professional talks

Here you'll find posters, talks, and workshop materials that I've presented at professional and teacher conferences.

I can provide workshops and webinars for high-school and college instructors on the following topics:

The Gentle Art of Questioning: Clickers and Peer Instruction

Questioning is a central part of assessment and quizzing, but it can also be a powerful learning tool. How does a teacher use questioning effectively? How do we avoid asking questions that are too simple, too hard, too similar, or just not focused on the right thing? This workshop will focus on writing those questions that engage students, spark their curiosity, help recap material, give you insight into their thinking, or help them learn critical ideas from the discipline. Learn about different types of questions for different parts of the learning cycle, as well as the surprising power of multiple-choice questions to achieve critical thinking skills. In particular, the workshop will focus on the teaching technique of “peer instruction” -- a research-tested method of requiring students to discuss their answers to challenging questions with one another. Peer instruction is facilitated by the use of personal response systems (e.g., eInstruction “clickers”), but many benefits of the technique can be achieved even without the technology. Example materials here.

Make Clickers Work for You (General Introduction)

In this interactive workshop, we’ll explore tips and ideas for incorporating clickers into your particular class. Clickers offer a powerful way to increasing student engagement and improve learning. At the University of Colorado, we have transformed our classrooms by using clickers to promote peer instruction. We’ll show research results on the most effective use of clickers, and discuss common challenges. In particular, we’ll focus on the attributes of “great” clicker questions, discuss example questions, and share ideas on facilitating effective wrap-up discussions once all the votes are in. Example materials here.

Effective Facilitation of Clickers in the Classroom

We’ll discuss common challenges, share tips on getting students to productively argue and reason through the questions, and ways to encourage all students to speak up in response to questions. Participants will also get a chance to practice aspects of teaching through questioning. Example materials here.

Writing Great Clicker Questions

In this workshop, you’ll learn the elements of an effective question, and practice writing questions in our content area and work on improving them. You’ll get plenty of hands-on practice and feedback, so that you leave ready to try some new ideas in your course. Example materials here.

Teaching Faculty About Effective Clicker Use

Geared specifically for those involved in faculty development and support (e.g., instructional technologists, faculty excellence programs, or other faculty professional developers), this webinar will cover best practices in helping faculty to use clickers to enhance their teaching. The webinar presenter has been creating faculty professional development materials around clicker use for years, and will share tips and techniques — many based on research — for helping faculty to see the potential power of this technology and learn to implement it effectively. Workshop components will include: (1) best practices in clicker use, (2) resources available for faculty learning to use clickers, (3) research-based techniques for faculty development around clickers, and (4) working with faculty resistance and alleviating frustration. Example materials here.

What Do You Want Them To Learn Today? Learning Goals and Formative Assessment

Students don’t always learn what it is that we intend to teach them. In several science departments, faculty are addressing this gap by collaboratively deciding on just what it is that they want students to take away from a particular course or lecture. These learning goals have been valuable as a communication tool among faculty and between faculty and students so that everybody knows what the outcomes of the course are meant to be. Once these goals are written, it’s also much easier to write exams and other assessments. But writing clear learning goals takes some practice. In this interactive workshop, you’ll get that practice – in defining goals and designing assessments that address those goals. You will work in groups with faculty from similar disciplines to generate and analyze goals and questions, and will discus how to put ongoing assessment of your students into practice. You are encouraged to work on a class you are currently teaching, so you can apply the techniques immediately. Example materials here.

Connecting learning goals and assessments

How does a teacher use questioning effectively, both to assess understanding, and to help students learn what we want them to learn? How do we avoid asking questions that are too simple, too hard, too similar, or just not focused on the right thing? In this interactive workshop, we’ll get practice defining and sharing what we want our students to learn (learning goals). Then we will turn to sharing, analyzing, and designing assessments that address those goals. We’ll explore research-based tips and ideas for using questioning during class, as well as on exams and homework, in a way that allow us to achieve the full benefit of questioning –student engagement and deep learning. Participants are encouraged to bring notes on the goals and assessments (homework, exams, clicker questions) for a course that they will be teaching soon, to make the workshop most immediately useful. Example materials here.

