The National Academies Southeast Summer Institute was one of six regional institutes that was funded by HHMI to accelerate the dissemination of Scientific Teaching and Active Learning pedagogies across colleges and universities in the U.S. From 2012 to 2016 the Southeast SI held workshops for 139 faculty from 25 institutions in the Southeast (and beyond), as well as follow-up meetings for strategic planning. Graduates from the institutes were named National Academies Education Fellows in the Life Sciences. The final Southeast Network meeting took place in 2016.
The final meeting of the National Academies Southeast Summer Institute took place in 2016:
2016 SOUTHEAST SI NETWORK CONFERENCE July 20-22, 2016 in Athens, GA, for all Southeast SI ALUMNI (and their Deans and Department Heads).
This final meeting in Athens with SI alumni and their Department heads and Deans attending, included inspiring keynotes (Melanie Cooper and Beth Schussler) and lightning talks that showcased the creativity of faculty across institutions, an inspiring poster session, and a presentation by Ellen Carpenter (NSF) on future funding opportunities. Thank you to everyone who attended and helped make this meeting a success! And many thanks to HHMI and ORAU for funding this productive meeting!
During this meeting several interest groups were formed (see below for contact information):
1. Creating and sharing online textbooks: contact Choi Jung, GA Tech (firstname.lastname@example.org)
2. Transforming the Introductory Biology curriculum with Vision & Change (AAAS): contact Beth Schussler, University of TN, Knoxville (email@example.com)
3. Funding future Southeast SI Network working meetings with NSF meeting grants: contact Christine Davis, University of FL (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Regional institutes continue to be implemented with different formats and funding models. Please consult the Summer Institute website for current meetings dates, meeting formats and locations.
The goal of the National Academies Summer Institutes for Undergraduate Education is to transform education at colleges and universities by improving classroom education and attracting more diverse students to research. We undertake to train faculty and instructional staff in a scientific approach to teaching that reflects the way we work as researchers. The target group is comprised of both new and experienced instructors who teach introductory or survey courses. Approximately 36 (18 pairs of) faculty and instructional staff from up to 18 different colleges or universities attend each institute.
The theme for the Summer Institutes is "scientific teaching." Participants learn practical strategies for enhancing student learning. The institutes model the scientific teaching principles of active learning, assessment, and diversity (inclusive teaching), which are integrated into all aspects of the week’s schedule. Activities include reflective writing, planning, reading, researching, discussing teaching methods and philosophy, interactive presentations, and developing teaching materials. By the end of an institute, participants will have observed, evaluated, and collected a portfolio of innovative teaching approaches and instructional materials that are ready to be adopted and adapted to their own teaching environments.
In addition to developing advanced teaching skills and materials, participants learn how to teach workshops and seminars about scientific teaching. Scientific teaching workshops can be used to foster dialog with faculty and instructional colleagues about teaching, to train TAs in teaching, and to enrich the graduate curriculum in teaching. Assessment tools accompany the instructional materials and teaching seminar materials. Results of all the campus initiatives are shared with institute participants and published.
Requirements of individual participants:
- Write a short teaching philosophy before arriving at the institute
- Stay for the entire institute (Monday evening through Friday afternoon)
- Participate in follow-up evaluation during the academic year after attending
- Use one or more of the instructional materials developed at the institute in your teaching during the academic year after attending
- Coordinate, or recruit a colleague to coordinate, a scientific teaching workshop for faculty, postdocs, or graduate students during the academic year or following summer after attending the institute
- Evaluate the instructional materials and scientific teaching workshop taught at your home institution and report the findings to the summer institutes
- One team member of each Institutional team will attend the follow-up (winter) meeting (Thursday afternoon to Friday afternoon in spring)
Requirements of participant campuses:
- Travel, lodging, and meal expenses for participants to attend the summer institute and the winter one-day follow-up meeting at the institute site
- Support and encourage participant activities in their departments and on campus
- Ensure that activities associated with the summer institute are regarded favorably by tenure committees
Provided by the National Academies Summer Institutes (HHMI grant):
- On-site meeting expenses, materials, and IT
- Resources, instructors, and evaluators to help participants develop and evaluate teaching skills and instructional materials
- Facilitators to work with groups, providing advice and expertise to help participants develop and hone teaching modules
- Internet access for participants
- Shared workspace on the Web for participants to develop and store teaching materials
- Data about implementation at the end of the academic year following the institute
Participant activities at the Summer Institutes:
- Engage in teaching and learning through interactive presentations, mini-seminars, group work, and discussions with other participants
- Work in small groups (six per group) with peers from other colleges and universities to develop instructional materials for a general topic area
- Design and adapt instructional materials with clearly defined learning goals that integrate themes of active learning, assessment, and diversity
- Present instructional materials to other participants for feedback and review; revise and post the materials to the institute’s workspace
The National Academies Scientific Teaching Alliance includes now more than 140 alumni of the Southeast Summer Institute as National Academies Education Fellows and more than 20 National Academies Education Mentors.
Participants attend the summer institutes in teams so that collaboration continues afterward. Teams are comprised of two to three faculty members or faculty and instructional staff. A team ideally combines junior and senior colleagues, either from the same or different departments to encourage interdisciplinary teaching and student learning. Attending faculty may be involved in administration (e.g., dean, department chair, other administrator).
Support from senior administrators is essential for creating a collective faculty responsibility for improving undergraduate education. As part of the application, campus leaders confirm funding and implementation support for proposed teams. Institutions fund travel, lodging, and meal expenses for participants and support them in implementing new teaching strategies, conducting related activities in their classes, and disseminating what they learned at the summer institute to their colleagues.
For institute attendees, participation is an extended experience and commitment that begins before the institute and continues through the academic year following the institute. Participants provide formal updates on implementation plans developed at the institute, including sending one member of their campus team to an implementation follow-up meeting in early winter after the fall semester immediately following the institute. Attendees also agree to participate in surveys and other efforts to evaluate the efficacy of the summer institutes.
The 2014 Southeast Summer Institute, Univerisity of Georgia, Athens, GA: