2013 Summer Undergraduate Research Assistantships (SURA)
The Maine Physical Sciences Partnership (PSP) invites applications from undergraduates in Maine to participate in a seven-week paid assistantship on the University of Maine campus during the summer of 2013. The program offers an opportunity to gain education research experience working with UMaine researchers and to work with K-12 teachers preparing inquiry-oriented science curricula for the upcoming school year. Please click here for more information.
Faculty Course Modification Incentive Grants
The Maine Physical Sciences Partnership project is pleased to invite faculty to apply for incentive grants for the purpose of integrating student-centered, research-supported teaching practices into University of Maine STEM courses. The grant guidelines are found in PSP Course Proposals (PDF) and PSP Course Proposals (DOC) formats. The deadline for the current round of proposals is March 18, 2013. Instructions for submitting a proposal are found in the attached grant guidelines.
Maine Learning Assistants
The Maine Learning Assistant Program offers paid positions for undergraduates to work closely with faculty and to assist them in trying out innovative instructional strategies in college courses. Undergraduates also receive the chance to explore their level of interest in a science or math teaching career. Please click here for more information.
Workshops for STEM Graduate Student Teaching Assistants
We offer periodic workshops for graduate students about a variety of teaching- and learning-related issues. These 2-hour workshops address topics such as assessing student learning, incorporating active learning strategies into your classes, and handling a range of issues you may encounter while being a TA. Please contact Medea Steinman (email@example.com) for more information.
Next workshop for Spring 2013:
Wednesday, March 27th, 3-5pm, Arthur St. John Hill Auditorium (165 Barrows Hall):
What Can We Learn From Student Feedback? - As instructors, we receive feedback from our students in a variety of ways. In this workshop, we will discuss the kinds of feedback that is possible to get from students’ written surveys (e.g., end-of-semester evaluation forms). Participants will have opportunities to become familiar with the ways undergraduates may respond to requests for feedback. In addition, participants will learn about reading and responding to student feedback and consider the circumstances when students’ criticisms might prompt instructors to change their teaching. We will also discuss what distinguishes an instructional approach that is ineffective from one that is unfamiliar or challenging for students.
SAVE the DATES! Our last workshop for the semester will be held on:
Thursday, April 25th, 3-5pm, Arthur St. John Hill Auditorium (165 Barrows Hall)
Previous 2012-2013 Workshops
Helping Students Learn in Small Groups - In this workshop, we talked about goals for collaborative group work, examined a case study from a class taught using groups, and discussed strategies for addressing common difficulties that arise as well as ways to maximize the benefits of this approach for all students. Natasha Speer, John Thompson; February 14, 2013, 3-5pm, Arthur St. John Hill Auditorium (165 Barrows Hall)
Issues related to Grades and Grading - Video, case studies and discussion examined what grades mean, and what issues should be considered when assigning grades and when generating final course grades. Natasha Speer, John Thompson; December 6, 2012, 2 -4pm; Arthur St. John Hill Auditorium (165 Barrows Hall)
What learning happens outside the classroom? - Students’ Study Skills and the Role of Homework in Learning. Mitchell Bruce, John Thompson, Natasha Speer, Thursday, October 27, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Arthur St. John Hill Auditorium (165 Barrows Hall)
Making Things “Click” in the Classroom - Uses of Personal Response Systems (Clickers) in the College Classroom. Michelle Smith and Frank Dudish, Thursday, November 10, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Arthur St. John Hill Auditorium (165 Barrows Hall)
Scaffolding Undergraduate Peer Facilitation: The Maine Learning Assistant Program - Over the next few years, many of you may find yourselves teaching alongside undergraduate peer instructors who are participating in the Maine Learning Assistant Program. In this workshop, we will provide a brief overview of our campus programs and give you some firsthand experiences with the unique kinds of professional development opportunities that the program offers. Mitchell Bruce, MacKenzie Stetzer, and François Amar, November 30, 3:10 – 5:00 Arthur St. John Hill Auditorium (165 Barrows Hall)
Inquiry-based labs: Allowing students to be scientists, even in large courses on tight budgets - As shown by numerous studies, inquiry-based learning is the best way to teach science. But how do we create and teach inquiry-based labs effectively, and how do we do this even in large courses, especially when hampered by shrinking budgets? In this workshop, we will examine specific low-cost labs designed for our introductory biology courses here at UMaine where enrollment is up to 800 students. We will do some inquiry-based exercises and look at methods of assessing student performance that minimize grading-time without compromising the writing and thinking done by students. Mary Tyler, Professor of Zoology, School of Biology and Ecology, Thursday, February 2nd, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., Vincent Hartgen Lecture Hall (100 Lord Hall)
Using free-response questions to probe student thinking - Instructors at all levels can gain valuable insight into student ideas by carefully examining written student work. While most of us have experience grading student responses to written questions, the use of the same written responses for formative assessment poses its own unique challenges. In this workshop, we will use actual student responses to an optics question in order to explore a variety of issues related to the role of free-response questions in formative assessment. MacKenzie Stetzer and John Thompson, Wednesday, March 14th 3:30 – 5:30 p.m., 310 Boardman Hall