Teaching Essentials Workshop


Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - 11:30am


1425 Biomedical Physical Sciences Building

Model, Meet Classroom.  Classroom, Meet Model.  Introducing Models to the Classroom Using Technology

Presented by Dr. Stephen Thomas

Abstract  As discussed in previous sessions of the STEM Teaching Essentials, modeling is a powerful way to engage students in an authentic exercise that encourages critical thinking of course content.  Whether it is through sketches, concept maps, equations, simulations, or 3D visualizations student outcomes can be improved. However, even though a teacher’s spirit may be willing to adopt these strategies, the professor’s time-crunched flesh is weak.  In this STEM Teaching Essentials workshop we will showcase various modeling technologies that can have your students simulating, drawing, and/or coding in no time.  In addition, we will provide you with strategies for introducing modeling technology into your classroom, for assessing student performance on those exercises, and for meeting accessibility requirements.  Bring your laptop, and be prepared to try a few technologies and build a new modeling exercise for your classroom.

Stephen Thomas is the Associate Director for the Center for Integrative Studies in General Science and the Digital Curriculum Coordinator for the College of Natural Science.  In his teaching capacity, Stephen strives to integrate technology in ways that improve student understanding of course concepts and connection among students and between students and their instructor.  He was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to create and run one of MSU’s first massive open online courses (MOOCs) and has won three AT&T Awards at MSU for Best Online Course.

His research and curriculum development work examines visual communication of science, which blends his interests in biology and art.  Current projects focus on novice/expert drawings of the greenhouse effect, the development of a rubric for evaluating the efficacy of visuals, and Instruct 2020, a system for open source iterative design of visuals. 

To register for this workshop, please go to:  http://teachingessentials.msu.edu.  Registration will be open approximately 4 weeks prior to the workshop date.