Our Teaching Resources

    Each of the methods listed below has data supporting that it increases student learning.

What do students say.
Hear from a student who has experienced an active learning classroom at UW.

Getting started

A step by step protocol for implementing Evidence-based practice in your classroom
1. Identify the conceptual framework for deep understanding in your discipline.
2. Identify the content the students need to master.
3. Determine the type of practice that will help students build an understanding of the content and concepts.
4. Structure your class to provide this type of practice.
---- "Ask, Don't Tell"-----
5. Ask questions to guide student's construction of understanding.
6. Give frequent feedback
7. Post-class:  reflect on what you learned and how it will alter future classes.

What does it look like

Videos of flipped class and clickers

1.High Structure (fully-flipped) format- This is a high quality recording of a full 50 minute class taken during Autumn 2013 quarter.

High structure format- this page will explain all the components of a high structure class

2. Effective use of Clickers in the Classroom.

3. Student response to an active learning classroom

4. Dr. Freeman's seminar on use of high structure in the classroom.

Teaching modules

1. In-class paper and pencil activities for Ecology and Evolution
        experimental design module
        natural selection thinking module
        tree thinking module
        climate change module
        Hardy Weinberg module

2. In-class paper and pencil activities for Cell and Molecular Biology
        Transcription and Translation

 Key papers to read

  1. Freeman, S., Eddy, S. L., McDonough, M., Smith, M. K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., & Wenderoth, M. P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences111(23), 8410-8415.
  2. Freeman, Scott, David Haak, and Mary Pat Wenderoth. "Increased course structure improves performance in introductory biology." CBE-Life Sciences Education 10, no. 2 (2011): 175-186.
  3. Haak, David C., Janneke HilleRisLambers, Emile Pitre, and Scott Freeman. "Increased structure and active learning reduce the achievement gap in introductory biology." Science 332, no. 6034 (2011): 1213-1216.
  4. Freeman, Scott, Eileen O'Connor, John W. Parks, Matthew Cunningham, David Hurley, David Haak, Clarissa Dirks, and Mary Pat Wenderoth. "Prescribed active learning increases performance in introductory biology."CBE-Life Sciences Education 6, no. 2 (2007): 132-139.
  5. Eddy, Sarah L., Mercedes Converse, and Mary Pat Wenderoth. "PORTAAL: a classroom observation tool assessing evidence-based teaching practices for active learning in large science, technology, engineering, and mathematics classes." CBE-Life Sciences Education 14, no. 2 (2015): ar23.
  6. Eddy, Sarah L., and Kelly A. Hogan. "Getting under the hood: how and for whom does increasing course structure work?." CBE-Life Sciences Education 13, no. 3 (2014): 453-468.

This book is free on-line from the National Academies. Chapters 2 and 3 are most relevant

Backward Design of your classroom
 Understanding by Design  Wiggins and McTighe
Cognitive Science of Learning
deWinstanley, P. A., & Bjork, R. A. (2002). Successful lecturing: Presenting. information in ways that engage effective processing. In D. F. Halpern & M. D. Hakel (Eds.), Applying the Science of Learning to University Teaching and Beyond(pp. 19-31). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. (pdf below)
Implementation in classroom
Freeman, S., D. Haak, and M.P. Wenderoth. 2011. Increased Course Structure Reduces Fail Rates in Introductory Biology.  CBE Life Science Education 10 (2):175-186 ( pdf below)

National Resources

Journal clubs- a great resource for getting a list of papers to discuss at your journal club 
Faculty Development Programs
    National Academies Scientific Teaching Alliance (NASTA) Summer Institute programs
This institute has been in existence since 2004 and promotes and teaches Scientific Teaching which means that we approach our classroom the same way we approach our science:  we have an objective, assess the outcome, and make changes to the process based on the assessment results.


            Q4B group at UBC 

Active learning techniques

Classroom Observation Tools

PORTAAL: Practical Observation Rubric to Assess Active Learning Classrooms
S. Eddy, M. Converse and M.P.Wenderoth
paper: CBE Life Sci Educ June 1, 2015 14:ar23doi:10.1187/cbe.14-06-0095

Determinants of Practice (DoP)-
 C. Turpen and N. Finkelstein, “Not all Interactive Engagement is the same: Variation in physics  professors’ implementation of Peer Instruction.” Physical Review Special Topics, Physics Education Research. 2014

TDOP- Teaching Dimensions Observation Protocol
website at University of Wisconsin

Hora, M. T., & Ferrare, J. J. (2014).Remeasuring postsecondary teaching: How singular categories of instruction obscure the multiple dimensions of classroom practice . Journal of College Science Teaching, 43(3), 36-41.

  • Michelle K. Smith
  • Francis H. M. Jones
  • Sarah L. Gilbert
  • and Carl E. Wieman (2013) 
  • The Classroom Observation Protocol for 

    Undergraduate STEM (COPUS): A New Instrument to Characterize University STEM Classroom Practices CBE Life Sci Educ 

    December 2, 2013 12:618-627doi:10.1187/cbe.13-08-0154

        more info on RTOP
        actual article 

Teaching specific topics
Natural Selection
Steven Kalinowski, Mary Leonard, Tessa Andrews and Andrea Litt.  2013 Six Classroom Exercises to Teach Natural Selection to Undergraduate Biology Students CBE- LSE  12(3): 483-493  doi: 10.1187/cbe-12-06-0070

Journals that publish evidence-based teaching practices