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News and Events 2016

dB-SERC News


Motivation center speakers

  • Click here for motivation center speaker series.
  • November 15, 2016: Psychology is changing the world: The power of "wise" interventions
  • Greg Walton, Stanford University
  • 11-12 pm 5604 Posvar Hall

Pitt Chronicle features dB-SERC Course Transformation Awards in September 19 Issue

  • See the link to read about dB-SERC course transformation awards in the online issue of Pitt Chronicle 
  • Congratulations to faculty members who received the awards!

Upcoming dB-SERC New Faculty Workshop 

  • When: Tuesday August 23, 2016
  • Where: 321 Allen Hall from 9:00 am - 3: 00 pm
  • Interested faculty can sign up here.

CONGRATULATIONS

  • to Dr. Alan Sved, a faculty member in the neuroscience department and an active member of dB-SERC, who was the recipient of the 2016 Bellet Teaching Excellence Award. 
  • Watch a video about Dr. Sved's teaching philosophy here.

dB-SERC course transformation proposals due March 1, 2016

  • Click here for more information.

CONGRATULATIONS

  • to Dr. Nancy Pfenning, who received the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award! Dr. Pfenning was a recipient of a dB-SERC course transformation award to implement the use of clickers in statistics courses.
  • Read the article in the Pitt Chronicle here.

NEW dB-SERC informational video - dB-SERC Mission Statement

  • Click here to learn about dB-SERC and the goals of the center

NEW dB-SERC informational video - Weekly dB-SERC Lunch Discussion

  • Click here to learn about dB-SERC weekly lunch discussions

NEW dB-SERC informational video - Course Transformation Award

  • Email dbserc@pitt.edu to request a link to a video involving a detailed description of a course transformation award which was funded by dB-SERC

NEW dB-SERC informational video - New Faculty Workshop

  •  Click here to watch a video about the dB-SERC New Faculty Workshop

NEW dB-SERC informational video - New Graduate Teaching Assistant Workshop

  • Click here to watch a video about the dB-SERC New Graduate Teaching Assistant Workshop

CIDDE workshop: Reducing stereotype threat in the classroom (Book discussion - Whistling Vivaldi)

  • Facilitator: Kevin Binning, PhD, psychology
  • When: February 3, 2016 from 12 - 1 pm
  • Where: O'Hara Student Center
  • Register here

Congratulations

  • to Dr. Alexandru Maries, former dB-SERC postdoc, on his new appointment as assistant professor - educator at the University of Cincinnati!

Pitt-Cirtl Spring 2016 online course 

Preparation for the STEM Classroom: Advancing Learning Through Evidence-Based STEM Teaching

  • Topics which will be discussed include:
    • Learning through diversity
    • Cooperative learning/peer instruction
    • Inquiry-based labs
    • Problem-based learning
    • Flipped classroom pedagogy
  • faculty, postdocs, and graduate students can enroll
  • visit this link to sign up for the course  

 

dB-SERC Events


November 28, 2016: dB-SERC Lunch discussion 

  • Topic: Implementation of peer reviewed presentations in a biology course
  • Discussion leader: Dr. Kirill Kiselyov, biological sciences
  • When: Monday, November 28 from 12-1 pm
  • Where: 321 Allen Hall
  • During the lunch discussion, Dr. Kirill Kiselyov from the biological sciences department will discuss the implementation of a project for which he received a dB-SERC course transformation award. In his cell biology course, students analyze and present findings from research literature in modern biomedical science to their peers. The project is meant to help students learn about methodology and study limitations, data interpretation, and strength of conclusions. Analyzing the research literature and presenting the analysis in front of peers can also help students learn analytical skills, critical thinking, and presentation techniques. The purpose of the lunch is to provide feedback about implementation difficulties and assessment. 
  • If you would like to join the discussion, click here to register.
  • For more information, and a discussion summary visit the What We Do - Journal Club page

