Scientific Teaching in Higher Education Certificate (Graduate Certificate)

Many higher education faculty and instructors in STEM disciplines have not had formal training in teaching science, even though high quality teaching is often cited in university and college mission statements.

This certificate provides you with a more sophisticated understanding of teaching and education research in the context of college-level science classrooms. We believe this will empower you to become a “change agent” as we strive toward positive reform in undergraduate science education.

This program will provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to implement and evaluate evidence-based teaching at the college level. Graduate students currently enrolled in a program at ASU are eligible to apply to this certificate program.

Program components

The program has three major components:

  • teaching experience, including use of evidence-based teaching
  • course work in teaching and education
  • capstone experience

Co-directors

Miles Orchinik, School of Life Sciences
J. Bryan Henderson, Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College

 

 

Certificate Requirements

To earn the certificate, you must complete 17 credits, including a culminating experience in the form of an applied project.

Core Courses (6 credits)

Each of the following core courses must be taken to total 6 credits:

  • BIO 530 Scientific Teaching (2)
  • BIO 531 Advanced Scientific Teaching (3)
  • BIO 532 Recent Papers in Discipline-based Education Research (1)

Elective Courses (6 credits)

You may select from the following electives to total 6 credits:

  • BIO 598 Topic: Biology Education Research (3)
  • COE 502 Introduction to Data Analysis (3)
  • COE 503 Introduction to Qualitative Research (3)
  • DCI 691 Advanced Pedagogy in STEM (3)
  • EDP 523 Educational Assessment (3)
  • EDP 540 Theoretical Views of Learning (3)
  • EDP 541 Motivating Students to Learn (3)

Teaching Experience (2 credits)

 You may select from the following courses for a total of 2 credits: 

  • BIO 584 Internship: Scientific Teaching in Higher Education (1-2)
  • BIO 598 Topic: Advanced Study Practicum: Teaching Assistance (1-2)

Note: In coordination with, and under the supervision of the program chairs, you may teach at another university or college to fulfill the teaching experience requirement. However, making these arrangements is an exception that will be decided on a case-by-case basis by the program directors.

Culminating Capstone Experience (3 credits)

 The following applied project course must be taken (3 credits):

  • BIO 593 Applied Project (3)

Note: For details on the required capstone experience, please see the Culminating Capstone Experience tab.

Sample Plans of Study

Normal Plan

  • Fall 2015: BIO 530 Scientific Teaching
  • Spring 2016: BIO 531 Advanced Scientific Teaching
  • Fall 2016: BIO 532 Recent Papers in Discipline-based Education Research
  • Spring 2017: BIO 598 Biology Education Research
  • Fall 2017: EDP 540 Theoretical Views of Learning
  • Spring 2018: BIO 584 Internship + BIO 593 Applied Project

Accelerated Plan

  • Fall 2015: BIO 530 Scientific Teaching + BIO 532 Recent Papers in Discipline-based Education Research + BIO 598 Biology Education Research
  • Spring 2016: BIO 531 Advanced Scientific Teaching + EDP 540 Theoretical Views of Learning
  • Fall 2016: BIO 584 Internship + BIO 593 Applied Project

Culminating Capstone Experience

You may choose one of the three following options:

  • A significant teaching experience
  • Curriculum development
  • Discipline-based education research

Significant Teaching Experience

You will engage in a significant teaching experience during this program. Either as a co-instructor with a faculty member, or by yourself, you will teach an undergraduate course at ASU for one semester. You must teach in an evidence-based way (e.g., frequently assessing students and using peer evaluations to guide practice).

In coordination with, and under the supervision of the program chairs, you may also teach at another university or college (BIO 584 Internship). This option is an exception that will be decided on a case-by-case basis by the program directors.

Faculty who have offered to serve as teaching mentors:

  • Mike Angilletta (biology)
  • Shelley Haydel (microbiology)
  • Bryan Henderson (physics)
  • Miles Orchinik (biology)
  • Amy Pate (biology — infusing technology into courses)
  • Dave Pearson (biology — BIO 100)
  • Yi Zheng (statistics)

Note: Other faculty members may be willing to serve as a teaching mentor.

Curriculum Development

With guidance from a faculty member, you will either revise the curriculum for an existing course or create the curriculum for a newly developed course.

This curriculum should be aligned with the goals for evidence-based scientific teaching outlined in the Vision and Change of Undergraduate Teaching in Biology, detailed by AAAS and NSF, and taught in BIO 530 Scientific Teaching and BIO 531 Advanced Scientific Teaching. Additionally, you will provide learning goals and proposed assessments that test these learning goals.

Faculty who have offered to serve as curriculum development mentors:

  • Shelley Haydel (microbiology)
  • Miles Orchinik (biology)
  • Amy Pate (biology — infusing technology into courses)
  • Dave Pearson (biology — BIO 100)
  • Yi Zheng (statistics)

Discipline-Based Education Research

For education research, you will work closely with a discipline-based education researcher over two semesters to conduct a research project. This project will examine the effectiveness of teaching strategies, classroom innovations, or other interventions that aim to improve higher education in science.

Faculty who have offered to serve as education research mentors:

  • Sara Brownell (biology education)
  • Ying-Chih Chen (science education)
  • Bryan Henderson (science education)
  • Joi Merritt (science education)
  • Christian Wright (biology education)

Note: Scientific teaching faculty mentors for this track should be faculty who actively engage in education research. 

Required Applied Project Enrollment

For each of the culminating capstone experience options described above, you are required to enroll in BIO 590 Applied Project. You will work closely with a scientific teaching faculty advisor on your culminating capstone experience and will present your results as a poster in an annual spring symposium focused on Scientific Teaching in Higher Education open to the whole ASU community.

We also will have a set of faculty talks about innovations and research in scientific teaching. This symposium will be sponsored through the School of Life Sciences. Not only is this an opportunity to showcase your work, but it would also be a chance for faculty and staff to talk more deeply about effective teaching strategies.

Teaching

  • Co-instructor of record for BIO 282: lecture in large class 50 percent of semester, develop class materials (e.g. PowerPoint slides, homework), write exam questions, etc. Teach in evidence-based way using student-centered strategies
  • Co-instructor of record for small, upper-level class on ethics in science. Help design the course and facilitate in-class discussions 50 percent of semester 
  • Teach biology at Glendale Community College to class of 25 students, include prep work, grading, etc.  

Curriculum Development

  • Develop active learning exercises for approximately 10 recitation breakouts in cell biology
  • Help create a new, course-based undergraduate research experience for the lab component of BIO 151,
  • Work with instructors in BIO 281 and BIO 282 to develop a set of weekly practice exam
  • Develop curriculum for a new, online, human genetics course

Discipline-based education research

  • Through student interviews, explore perceptions of being randomly called on in introductory biology for non-majors
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of a specific, in-class activity that helps students learn genetics in BIO 281: measure student understanding pre- and post-activity using the Genetics Concept Inventory and control for prior academic ability  
  • Survey graduating students about how much active learning they have been exposed to, and what their perceptions are of it 
  • Monitor student participation in animal physiology lab course to see whether there are gender differences in who participates

Degree Offered

Scientific Teaching in Higher Education Certificate (Graduate Certificate)
Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of

Location
Tempe

Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

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