What Every Teacher Should Know About Cognitive Research

In the past few decades, we’ve gained a wealth of information about how people learn. The results of this cognitive and education research can help us become more effective teachers. In this interactive talk, we’ll explore some of the main findings of cognitive research in a language accessible to everybody, and discuss how they can be used in our teaching.

Presentation Topics:

I'm available to give talks and colloquia on topics such as:

  • Research on the effectiveness of clickers and peer instruction
  • Research-based instructional techniques / physics education research
  • Alternative careers in science
  • Effective science communication to the public
  • Effective communication of physics education research to instructors
  • The use of interactive engagement in junior-level physics courses
  • The use of clickers in upper-division science courses

Past Workshops & Talks

Below are the past workshops and talks that I have given.

Handouts and slides are available:

 See below for my hands-on classroom activities.

See my publications page for related academic publications.

Workshops & Classes


Teaching Faculty about Effective Clicker Use, i>clicker webinar, (October 4, 2011 and January 18, 2011)

Light & Color, Non-majors summer course in optics, University of Colorado at Boulder. June 2011 & June 2012.

Making the Global Local: Evidence for Climate Change in Colorado. Science Hubs, Colorado Springs, CO (March 6, 2012); CSC, Denver CO (November 11, 2011); Teaching Outside the Box, Boulder, CO (April 30, 2011).

What Do You Want Them To Learn Tomorrow? Learning Goals and Formative Assessment. Oregon AAPT, Portland, OR (October 15, 2011); North Carolina A&T University, Greensboro, NC (April 4, 2011); Faculty Teaching Excellence Program (FTEP), University of Colorado at Boulder (October, 2011; March 2011; October, 2010; April, 2010; October 2011; February 2012).

Writing Great Clicker Questions. Physics Teacher Education Coalition, Ontario CA (Feb 3, 2012), University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA (February 1, 2012); Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning, Madison WI (November 10, 2011), Oregon State University, Eugene, OR (November 11, 2011); Sheridan County School District, Sheridan WA (August 25-26, 2011), i>clicker webinar (November 9th 2010), CSC, Denver CO (November, 2009).

Make Clickers Work for You: About Peer Instruction & Facilitation, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA (January 25, 2012); Oregon State University, Eugene, OR (November 11, 2011); Oregon AAPT, Portland, OR (October 15, 2011), Sheridan County School District, Sheridan WA (August 25-26, 2011),Technology in Education Conference, Copper Mountain, CO (June 22, 2011), North Carolina A&T University, Greensboro, NC (April 4, 2011); National Science Teachers Association, San Francisco (March, 2011), i>clicker webinar, (February 16, 2011), Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT), Denver CO (October, 2010), International Society for Technology in Education, Denver CO (June, 2010); Faculty Teaching Excellence Program, University of Colorado, Boulder (April, 2010, February 2012); i>clicker webinar, (September 5, 2010), University of Colorado at Denver: Anschutz Campus (February, 2010), Graland Country Day School, Thornton CO (February, 2010), NSTA, Phoenix, AZ (December, 2009); Colorado Science Conference, Denver CO (November, 2009); Bollman Technical High School, Thornton CO (October, 2009); New England AAPT, Durham NH (October, 2009), Technology in Education Conference, Copper Mountain, CO (July, 2009); Adams 12 School District, Thornton, CO (May, 2009).

What Every Teacher Should Know About Cognitive Research. University of Oregon Science Literacy Group, Eugene, OR (April, 2012); Computer Science GK12 Fellows meeting, University of Colorado at Boulder (February, 2010); Project EXTREMES GK12 Fellows meeting, University of Colorado at Boulder (November, 2011); CSC, Denver, CO (November, 2009 and November, 2011).

Using Clickers in Museum Environments. Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA (January 10, 2011).

Inquiry Structure for Learning Science Content (with Barry Kluger-Bell). Colorado Science Conference, Denver CO (November, 2010; Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT), Denver CO (August, 2010).

Using PhET in the Classroom, NSTA, Minneapolis, MN (October, 2009); NSTA, Phoenix, AZ (December, 2009); Technology in Education Conference, Copper Mountain, CO (July, 2009).

Solid Ways to Teach Fluids, CSC, Denver, CO (November, 2007).

Demonstrations and Ideas from the Exploratorium, CO-AAPT, Wheat Ridge, CO (October, 2008)

Using and Making Audio Podcasts in the Mathematics Classroom, California Mathematics Council, Asilomar CA (June, 2007)

Attack of the Podpeople: Creating and using podcasts in the classroom, Exploratorium, San Francisco (May, 2007).

