The Summer Institutes are multi-day workshops held every summer throughout the United States. Beginning in 2004 at the University of Wisconsin, the Summer Institutes have grown to include about 200 participants each summer at 4-6 regional sites. Additionally, the Summer Institutes also include “mobile Summer Institutes” which are implemented for a single department or institution.

In 2016 and 2017, The University of Chicago was a host site for the Midwest Regional Summer Institutes, co-directed by Dr. Kiki Zissimopoulos, CCT Director for Initiatives in STEM Teaching and Learning, Dr. Stanley Lo, Assistant Teaching Professor, University of California - San Diego, and Dr. William Rando, CCT Executive Director. Eight instructors affiliated with UChicago have participated in the program. 

The goal of the Summer Institutes is to transform education at colleges and universities by improving classroom education and attracting more diverse students to research. The institutes help participants learn practical strategies for enhancing student learning and model scientific teaching principles of active learning, assessment, and inclusive teaching. These elements, in addition to current research on STEM education, are woven into the program, creating a forum to share ideas and develop innovative instructional materials to be implemented upon returning home. The institutes draw on the expertise of both participants and presenters. Experienced presenters and facilitators have been recruited from a variety of universities across the country to provide their diverse perspectives and expertise.

  • The curriculum will enable participants to answer the following questions: 
  • What is scientific teaching? What are some challenges I might need to address in implementing scientific teaching strategies? 
  • How can I create and sustain a more inclusive learning environment for my students through scientific teaching? 
  • What is the scientific evidence for each teaching practice I intend to implement? 
  • How can I use backward design to align learning objectives, assessments, and active learning strategies? 
  • What modes of assessment can I use to promote student learning and inform instruction? 
  • How does cognitive science research lay the foundation for the scientific teaching approaches and practices I can use in my classroom? 
  • How will I implement and disseminate scientific teaching in my community over the next five years? 

The Summer Institutes will be offered across the US in 2018 and 2019. Applications are available in early spring and more information about the program can be found here: