Increasing capacity at UT Austin

During my sabbatical year (2019-20), I spent about one week each month at UT Austin as a Visiting Professor of Physics working with the department Chair and several additional faculty members to increase capacity to enact inclusive evidence-based instruction in large-enrollment foundational Physics courses.  To date, we have developed and deployed a professional development program for incoming and early-career graduate students (teaching assistants) that includes seven new workshop modules, and are now developing a sustainment plan involving UT faculty to continue offering (and iterating) this program beyond my time there.  We have also developed a pedagogy course for undergraduate learning assistants (LA), which is being piloted this Spring (2019) by two experienced science educators at UT, and have submitted a proposal to the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) Dean to pilot a full-fledged LA program over the next two years, which includes robust faculty professional development (the first of several planned faculty workshops was held in late February 2020).  During my visits, I have also consulted with the CNS Dean and Associate Deans on strategies to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion, and have led a workshop for new CNS faculty.

People and Roles:

  • Prof. Jack Ritchie:  Jack is the Chair of Physics at UT and a key collaborator on the projects described above.  Jack invited me to UT as a Visiting Professor and has helped provide resources and generate faculty buy-in.
  • Prof. Andrew Loveridge:  Andrew is an Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Physics Department at UT.  Andrew has helped develop and run the TA professional development modules and will also perform some assessment on the LA pilot program.
  • Prof. Jonathan Perry:  Jonathan is an Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Physics Department at UT.  Jonathan has helped develop and run the TA professional development modules and will also perform some assessment on the LA pilot program.
  • Dr. Irina Marinova:  Irina is a lecturer in the UTeach Primary program at UT.  Irina has developed and is piloting the LA pedagogy course during Spring 2020.  She will also help lead (with Dr. Antonia Chimonidou and others) the LA program moving forward.
  • Dr. Antonia Chimonidou:  Antonia is a lecturer in the UTeach Primary program at UT.  Antonia will help lead (with Dr. Irina Marinova and others) the LA program moving forward.
  • Prof. Greg Sitz:  Greg is a Professor of Physics at UT and the Undergraduate Advisor.  He has helped push the LA program forward.
  • Prof. Sonia Paban:  Sonia is an Associate Professor of Physics at UT and the Graduate Program Chair.  She has helped push the TA professional development program forward.
  • Gregorio Ponti:  Greg is a PhD student in Physics at UT and has helped build the TA professional development program.
  • Daniel Losowyzj:  Dan is a PhD student in Physics at UT and has helped build the TA professional development program.
© Jordan Gerton 2019