Scholarship of Teaching & Learning

I aim to cultivate an intentional and scholarly approach to my teaching, as well as to actively visualize student learning as evidence for educational assessment.  To achieve this, I have sought out professional development activities, obtained training to become up-to-date with the latest pedagogical and cognitive scientific literature, and worked to maintain a connection with other scholars in the community with universally shared goals.

For 2018-2020, I have been accepted into the Faculty Fellows program offered by the ASSETT program at CU Boulder.  Faculty members from different departments collaborate to enhance teaching and learning, and address educational needs within our own department.


Departmental Education Specialist Training Workshop, Stanford University (left to right: Cheryl Pinzone, Ruth Heisler, Teresa Foley, Carl Wieman)

Last summer, I attended a six-day intensive workshop hosted by Carl Wieman at Stanford University which was designed to provide training in research-best teaching and learning ideas and practices. This Departmental Education Specialist Training Workshop provided a significant opportunity for deliberate practice and obtaining a solid foundational knowledge of the literature, from which to elicit positive educational change. The workshop is described in more detail by a fellow participant, Doug McKee from Cornell University who hosts the Teach Better podcast on his blog site.

I have participated in numerous faculty groups at CU Boulder for which I have met and worked with amazing people focused on efforts toward improving teaching and learning. For two semesters I was a TRESTLE scholar (Transforming Education, Supporting Teaching and Learning Excellence Program) and participated in Faculty Learning Communities on metacognition lead by Dr. Rebecca Ciancanelli and active-learning activity design lead by Dr. Jennifer Knight, and I have participated in and co-led their Shared Innovations Discussion Group.  I am in regular attendance of the Discipline Based STEM Education Research seminar from our Center from STEM Learning, and have presented research there. I have participated in groups centered around improving critical thinking, through a Special Interest Group and student-faculty lunch hosted by the ASSETT program, and attended a training on the Critical thinking Assessment Test (CAT from NSF). Finally, I participated in a Science Education Initiative (SEI) retreat on Data Driven Instruction, as well as participated in courses offered by the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, & Learning (CIRTL) network, such as Creating Effective Learning Communities in Teaching and Research, and Facilitating Cooperative Work: How to Assess Active Learning Experiences.

Part of taking a scholarly approach to teaching means gathering evidence in order to visualize student learning and continuously assess educational practices. To this end, I have been trained in the Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS) and have been able to provide this for faculty and graduate teaching assistants. I also use research data collection tools and statistical analysis to visualize and study learning in the classroom.  Through pre/post assessments learning gains can be documented and pedagogical effectiveness evaluated, and using the Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) more qualitative questioning can be leveraged to assess student learning in more dimensions than typical student evaluations. For my own classes, I have developed questioning to assess metacognitive and self efficacy gains, Blooms level / intellectual rigor of coursework, and the level of challenge and growth students engage in regularly throughout the semester.