UC Berkeley Showcase of Teaching Innovation and Reinvention (STIR)

2019: Teaching effective study techniques
At the beginning of each semester, I teach students in my introductory human physiology course how to study effectively based on cognitive science research. Many of them have never been taught these techniques before and all students can benefit from more efficient studying patterns. I use material from the Learning Scientists website to explain the techniques.

2018: Getting more clicks out of Clickers
I presented two ways I use audience response systems in my classes. We do case study competitions in my big lower division physiology course using multiple choice Clicker questions. I developed this activity when I was in the Faculty Learning Program. In my smaller upper division neuroscience courses we use different web-based response systems that allow students to write free form answers. In both cases, more students get involved in the class and they are more engaged with the material. There is more information about the case study competitions here.

2017: Addressing stereotype threat in human physiology course
Stereotype threat is an important concept that everyone should know about, but especially students in challenging STEM courses, where stereotype threat is likely to affect underrepresented groups. Yet, it is a topic that most students only hear about in social science classes. I teach my human physiology students about stereotype threat in the context of the physiological response to stress. This was another idea that came out of my time in the Faculty Learning Program. (Note: the video is a little choppy at first, but the audio is fine)

2016: 5E model for organizing active learning in lecture courses
I joined the Lecturer Teaching Fellows program in 2015 hoping to figure out a way to make my large lectures more active. From a science education workshop at SF State, I learned about the 5E learning model, which is a way to reorganize a class around how students learn. Get the students engaged first, and allow them to explore a topic before explaining the details. Then give problems that ask students to elaborate and apply their knowledge to new situations, while evaluating their progress along the way. I reorganized my entire human physiology course around this learning cycle, incorporating many more problems, activities, Clicker questions and chances for students to discuss the material with each other in lecture. I discuss the 5E learning model more here.

Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN) Education Conference

2017: Journal article discussions in upper-division Neurobiology of Disease course
At the Undergraduate Neuroscience Education Conference, I presented a poster about how we have our students read scientific literature in my course, Neurobiology of Disease (MCB 165). I received funding from the Professional Development Fund (and have been on the selection committee the last two years). I’ve been collecting interesting data the last two years that looks at how the students’ thoughts and approaches towards reading research articles change over the course of the semester. Expect an update soon!