Midwest Great Plains 2016 Conference

2016 MWGP Regional Network Conference

August 5-7, 2016
Washington University, St. Louis, MO

The PULSE Midwest and Great Plains Regional Network is inviting teams from Life Science Departments to apply to attend the third regional conference. Conference outcomes include:

  • Identify talents, expertise, support in region
  • Facilitate connections, collaborations, synergies
  • Develop departmental action plans to enhance programs with respect to V&C
  • Convey strategies for facilitating departmental discussions on curricular change
  • Provide information about PULSE resources
  • Determine mechanisms for maintaining and growing the network

Teams: Travel, lodging, and meals for three team members will be provided. Teams should include the department Chair; other teams members can include faculty, instructional academic staff, Teaching and Learning Center staff, upper administrators, postdocs, graduate students. Depending on space available, we may be able to provide lodging and meals for additional teams members (beyond 3), but they will be responsible for their travel to St. Louis. Teams will be expected to complete pre-conference assignments using PULSE rubrics.

Conference highlights

Team work sessions: The conference will have dedicated periods for participant teams to work together on the PULSE department assessment rubrics. Teams will also work through exercises that lead towards the development of departmental change action plans, using facilitative leadership and creative problem solving strategies.  PULSE mentors will be available to help departments as they draft plans to take back to their home institutions.

Poster sessions:  Participating teams will be expected to share institutional information and departmental accomplishments in poster format.  New for this year will be the inclusion of a second poster session - an optional, peer-reviewed session highlighting individual research and innovation in the classroom or lab.

Break-out Session topics:

  • Leveraging regional accreditation to advance Vision & Change
  • Partnerships between 2-year and 4-year schools
  • Integrating research experiences into courses.
  • Engaging in the scholarship of teaching and learning
  • Course-level, department-level, and program-level assessment
  • Fostering metacognition and self-regulated learning
  • How to be a leader and agent of change

Keynote speakers:

Brian Couch, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Dr. Couch’s research focuses on understanding the use and outcomes of active learning methods in the classroom.  He will discuss the use of the Bio-MAPS assessment instrument. 


Carol L. Colbeck, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. Colbeck's research investigates how social and organizational contexts shape academic work. She will focus on issues related to institutional change.



Important Dates

  • Call for Applications: March 4, 2016
  • Deadline for applications: April 8, 2016
  • Notification of Acceptance: April 15, 2016
  • Poster Abstract Deadline: June 15, 2016
  • Notification of Poster Acceptance: July 1, 2016
  • Pre-workshop Assignment due: July 15, 2016
  • Conference Dates: August 5 – 7, 2016

Questions? Please contact Paul Arriola, paula@elmhurst.eduThe PULSE Midwest and Great Plains Regional Network is supported by award #1355894 from the National Science Foundation.