Science Teaching and Learning Fellows

Terminology: The titles "Discipline-Based Education Specialist" and "Science Education Specialist" are more general terms that have been used to describe similar positions within the different initiatives. The CWSEI used the title "Science Teaching and Learning Fellow" for this role, while the CUSEI used "Science Teaching Fellow". The text and files below use the STLF terminology. Most of what is described on this page is similar for both roles.

To read more: This page provides a brief summary of the role; for more detail, please see the SEI Handbook's Chapter 2: What Is a Discipline-Based Education Specialist? and for training/development see the Workshops page.

Who is a Science Teaching and Learning Fellow (STLF) and what experience do they have?

An STLF combined expertise in the specific departmental discipline with knowledge of relevant teaching methods and research on learning. Typically, they were a recent PhD in the relevant science discipline who was keen to improve learning and also interested in discipline-based education research. Since most STLFs had limited prior experience with science education research, the SEI Central ran an STLF development series described in the workshop and training section of this site.

Former STLF Cynthia Heiner Explains the SEI Model and STLF Role

Listen to Dr. Cynthia Heiner, former STLF in Physics & Astronomy, describe the CWSEI model in this short talk, delivered to Imperial College London (2017):

STLF Role, STLF-Faculty Working Arrangement, and Training

STLF Role and STLF-Faculty Working Arrangement view pdf

Science Teaching and Learning Fellows have been key players in course transformation and institutional change. The STLFs collaborated with individual faculty or small groups to implement course transformation, helping faculty increase their knowledge of teaching and learning research and supporting the introduction of evidence-based educational practices and measurements of learning. (3 pages, giving major components of the role and representative examples; updated July 2017 to include 1 page on STLF-Faculty working arrangement)

STLF Reflections on their job view pdf
This 6-page document is a combination of documents created by STLFs, most of which were produced in STLF meetings: What is an STLF? (short summaries); STLF Tasks and Skills (lists); What do STLFs do, and how can they improve in these roles?; Advice from old STLFs to new STLF; Brett Gilley’s thoughts on features that helped the EOAS Department's CWSEI program.

STLF Development

1. STLF Development Series [view overview]
The purpose of this series is to develop knowledge and skills in new STLFs so that they can effectively apply relevant research in cognitive psychology and education to improve teaching and learning in higher education. The series is 12 sessions, ~1 per week, with 1.5 hour meetings. The document gives the preparation required for each session, the tasks at the meetings, and a list of resources with links.

2. Stanford 6-day workshop for Training Department Education Specialists [view overview]
Carl Wieman ran a workshop at Stanford in the summer of 2017 that replicated—in 6 intensive days—the STLF training program developed and refined in the CWSEI at UBC and Carl’s 10 week graduate course in science learning and teaching at Stanford. Details of the workshop are in the document below.

3. SEI Handbook chapter on development for education specialists [view SEI Handbook chapter on role development]
The SEI Handbook has a comprehensive description of the "discipline-based education specialist" role in its chapters along with a variety of recommendations and documents that cover proposals, hiring, training, and department integration.