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Scientists Teaching Science Online Course

June 4 - August 12, 2018

Course Description

Are you interested in teaching, but your students doze off during your lectures? Do they have a hard time answering the questions you ask? Do you find yourself wondering if there’s a different way of teaching science than just talking to them and showing them slides and illustrations? How can you tell if your students really understand the information or have memorized vocabulary terms? Take the “Scientists Teaching Science” online course and learn about active learning, creating course objectives and test items, and finding ways to improve your teaching and assessment techniques for students of all ages. Learn the latest research-based techniques used by model instructors around the world.

Come practice with your peers under the instruction of a national award-winning science educator and author.

The asynchronous course is available 24/7 on any web-enabled device. Unlike other online courses, one-on-one engagement, personal review of written assignments, and personalized advice on teaching is guaranteed! There are also scheduled discussions where you can meet with the instructor in a webinar.

The time needed to complete all readings and activities is estimated to be about 3 hours a week. All participants who complete the course requirements will be eligible for a personal letter of recommendation from the instructor about teaching preparation for future employment. Participants who complete the course requirements will also receive a certificate of completion from Stony Brook University.

Course Objectives:   

  1. Identify at least three active learning strategies.
  2. Know the four major learning styles and three types of learning environments.
  3. Evaluate personal biases and cultural differences and how these affect student outcomes.
  4. Interpret interpersonal relationships in light of cultural and gender differences.
  5. Compare inquiry-based activities to directed instructional activities.
  6. Create course objectives based on Bloom’s Taxonomy.
  7. Assess the level of Bloom’s Taxonomy of course objectives.
  8. Develop valid multiple choice and essay questions based on objectives.
  9. Recognize several steps in effective curriculum design.
  10. Compose a Teaching Philosophy Statement.
  11. Recommend one or more ways to notify potential students about consequences of cheating or plagiarism.
  12. Construct a detailed course syllabus.
  13. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of teaching and learning in an online environment.

Certificate of Completion and Reference Letter Requirements

Each Scientists Teaching Science assignment builds from the previous one, culminating in two documents you can use as templates for job applications and in teaching. Participants must satisfactorily complete six written assignments and all the required elements of nine lessons in order to be eligible for a certificate of completion and a personalized letter of recommendation from the instructor.  

Select Testimonials from Participants in Scientists Teaching Science

"I embarked on this online only course with a great deal of trepidation. Would I have the self-discipline to keep up with the material? Would I feel comfortable reaching out to the instructor with questions and comments? The answer is that with the help of an instructor devoted to keeping her participants involved and getting the most out of her course I was able to gain practical teaching skills in a remarkably short time." Jess Davis-Knowlton, Tufts University Graduate Student. 

“After taking the STS course during the summer of 2014, I felt a greater sense of confidence in my teaching ability and immediately began to reorganize my instruction strategy to incorporate newly acquired skills learned by the lessons offered. Barbara Houtz is an excellent educational instructor and the course she has compiled for the STS participants is absolutely unmatched anywhere else. I highly recommend this course if you intend on pursuing a career in education and teaching, whether you’re a graduate student like me thinking ahead or a post-doc.” Jason L. Quinones, Stony Brook University Medical Center.

“This class has really helped me to feel more confident and better prepared to move my career forward. I would definitely recommend this class to anyone in STEM fields who are considering becoming teachers or are already teaching science.”  Itzamarie Chevere, Ph.D. – post-doc at Rutgers University. 

About the Instructor

Barbara Houtz

STEM Education Solutions, LLC 

Barbara Houtz is a former Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, a science educator, an author of three books on effective teaching strategies in science, a science curriculum developer, and a trainer for K-20 teachers in science, engineering, and literacy. After 13 years of classroom teaching, she moved to the federal government, where she spent several years working at the National Institutes of Health, Office of Science Education, advising on curriculum and teacher professional development for multiple federal research agencies. She spent four years as the Director of Outreach for the Pennsylvania State University’s Eberly College of Science, where she developed multiple educational programs to promote interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers and ensure college and career readiness for K-12 students. Barbara has over 23 years of experience in training educators in both a face-to-face and online environment.  Her class on best practices in science education, Scientists Teaching Science, has helped thousands of practicing scientists, physicians, engineers, computer scientists, and others learn how to utilize active teaching strategies recommended for effective STEM instruction in every country and field of study.


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