PER Seminar

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Improving STEM education through Departmental Action Teams
Joel Corbo, Center for STEM Learning, University of Colorado Boulder
URL: https://www.colorado.edu/project/dat/
 

Despite decades of research into improved educational practices and the evidence of their effectiveness, educational transformation at the university level has yet to happen at scale. The problem here is not that there are a lack of good ideas for what changes to make, but rather that the strategies that are being used to create change are inappropriate or ineffective (e.g., because they ignore factors such as reward structures, departmental culture, sustainability, or shared visions). As part of a change effort to improve undergraduate STEM education, we have been facilitating and studying Departmental Action Teams (DATs). A DAT is an externally-facilitated working group of 4 to 8 faculty, staff, and/or students that is created by a department to achieve two goals: (1) create sustainable change around a broad-scale issue related to undergraduate education in the department and (2) help develop DAT participants' capacity for creating future change through developing facilitation and leadership skills. Rather than making "quick fixes" to try to address a "problem" in the short term, the DAT focuses on creating new structures and shifting departmental culture to address the issue in a sustained and ongoing fashion. DATs are supported by external facilitators who provide DAT participants with expertise in education and institutional change research, logistical support, campus connections, and a functional process for achieving their goals. In this presentation, we will share the DAT model, describe successful pilot DATs, and discuss the expansion of the DAT model to two universities.

Dena wins Art Lab Grant
February 12, 2019
Dena wins Art Lab Grant

Postdoc Dena Izadi has won a grant from MSU's Broad Art Lab for her project "The Schrodinger’s Cat is in Town!"

Vashti and Abhilash Publish Article About Epistemological progress in physics and its impact on biology
January 22, 2019
Vashti and Abhilash Publish Article About Epistemological progress in physics and its impact on biology

PERL co-director Vashti Sawtelle, PERL alumni Abhilash Nair, and colleagues have published an article in Physical Review Physics Education Research titled Epistemological progress in physics and its impact on biology.

PERL Members Publish 16 PERC Papers
January 21, 2019
PERL Members Publish 16 PERC Papers

We're proud to announce that the PERL Team has contributed to 16 PERC Papers in 2018.

Danny publishes paper about prevalence and nature of computational instruction
December 20, 2018
Danny publishes paper about prevalence and nature of computational instruction

PERL co-director Danny Caballero and collaborator Laura Merner have published an article in Physical Review Physics Education Research titled Prevalence and nature of computational instruction in undergraduate physics programs across the United States.

Dr. Abhilash Nair Defends His PhD!
December 7, 2018
Dr. Abhilash Nair Defends His PhD!

Dr. Abhilash Nair Defends His PhD!

Kelsey wins Excellence in Teaching Award
November 16, 2018
Kelsey wins Excellence in Teaching Award

PhD student Kelsey Funkhouser has been awarded an Excellence-in-Teaching Citation from the College of Natural Science.

Abhilash and Vashti Publish Paper About Using an IOLab to Visualize Equipotential Lines
October 19, 2018
Abhilash and Vashti Publish Paper About Using an IOLab to Visualize Equipotential Lines

Graduate student Abhilash Nair and PERL co-director Vashti Sawtelle have published an article in The Physics Teacher about Real-time Visualization of Equipotential Lines Using the IOLab.

Vashti Publishes Article About an Analytic Framework to Characterize Student Reasoning
September 5, 2018
Vashti Publishes Article About an Analytic Framework to Characterize Student Reasoning

PERL co-director Vashti Sawtelle, PERL alumni K.K. Mashood, and colleagues have published an article in Life Science Education titled Developing an Analytical Framework to Characterize Student Reasoning about Complex Processes.

Angie publishes article in The Physics Teacher
August 30, 2018
Angie publishes article in The Physics Teacher

Angie Little and colleague published a paper in The Physics Teacher titled On the Importance of Engaging Students in Crafting Definitions.

Dr. Alanna Pawlak Defends Her PhD!
July 23, 2018
Dr. Alanna Pawlak Defends Her PhD!

Dr. Alanna Pawlak Defends Her PhD!