Midwest Summer Institute

Sponsored by HHMI and the National Academies, the goal of the Midwest Summer Institute is to promote scientific teaching through active learning, diversity and assessment. Each year, faculty and instructional staff from colleges and universities in the region are invited to attend the 5-day workshop.

Participants at the Midwest Summer Institute go through a process of (reflective) writing, planning, reading, researching, discussing teaching methods, and developing active-learning teaching materials that participants can use at their home institutions in the ensuing academic year.

Participant responsibilities:

  • Write a short teaching philosophy before arriving at the Midwest Summer Institute

  • Stay for the entire 5 days

  • Participate in follow-up evaluation during the subsequent academic year

  • Teach one or more of the instructional materials developed at the Midwest Summer Institute in science class during the follow academic year

  • Coordinate (or recruit a colleague to coordinate) a mentoring seminar or scientific teaching workshop for graduate students, postdocs, or faculty during the following academic year

  • Evaluate the instructional materials, mentoring seminar, and scientific teaching workshop taught at their home institutions and report their findings to the Summer Institute

At the Midwest Summer Institute, participants will...

  • Engage in teaching and learning through interactive presentations, mini-seminars, group work and discussions

  • Work in small, multi-university groups of approximately six participants to develop instructional materials for one general biology topic area (genetics, cell biology, ecology, evolution, etc.)

  • Design and adapt instructional materials that integrate themes of active learning, assessment, and diversity and that have clearly defined learning goals

  • Present instructional materials to Midwest Summer Institute participants for feedback and review, then revise and post them on the interactive Midwest Summer Institute website

Tentative Agenda

  • Available in PDF format.