STEM Teaching Essentials


The STEM Teaching Essentials workshop series is focused on helping current, new, and future (post-docs and graduate students) STEM faculty and academic staff develop their instructional practices. MSU faculty lead these lunchtime workshops that explore essential topics in teaching and learning. The series is sponsored by the Colleges of Natural Science, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Engineering, and Lyman Briggs College. Links to video recordings of the workshops are provided for sessions beginning in 2012-2013.

New Format!!! The STEM Teaching Essentials workshops are back following our transition to online for the pandemic. The message that we have heard from faculty across the university is that they do not want another webinar, but there is still a desire to connect with our colleagues and to share resources and lessons learned over the last ten months. To answer this need, we kicked off the online format with a discussion of what lessons we learned over the last year and how that can help us to prepare for the spring.

Feel free to visit this Microsoft Form to send the STEM Teaching Essentials committee comments or suggestions:

Online Discussions


Lessons learned from pandemic teaching.

December 15th

Online discussion facilitated by Cori Fata Hartley, Neeraj Buch, Georgina Montgomery, Daina Briedis, and Stephen Thomas.



Course Crafting: how to adopt a multimodal lens with your future courses.

April 20th, 2021 at 9:00 AM

Over our last three STEM Teaching Essential sessions,

  • We heard from faculty about some strengths to teaching online that they hope to move continue using;

  • We heard from students that there are some digital approaches that they hope continue, and

  • We discussed ways to make the digital experiences more humane.

Based on those experiences, the question is, "How will these items live out in the future of your course." In April's session of the STEM Teaching Essentials, the Enhanced Digital Learning Initiative (EDLI) team will be working with us through a series of prompts that helps you to identify what digital elements you might adopt in your future classes, what theories might you work with to improve your efficacy, and how these adoptions might affect your course policies. So, come and do some course crafting with the EDLI team!

Please register below to attend.

Session Details

Building Community in a Multimodal World.

March 16th, 9am

Whether students are online or face-to-face, we want them to feel like a valued member of their course community and the larger STEM community. We’ll explore strategies that work well for building community and inclusion in digital spaces as well as in-person spaces. Then we can discuss how to leverage best practices across multiple modalities and identify concrete actions for Fall 2021.

More than a square: Students add dimension to their digital learning experiences during the pandemic.

February 23rd, 9am

Events of the past twelve months have been unprecedented in so many ways; professional, cultural/societal, and personal impacts have differentially affected individuals in higher education. In the face of the pandemic, campuses boot-strapped distance learning models literally overnight. Estimates suggest that undergraduate enrollment fell by 2.5% in Fall of 2020 amid college students reporting record levels of anxiety and depression, with 42% reporting difficulty remaining motivated in the face of mounting financial challenges, lost opportunities, and a growing digital divide.

Our February 23 panel will feature STEM students who will share a range of perspectives, experiences and insights regarding the online learning space. Our purpose is to hear the voices of the learners to optimize learning as we find our “new normal” and incorporate best practices in higher education. Students will provide their perspectives on what worked and what didn’t, what to toss and what to keep.