Science teaching, science learning

sharing evidence-based practices for undergraduate science faculty 


At Vanderbilt's Center for Teaching, I have led several ongoing programs to help faculty and graduate students develop their teaching. Two of the most notable programs are described below.

Example projects

Helping students understand Monarch butterfly navigation

Videos and quizzes to build microscopy skills

Learning tools for celestial navigation

Testing the flipped classroom in genetics

Developing students' skills in qualitative research methods

Junior faculty teaching fellows program

The Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows program is designed to help new faculty members get an effective start to their teaching careers. Our goals are for the Fellows to gain an understanding of principles of learning to inform teaching, to stock their teaching tool kits with new skills and approaches, to develop a framework for course design, and to build teaching community. The program adopts a cohort-based learning community model, with eight to thirteen faculty applicants selected to participate each year. To date, six cohorts of junior faculty have completed the program, and more than fifty Vanderbilt faculty members have participated. 

BOLD (Blended and Online Learning Design) program

The BOLD Fellows program is designed to help graduate student/faculty teams build expertise in developing online instructional modules grounded in good course design principles and our understanding of how people learn. STEM faculty members partner with graduate students or postdocs to design and develop online modules for integration into a course. The teams investigate the use of these modules, collecting data about the effectiveness of the module for promoting student learning. The program was developed as a collaboration between Vanderbilt's Center for Teaching and CIRTL (Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning). Six cohorts of graduate students have entered the program, and twenty Vanderbilt science or engineering classes have been enriched with BOLD projects. 

Program components

  • Six-session teaching & learning seminar with readings targeted to Fellows' needs and interests

  • Teaching visits hosted by Fellows and senior faculty colleagues

  • Consultations with Vanderbilt Center for Teaching staff

  • Dinners focused on teaching & learning questions with senior faculty colleagues. ‚Äč