November 7, 2016: dB-SERC Lunch discussion

  • Topic:  Transforming a neuroscience course to an honors level course
  • When: Monday November 7 from 12 - 1 pm
  • Where: 321 Allen Hall
  • During the lunch, Dr. Debra Artim from the neuroscience department will discuss the design of a project for which she received a dB-SERC course transformation award. Dr. Artim plans to transform Neurophysiology to an honors level neuroscience course. The honors component of the course will involve primary literature readings and computer simulation modeling programs. Primary literature readings will be facilitated by journal club-type discussions and group presentations of primary literature. These exercises will help students develop their critical reading and thinking skills and understand the methodology underlying neurophysiology research. Students will also use computer simulation modeling programs to develop scientific reasoning skills. The purpose of the discussion is to discuss the implementation and assessment of the project and receive feedback from faculty members. 
  • To register to attend the lunch, please click here

October 14, 2015: Special dB-SERC lunch workshop conducted by Dr. Jose Mestre, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Topic: How people learn: A Scientist's Perspective
  • When: 12:00-1:30 pm
  • Where: 9th floor, LRDC
  • An overview of human learning and problem solving in science will be presented, including the role that misconceptions play in learning as well as why it is so difficult to get learners to transfer learning acquired in one context to related contexts. These ideas will be illustrated by an activity that will engage the audience in applying learning principles to a simple physics situation. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of how the activity ties to the learning principles covered in the first half of the presentation, and implications for promoting better teaching and learning in science/engineering courses will be discussed.
  • If you would like to join us, please register here.

October 3, 2016: dB-SERC lunch discussion

  • Topic:  Integrating Undergraduate Curriculum with Research-based Laboratory Courses
  • When: 12 - 1 pm
  • Where: 321 Allen Hall
  • During the lunch discussion, Dr. Kitty Liu from the chemistry department will discuss the design of a project for which she received a dB-SERC course transformation award.  She has been developing an interdisciplinary laboratory curriculum that integrates a biology lab course with two chemistry lab courses. The research-based chemistry laboratory courses offer undergraduate students real-world research experiences, and the highly interdisciplinary curriculum allows undergraduate students to connect the dots from different disciplines and can better prepare them for solving complex research challenges in future. In addition, graduate students who facilitate the chemistry labs will be involved in the development of the curriculum and mentoring undergraduates in their research. This provides graduate students with an opportunity that simulates research lab management. 
  • If you would like to join us, please fill out the form: https://goo.gl/forms/cljtzIHyJHx1EFNA2.
  • For more information, and a discussion summary visit the What We Do - Journal Club page

September 26, 2016: dB-SERC lunch discussion

  • Topic: Transitioning to inquiry based labs
  • When: 12 - 1 pm on Monday, September 26, 2016
  • Where: 321 Allen Hall
  • During the lunch, Dr. Russell Clark will discuss the design oof a project for which he received a dB-SERC course transformation award. He proposes to transition introductory physics labs from a traditional, “cook book” style format to an inquiry based format in which the students are given more open ended tasks.The purpose of the discussion is to discuss the implementation and assessment of the project and receive feedback from faculty members.
  • If you would like to join us, please fill out the form:https://goo.gl/forms/VxYt7DtpJtahDLVL2
  • For more information, and a discussion summary visit the What We Do - Journal Club page

August 15, 2016: dB-SERC lunch discussion

  • Topic: Creating a Comprehensive Bank of Assessments for Use in a Statistics Course
  • When: 12 - 1 pm on Monday, August 15
  • Where: 321 Allen Hall
  • During the lunch discussion, Dr. Nancy Pfenning (statistics) and PhD student Brian Leventhal (education) will discuss the design of a project for which they received a dB-SERC course transformation award. They propose a transformation of assessment materials in Statistics 1000 to consolidate and enhance existing materials in order to ensure fair and appropriate content for all instructors, especially those who are newly hired. These include assignments, projects that require use of statistical software, quizzes, midterms, and finals. They propose to begin with a thorough examination of existing assessment materials developed by various faculty to date. Consensus will be reached between the co-directors, incorporating input from full-time statistics faculty members who have experience in teaching Statistics 1000, to organize a coherent collection of materials that make it possible for a less experienced lecturer to “hit the ground running” with high-quality assessment tools that are consistent with the statistics department’s goals for instruction in that course. These materials will serve as a valuable resource in the future, especially to new instructors. Rationale and assessments of the proposed transformation will be discussed.The purpose of the discussion is to discuss the implementation and assessment of the project and receive feedback from faculty members.
  • If you would like to join us, please fill out the form:https://goo.gl/forms/awAh5lOqJqnQVwaJ3.
  • For more information, and a discussion summary visit the What We Do - Journal Club page

