The mission of the Center for STEM Learning (CSL) is to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at the University of Colorado Boulder, and to serve as a state, national, and international resource for such efforts. Our vision for achieving this mission is:
To maintain an infrastructure of institutional support in order to transform STEM education, support education research within and across STEM fields and departments, and promote K20 faculty recruitment, preparation, and professional development.
To facilitate change in STEM education by integrating an interdisciplinary community of scholars, promoting, sustaining, and evaluating existing reform efforts, sponsoring new programs, advocating for diversity and access, influencing relevant policy, fundraising, and communicating with the public.
This project takes a holistic approach to change, focused on shifting institutional structures and culture around teaching through the development and implementation of a teaching quality framework. In this effort, we build on decades of research in scholarly teaching and evaluation of scholarly approaches to teaching. We seek to establish a framework for supporting and assessing teaching quality for all instructors across all departments on campus that is grounded in the scholarship of higher education, including the work of Bernstein and colleagues (2002, 2010) and Glassick and colleagues (1997). This framework defines teaching as a scholarly activity like research. It assesses teaching in terms of six core components of scholarly activity—clear goals, adequate preparation, appropriate methods, significant results, effective presentation, and reflective critique—through the use of three “voices” —those of a faculty member, his or her students, and his or her peers. The framework also supports improved teaching, by providing mechanisms for assessment to help faculty to improve in their practices. These framework categories are held constant across all departments; however, the interpretation of these categories and their relative weights would be defined at a department-by-department level, thus specifying in a clear way what is meant by “multiple measures” of teaching.
We seek a team member to implement a faculty and departmental-led effort that brings together key faculty leaders and departments by providing them with a structure to help them co-create, test, and evaluate the framework. We are at the stage of working with eight pilot departments choosing to engage and become leaders in this process. Thus, this strategy empowers the community to voluntarily engage in the exploration of new ways of assessing teaching and to adopt the framework because they see its value.
The postdoc on this project will have two main roles:
Facilitator: The postdoc will actively support departmental change through facilitation of small working groups within department. Additionally, the postdoc will partner with faculty professional development experts to bring their perspectives to the departments. Responsibilities will include:
● Developing expertise in organizational change and group facilitation strategies.
● Collaborating with colleague-facilitators from centers that focus on improving and assessing teaching quality.
● Supporting departmental working teams in defining and achieving their goals for determining specific measures and processes for evaluation.
● Project Management: coordinating with individual departments, across departments in a broader discussion, and the leadership team.
Researcher: The postdoc will have the opportunity assist in developing research activities. Responsibilities may include:
● Collecting qualitative and quantitative data.
● Developing expertise in analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data.
● Developing, modifying and/or deploying instruments that can be used for evaluation of quality teaching.
● Assisting in the writing and dissemination of findings.
This is an initial 12-month appointment, which is potentially renewable, pursuant to university policies and funding. The salary is $50,000 per year, and includes benefits as established by the university HR department. The successful candidate will collaborate with a broad group of engaging and nationally renowned faculty, post-docs, and graduate students across multiple STEM departments at CU.
Position will remain open until filled and applications will begin being reviewed on February 3, 2017.
The successful candidate will have a PhD (or equivalent experience) in higher education studies or a related discipline with significant experience in a disciplinary field, or in a specific discipline with significant experience in scholarly teaching or education research. The candidate is expected to have earned a PhD by January 1, 2017.