Sparking Excitement for Electricity: Electrostatic activities that work. CMSESMC Math/Science Conference, Redwood City (June, 2007).

 

Talks


Clickers in context: How is peer instruction used in the classroom (and what works?) Special seminar, University of California at Santa Cruz (January 23, 2012).

The Quasi-Linear Dynamics of a Career in Science Education. Plenary Speaker, University of Oregon Women in Science Group, Portland, OR (April 28, 2012), Invited speaker, University of Oregon Women in Science Group, Portland, OR (November 11, 2011).

Clickers in context: How is peer instruction used in the classroom (and what works?) Invited speaker, Department Colloquium, Oregon State University Physics Dept. (October 17, 2011).

Adopt, Adapt, or Abandon? Instructors’ Decisions to use Research-Based Materials, AAPT, Omaha, NE (August, 2011).

Speaking of Physics: The Art of Science Communication. University of West Virginia Colloquium, Morgantown, WV (March 2, 2012); Invited panelist, AAPT, Omaha NE (August, 2011); , Department Colloquium, Physics Dept., San Jose State University, San Jose CA (October, 2006).

Getting the Word Out: Effective Communication of the Results of Our Work in Physics Education Research. Plenary Speaker, Foundations and Frontiers of Physics Education Research, Puget Sound, Seattle, WA (March 2011); Invited speaker, Global Physics Department, online (November 2, 2011); AAPT, Ontario, CA (February 6, 2012).

Learning Goals and Bloom’s Taxonomy. Guest lecturer, “Teaching and Learning of Biology” course, CU-Boulder biology department (Feb. 11, 2011).

Alternative Careers in Media. Beyond Boulder student career panel. Invited panel speaker (Feb. 25, 2011).

Communicating DBER outside of DBER. DBER Group, Boulder, CO (December, 2010).

Translating Discipline-Based Education Research to K12 Teachers, S. Chasteen and T. Loeblein. iSTEM Teacher Professional Development Mini-Symposium. Invited Presentation, Boulder CO (Sept 2, 2010).

Facing Facebook: Using Social Media In and Out of the Classroom. Invited panelist and speaker, AAPT, Portland OR (July, 2010).

An Inside Look: Practical strategies for personal response systems (“clickers”). AAPT, Portland OR, (July, 2010).

What (most) Physicists (don’t) Do: Alternative Careers in Science. Invited speaker for course What Physicists Do, Carleton College, MN (April 2010).

Flirt Harder, I’m a Physicist. Invited talk on alternative careers and a career as a woman scientist, Women in JILA group, CU Boulder (October, 2009).

Thinking Like a Physicist: Transforming Upper-Division Electricity and Magnetism, Carleton College Colloquium, MN (April 2010); New England AAPT, Durham NH (October, 2009).

A Research-Based Transformation of Junior Electricity and Magnetism. APS, Denver CO (March, 2009).

Clicker Use in Upper-Division Courses, Invited talk, AAPT, Chicago, IL (February, 2009); Colorado Learning and Teaching with Technology Conference, Boulder CO (August, 2009).

Transforming Upper-Division Electricity & Magnetism, APS, Denver, CO (March, 2007); AAPT, Edmonton, AB (July, 2008).

Get the Word Out: My Life as a Scientist Communicator, Invited talk, Ecological Society of America, San Jose, CA (March, 2007)

Hear Me Out: Communicating Nanotechnology through Podcasts . Communicating Science to Broader Audiences, Lincoln, NE (December, 2007)

SmallTalk: Conversations about Nanotechnology through Podcasts, AAPT, Seattle WA (July, 2007).

 

Posters

Learning About Teaching Physics: A new audio podcast on physics education research for teachers. S. V. Chasteen and M. Fuchs, AAPT, Omaha, NE (August, 2011) and Ontario, CA (February, 2012).

But Does it Last? Sustaining Upper-Division Transformations in Electricity and Magnetism. S. V. Chasteen, R. E. Pepper, S. J. Pollock, K. Perkins. Center for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, Madison, WI (October, 2011); and Foundations and Frontiers of Physics Education Research, Puget Sound, Seattle, WA (March 2011).