June 20, 2016: dB-SERC Lunch discussion

  • Topic: Using technology to scale up innovative research-based introductory laboratories
  • When: 12 - 1 pm on Monday, Jun 20
  • Where: 321 Allen Hall
  • During the lunch, Dr. Welkin Pope from Biological Sciences will discuss results from the implementation of a project for which she received a dB-SERC Course Transformation Award. The project centered on efforts to scale-up the SEA-PHAGES course-based research experience (CRE) – a lab course for introductory students which can be substituted for a “traditional” lab – from one section to five sections with an ultimate goal of 15 sections in the next five years. Dr. Pope will discuss how the wireless technology ClickShares helped foster authenticity of research and a sense of community in the course.
  • If you would like to join us, click here

June 1, 2016: dB-SERC Lunch discussion

  • Topic: Improving student group work and performance in a computer science course
  • When: 12 - 1 pm on Wednesday, June 1 (note the different day)
  • Where: 321 Allen Hall
  • During the lunch, Bill Garrison and Dr. Adam Lee from the Computer Science department will discuss findings from a Mentor-Mentee project that was funded by dB-SERC. The project focused on improving student group work and performance in CS 1653: Applied Cryptography and Network Security. They used analytics to inform the instructor about the progress of each group and to investigate what makes some groups more successful than others. The discussion will focus on findings from an initial data analysis of data collected during the Spring 2015 semester and thoughts on improving the next offering of CS 1653 based upon the findings.
  • If you would like to join us, click here: http://goo.gl/forms/ZdrPLhye91LVkbAE3

May 16, 2016: dB-SERC Lunch discussion

  • Topic: Findings of a flipped, large enrollment introductory science course
  • When: 12 - 1 pm 
  • Where: 321 Allen Hall
  • During the lunch, Dr. Matteo Broccio from the Physics and Astronomy department will discuss findings from a flipped, large enrollment introductory science course for which he received a dB-SERC Course Transformation Award. The purpose of this lunch is to discuss results of the course transformation and ideas for future implementation.
  • If you would like to join us, click here: http://goo.gl/forms/f0vZAZcU8J
  • For more information, and a discussion summary visit the What We Do - Journal Club page

May 5, 2016: dB-SERC Faculty Retreat

  • Topic: Focus on Undergraduate Assessment
  • When: Thursday May 5, from 9 am -12 pm
  • Where: O’Hara Student Center.
  • The link for registering is http://goo.gl/forms/seYUVRizII. Please RSVP for the retreat by Wednesday, April 20, 2016.
  • The purpose of this retreat is for faculty from each department to discuss issues related to assessment with colleagues in their department and with colleagues from other natural science departments. dB-SERC will also learn about the challenges and opportunities pertaining to teaching, learning and assessment in each department and the types of support that dB-SERC can provide to help faculty members and departments improve their course level and program level assessment.
  • See here for a schedule and possible questions for discussion.
  • https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2y2x09KHt4fOTJ4T0RyajMwNzQClick here to see pictures of the event.

