October 2017 Newsletter

In this edition: 

October STinP Webinar

Measuring the Impact of Scientific Teaching
Featuring Jenny Knight 

Friday, October 13, 2017 | 3-4 PM Eastern time (12-1 PM PT)
Zoom Link to Join:

After implementing scientific teaching principles, how do instructors know whether their approaches are working? During this Scientific Teaching in Practice (STinP) webinar, associate professor and assessment expert Jenny Knight will lead a discussion on how instructors can evaluate the impacts of their scientific teaching efforts. We encourage participants to bring their ideas and questions to the discussion.
Jenny Knight is an associate professor in the molecular, cellular and developmental biology department at the University of Colorado Boulder. Jenny studies and applies interactive teaching methods to increase conceptual understanding in biology courses. Jenny and her colleagues have developed several concept assessments including the Genetics Concept Assessment, the Introductory Molecular Biology Assessment, and the Molecular Biology Capstone Assessment

Save the Date:
November STinP Webinar

Publishing Your Teachable Tidbit on CourseSource
Featuring Dr. Jess Blum
Friday, November 3, 2017 | 3-4 PM ET (12-1 PM PT)
Zoom Link to Join:

Have you ever thought about publishing a teaching resource you developed? If you are a Summer Institute alum, have you ever considered submitting your “teachable tidbit” for peer-review to be disseminated widely? Now is your chance! Please join us for a webinar with Jess Blum, managing editor of CourseSource, an open-access journal of peer-reviewed, evidence-based teaching resources for undergraduate biology education. Jess will provide participants with an introduction to CourseSource as well as an overview of the submission and publication process. Ample time for questions and answers will be provided.
Series Overview
The Scientific Teaching in Practice Webinar Series extends the learning and dialogue that occurs at the Summer Institutes into a year-round community that supports and inspires evidence-based teaching. Each month, the SI community is invited to attend an interactive webinar related to the practice and/or dissemination of scientific teaching. The webinar will be facilitated by someone experienced in that area, integrating significant time for questions and open discussion. Webinars are open to SI alums as well as those generally interested in scientific teaching and evidence-based teaching strategies. ​

For more information on upcoming seminars, visit our "Webinar Series" page

September Webinar Recap

We kicked off our 2017-2018 Scientific Teaching in Practice Webinar series with Dr. Kimberly Tanner from San Francisco State University. Kimberly led participants through concrete, evidence-based strategies to promote inclusive learning environments. Miss the session? You can access the slides from the presentation here.

Recommended reading from Kimberly

Feedback from the Webinar

"The concrete examples for inclusive teaching from the speaker and the attendees were great!"

"Great webinar. Appreciated the interactive nature and availability of extra resources."

"It was as interactive as a webinar could be."

Check out the SI website for previous webinars.

SI Research in Focus:

The Impact of Student Trust on Engagement, Performance and Persistence
“For many students, active learning may seem daunting. Faculty can encourage student engagement through inclusive teaching strategies that build trust and make every student feel that they are an important part of the course.” 

--Andrew Cavanagh, Postdoctoral Research associate, Yale CTL Evaluation Team
A recent series of studies by the Summer Institutes evaluation team based at the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has explored key elements related to student learning in scientific teaching contexts. The studies* involved students (n=5,488) from institutions across the U.S. who are in courses taught by Summer Institutes alumni (n=67). Findings show that student trust of their instructor contributed significantly to positive student outcomes in these courses. Drawing on research from the social science literature, postdoctoral researcher Andrew Cavanagh and colleagues found that students’ trust of their instructor -- defined as the perception that their instructor is understanding, caring, and validates student learning needs -- was significantly associated with engagement, course performance, and intent to persist in the sciences. Importantly, this effect is consistent for students who are traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. “This collaborative evaluation research project continues to demonstrate the impact of Summer Institutes training. These findings show the importance of understanding the student perspective when implementing evidence-based teaching practices” said Mark Graham, CTL evaluation team director and co-author. For additional resources on supporting student trust, visit

*This research was funded by the National Science foundation, NSF-TUES #1323258

Nominate a Colleague

Do you know a Summer Institute alum who has successfully implemented scientific teaching or led efforts on their home campuses to disseminate evidence-based teaching?

Nominate them to be featured in an upcoming SI Newsletter by completing this short form:
Nominate a Colleague Here

STEM Education Job Opportunities

Did you know that we post job opportunities submitted to us on the SI website?

New postings include:  Submit a job posting or view additional postings on the Summer Institutes "News & Opportunities" page

Questions about the Summer Institutes or suggestions for this newsletter?

Please contact the Summer Institutes on Scientific Teaching Program Director: Dr. Elizabeth Luoma (
Copyright © 2017 National Institute on Scientific Teaching, All rights reserved.

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