down and meet students where they are. These two in class activities have made me a more compassionate and effective teacher. The Teaching College Science course was one of the best professional development opportunities I’ve ever had.