Global STEM Education Workshop:

Using Coronavirus to Teach Science 

In this new global landscape, how can educators incorporate coronavirus examples to enhance student learning? In this four-week workshop, educators will practice applying principles of active learning, inclusivity, and assessment to develop student learning activities focused on coronavirus in their discipline (for example, global health, mathematical modeling,  biology, epidemiology, sustainability, city planning, etc.)

Participants will have an opportunity to teach the activity they develop to undergraduate students later in the summer.

In our remote experience, we will read, discuss, and apply a variety of techniques from science education literature. You will be active participants in the exploration of evidence-based practices and Scientific Teaching(1). Using concepts and information introduced in class, you will develop an activity for an undergraduate course focused specifically on learning about coronavirus.


In this workshop participants will…

  1. Explore ways in which evidence-based teaching principles can be used to enhance student learning experiences.
  2. Understand how active learning, assessment, and inclusive teaching can be used in development of activities to support student learning about novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), COVID-19 infections, and related topics.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the workshop participants will be able to…

  1. Identify and implement the elements of backward design for creating goals, objectives, assessment, and activities.
  2. Define evidence-based student-centered pedagogy and learning applications.
  3. Identify and apply inclusive teaching practices to create a learning environment that supports learning for all students.
  4. Plan and teach an activity with content related to coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, and related topics) using teaching principles experienced during the workshop.

Program Details

Select one time option:

  1. July 6-29, 2020 Mondays and Wednesday, 7-9am Pacific Time (Central European/ Middle East/ Africa Time) See your local equivalent time
  2. July 6-29, 2020 Mondays and Wednesdays, 5-7pm Pacific Time (Asia Pacific Time) See your local equivalent time

Program Fee: $500 USD (If you are interested in attending, but the fee is a barrier, please contact us.)


  • Program curriculum and workshop materials.
  • 16 hours of synchronous remote learning plus asynchronous activities.
  • Supported development of an activity related to teaching and learning about coronavirus.
  • Global STEM Education certificate of completion.
  • Individual teaching consultation.
  • Discount to attend a future in-person teaching workshop on the beautiful University of Oregon campus when travel restrictions are lifted.
  • Potential opportunity to teach activities developed about coronavirus in a course for undergraduate students later in the summer


  • Video and computer connections.


Application Information

The Workshop is open to faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and high school teachers from global institutions.

Participants with any range of teaching experience are warmly welcomed to participate.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling deadline with application deadline June 22, 2020. (A limited number of scholarships are available; contact us for details.)

Why Oregon?

When you come to the University of Oregon, you get the chance to refresh your mind, body, and spirit. Oregon is the place to learn, to grow, to revive, and to thrive. Our world-class university is nestled between the rugged Cascade mountain ranges and the Pacific Ocean. We are at the forefront of sustainability, championing new ways to help save our planet, and we pride ourselves on establishing a global community of scholars.


Who Are We?

Our mission is to support global STEM education and innovation in order to change the lives of faculty and students.

With our global partners, we work to improve teaching and learning environments. Providing transformative learning experiences for students ensures that they stay in STEM fields, and opens doors to future opportunities.

Our teaching programs are designed for STEM faculty, post-docs, or graduate students to practice cutting-edge teaching techniques, which they can immediately implement. We offer customized programs varying in length from one-day workshops to week-long trainings. These include sessions on how to create 21st century learning environments, improve diversity, engage more students, and increase the understanding of how science communication techniques boost learning.

Elly Vandegrift is the program director for Global Science Education Initiatives. She is an award winning teacher who has been a higher education biology instructor for 18 years and led science education professional development for more than a decade. She has facilitated STEM education and communication workshops at the University of Oregon and across the world with partners such as Nagoya University and Mohammed Al-Mana College of Medical Sciences. Elly is co-chair of the Steering Committee and a member of the leadership team for the Summer Institutes on Scientific Teaching, an organization housed at Yale University that provides evidence-based teaching professional development for current and future faculty.


Tentative Schedule

Week Monday Wednesday

Who are we? What is evidence-based teaching?

How do I begin the first day of class?

*Meet “classmates” and build an online learning community.

*Reflect on teaching preconceptions.

*Define evidence-based teaching.

*Reflect on the first day of class.

How do we create an inclusive learning environment?

*Discuss the complexities of teaching to diverse student populations.

*Develop a plan to create an inclusive learning environment that supports learning for all students.


What are goals and learning objectives?

*Identify the difference between goals and objectives.

How are goals, objectives, and assessments aligned?

*Align goals, objectives, and assessments.

*Identify lower order and higher order cognitive skills.

*Evaluate pros and cons of assessments and ways to implement them in a class.


How is class time spent?

*Discuss the benefits of an active learning classroom.

*Evaluate methods for engaging students in class activities.

*Identify ways asynchronous student work relates the synchronous learning experience.

What does cognitive science tell us about learning?

*Discuss elements of cognitive science that can support student learning such as testing effect, interleaving, and retrieval.


Presentations of teaching activities

*Lead a classroom activity developed with evidence-based teaching principles.

*Provide peer feedback on teaching activities.

Presentations of teaching activities

*Lead a classroom activity developed with evidence-based teaching principles.

*Provide peer feedback on teaching activities.

Handelsman, J., Miller, S., & Pfund, C. (2007). Scientific teaching. Macmillan.

Contact Us

For inquiries or questions, please contact UO program director, global science education initiatives, Elly Vandegrift.