Gathering the Evidence of Effective Teaching: Developing teaching documentation that can also advance your research agenda.

1. State the focus of the workshop and its relevance to the science teacher education.

The primary focus of our workshop will be on how to develop effective teaching documentation for science teacher educators. In order to better prepare future science teachers, we must be effective teachers ourselves. We all have teaching responsibilities and must document our effectiveness in teaching. As science teacher educators, we often encourage our students to collect evidence to support their scientific understandings. But what evidence do we have that we are effective teachers? Faculty often rely on student evaluations and are given little guidance on how to communicate other evidence of effective teaching. This workshop will focus on engaging our university teaching practices as tools for collecting evidence of effective teaching as well as creating examples to serve as models for our students as they work towards demonstrating their own excellence in teaching.

A secondary focus of this workshop will be on how to use our teaching to strengthen our research agendas. One of the ways we can demonstrate effectiveness in teaching is through the scholarship of teaching. We can use our students to ascertain pre-service teacher understandings within our research areas, as well as our methods of teaching can be used as topics for educational practitioner journals. During the workshop, participants will engage in brainstorming potential areas of overlap between their teaching content and their areas of research. The facilitators will develop a worked example from their own work and highlight how classroom instruction of preservice teachers can be developed into a research agenda pipeline of publications and presentations.

2. Explain who within the ASTE membership would be most interested in your presentation (e.g., methods instructors, educational researchers, curriculum developers, etc.) and why.

Because of the dual pronged approach to developing evidence of effective teaching in conjunction with developing tracks of research associated with teaching science teacher educators, we anticipate that this workshop will engage educational researchers and science teacher educators alike. This will be relevant to ASTE members who are preparing their dossiers for promotion to associate or full professor. Since teaching is a portion of most ASTE members role statements, evidence of effective or excellence in teaching will need to be demonstrated for promotion. Also, this workshop will demonstrate how the documentation of effective teaching can lead to increased research publications. Therefore, this workshop will help members develop both the teaching and research portions of their dossier.

3. Describe the expertise/experience of the workshop presenters to present in the topic area.

Dr. Kimberly Lott is an associate professor at Utah State University (USU). Prior to her tenure and promotion, she was trained in the development of teaching portfolios using the model outlined in The Teaching Portfolio (Seldin, Miller, & Seldin, 2010). For the last three years, she has served as a Teaching Portfolio mentor within USU’s Teaching Portfolio Workshop sponsored by the Provost to assist junior faculty in the development of their teaching documentation. To date, she has mentored eight faculty members from across the university. Additionally, she is well-published in NSTA’s Science and Children journal with seven featured articles and three accepted awaiting publication. Two of her featured articles were selected for chapters within edited books by NSTA Press. Dr. Lott will be leading the portion of the workshop related to the development of teaching portfolios, as well as providing tips for publication within practitioner journals.

Dr. Colby Tofel-Grehl is an assistant professor at Utah State University. She has also been trained through USU’s Teaching Portfolio Workshop and recently submitted her documentation for promotion and tenure. Dr. Tofel-Grehl will lead the portion of the workshop relating to how you can use your teaching to advance your research agenda. She spent several semesters of her early career revising the methods courses she was required to teach; in doing so, she developed several research topics designed to improve the courses she teaches and the research agenda she sought to develop. For example, Dr. Tofel-Grehl presented at ASTE in 2015 on her review of national science teacher method’s class syllabi trends. Her creative thinking about the cross applicability of her teaching and research interest makes her uniquely qualified to model the practices and teaching strategies associated with research on one’s own teaching. She has also mentored several students at the undergraduate level, authoring with them on several practitioner pieces published in The Science Scope and The Physics Teacher.

4. List the learning objectives of the workshop and how you will assess whether participants met those objectives

a. Provide participants with an overall model for developing a teaching portfolio. This will be assessed by providing participants with a template and assess their completion of it.
b. Provide participants guidance with the documentation of student evaluations and peer reviews. This will be assessed by providing an outline for participants to fill out on their timelines for getting peer reviews and assess completion.
c. Provide examples of other evidences of teaching effectiveness and ways to document them. This will be assessed by participants practicing a cross-case analysis model for teaching evidence.
d. Share with participants a model and tips for publication in practitioner journals, such as Science and Children, Science Scope and The Physics Teacher. This will be assessed by providing the participants a timeline for practitioner piece publication and outline plan for coauthoring with student.
e. Model process for student research collaborations. This will be assessed by providing the participants with a worksheet for the student collaboration process.

5. Provide a description of the workshop activities/ instructional strategies you will be using to meet the objectives.

The workshop will be anchored by a presentation that will begin with relating how we view our research agenda to our teaching agenda. Next, we will present the overall model of a teaching portfolio (Seldin, Miller, & Seldin, 2010). We will then present specific strategies for documenting feedback of our teaching, both students and peers. Next, we will present several other evidences of effective teaching and give participants time to brainstorm within small groups which of these evidences they might have or how they might gather them. We will then move into the scholarship of teaching with a presentation of a model and tips for publishing in practitioner journals and then give participants time to brainstorm how they might use this model within their own context. And finally, we will present how we can use our teaching to support our research agenda.

We will use worked examples, models, and faded scaffolds to introduce and support learners in developing the skills associated with this workshop. These strategies will be based in a series of worksheets and activity planners we will provide participants. These tools will allow them to have tangible materials and plans to take home to engage these practices going forward.

6. Describe how you will make yourself available/offer support to the participants for continuing their learning and collaboration after they return to their home institutions.

A teaching documentation guide that includes the topics presented in the workshop along with further explanations and examples will be emailed to all interested participants. Drs. Lott and Tofel-Grehl will also be available through email for further information or guidance after the workshop.