Colloquia Abstracts

Using Data to Inform, Drive, and Scale STEM Instructional Reform


Marco Molinaro, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice Provost for Educational Effectiveness
UC Davis

Thursday, February 16, 2017
University Student Center, Moss Cove A&B
Light refreshments served


At UCD we’ve been trying to understand how the instructional system, from individual courses to whole programs, function to support, and at times impair, successful STEM student outcomes for an ever increasingly diverse population. In this discussion, I will present examples of our attempts to:
– Understand and address incoming student preparation and course placement practices for both incoming freshmen and transfers
– Understand where and how student course path differences and performance disparities arise
– Study the impact of grading practices in large introductory courses on student outcomes
– Measure and impact student learning in introductory chemistry and biology courses at UCD
– Create tools to help understand and foster action to improve the instructional system.

About Dr. Molinaro:

Marco Molinaro, Ph.D., is the Assistant Vice Provost for Educational Effectiveness at UC Davis where he oversees the Center for Educational Effectiveness which includes learning and teaching support, instructional research and development and educational analytics. Dr. Molinaro has over 20 years of educational experience creating and leading applications of technology for instruction, scientific visualization and simulation, tools for evidence-based instructional actions, curriculum development and evaluation, and science exhibits for students from elementary school through graduate school and for the general public.

Molinaro is also the founder of the Tools for Evidence-based actions community, a group of researchers and administrators from over 70 universities dedicated to sharing tools and methodologies that encourage evidence-based instructional actions. His projects have been funded though the NSF, NIH and various private foundations such as Gates, Intel and the Helmsley Trust.

Enhancing Metacognition, Grit, and Growth Mindset for Student Success (Workshop)

Peter_ Arthur1

Monday, February 27, 2017
Time: 3:00-4:30
Location: AIRB 1030

Dr. Peter Arthur, Founding Director
Centre for Teaching and Learning
University of British Columbia, Okanagan

R.S.V.P.: email


Research studies indicate a positive relationship between a student’s metacognition, grit, growth mindset, and academic success. These traits can all be taught and through experience enhanced.  Further, these traits all assist students with being successful lifelong learners.  This workshop focuses on evidence-based strategies faculty can embed in their learning environments.  Participants will then be able to evaluate multiple ways these strategies can be integrated into their teaching.

About Dr. Arthur:

From 2005-2015, Dr. Peter Arthur was the Founding Director of the University of British Columbia Okanagan’s Centre for Teaching and Learning.  Currently, Dr. Arthur teaches in the University of British Columbia Faculty of Education and College of Graduate Studies. Areas if specialization include: learning technology; assessment; instructional design; and teaching and learning in higher education).  His current research focuses on new advanced learning models and assisting students with becoming scholarly learners.

Teaching Colloquium & Luncheon: Improving Student Learning: Outcomes Assessment for 21st Century Students

Wednesday, March 1, 2016
University Student Center, Emerald Bay A

R.S.V.P. Required for Lunch:


Richard Arum will discuss lessons learned from the Social Science Research Council’s (SSRC) Measuring College Learning (MCL) Project.  The MCL Project successfully engaged faculty and national disciplinary association from six disciplines (biology, business, communications, economics, history and sociology) to define essential learning outcomes in terms of disciplinary concepts and competencies.  These efforts were published last year as Improving Quality in American Higher Education: Learning Outcomes and Assessments for the 21st Century and are available for free download ( The SSRC and several of the national disciplinary associations are currently building off this earlier work to design and pilot standardized assessment tools.  The European Commission has sponsored similar efforts with the CALOHEE project.  After discussing these national and international efforts, the presentation will turn to potential implications for how we might collectively build on insights from this work to improve undergraduate student learning and assessment at UCI.

About Dean Arum (from

Dean Arum is a professor of sociology and, according to Chancellor Howard Gilman, Dean Arum is “…is one of the country’s leading experts on public school improvement and an important voice in improving the quality of undergraduate education.”

He has published influential research on the effectiveness of college education at preparing students for the transition to adulthood. His work focuses on student work habits, curricula and the actual learning of critical thinking skills.

Dean Arum is the co-author with Josipa Roksa of Aspiring Adults Adrift: Tentative Transitions of College Graduates and Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses.

Enrique Lavernia, provost and executive vice chancellor, said, “I am thrilled that Professor Arum will be working with our team to help UC Irvine become a first-choice school for more students. His leadership will bring tremendous expertise to our campus efforts to deliver the best educational experiences for our students.”

As program director for educational research at the Social Science Research Council, Arum led the creation of The Research Alliance for New York City Schools, an entity that centers on ongoing evaluation and assessment of research to support public school improvement plans.

“Richard Arum is just the right person to propel us to yet greater visibility and impact,” said Jacquelynne Eccles, UCI Distinguished Professor of education. “He has an exceptional history of building very important collaborative efforts among research scholars, universities, government agencies, private foundations, and K-12 administrators and teachers. These skills and values will position us to become a major force in California’s educational future.”

In addition to his research and teaching roles at NYU, Arum recently served as senior fellow of U.S. programs with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and as interim director of NYU’s Institute of Human Development & Social Change.

He has received research funding from the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Lumina Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation, among others.

Arum also served as director of research at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education and was chair of its Department of Humanities & Social Sciences in the Professions. Previously, he was an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Arizona and an instructor in the teacher training program at Holy Names College in Oakland. Arum began his career as a high school teacher and technology consultant in the Oakland public school system.

He earned a doctorate in sociology at UC Berkeley, an M.Ed. in teaching & curriculum at Harvard University and a B.A. in political science at Tufts University.