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Cornell University

CIRTL at Cornell

Massive Open Online Courses

These massive open online courses (MOOCs) are designed to prepare aspiring faculty in STEM fields (natural and social sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics) to be more effective teachers. Both courses are offered via EdX.

Course 2 is being offered from February 2 – March 29, 2019.

Local Discussion Groups and Reminder Emails

If you’re interested in a weekly or biweekly MOOC discussion at any of the Cornell campuses, please contact Colleen McLinn at and/or sign up below. Groups will have the opportunity to discuss and apply course ideas in person, and discussion leaders have access to instructor guides with discussion questions and a budget for refreshments and photocopies. Or, if you just want accountability through weekly group emails and assignment reminders, we can arrange that, too!

Course 1: An Introduction to Evidence-Based Undergraduate STEM Teaching

An Introduction to Evidence-Based Undergraduate STEM Teaching is a massive open online course designed to prepare aspiring faculty in STEM fields to be more effective teachers through an introduction to evidence-based STEM teaching practices. You will learn about effective teaching strategies and the research that supports them. You’ll then apply your learning to the design of lessons and assignments for use in your future teaching or job application packages. After completing this course, you will be a more informed and confident teacher, equipped for greater success in the classroom.

This course draws on the expertise of STEM faculty, educational researchers, and staff from university teaching centers, many of them affiliated with the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL), a network of 40 research universities collaborating in the preparation of STEM graduate students and postdocs as future faculty members. There are opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, both online and within Cornell, as we also offer local discussion groups around the MOOC activities (contact Colleen McLinn at for information).

Sign up for Cornell / Ithaca discussion groups or to attend an information session on Wednesday, September 26 at 10:00 am:

Learn more about the STEM Teaching MOOC

MOOC Instructors

  • Derek Bruff – Vanderbilt University
  • Rique Campa – Michigan State University
  • Bennett Goldberg – Boston University
  • Trina McMahon – University of Wisconsin-Madison


  • Week 1 – Principles of Learning: Prior Knowledge and Knowledge Organization
  • Week 2 – Principles of Learning: Practice, Feedback, and Motivation
  • Week 3 – Learning Objectives
  • Week 4 – Assessment of Learning
  • Week 5 – Active Learning
  • Week 6 – Inclusive Teaching
  • Week 7 – Final Project
  • Week 8 – Peer Review and Conclusion

Course 2: Advancing Learning through Evidence-Based STEM Teaching

This course prepares science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) instructors to develop and implement teaching practices that advance the learning experiences and outcomes of both students and teachers. Participants will learn about effective teaching strategies and the research that supports them, including active learning and flipped classroom approaches. Course 2 is being offered this spring, beginning February 4, 2019.

MOOC Instructors

  • Cynthia Brame and Derek Bruff – Vanderbilt University
  • Rique Campa – Michigan State University
  • Bennett Goldberg – Northwestern University


  • Week 1 – Practice and Feedback – Peer Instruction
  • Week 2 – Practice and Feedback – Problem-Based Learning
  • Week 3 – Thinking Like a Scientist – Inquiry-Based Labs
  • Week 4 – Learning Communities – Cooperative Learning
  • Week 5 – Learning Communities – Learning through Diversity
  • Week 6 – Course Design – The Flipped Classroom
  • Week 7 – Principles and Practices – Final Assignment Submission
  • Week 8 – Peer Feedback

Future Plans

The instructors are releasing most of the learning materials generated for these courses in an open-source manner, so that anyone can incorporate materials such as videos in new or existing training programs for current and future faculty. Visit to view video content.


NSF logoMOOC development and research on effectiveness has been funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (DUE #: 1347605), to Rique Campa of Michigan State University. Co-investigators are Kitch Barnicle, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Derek Bruff, Vanderbilt University, Bennett Goldberg, Northwestern University, and Robert Mathieu, University of Wisconsin-Madison.