Mobile Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching and Transformation

Save the Date: May 20-24, 2024 and join us at UConn!

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The Mobile Summer Institutes (MoSIs) are a five-day, immersive, project-based workshop for faculty, administrators, staff and university leaders. MoSIs combine the pedagogical approach of the National Academies with four additional elements: 1) a peer mentoring and evaluation workshop, 2) a scholarly teaching workshop, 3) a strategic planning workshop, and 4) an administrator’s workshop. These new elements are based on Charles Henderson’s 4 Categories of Change model and highlight the need for surrounding educators with a supportive environment while they implement teaching strategies to improve student learning and success.

MoSIs are designed to model the strategies taught. Workshops on the elements of Scientific Teaching - Inclusivity, Backward Design, Active Learning, Student-Centered Learning, Assessment, and Evaluation - are combined with small project-based, working group sessions where participants tackle a self-selected project or project idea using newly acquired skills and methods. The groups then present their work for peer-review near the end of the week. Participants leave with practical knowledge and skills on how to support departmental change in work, teaching and learning spaces. In addition, participants will have developed peer-reviewed materials that they can begin to implement immediately.

Register for the Administrator Workshop

Is there a stipend?

Yes! Teams receive $1,000 per participant – up to 4. Teams larger than 4 people will receive $4,000 to divide across members.

Can I attend as an individual?

We STRONGLY encourage attendance as a team. If you have a project but do not have a team, please contact to discuss whether your project idea aligns with another team or for support in gathering a team.

When is the deadline to apply?

The deadline to apply is March 31, 2024. The registration link is here: 2024 Mobile Summer Institute (MoSI) Application

How do I form a team?

Teams are formed in many different ways! Typical teams are 2-4 people, but can be larger if the project warrants. Teams can be within or across departments/schools, and can include participants in all roles (faculty, staff, student, etc).

Why does my team have to come with a project?

Attending a workshop with a specific project idea provides a practical context for the workshop's theoretical concepts, and enables your immediate application of newfound knowledge to real-world scenarios. This focused approach allows team members to tailor their learning experience to address the specific challenges and goals within their departments. A predefined project idea encourages active participation and engagement, as team members can contribute their insights and apply workshop concepts directly to the work.

What type of project should my team come with?

Project ideas are limitless! Typical projects center around changes in course design, course alignment, equity and inclusion in teaching and learning spaces, and policy/procedure change within departments/Schools. Teams can work at every stage of change. If you would like to discuss an idea, please contact or

What information should my team’s abstract contain?

Abstracts help the MoSI Leaders and facilitators tailor the workshops to meet the needs of participants. Your abstract should contain a challenge or project idea you and your team hope to tackle over time.

Why do I need a letter of support from my department head?

Department head support is imperative for several reasons:

  • You should not be expected to work for free
  • Your time is valuable and should be protected
  • Your work is important and deserves recognition
  • Your effort toward departmental change should align with the Department’s strategic plan

Teams should schedule a meeting with their department heads to discuss the scope of the project, its value to the department, and departmental resources needed to complete the project (release from departmental service, course release, funding, etc). Any departmental resource commitments should be listed in the letter of support.

Can I change my project?

Yes! You can edit your project idea before attending the MoSI. Once at the MoSI, projects often morph based on newly gained knowledge and contributions from team members. You are welcome to travel wherever the work takes you!

Do participants get some sort of certificate or recognition letter for taking part in the MoSI?

Yes, participants who successfully complete the MoSI will get certificates that distinguish them as Scientific Teaching Fellows and facilitators will get certificates as Scientific Teaching Mentors.

Is there any follow-up after the MoSI?

Yes. Your facilitator is with you for the length of your project! Facilitators provide checkpoints, feedback, peer review sessions and individual consultations to ensure your project is a success.

Who is the MoSI Team?

The MoSI team, composed of national leaders in education reform, travels to post-secondary institutions and trains a critical mass of educators through active problem solving and discussion. This year’s team includes:

  • Michelle Withers - Associate Professor of Biology at Binghamton University and a STEM Educator for the university's Center for Teaching and Learning.
  • Deb Pires - Instructional Consultant and Academic Administrator UCLA Center for Education Innovation in Life Sciences

Who are the facilitators?

Each small working group has a trained facilitator to guide them through the process. This year’s facilitators are:

What is a typical schedule for a MoSI?

Below is a sample agenda.  This is a general schedule of events in a Mobile Summer Institute. Any changes in the schedule will be communicated in advance.

Day Time Monday Tuesday  Wednesday  Thursday   Friday 
9-9:30 Inclusivity

Backward Design II
Scholarly Teaching Group Work IV

Strategic Planning II:
Action Planning

10:00-10:30 Presentations
10:30-11:00 Scientific Teaching in Action
Peer Mentoring/ Evaluation
12-12:30 Group Reports
12:30-1:00 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch w/administrators
1:00-1:30 Backward Design I
Group Work II Group Work III Presentations
Administrator workshop
2:30-3:00 Caucusing
Group Share


Strategic Planning I:
Visioning, Needs Assess.

3:30-4:00 Group Work I
4:30-5:00 Facilitator Debrief
Facilitator Debrief Facilitator Debrief



What is the administrator workshop and who should attend?

The goal of this workshop is to foster awareness and support by local administrators for MoSI-related efforts to improve teaching and learning. The workshop is short to accommodate the busy schedules of administrators and typically occurs over lunch! Briefly, there is a 15 minute presentation to make administrators aware of what the MoSI brings to campus. This is followed by a very short report out (5 minutes per committee) on the strategic plans (from the strategic planning workshop). The meeting wraps with a discussion between the administrators and participants around the issues raised.

Invitations to attend this session go out to administrators whose approval and support would be most important for the success of the strategic plans as well as the efforts by participants to transform their teaching. Department Heads, Deans/Assoc. Deans, Vice Provost of Academic Affairs, etc. are typically invited as they would be most helpful in supporting or advocating for the types of reforms efforts that you would like to see happen on your campus as a result of the MoSI.

Who attends the strategic planning sessions?

The MoSI program includes a strategic planning workshop to facilitate changes on campus to support participants as they implement Scientific Teaching. The workshop lasts roughly a day and consists of 4 stages - visioning, needs assessment, consensus forming and planning - that help faculty and leadership identify issues related to policy, infrastructure, culture, etc., that are barriers to their efforts to create active, inclusive, student-centered environments for their students. We encourage teams to invite their department head/dean if that will help you reach your goal.

People attending the pedagogy portion of the MoSI do not necessarily have to attend the strategic planning session. Strategic planning participants should represent a variety of perspectives, motivations, experiences and agencies. Participants should have interest in driving system-level change that fosters educational improvement or transformation on the host campus.

This activity is sponsored by the HHMI IE3 award (
MoSI is hosted by NIST