During graduate school, Dr Gaudet completed a graduate course called “Teaching for the Life Sciences.” This course launched his teaching career at the University of British Columbia. He designed and co-instructed five class sections, which further refined his teaching style and philosophy.
Gaudet’s goal as a teacher is to engage students and to motivate them to take control of their own learning by providing them with a positive and supportive learning environment that encourages cooperation and critical thought.
Dr Gaudet’s key teaching strategies include using in-class teamwork to strengthen learning and aligning learning goals with assessments. It is important to break up didactic segments with meaningful individual or team activities (every 15-20 minutes), which consolidate learning and re-focus the students. Gaudet also asks for feedback to improve course design and structure. This is exemplified by Gaudet’s published pedagogical research, which discusses how students’ grades and attitudes were affected by learning in teams.
Gaudet also works well with labmates, and mentors graduate students and undergraduates. For instance, in Dr Popovich’s lab Gaudet prepared a document with tips for new graduate students; edited versions were recently published in Science Careers and Science.
Instructor, Principles of Neuroimmunology – MVIMG 750, OSU 2011, 2013
- Developed and presented a lesson twice to a class of 20 graduate students: “Neuroinflammation: Gaining perspective from the periphery”
- Incorporated interactive techniques to engage students and consolidate learning
Instructor, Fourth Year Developmental Neurobiology, UBC 2008 (twice), 2009, 2010
- Re-developed and instructed the course to 50 upper-level students per semester
- Major themes: neural induction, neuraxis formation and patterning, differentiation, axonal growth and targeting, nervous system refinement
- Based course on a small-group learning model, with active learning at its core
- Focus on linking concepts and on scientific process to improve scientific thought
Instructor, Third Year Cell Physiology, UBC 2010
- Taught several themes: biological techniques, cell communication, cell junctions, cell adhesions, the extracellular matrix
- Re-developed course: used small-group learning; focused on linking concepts
Teaching Assistant, First Year Human Physiology, UBC 2004, 2005, 2007-2009
- Prepared brief lessons on topics that were studied in the laboratory
- Taught class independently and demonstrated a variety of techniques
- Graded students’ exams
- Re-developed quizzes and reports for lab section – focus on scientific process and conceptual understanding
Teaching Assistant, Third Year Cell Physiology, UBC 2003-05
- Led laboratory section
- Taught students complicated techniques, including electrophysiology, dissection, Northern blot, Western blot, photospectrometry, immunohistochemistry, ELISA, and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis
- Graded students’ written and oral reports
Other Teaching and Supervisory Experience
Teaching for the Life Sciences student – BIOL 535, UBC 2006
- Completed a graduate course on teaching in post-secondary institutions
- Learned important pedagogical philosophies and techniques
Supervisor of directed studies/summer students 2003-04, 2009, 2010-present
- Planned, implemented, and led projects completed by a Professional Research Assistant (2015-present) and 15 undergraduates (2003-present)