The UCLA Center for Education Innovation and Learning in the Sciences (CEILS) evaluates its services in a variety of ways, ranging from tracking faculty interest and participation to formal assessment of education initiatives of which CEILS takes part. These tend to involve aspects of faculty development and instructional innovation, thereby catalyzing innovation in many of the ways captured in a study by Carlisle and Weaver (2018, International J. of STEM Ed. https://rdcu.be/bh3Nl).
Achievement of Grant Funding
CEILS, in collaboration with science faculty and others across the university, has successfully helped procure millions of dollars in extramural grant funds since it started in 2013. Successful grant applications are critical to CEILS’ ability to facilitate course transformation, teaching development efforts, and cultural change across the institution around teaching. These activities keep CEILS at the cutting edge of education innovation and foster a culture in our Center that is proactive, creative, and entrepreneurial in its goals to meet UCLA’s teaching mission.
UCLA provides support for core staff and center operations; however, to maintain the entrepreneurial aspects of its mission, CEILS consistently competes for extramural grant funding. Successful awards provide leverage for CEILS to expand resources, including staff. Recognizing the value in our center, our Deans are positioned to request and commit institutional funds to sustain center programming. In this way, administrative leaders in the institution play critical roles as center advocates beyond the disciplines they immediately serve. Such efforts are also important to the credibility of the center for research and teaching faculty in the sciences.
Funding sources include:
Outcomes from Grant Supported Projects
In alignment with the reporting functions associated with successful awards, CEILS engages in a variety of assessment strategies aimed at measuring the impact of proposed interventions on various stakeholders. Designed to be employed as both formative assessment for faculty as well as program assessment for education projects, we employ different assessment instruments and evaluation techniques. These include concept inventories as well as student and faculty surveys, all paired with institutional data. Results from these assessments inform the development of future education projects as well as shape the professional development efforts of CEILS in support of the community it serves.
Impact of Events & Communication Efforts
Assessment of CEILS activities and professional development efforts include tracking event attendance and administering feedback surveys. These data help Center leaders determine how to adapt or expand particular activities, modified according to feedback for optimal effectiveness and maximum engagement of faculty. As evidence supporting the efficacy of this assessment methodology, CEILS has observed increasing numbers of faculty attending the annual “Faculty Workshop on Best Practices in STEM Teaching”, with over 90 attendees in fall 2015, doubling the number of attendees at the inaugural event in 2014. CEILS consistently sees 90-100 attendees at this event per year.
In terms of communication, we use an email marketing service for CEILS bi-weekly newsletters. This service enables us to track which items are clicked on most and therefore appear to be most appealing to subscribers. This feedback informs the types of workshops and events CEILS offers to the community.
Resources on the Impact of STEM Centers
A Role for STEM Centers for Teaching and Learning in Changing the Teaching Culture
June 21, 2017
Host: Erin R. Sanders, Director, Center for Education Innovation and Learning in the Sciences (CEILS), UC Los Angeles
Collaborating at the Centers: Report from a SEM Education Transformation Workshop Involving Leaders of Centers for Teaching and Learning and STEM Education Centers
Cassandra Horii, Kacy Redd, Mathew Ouellett, Noah Finkelstein, Andrea Beach, Deborah Carlisle, and Susan Shadle