April 4, 2016: dB-SERC lunch discussion

  • Topic: Partnership between CIDDE and the Biological Sciences Department: Supporting curricular transformations of Large Laboratories
  • Discussion leaders: Dr. Jean Schmidt, biological sciences, Dr. Joel Brady, CIDDE
  • Introductory Biology Lab at the University of Pittsburgh is a very large enrollment, two-semester course sequence serving more than 1000 students per semester in 60+ laboratory sections, facilitated by an evolving team of 20-24 instructors.  Instructor training is key, as we work to transition from traditional cookbook type labs to an inquiry-based curriculum that develops students' science process skills. Jean Schmidt of the Department of Biological Sciences and Dr. Joel Brady of CIDDE will present the story of their ongoing partnership in instructor training in support of curricular transformation.  The goals are to share their approach to instructor training, and to demonstrate aspects of their training program that could potentially be applied in other contexts or departments.
  • To register to attend, click here
  • For more information, and a discussion summary visit the What We Do - Journal Club page

March 30, 2016: dB-SERC lunch discussion

  • Topic: Course transformation involving smart-phones, tablets, and laptops in a guided inquiry course
  • Discussion leader: Dr. Sean Garrett-Roe, chemistry
  • During the lunch, Dr. Sean Garrett-Roe from the chemistry department will discuss the implementation of a guided inquiry physical chemistry class for which he received a dB-SERC course transformation award. Guided inquiry teaching places students at the focus of the learning process. Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) is based on a learning cycle of exploration, concept invention, and application. Students work in groups to explore rich data displays and are guided by a series of questions to construct their own understanding. With a solid mental framework for the concept in place, subsequent tasks regularize the concept with standard terminology, as well as apply, extend, and refine the ideas. Typical POGIL materials are worksheets, and paper has proved to be effective for many situations. A problem in the physical chemistry classroom, however, is that many topics are dynamic. Static representations on the page force students to imagine how pictures evolve with time. The goal of this course transformation award is to refine and assess POGIL materials that introduce dynamics using interactive simulations that run on student's mobile computers (smart phone, tablets, and laptops).
  • To register to attend, click here.
  • For more information, and a discussion summary visit the What We Do - Journal Club page

March 21, 2016: dB-SERC lunch discussion

  • Topic: Implementation of a Course Transformation in Large Undergraduate Psychology Lectures
  • Discussion leader: Dr. Tim Nokes-Malach, psychology
  • During the lunch, Dr. Timothy Nokes-Malach from the psychology department will discuss the transformation of a large-enrollment psychology course for which he received a course transformation award. The course transformation involves “flipping” classroom instruction and providing opportunities for students to engage in activities based on principles from cognitive science, including self-explanation, analogical comparison, and memory-retrieval practice. The purpose of the lunch is to discuss the implementation of the course transformation and also to provide feedback about implementation difficulties and assessment.
  • If you plan to attend, register here
  • For more information, and a discussion summary visit the What We Do - Journal Club page

March 14, 2016: dB-SERC lunch discussion

  • Topic: Individualized approaches to learning
  • Discussion Leader: Dr. Carol Washburn, CIDDE
  • An individualized approach to learning is becoming popular in colleges and universities as one means of documenting student outcomes. Part of the strategic goals of the University of Pittsburgh includes personalized learning. Carol Washburn and Cressida Magaro from the Center for Instructional Development & Distance Education will discuss how institutions are adopting this approach and the courses that lend themselves to this form of instruction.  In addition, two tools for adapting different aspects of your course will be demonstrated. 
  • To register, click here
  • For more information, and a discussion summary visit the What We Do - Journal Club page

February 29, 2016: dB-SERC lunch discussion

  • Topic: Implementation of a flipped, large enrollment introductory science course
  • Discussion Leader: Dr. David Nero, physics and astronomy
  • During the lunch, Dr. David Nero from Physics and Astronomy will discuss the implementation of a flipped, large enrollment introductory science course for which he obtained a dB-SERC Course Transformation Award. The purpose of this lunch is to discuss the implementation of “flipping” and also to provide feedback regarding assessment and ideas for overcoming implementation difficulties.
  • To register, click here
  • For more information, and a discussion summary visit the What We Do - Journal Club page

February 22, 2016: dB-SERC lunch discussion

  • Topic: Reflections on the implementation of clickers in large enrollment introductory statistics classes
  • Discussion leader: Dr. Kehui Chen, statistics
  • During the lunch, Dr. Kehui Chen from the departments of statistics and psychiatry will discuss how a large-enrollment introductory statistics class was transformed using student response systems (clickers). Dr. Kehui Chen and Dr. Nancy Pfenning (statistics) received a dB-SERC course transformation award to implement clickers in the classroom last semester. The clickers were utilized to conduct surveys and short quizzes throughout the semester to achieve more effective communication between the instructor and students. They were also used for data-generating activities to improve concept learning in statistics sampling and to utilize interactive case studies to help students apply statistical methods to real data analysis. The purpose of the lunch is to reflect on the implementation of the course transformation, discuss results from assessments, and to think about how the transformation could be modified for future courses.
  • To register, click here: http://goo.gl/forms/v68wmED528
  • For more information, and a discussion summary visit the What We Do - Journal Club page

February 15, 2016: dB-SERC lunch discussion

  • Topic: Using technology to scale up innovative research-based laboratories
  • Discussion leader: Dr. Welkin Pope, Biological sciences
  • During the lunch, Dr. Welkin Pope from Biological Sciences will discuss the implementation of a project for which she received a dB-SERC Course Transformation Award. The project is centered on efforts to scale-up the SEA-PHAGES course-based research experience (CRE) – a lab course for introductory students which can be substituted for a “traditional” lab – from one section to five sections with an ultimate goal of 15 sections in the next five years. Dr. Pope will discuss the difficulties in maintaining the authenticity of the research and a sense of community – both important aspects of the course – and the technology-based solution—the wireless ClickShares. In addition, she will also discuss how the project is being assessed.
  • To register, click here: http://goo.gl/forms/jwV56emQtP
  • For more information, and a discussion summary visit the What We Do - Journal Club page

February 8, 2016: dB-SERC lunch discussion

  • Topic: Introducing students in large enrollment psychology courses to scientific journal articles
  • Discussion leaders: Adeetee Bhide and Dr. Natasha Tokowicz, psychology
  • During the lunch, Dr. Natasha Tokowicz and Adeetee Bhide from the department of psychology will discuss some preliminary findings of a project for which they received a dB-SERC mentor-mentee award.     
  • To register, click here:  http://goo.gl/forms/26McwHIfV3
  • For more information, and a discussion summary visit the What We Do - Journal Club page

February 1, 2016: dB-SERC lunch discussion

  • Topic: Helping your students engage with self-study tools
  • Discussion leaders: Emily Marshman and Chandralekha Singh
  • During the lunch, Dr. Emily Marshman and Dr. Chandralekha Singh will lead a discussion about helping students learn from self-study tools. They will propose a framework useful for encouraging students with diverse backgrounds benefit from self-study tools.
  • To register, click here: http://goo.gl/forms/rTsvBLOun
  • For more information, and a discussion summary visit the What We Do - Journal Club page

January 25, 2016: dB-SERC lunch discussion

  • Topic: Reflections on integrating modeling instruction throughout a large lecture introductory biology course
  • Discussion leaders: Lisa Limeri and Dr. Sam Donovan, biological sciences
  • During the lunch, Lisa Limeri and Dr. Sam Donovan will discuss results from their project involving modeling instruction in a large introductory biology class for which they received a dB-SERC mentor-mentee award. 
  • For more information, and a discussion summary visit the What We Do - Journal Club page

January 22, 2016: dB-SERC workshop for new Undergraduate Teaching Assistants

  • When: Friday, January 22, 2016 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
  • Where: 104 Thaw Hall
  • Description: In this workshop, we will discuss evidence-based strategies for improving the effectiveness of homework sessions and recitations/labs including but not limited to: creating a TA teaching community, fostering collaborative learning, improving student participation, and tailoring help provided to students' prior knowledge. This workshop will be beneficial to undergraduate students who will serve as UTAs in the Natural Sciences. The workshop will be followed by a reception during which complimentary food will be provided. 
  • Who can register: Any UTA in the natural sciences
  • Interested TAs can register at the link: http://goo.gl/forms/R26NjS7pM5. The deadline to RSVP is 5 pm on Tuesday, January 20.