Exploratory Teaching Groups, 2020-2021

Below please find brief descriptions of ETGs from the 2020-21 academic year.

Alternative Assessment Modalities for STEM Courses
The aim of this ETG was to take a critical look at how to assess students in science courses and explore alternatives to the traditional lecture-homework-exam format of learning. The participants had lively conversations that were motivated by their reading of two recent texts: Specifications Grading, edited by Linda Nelson and Ungrading edited by Susan Bloom.
Back to the Classroom: Humanities Collegiate Division
This ETG met for a series of structured discussions with the aim of generating practical recommendations for how best to return to the classroom after the pandemic. They focused their work in three different areas: inclusivity, syllabus design, and assessment. Their goal was to evaluate what structures the pandemic had laid bare and to assess what the best plan was for moving forward. 
Economics Teaching Group
The goal of the Economics ETG was to discuss their current online pedagogical techniques and methods and to consider the extent to which these could continue when they return to non-remote courses. Their work consisted of a series of roundtable discussions anchored by a one instructor giving a motivating presentation on a specific topic to ground the conversation.
Embodied Practice as Research
The goal of the ETG was to explore how bodies can be instruments of research and critical inquiry and how a focus on embodied practice challenges the tacit separation of theoretical and embodied pedagogical styles. The group consisted of peers from Theater and Performance Studies, Creative Writing, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and English.
Germanic Studies Pedagogy Site
The goal of the ETG was to develop a website dedicated to pedagogical reflections and resources for instructors and learners of Germanic languages, as a means of enriching the teaching and learning culture in Germanic Studies. Group work consisted of discussion of website platforms, collecting existing resources, and drafting website content.
GIS in the Classroom
This ETG is developing approaches and materials, including interfaces for incorporating Geographic Information Science (GIS) methods, in content courses that can be useful for instructors who wish to incorporate spatial thinking and concepts in their teaching and students’ learning, especially for instructors whose research and teaching focus is the Western Hemisphere. The knowledge and resources generated by the ETG will be implemented as concrete assignments for use in courses during the 2021-2022 academic year. 
Reenvisioning BIOS 20170s Sequence: UChicago Pre-Med Sequence for Non-Biology Majors
This ETG sought to re-evaluate the courses in the BIOS 20170s pre-med sequence, integrating learning goals, developing new assessment tools, and evaluating student learning. The ETG developed surveys to learn about student learning experiences in recent offerings of the sequence.
VR Technology in the Language Classroom
The goal of this ETG was to better understand the state of the art when it comes to teaching language with Virtual Reality as supporting media, and to eventually serve as a reference for a larger project aimed at developing Virtual Reality materials for classes in Spanish and Portuguese in the Romance Languages Department. Activities included idea-sharing discussions and invited guest speakers