Workshop Information & Materials for Participants available!
In 2013, Sabancı University adopted the global effort to rethink the role of the faculty and the students in undergraduate education and prioritize “Scholarship of Teaching and Learning” (SoTL) that values evidence-based student learning. The Science of Nature (NS 101/102) Courses have been the flagship of this effort; the NS courses are offered in a theme-based modular format, emphasizing an interdisciplinary and student-centered course structure based on active learning. As a part of the first-year core curriculum at Sabancı University, the NS courses are compulsory for all incoming freshman students regardless of their prospective majors. To date, we have worked with more than 7000 students in this student-centered version of the NS courses.
Such a learner-centered approach is unique especially for large freshman STEM courses in Turkish universities, and over the last 8 years we have accumulated a variety of experiences and data with our freshman students, which we believe are worth sharing. We have also developed and established professional development programs for instructors and assistants of the NS courses to inform them of the pedagogy behind the course and to help them gain the necessary skills to become effective facilitators in the student-centered learning environment.
The Workshop on Learner-Centered Approaches in College STEM Education is aimed at sharing this professional development opportunity for college-level-STEM educators, who are interested in SoTL and in applying innovative approaches to their courses. The workshop consists of two phases: First, the 3-day workshop provides background pedagogical information through activities on student-centered strategies. It is then followed by an application phase, during which participants are expected to apply some of the learned approach with their own students. We will have an online feedback meeting in January-February 2023 to conclude the program. We plan to compile and anonymously share the participants’ experiences and resources they find in the process on this website, which we hope will benefit the larger educator community within Turkey and beyond.