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Joshua Caulkins is the Assistant Director for Undergraduate Programs within the School of Life Sciences (SOLS) where he serves as the director of the BioSpine Initiative, a project aimed at ensuring effective instruction and student learning within the department. Joshua is a faculty developer with expertise in STEM-focused course and curriculum design, program assessment, and evidence-based teaching practices.
The BioSpine Initiative has a primary goal of improving teaching practices within the department so that student learning can be effectively measured over time. This includes both online and on-ground degree programs and incorporates the adoption and development of adaptive learning software into courses within SOLS. The BioSpine Initiative supports teams of faculty by introducing them to the backwards design process, an iterative procedure that focuses on (1) the creation of learning outcomes, (2) the alignment of assessments to measure those outcomes, and (3) the design and implementation of learning activities that will give students adequate practice to perform well on those assessments. The BioSpine Initiative has engaged approximately 30% of the faculty within SOLS over the past 12 months and aims to increase this number over the coming months.
Before coming to ASU, Joshua was the Assistant Director for Faculty Development in the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at the University of Rhode Island (URI), where he directed all efforts towards instructional reform within STEM departments and programs. Prior to his time at URI, Joshua spent three years working with the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, primarily working on course enhancements with faculty and on the implementation of evidence-based teaching practices.
Joshua regularly presents at national conferences and runs workshops on topics related to faculty development, metacognition, course and curriculum design, and STEM education reform in higher education.