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Science Teaching Forum

  • Are you looking for ideas to help you invigorate your teaching and your students’ classroom experience?
  • Do you want to know more about how your colleagues teach but haven’t had a chance to catch up with them?
  • Have you tried something new in your classroom and want to discuss it? Do you want to see or share data relating to a pedagogical idea or issue?

The Science Teaching Forum (STF) has been created to help our Faculty community discuss these types of teaching and learning issues. Forums are held in the fall and winter semesters.

These forums are open to everyone in the Faculty of Science including faculty members, graduate students and staff. A speaker presents an issue, activity or idea relevant to teaching and learning, which is followed by a discussion or activity that allows for a broader exploration of the ideas and issues presented. Our goal is to have a balance of both hearing about the experiences of others and sharing your own ideas. This exchange is meant to facilitate communication about teaching and learning in the Faculty of Science.

Let us know what you’d like to see at future sessions. Contact Susan Cannon ( with your ideas.


Upcoming Science Teaching Forums – Winter 2017

Title: Using Dinosaurs to Introduce History and Philosophy of Science

Presenter: Derek Turner (Professor of Philosophy and Associate Director of the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment at Connecticut College in New London, CT. Fulbright Visiting Research Chair (Winter 2017) in Philosophy of Science at the University of Calgary.

When: Thursday, March 23, 12:00-1:00pm

Where: BI 587

Description: In this talk, I reflect on some of the joys and challenges of teaching an introductory undergraduate course on "The Meaning of Dinosaurs." How effective are dinosaurs as a vehicle for introducing students to history and philosophy of science? What is the right balance of readings and assignments for a course when some students are studying philosophy for the first time, and others have little background in the life sciences? I will also share some ideas for integrating field trips and blogging into an entry-level course.


Past Science Teaching Forums

Winter 2017

  • February 21, 2017 - Do Students Learn to be Scientists? - Hagar Labouta (Department of Chemistry
  • January 26, 2017 - New Twists on Old-fashioned Learning - Encouraging Inquiry in the Age of Google - Kristine Bauer (Department of Mathematics and Statistics) and Leslie Reid (Department of Geoscience, Associate Dean - Teaching and Learning)

Fall 2016

  • November 14, 2018 - A SoTL project on student-centered learning in first-year statistics - Bingrui (Cindy) Sun, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • October 6, 2016 - Integrated STEM Learning in K-12 Classrooms: (Practical?) Ideas for 21st Century Learning - William Hunter, Fulbright Scholar and Director, Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Department of Chemistry, Illinois State University

Winter 2016

  • January 29, 2016 - Balance of power: How social power dynamics influence classroom learning - Jalal Kawash (Department of Computer Science) and Leslie Reid (Department of Geoscience, Associate Dean - Teaching and Learning)
  • February 24, 2016 - Encouraging note-taking skills in first-year student - Nicole Sandblom (Department of Chemistry)
  • March 22, 2016 - Study habits and their relation to student learning - Sean Stotyn (Department of Physics and Astronomy)

Fall 2015

  • October 15, 2015 - Creative Writing in the science lab? - Isabelle Barette-Ng (Department of Biological Sciences)
  • October 27, 2015 - Preparing a new generation of elementary and high-school science teachers - Jennifer Cuthbertson (Department of Geoscience), and Marie-Claire Shanahan and Bonnie Shapiro (Werklund School of Education)
  • November 19, 2015 - Multiple-choice models and scoring methods - Michael Cavers and Joseph Ling (Department of Mathematics and Statistics) and Ian Hunt (Department of Chemistry)
  • December 10, 2015 - The reflections of three TAs in residence - Leanne Wu, Tyson Kendon, Ben Stephenson (Department of Computer Science)

Winter 2015

  • February 4, 2015 - Students’ Perspective on Teaching Excellence - Leslie Reid (Faculty of Science)
  • February 27, 2015 - Building Teamwork Skills in Post-Secondary Education: Introducing the C.A.R.E. Model, Peer Feedback and Software Solutions - Tom O’Neil (Department of Psychology)
  • March 24, 2015 - Psychology in the Science Classroom: Taking advantage of MBTI and other tricks to optimize learning - Jo-Anne Brown (Department of Physics and Astronomy)
  • April 2, 2015 - Development of Historical Case Studies for the Teaching the Nature of Science in Undergraduate Classes - Glenn Dolphin (Department of Geoscience), Wendy Benoit (Department of Chemistry), and student team
  • April 16, 2015 - Turning your Classroom into a Lab: An informal panel discussion and Q & A with previous C-LAB participants

Fall 2014

  • October 29, 2014 - Curricular Peer Mentoring: Opportunities in the Faculty of Science - Kyla Flanagan (Biological Sciences)
  • September 25, 2014 - Old Dogs, Old Tricks: Tried and true teaching strategies that stand the test of time (Robert Barclay, Biological Sciences; Joanne Brown, Physics & Astronomy; Carey Williamson, Computer Science)

Winter 2014

  • February 27, 2014 - Team-based learning: a teaching strategy built around students working together to apply course concepts - Heather Addy
  • March 27, 2014 - Measuring Student Engagement and Interactivity in a Physics Class with Classroom Observations - Alfredo Louro
  • April 15, 2014 - What to do with Physics Texts (to be improved) - Eric Donovan

Fall 2013