Summer Faculty Institutes on Teaching

This summer, Washington University full-time faculty have the chance to join their colleagues at one of two Faculty Institutes on Teaching (FIT), presented by The Teaching Center: Inclusion and Diversity to Engage All FIT (IDEA FIT), May 25-26 and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics FIT (STEM FIT), June 14- 16. These institutes offer extended opportunities for faculty to learn about research on teaching and learning, and to collaborate with colleagues to develop or refine instructional strategies that can improve student learning and engagement.

Each institute inclSTEM FIT 2015udes interactive workshops and working-group sessions, as well as a “Gallery Walk,” during which participants will present and receive feedback on the ideas that they have developed in their working groups. During the institute, faculty will have dedicated time to develop new ideas to improve their teaching, and create a multi-disciplinary community of practice focused on common goals in teaching and learning. Participating in a summer faculty institute is a great way to explore new teaching ideas and make new connections with colleagues who share your dedication to teaching.

IDEA FIT is designed to extend into the classroom the university’s broader efforts to create and sustain inclusive learning and working environments. Washington University faculty from all disciplines will engage in discussion of evidence-based strategies for inclusive teaching and learning, and to design assignments and materials that can support learning by students of various backgrounds and experiences. Interactive workshops will provide opportunities for faculty to develop strategies for reducing the effects of stereotypes and biases on the learning environment and to foster a growth mindset about learning.  Topics also include structuring challenging classroom discussions in order to turn potentially hot topics into meaningful learning experiences, as well as how to facilitate group work in which all students can participate and develop skill at learning across differences.

At STEM FIT, faculty from Washington University and across the St. Louis region will gather to learn about evidence-based teaching practices that can improve student learning and help diverse students persist in STEM disciplines.  Topics will include integrating new and diverse active-learning strategies into the classroom, teaching students how to critically evaluate primary literature and to write effectively, as well as applying findings from cognitive-science research to improve teaching.  In addition, STEM FIT will include workshops devoted to understanding how biases and stereotypes can affect the learning environment in STEM and how instructors can incorporate specific strategies to improve the learning environment in classrooms and laboratories.

Both institutes will include opportunities to apply expanding knowledge of evidence-based teaching to the refinement of the participants’ teaching, though collaborative work with colleagues.  If you have any questions about IDEA FIT or STEM FIT please contact Beth Fisher (Director of Academic Services, The Teaching Center).