Let's brainstorm some ideas on what might be useful for us as a group and how funds from NSF could help us. Here are some questions to get use started.
1. What are your scholarship goals for the next five years? 2. If we had funds, what professional development activities would help you achieve these goals? 3. Specifically, how might these activities help you achieve these goals?
Last Edit: Jun 2, 2015 11:01:05 GMT -8 by stanleylo
Post by Marina Crowder (UCD) on Jun 8, 2015 8:10:23 GMT -8
A. Research/pedagogy Goals: Develop a scientific teaching training program for graduate students and postdocs that leads to mentored teaching experiences in undergraduate STEM classrooms. Funds would be used to 1) develop training program materials, 2) offer a stipend to participating graduate students/postdocs, and 3) create and maintain a digital UC-wide repository of teaching materials and resources.
B) Research/pedagogy Goal: Develop blended classrooms for upper division courses in Genetics, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry and compare student learning and retention between traditional and blended classrooms. Funds would be used to 1) pay for a graduate student or postdoc to assist with developing blended course material and collecting/analyzing classroom data.
We ran into a couple of the NSF program people at meetings this summer and it looks like they're eager to give away the RCN money. One suggested incorporation of CC faculty would be valuable, and maybe it could be an entire UC/CSU/CC network. Also, as I think Stanley is trying to get at, we have to show how it'll be distinct from what we've already established.
1. Scholarship goals - classroom assessment of various interventions we've established, but on a broader (multi discipline or multi-campus) scale. 2. Money - conference attendance/presentation to increase interactions (we should make more of an effort to talk to each other about conferences we're going to). Establish network specific meetings focused on specific established projects (as opposed to thinking up the projects at the meeting). Locking ourselves in a room for a day or two thinking about just one or two ideas could lead to some very productive discussions and real research projects.
Post by Laura Tucker on Aug 5, 2015 9:06:10 GMT -8
I'm not sure whether this fits well with RCN, but I'm still keen on the idea to try to link topics covered in various STEM classes.
The goal would be to identify topics in courses we teach that tie in with other STEM disciplines (physics, bio, chem, math, etc) and work to make explicit connections that are revisited in the different courses students take.
For example, identify which bio/chem courses mention membrane potential. Have the physics/bio/chem instructors sit down and debrief on what is taught on the subject in each course. Our goal would be to try to find opportunities to introduce short, explicit connections between what is actually taught in each course. This could start within single campuses to build simple connections between course topics known to be taught at that campus, but possibly expand to multiple campuses and community colleges.
Hi everyone, thanks for your input so far. Some of the ideas here would be great for the IUSE program at NSF (https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=505082), which funds research and development projects related to undergraduate STEM education.
Just to clarify, the RCN program at NSF that we have been looking at funds research coordination networks but not research itself. Here is the main description of the program, and please see more information here (https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=11691).
"The goal of the RCN program is to advance a field or create new directions in research or education by supporting groups of investigators to communicate and coordinate their research, training and educational activities across disciplinary, organizational, geographic and international boundaries. RCN provides opportunities to foster new collaborations, including international partnerships, and address interdisciplinary topics. Innovative ideas for implementing novel networking strategies, collaborative technologies, and development of community standards for data and meta-data are especially encouraged. RCN awards are not meant to support existing networks; nor are they meant to support the activities of established collaborations. RCN awards do not support primary research. RCN supports the means by which investigators can share information and ideas, coordinate ongoing or planned research activities, foster synthesis and new collaborations, develop community standards, and in other ways advance science and education through communication and sharing of ideas."
My understanding from program officers is similar to Brian's, that they are eager to give away RCN money. The initial idea was to leverage our L(P)SOE uniqueness as "tenure"-eligible teaching faculty with scholarship expectations. This is different from tenure-track discipline-based education research faculty or non-tenure-eligible teaching faculty at other institutions. With this difference probably come unique challenges and opportunities. We can hopefully capitalize these challenges and opportunities to form a research coordination network, based on NSF's definition.
In a sense, the original questions on this board are asking what types of activities that the RCN funding could pay for that would make our collective scholarship better? We will also have to consider how the RCN would be different from the existing STEM LEC network, and incorporating CSU and/or CC may make sense (perhaps in a two-stage process with either one first and then the second one at a later stage).
Here are the questions again (now hopefully with some clarifications): 1. What are your scholarship goals for the next five years? 2. If we had funds, what professional development activities would help you achieve these goals? 3. Specifically, how might these activities help you achieve these goals?
Post by Laura Tucker on Aug 17, 2015 14:29:27 GMT -8
Not sure if this has been mentioned previously
2. I would love to be part of a small "accountability" scholarship group. The funds would be required for someone to administer creating these groups and checking in on how they are going. Also funds could support a couple social meetings -- lunches and kickoff events similar to what many mentoring programs have. 3. It is really helpful to have a group of people to talk to regularly about research ideas -- it helps keep momentum, gets me unstuck when I'm stuck, and can provide a place for feedback on paper drafts. The STEM-LEC on the UCI campus fulfills this need somewhat, but it is a bit large to give everyone time to check in on goals and brainstorm specific ideas. I think having such a program would be particularly beneficial to STEM-LECs who have smaller campus communities.
Post by Pavan Kadandale on Aug 21, 2015 9:46:46 GMT -8
I agree that the RCN and IUSE are two different things - and the RCN might be an easier target for the immediate future (based on our interactions with the NSF people at SABER). To address Stanley's questions, with a view towards building an RCN around improving critical thinking at all levels:
1. What are your scholarship goals for the next five years? To increase the use of primary literature and data analysis in both lab and lecture courses across the curriculum. To measure the effects of increasing the use of primary literature, to identify barriers to increased adoption of primary literature as a teaching tool, and to establish resources that lower these barriers.
2. If we had funds, what professional development activities would help you achieve these goals? Meeting other people to exchange ideas, design commonly useable modules and assessments.
3. Specifically, how might these activities help you achieve these goals? By building a community, we can design multiple primary literature modules that can be used in different disciplines and colleges. In addition, having common assessment techniques and tools will allow us to compare data across institutions, over time.