Evidence of Teaching and Learning



Fall 2014, Introduction to Ecology
Name in catalog: PB/BIO 360
Type: Large lecture
My role: Co-instructor responsible for implementing active learning modules. Designed and gave 2 traditional lectures. Designed and implemented several active learning exercises throughout the semester.
Number of students: ~200
Class make-up: Zoology, Biology, other natural sciences, largely Juniors and Seniors
Required course? Yes
Sections: 1
Faculty supervision: I co-instructed this course with Dr. Tom Wentworth. He came to all my lectures except one. We interacted on an almost daily basis.

Example of surveys used to facilitate discussions about online modules I designed this short survey to determine what concepts I wanted to delve into in class after the students completed learning modules on their own. I designed lectures on the topics students found most challenging.
Example of discussion outline created from student surveys This is a lecture I designed based on challenging topics we identified from the students’ answers to the above survey. I always opened these lectures with a word cloud that incorporated all of their answers. I used the word cloud to show what topics we needed to clarify.
Student end-of-course evaluations These are students’ evaluations of me. They are unedited and complete.

Spring 2015, Ecology of Cities
Name in catalog: BIO 495 016*, PB/BIO 360H
Type: Small lecture, discussion
My role: Instructor, Designer
Number of students: 20
Class make-up: Largely Zoology, Biology, Fisheries and Wildlife, One French and One English Major, Juniors and Seniors
Required course? No, elective
Sections: 2
Faculty supervision: Dr. Nick Haddad served as my mentor during this semester. He attended 2 lectures, one of was student final project presentations. I went to him for advice but was solely responsible for course content and delivery.

Syllabus I designed this course syllabus with the help of our PTP syllabus workshop. In the workshop, we learned a syllabus can set the tone for a course. I made sure mine set ground rules AND emphasized all the interesting topics we would learn about during the semester.
Instructions for course project This was the students’ most important assignment during the semester. My primary goal was to teach them to communicate science to the public and, in doing so, help them learn about a scientific topic in depth from the literature.
Examples of minute papers written by students Students completed these “minute paper” questions every other week. They helped me identify ways to improve delivery. They also helped me identify topics that interested the students. I loved having the freedom to incorporate their interests in course content.

Examples of excellent final projects:
Student final projects, Example 1 – Jacquelyn Fitzgerald
Student final projects, Example 2 – Doua “Jim” Lor
Student end-of-course-evaluations Becuse NCSU does not issue official evaluations for “pop up” courses like mine, I designed my own end-of-course evaluation form. These are evaluations from all of my students.


Peer observation

Dr. Steven Grodsky
A letter from Steve Grodsky, a Ph.D. candidate in the Wildlife Dept. at NCSU and a fellow PTP participant, is linked here. He observed my BIO495 course, and I observed his course.  Our circumstances were much different: Steve taught pre-designed materials to freshmen for an established course in the university catalog, and I designed my own course (described above) for upperclassmen. When evaluating each other, we each noticed how different our approaches were because of these differences in our courses. Steve reminded me that I would need to design structured assessments if I ever teach younger students. Overall, he reminded me that my natural way of designing a course, to ask the students to read literature and discuss it, is not the only effective way to present information.


Faculty observations

Professor Thomas Wentworth This is an evaluation of my teaching for PB/BIO 360. Dr. Wentworth observed my teaching on many (5+) occasions during both courses described above.
Professor Nick Haddad This is an evaluation of my teaching for BIO 495 in the form of a recommendation letter. Dr. Haddad visited my class and observed my teaching twice during the Spring 2015 semester.


Professional Development in Teaching

(listed by seminar name, speaker)

Preparing the Professoriate Program

Making the Most of your PTP Experience, Dr. Beth Overman
Effective Teaching with Technology, Dr. Beth Overman and Ashley Grantham
Recognizing and Responding to Emotional Distress in Others, Dr. Beth Overman
Course Design: From Assessment to Zombies, Dr. Beth Overman
Teaching Portfolio/Philosophy Kickstart, Susanna Klingenberg and Dr. Beth Overman
Finding your Institutional Fit, Dr. Beth Overman
Getting the Inside Scoop, Faculty Networking Event, Dr. Beth Overman
Reflecting on the Preparing the Professoriate Experience, Dr. Beth Overman


Introduction to Teaching, Dr. Barbi Honeycutt