I’m heading out today to Miami to the Engaged STEM Learning Conference (#STEM11 on Twitter) hosted by the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) and Project Kaleidoscope. This is my first AAC&U conference, and I’m looking forward to meeting faculty and staff interested in supporting learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
I’m leading a session at the conference with my Vanderbilt colleague, Lily Claiborne. Lily’s a graduate teaching fellow at the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching and a doctoral student in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science. Well, actually, I’m not sure what her technical status in that department is since she defended her dissertation last week! Lily was also a participant in our Teaching-as-Research Fellows program a couple of years ago, a program we’ll be sharing in our session at #STEM11.
Teaching-as-Research Fellows: Encouraging Scientific Teaching
The Teaching-as-Research Fellows program at Vanderbilt University, sponsored by the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL), has helped current and future STEM faculty develop their abilities to assess and evaluate student learning. Supported by faculty mentors and CIRTL-affiliated staff, graduate student fellows conduct “teaching-as-research” (TAR) projects that explore aspects of undergraduate education. The fellows gain assessment skills useful in their future faculty work, the undergraduate curriculum benefits from the innovations developed through the fellows’ projects, and the faculty mentors learn more about assessment practices along the way. Participants will learn about the program and discuss how to develop similar programs on their campuses.
You can read more about the TAR Fellows program and see past projects over on the Center for Teaching website.
If you’re heading to the #STEM11 conference, too, give me a shout!
Image: “Suitcase” by Flickr user EssjayNZ, Creative Commons licensed