Translating Discipline-Based Education Research to K12 Teachers, S. Chasteen, K. Perkins, C. Wieman. iSTEM Teacher Professional Development Mini-Symposium, Boulder CO (Sept 2, 2010).

New Ways of Teaching Junior E&M – Descriptions and Results. S. V. Chasteen, S. J. Pollock, M. Dubson, E. Kinney, P. Beale and K. K. Perkins. AAPT, Portland OR (July 2010).

An Inside Look: Practical strategies for personal response systems (“clickers”). S.V. Chasteen. AAPT, Portland OR (July 2010); AAPT, Omaha, NE (August, 2011); AAPT, Ontario, CA (February, 2012).

But Does it Last? Sustaining Upper-Division Transformations in Electricity and Magnetism. S. V. Chasteen, R. E. Pepper, S. J. Pollock, K. Perkins. PERC, Portland OR (July, 2010).

Upper Division Transformations in Physics. S.V. Chasteen, S. Goldhaber, M. Dubson, E. Kinney, O. DeWolfe, P. Beale, K. Perkins, STEM Education Symposium, Boulder CO (August, 2009)

Thinking Like a Physicist: Transforming Upper Division Electricity & Magnetism, S. V. Chasteen, S. J. Pollock, M. Dubson, E. Kinney, P. Beale and K. Perkins, PERC, Ann Arbor, MI (July 2009);

Tapping into Juniors’ Understanding of E&M: Development of the CUE Assessment, S. V. Chasteen and S.J. Pollock, PERC, Ann Arbor, MI (July 2009).

Cognitive Issues in Upper Division E&M, S.J. Pollock and S.V. Chasteen, invited poster, PERC, Ann Arbor, MI (July 2009)

Transforming Upper Division E&M, S.V. Chasteen, S. Pollock, W. Handley, D. Tarshis, P. Beale, AAPT, Edmonton AB (July 2008)

Assessing Student Understanding in Upper Division E&M, S. V. Chasteen and S. J. Pollock, PERC, Edmonton AB (July 2008).

 

Hands-on activities that I've developed
   

Spectrum at Your Fingertips

Your nails can be a fun way to show the different ways that colors can be categorized, and discus the arbitraryness of the ROYGBIV spectrum. You can also show different schemes for color mixing (CYMK and RGB). PDF


 

Rainbow Rice

Rice can be dyed a myriad of colors and used in a variety of activities, such as the rice model of the atmosphere. Download PDF of activity.


 

Wicked Styrofoam of the West
I'm dissolving... dissolving!

Styrofoam will rapidly dissolve (à la the Wicked Witch), when placed in acetone, but not in water. Starch packing peanuts, however, break down in water but not acetone. Covers concepts of solvents and solutions, polymer chemistry, and scientific observation. PDF


 

Digital Sound
Explore the shape of your voice

Use free software to explore the shape of your voice and musical instruments, and examine an audio illusion. A great activity to go along with a sound or waves lesson. The realtime spectral analysis of the voice and instruments is deeply engaging.

(1) Handout using TEEMS2 Soundgrapher, or (2) handout using Spectrafoo and Audacity. And here's a spectrafoo screenshot and Audacity screenshot.


 

Ferrofluid

Visualize magnetic fields, and make cool magnetic art, with ferrofluid. Several alternate recipes are given, as well as some activities to do with the fluid. See me on Iron Science Teacher, doing a ferrofluid demonstration. (Real Media file). Activity PDF.


 

Juice from Juice
Make your own blackberry juice solar cell

Using blackberry juice, iodine, and a few simple materials you can make a Graetzel cell -- a type of solar cell that mimics the process of photosynthesis. This is a fairly intensive laboratory activity. PDF

Here is an old page with some other activities on solar energy.



Links

Exploratorium Teacher Institute Providing professional development resources for teachers

Exploratorium Institute for Inquiry Introducing teachers to inquiry methods of teaching

Dr. Paul Doherty; Scientific Explorations and Adventures

Dr. Jill Johnsen; Material Science and the Nanoworld

Dr. Sebastian Martin Passionately curious -- explorations from Sebastian at the Exploratorium, including lots of photos, activities with light and motion, and physics and music.

Science Snacks Small-scale and low-cost versions of Exploratorium exhibits you can build yourself.