What is the Summer Teaching-as-Research Institute for Postdocs in Engineering (STRIPE)?

February 25, 2014

This summer the 2014 annual workshop will be held in Boulder, Colorado July 21st – August 1st, Monday through Friday, from 2-4 pm MST in the Active Learning Center in the ITLL at CU Boulder. For more information on how to register contact michelle.burns@colorado.edu

I. Institutional Team:

  1. Institutional Leader:
    Name: Jean R. Hertzberg
    Title: Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
  2. Administrative co-Leader:
    Name: Laura L. B. Border
    Title: Director, Graduate Teacher Program

II. Number of STEM PhDs Awarded in 2010: 253

III. Abstract – Goals and design of CIRTL learning community
Developed through NSF CIRTL funding, the Teaching Institute for Graduate Education Research (TIGER) builds on the CIRTL core ideas—learning-through-diversity, learning communities, and teaching-as-research—to promote development of future STEM faculty in teaching and learning. TIGER/CIRTL is well institutionalized in the College of Arts & Sciences; however, the CIRTL core ideas have not moved into the College of Engineering. Additionally there is a need on the Boulder campus for future faculty activities around diversity in the classroom. Our project will leverage the knowledge base found locally in the Graduate Teacher Program, in our local STEM faculty discipline-based education research (DBER) group, across our university partners in the CIRTL Network, and in the existing CIRTL materials resources to: (1) disseminate the CIRTL cross-Network learning community and the CIRTL opportunities at CUB to all STEM departmental graduate student orientations through TIGER OUTREACH; (2) create and implement TIGER DOC (Diversity on Campus) as an in-depth teaching and learning-through-diversity summer training for STEM graduate students; (3) create TIGER PRECEPT (Program for the Reformation of Courses to Enhance the Practice of Teaching) to engage STEM faculty/graduate students in the improvement of entire undergraduate and graduate courses via the CIRTL core ideas and engage TIGER PRECEPTORS (CUB CIRTL Practitioners and Scholars) to develop TAR projects and mentor other scholars who are improving learning in undergraduate courses; (4) develop, host, and facilitate in collaboration with partner campusesCIRTL Reads—an online discussion group based on shared reading of educational literature in STEM; and (5) develop the Summer Teaching-as-Research Institute for Postdocs in Engineering (STRIPE).

IV. Number of STEM graduate students and post-doctoral scholars to be participating in CIRTL learning community by the end of the second year; by end of five years:
300 by end of 2nd year; and 500–700 by end of 5th year (This number reflects only new students participating in activities for this proposal.)

V. Measurable outcomes to be achieved at end of second year; at end of five years:

  1. TIGER OUTREACH activities will produce awareness of CIRTL in: 300 (Yr 2); 500 (Yr 5)
  2. TIGER DOC will produce: 10 (Yr 2); 15 (Yr 5) CIRTL Practitioners
  3. TIGER PRECEPT course reform project will produce: 35 (Yr 2); 70 (Yr 5) CIRTL Practitioners and 3 (Yr 2); 6 (Yr 5) CIRTL Scholars
  4. CIRTL Reads will produce: 4 (Yr 2); 10 (Yr 5) CIRTL Practitioners (presenters) and 20 (Yr 2); 30 (Yr 5) CIRTL Fellows (participants)
  5. TIGER STRIPE will produce: 36 (Yr 2); 90 (Yr 5) CIRTL Practitioners

VI. Evaluation capacity:
Project staff members are trained in IRB rules and regulations and have conducted educational research and evaluation. Two graduate researchers will collect data on participation, satisfaction, learning, application, and impact. An evaluation expert will assist with project evaluation during the last two years.

VII. Description of proposed local CIRTL learning community:
Building on its previous CIRTL successes in creating the TIGER/CIRTL learning community, creating CIRTL-based pedagogy courses in departments, enhancing courses in the College of Arts and Sciences through teaching-as-research projects, and sharing ideas across the Network, CU Boulder proposes to expand TIGER/CIRTL across the campus and especially into the College of Engineering, and strengthen the preparation of CUB future faculty teaching diverse undergraduate populations. To those ends, we will develop, implement and assess the following projects:

  1. TIGER OUTREACH: Disseminate information about the CIRTL cross-Network learning community and the CIRTL opportunities at CUB at all STEM graduate student orientations.
  2. TIGER DOC: TIGER Diversity Outreach on Campus will create (building on experience of other campuses in the CIRTL Network) a 20-hour immersive summer training for future faculty on inclusive teaching, classroom diversity issues and learning-through-diversity, with correlative materials and TAR projects. TIGER DOC will begin in Summer 2013 and produce at minimum 10 TIGER DOCs annually. The Vice Chancellor for Diversity (a professor of genetics) has agreed to leverage the capacity of existing diversity projects on campus to help build a program for graduate student teachers/future faculty. We also will integrate and contribute to CIRTL Network courses, especially Diversity in the College Classroom.
  3. TIGER PRECEPT (Program for Redesign of Courses to Enhance the Practice of Teaching): TIGER TEACHES, developed with prior NSF funds, provides TAR opportunities to reform specific units or modules in courses. TIGER PRECEPT will engage teams of faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows in the reform of entire undergraduate or graduate courses. Current and future faculty together will challenge basic assumptions of a course, assess student outcomes and perceptions, and improve the course using CIRTL core ideas. Goals, objectives, and outcomes will be benchmarked, and the courses will be taught and studied as an Institutional Review Board-approved teaching-as-research project. TIGER PRECEPTORS will become CIRTL Practitioners or Scholars. The Scholars will present or publish their team’s work, mentor subsequent PRECEPTORS, and lead cross-Network discussions including the Capstone Seminar. We also look forward to sharing ideas and outcomes with the Vanderbilt University Faculty-Student Course Design Teams.
  4. CIRTL Reads: To enhance the scholarly breadth and depth of Network participants’ understanding of teaching and learning, the TIGER Team will lead an online discussion group of the cross-Network learning community. Following the “journal club” model of disciplinary STEM research, participants will read/discuss literature on pedagogy, and current/developing educational literature.
  5. TIGER Summer Teaching-as-Research Institute for Postdocs in Engineering (STRIPE): 
    The new CUB Center for Engineering Educational Research & Assessment (CEERA) is engaged in a re-evaluation of teaching and learning. We will work with CEERA and the wider CIRTL learning community to develop STRIPE as a two-week summer institute for 18 postdoctoral fellows per year in which they will apply engineering principles of design, build, test, iterate (TAR, recast into disciplinary context) to specific course development, including access to relevant literature and techniques. A full course design will be modeled by one or more problem-based-learning experiences involving small teams of participants constructing engineering curriculum ‘modules’. For example, a team of participants might decide to design a module (a one week experience for students) on a topic of reasonable scope such as pump performance, creating learning goals (i.e. analyze a pump system with the energy equation), a short lecture integrated with concept questions using clickers or other interactive techniques, a small scale design assignment (given a set of pump performance curves, select a pump for a fire truck), lab experience or traditional homework set, and a final quiz. Another team will act as students, providing feedback to allow the team to improve the module for a second iteration. Over the course of the two weeks, at least two iterations will be possible. Scaffolding sessions will include educational research techniques, CIRTL topics, and seminal engineering education research findings. Participants thus complete a genuine teaching and learning experience to discuss in their faculty job interviews.