Figure 1: Expert-Guided Course Transformation Process. The embedded experts will lead their department colleagues through department planning and course transformation using a backwards design process consistent with improvement science. This process replicates that used in the SEI, with the addition of a curriculum mapping step, which is an explicit effort to promote a sense of shared ownership of courses and curriculum and generate a common vision.
Supporting Course Transformation: Resources from Evidence-based Teaching Practices

Here are some resources for both supporting embedded experts and transforming courses around evidence-based teaching practices.

1) KU 3-Year Postdoctoral Fellow Outline: KU developed a work plan to incorporate postdoctoral fellows as embedded experts for course transformation of large, introductory level courses. Check out their Sample 3-Year Plan for the work of a postdoctoral Teaching Fellow.

2) Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative (CWSEI): Additional resources from the CWSEI, developed by partner insitutions UBC and CU, are available on the role and development of Science and  Teaching Learning Fellows.

3) Bibliography: A list of useful readings on evidence-based teaching and assessment practices… coming soon!

4) Course Transformation Guide: This Guide, developed by UBC and CU SEI, fully outlines the steps to transforming a course and applying research-based principles to improve student learning.

Building Community: Examples of Department-level, Campus-wide, and Cross-institutional Communities

Building community can be achieved with various approaches as well as target different levels such as department-level communities,  campus-wide communities, and cross-institutional communities. The TRESTLE group is researching multiple models of building  community, which you can learn more about here. Below are some links with examples and outlines of different models for building  communities at some of our representative institutions.

1) KU’s C21 Community: A university wide consortium on course transformation – KU’s C21 Community… coming soon!

2) Faculty Learning Communities at IUB: Smaller, more focused Faculty Learning Communities at IUB…. coming soon!

3) Department Level Communities: There are several strategies faculty and researchers can utilize to foster department level support for course transformation. Click here for case study examples of departmental community building. 

Making Course Transformation Teaching and Learning Visible to Colleagues

Making transformed teaching and the results for student learning visible to colleagues is an integral part of the interactions in the TRESTLE communities. Here are several ways that faculty can reflect on their teaching and their students learning and make that inquiry visible.

1) Online Course portfolios. A course portfolio can provide a deep-dive into a courses design and student learning. The KU CTE website hosts a gallery of over 100 portfolios, searchable by discipline, teaching strategy, and instructor. This outline lists the Elements of a Course Portfolio. This Course Narrative Form can be used to guide instructors through the process of reflecting upon and representing the transformative work they have completed in their courses to include in their portfolios.

2) Poster sessions.  Poster sessions are another mechanism for making teaching and learning visible. The goal of the poster is typically to showcase the impact of teaching and course transformation efforts on student learning. Poster sessions are also a way of recruiting more individuals into the community and spreading course transformation work. Click here for poster templates and examples. 

Tools to Evaluate What is Happening in a Classroom or on Campus

There are a variety of new tools emerging that can be used to help faculty and researchers evaluate what is happening both in their classroom as well as on their campus.

1) Classroom Observation. We are using the Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS) to record student and instructor activities in the classroom.  We use COPUS observations for  (a) project measurement (measuring change in faculty teaching practices) and (b) to provide formative feedback to intructors. The COPUS was developed at the University of British Columbia as part of the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative.  Click here for information and resources on using the COPUS.

2) Tools for Evidence Based Action. TRESTLE partner UC-Davis’s site, Tools for Evidence-Based Action, has numerous online tools that can be used to enhance evidence-based teaching methodology and policy. One of these, the Ribbon Tool, is a visualization system to understand students’ pathways through the university over time. They have also developed an adaption of the COPUS, called the GORP classroom observation tool.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number DUE1525775 (KU), DUE1525331 (CU) and DUE1525345 (UTSA). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.