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‘STEM teaching’

Promoting Persistence in STEM Learning Community

Jun. 10, 2021—  STEM disciplines have long been concerned with disparities between underrepresented and well-represented student groups and the associated “pipeline” problem, where underrepresented students are more likely to switch away from STEM majors. A group of about eighteen faculty from eight departments met throughout 2020-2021 to explore approaches to increasing equity and inclusion in their courses...

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CFT offers new guide for writing science exams

Mar. 26, 2021—Are you a scientist who uses timed exams in your course? Would you like to know some research-based recommendations for making your exams more valid, effective, and equitable? If the answer to both those questions is yes, check out our new guide for writing science exams. Put together by a learning community of scientists striving...

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“I was trying to re-create the magic of impromptu, small group, in-class work.”: Julie Johnson shares key lessons from her Fall 2020 teaching

Feb. 11, 2021—Julie Johnson, Professor of the Practice of Computer Science, recently joined Marcy Singer-Gabella and Jesse Blocher for a Conversation on Teaching about the hybrid courses they taught in Fall 2020. You can see the recording of the entire session here. In the clip below, Julie shares key lessons from her teaching: Persistent groups are critical...

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Striving Towards Inclusion in Academic Biology Spring Webinar Series

Jan. 12, 2021—The webinar series on Striving Towards Inclusion in Academic Biology continues this spring with nine seminars focusing on different elements of inclusion. While the series is supported by the Society for Advancement of Biology Education Research and targets academic biology, the webinars are led by scholars from a variety of disciplines (including Anjali Forber-Pratt, Department...

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Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt: Chad Carpenter and Multi-Step Class Problem Solving

Apr. 6, 2020—By Faith Rovenolt, CFT undergraduate intern   During Spring 2020, the Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt blog series will highlight teaching innovations that CFT staff have implemented and evaluated in their own courses.   In teaching quantitative courses, it can be easy to fall into the trap of creating plug-and-chug problems for students. However, Chad Carpenter,...

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Teaching labs remotely

Apr. 3, 2020—by Cynthia Brame, CFT associate director As we start to prepare for teaching summer courses online, some instructors are making the shift toward teaching labs online. As many lab courses are designed to be about learning from hands-on, messy, real-world exploration, this shift can be a challenge. Use your goals as your guide One of...

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Town Hall: Branches from the Same Tree: The Integration of the Humanities and Arts with Science, Engineering, and Medicine in Higher Education

Jan. 30, 2020—On Feb 4th in the Student Life Center, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine  and Vanderbilt University will hold a Town Hall – Branches from the Same Tree: The integration of the humanities and arts with science, engineering, and medicine in higher education.  The town hall will be held on Feb 4th with a...

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Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt: Cynthia Brame, homework to highlight “real life” relevance, and flipped classes

Jan. 13, 2020—By Faith Rovenolt, CFT undergraduate intern During Spring 2020, the Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt blog series will highlight teaching innovations that CFT staff have implemented and evaluated in their own courses.   Working at the CFT has been one of the best decisions I have made in college. It has afforded me many wonderful opportunities,...

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Student motivation journal club: If it’s bigger than you, the boring is worth it: the power of self-transcending motivation on menial tasks

Oct. 28, 2019—By Faith Rovenolt, CFT undergraduate intern, and Heather Fedesco, CFT Assistant Director Unfortunately, it’s hard to avoid the boring in learning. Inevitably, even in the most exciting fields, students need to learn and do a boring, menial, or repetitive task. In STEM, this is especially true. You can’t learn to plot the path of a...

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Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt: Garrett Tate, Lily Claiborne, and student analysis of real-world data

Sep. 30, 2019—By Faith Rovenolt, CFT undergraduate intern It’s pretty hard to not find volcanoes exciting. That’s part of the reason why I think a new active learning activity in EES-1510: The Dynamic Earth: Introduction to Geological Sciences, is so cool. The other reason I think it’s amazing is that it represents a great example of an...

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