Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 11:45

Assumption Professor Awarded Fulbright Grant to Create STEM Teaching Resource for College Faculty in South America

Director of College’s Center for Teaching Excellence to Create Curriculum to Empower Traditionally Disadvantaged Populations in Colombia

WORCESTER, MA (April 12, 2016)— Assumption College English Professor and director of its Center for Teaching Excellence James M. Lang, Ph.D., has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright Grant to collaborate as a Fulbright Specialist with three Colombian universities to create a free, public resource for higher education faculty. Working as a Fulbright Specialist, Prof. Lang will help faculty at these Spanish-speaking colleges and universities to use their resources to implement best practices in undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teaching.

Despite growing awareness of the need for educational reform in STEM courses, many STEM faculty throughout the world still teach in traditional methods, relying upon lectures and high-stakes assessments to impart knowledge upon students. Research has shown that these methods are especially ineffective when utilized among students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

"What attracted me about this project was the desire of these institutions to create a free, open resource on teaching and learning that could reach Spanish-speaking faculty throughout the world,” explained Prof. Lang. “I love their sense of purpose and mission in that commitment.  I want to do everything I can to help them create an accessible resource that is firmly grounded in the research on teaching and learning in higher education, and that appeals to a broad range of faculty, both new and experienced."

Prof. Lang will advise Universidad del Norte, Universidad Javeriana, and Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano as they create and implement a massive, online open course (MOOC) on STEM undergraduate teaching. This process requires Dr. Lang to work with the faculty in the following four domains: learning about teaching in context; planning the MOOC; developing materials for the MOOC; and piloting the MOOC. The goal is to pilot the MOOC course in late fall 2016, and to officially offer it to faculty at the host institutions in spring 2017.

The Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College exists to advance the quality of teaching in higher education. The Center sponsors programs and events related to teaching and learning in higher education; consults and collaborates with individuals, offices, departments, and programs that impact teaching and learning; gathers and disseminates resources on teaching and learning in higher education to all teaching faculty; and produces, supports, and promotes the scholarship of teaching and learning on campus and in the broader higher education community. As director, Prof. Lang provides faculty with resources to enhance the rich tradition of teaching excellence at the College and to introduce new strategies to build upon that tradition. 

Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College
ke.dunbar@assumption.edu @AssumptionNews