SEPAL Scientific Teaching Institute

Would you like to…

  • discuss strategies for equitably engaging all students in their learning?
  • connect and exchange ideas with other instructors?
  • explore research-based strategies for structuring classes, meetings, talks, and seminars?

Join us at the SEPAL Scientific Teaching Institute!

The goals for the institute are to…

  • build community among bay area biology and other science instructors
  • explore the core tenets of scientific teaching – assessment, inclusion, active learning, and effective and efficient lesson planning
  • initiate rich discussions about engaging all our students in meaningful science learning
  • collaboratively prepare for your professional activities

Instructors from all institution types, science disciplines, and career stages are most welcome!

Learn what former participants of the institute are saying…

“I always thought active learning methods require significant up-front work, but through this institute, I was given tools that I could easily integrate into a class to increase student participation and learning!”
“I’m excited about the new ideas I learned about better ways to teach so students learn and think. I love that this course intends to change the world!”
“This workshop really changed my mind about teaching. I am able to understand the impact of assessment strategies and their impacts on students’ learning performance.”
“[Instructors] provided concrete, achievable strategies that are scientifically shown to be effective. I think I will need more practice & observation in order to execute some of them to their full potential but I do feel like I have an awareness and understanding I didn’t have before.”
“The summer institute showed me how to be better aware of my students and their needs (intellectually, emotionally, and culturally) and how to address those needs.”
“I have already tried to make strides in DEI [Diversity, Equity, Inclusion] but I’ve learned so many new ways to alter my curriculum and adjust my in-class teaching.”

Registration for Summer 2024 Coming Up!

2024 SEPAL Scientific Teaching Summer Institute

Date: Monday-Wednesday, August 12-14, 2024
Time: 9 AM – 5 PM (Daily)
Location: University San Francisco*

*If not affiliated with University of San Francisco, please reach out to Dr. Lucy Luong ( to check if seats may be available.

Institute Co-Facilitators

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions…

Kimberly Tanner, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Biology
San Francisco State University
SEPAL Website
Jeff Schinske, M.S.
Biology Instructor
Foothill College
JeffBioEd Website
Lucy Luong, Ph.D.
SEPAL Program Coordinator
Department of Biology
San Francisco State University

For more information on the co-facilitators click here!

Publications Associated with the Institute

  • 2021 Reconsidering the Share of a Think–Pair–Share: Emerging Limitations, Alternatives, and Opportunities for Research pdf
  • 2020 Attention Matters: How Orchestrating Attention May Relate to Classroom Learning pdf
  • 2018 Collectively Improving Our Teaching: Attempting Biology Department–Wide Professional Development in Scientific Teaching pdf
  • 2018 Language Matters: Considering Microaggressions in Science pdf
  • 2017 Teaching as Brain Changing: Exploring Connections between Neuroscience and Innovative Teaching pdf
  • 2017 Classroom sound can be used to classify teaching practices in college science courses pdf
  • 2015 Beyond the Biology: A Systematic Investigation of Noncontent Instructor Talk in an Introductory Biology Course pdf
  • 2014 Structure Matters: Twenty-One Teaching Strategies to Promote Student Engagement and Cultivate Classroom Equity pdf
  • 2014 Teaching More by Grading Less pdf
  • 2012 Promoting Student Metacognition pdf
  • 2011 Moving Theory into Practice: A Reflection on Teaching a Large, Introductory Biology Course for Majors pdf
  • 2010 Order Matters: Using the 5E Model to Align Teaching with How People Learn pdf
  • 2009 Talking to Learn: Why Biology Students Should Be Talking in Classrooms and How to Make It Happen pdf

More Information and Resources

  • Click here to view a short video about the the “Think-Pair-Share” approach and learn more about the co-facilitators’ approaches.
  • Click here to view more publications associated with the institute.
  • Click here for a sample agenda of the 3-day institute.