FSU Biology - OSTA University Faculty and Graduate Student Services
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University Faculty and Graduate Student Services

Support is available to university faculty members and to postdoctoral and graduate students for STEM education professional development and/or broader impact sponsored research activities. Lead by a team of faculty with both STEM disciplinary and STEM education expertise, this support is available through established programs or can be custom-designed to meet the faculty or student needs. See descriptions below and contact the Office of STEM Teaching Activities (OSTA) to learn more.

Transforming STEM Teaching: The Faculty Learning Program (FLP)

There is currently a national movement to reform undergraduate STEM education to deepen STEM understanding and increase pursuit of STEM careers among university graduates (FLP, 2018; Kuh, 2008; PCAST, 2012). Having an expert lecture to undergraduate students sitting passively in a large auditorium for an hour, three times a week, about the concepts they need to understand, is efficient for disseminating information, but often not effective for students to learn, retain, and be able to apply that content. For students to learn, they need to be actively engaged. The FLP is a professional learning program designed for faculty to: deepen their understanding of how people learn, develop strategies to support active student learning in university STEM courses, and reflect on their teaching practice. Changing instructional practice requires faculty to rethink their role in teaching, and thus redefine how their courses are designed and taught. Program completers receive recognition as Faculty Learning Program Fellows from the Vice President for Faculty Development. Contact OSTA for more information on how to sign up for this program. (The FLP was developed at the University of California-Berkeley Lawrence Hall of Science with the support of funding from the National Science Foundation.)

Sponsored Research Project Support

Sponsored Research projects at the university often have broader impact requirements and/or review criteria. According to the National Science Foundation, principal investigators on NSF projects should view “…broader impacts as both the linking of their research to societal impacts and as educational/outreach activities that benefit society…” and they should be “…reaching out to the general public as a means of raising awareness and increasing appreciation of the role that science plays in the quality of everyday life.” (NSF, 15-008). The OSTA provides a support platform for faculty members who want to develop educational/outreach activities as a part of a sponsored research project. Such support can be in the design, development, and/or administration of new broader impact activities or in connecting faculty to existing programs to which they could contribute. OSTA faculty are also available to help in the proposal preparation and writing process for such projects. For support or more information contact the OSTA.

Graduate and Postdoctoral College STEM Teaching Course

Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) is the field of science education research that studies undergraduate teaching and learning. There is a growing body of such research that supports reform of undergraduate STEM teaching. This course is a study of best instructional practice for post-secondary STEM teaching grounded in recent recommendations from the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences and based on these accumulating DBER findings. For more information about course content and offerings contact the OSTA.

Individual Consultation on STEM Education

OSTA faculty are available for individual consultation with university faculty, staff, and students on STEM education ideas, projects, or programs for all ages. Our faculty have expertise in both formal and informal education activities for preschool through adult learners. Contact the OSTA to schedule an individual appointment.