Category Archives: Beyond the Center

Undergraduate STEM Teaching MOOC

An interesting and free “MOOC”  (Massive Open Online course)  on Undergraduate STEM Teaching  is now available. The course will run on the Coursera platform starting October 6th.  It’s produced by faculty, students, and staff at six institutions affiliated with the CIRTL Network, a group of research universities collaborating in the preparation of STEM graduate students and post-docs as future faculty members.  Lead instructors are Trina McMahon (UW-Madison), Rique Campa (Michigan State), Bennett Goldberg (Boston U), and me (Vanderbilt U).

The course is designed to provide graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in the STEM disciplines who are planning college and university faculty careers with an introduction to effective teaching strategies and the research that supports them. Topics include course design, cooperative learning, peer instruction, inquiry-based labs, problem-based learning, diversity in the classroom, and more. Although aimed at future STEM faculty, we expect that current STEM faculty will find the course interesting and useful, too.

Engage/Inspire/Retain Your Students

The College of Science & Technology at Central Michigan University is holding the Creating Environments that Engage, Inspire, & Retain STEM Students conference on Saturday, March 22, 2014 from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. The conference will feature several experts on topics such as how to transform traditional courses to active learning courses and how to utilize active learning spaces. In addition to speakers, there will also be open discussions about active learning pedagogy and presentations on subjects related to active learning during the afternoon poster session. Although not mandatory, conference attendees are encouraged to present a poster; click here if you are interested in participating in the poster session. Space is limited so register today!  Visit for more information.

Leadership Institute to Support STEM Education

The Project Kaleidoscope Summer Leadership Institute, offered in partnership with the Association of American Colleges & Universities, is “designed for both early- and mid-career STEM faculty engaged in leading projects aimed at transforming undergraduate STEM education in their classrooms, departments, and institutions. The Institute curriculum is grounded in a carefully coordinated blend of theory and practice related to the politics of institutional transformation, and aims to empower STEM faculty to act as agents of change in their home institutions and/or professional societies.”

The institute will be held in July, and applications are due March 24.  Click on the link above for additional information.

Boost Student Engagement, Progress and Persistence

Consider attending this Engaging Students in Engineering (ENGAGE) webinar on faculty-student interaction:

Webinar: Research-Based, Time-Effective Ways Faculty Can Boost Student Progress and Persistence

Positive student interactions with faculty make a BIG difference. They build student engagement, confidence and retention. For this webinar, two experts will discuss four strategies you can use to interact effectively with students. Invite a group of colleagues to view the webinar together!

Date/Time: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 4:30pm EST

To Register: Click here.

“Flipped” Approaches for Hands-On Labs

Join Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECEDHA) and Quanser for the following, complimentary Webinar:

Webinar: Making sense out of the “flipped” campus with new approaches to hands-on labs

The so-called “flipped” campus prescribes that mechanical details of engineering concepts be learned independently while classroom experience be focused on application of core concepts.  This webinar presents the case that modern interpretations of traditional undergraduate labs offer a great opportunity for schools to efficiently flip their classrooms and trigger improvements in education and research. Register today for Making sense out of the “flipped’ campus with new approaches to hands-on labs to gain a better understanding of the following:

  • New technologies that are helping institutions to make on-campus labs more relevant and engaging
  • How the flipped classroom offers opportunities to reconcile traditional concepts such as modeling and analysis with practical hands-on experiences
  • How “lab-thinking” can extend into the dorm room further enriching the flipped experience for students

Date/Time: November 12, 2013 11:00 am PT / 2:00 pm ET

To Register: Registration is required. Click here to register.

Blended Learning Grant Program – Applications Due Soon

Michigan Tech’s Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning is soliciting proposals from instructional teams (instructors and staff) for $1k, $5k and $10k blended learning grants. These grants are available through the Blended Learning Grant Program, established through the generous gift of William G. Jackson, a Michigan Tech alum.

The due dates to apply are quickly approaching:

  • Oct 31, 2013 Intent to apply entry is due:  Fill out this form to be added to a Canvas course where materials will be collected.
  • Nov 3, 2013 Grant applications are due at 11:59 pm.

Refer to Blended Learning Grant Program for details. Questions about proposals can be directed to Mike Meyer at