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Dr. Patrick Killion: Scalable, Efficient & Effective Discovery-Based Learning

Hosted by MIT Teaching + Learning Lab on 2/28/2019

The TLL Speaker Series aims to generate dialogue across our MIT community on improving the undergraduate and graduate educational experience. Speakers highlight current trends, new models, and research, while drawing from their own experience in academic innovation.

SPEAKER: Patrick Killion, Ph.D.
Director of Discovery Based Learning
Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost
University of Maryland

This presentation featured Dr. Patrick Killion, Director of Discovery-Based Learning and Founding Director of First-Year Innovation & Research Experience (FIRE) at the University of Maryland.

FIRE is a university-wide program that annually provides 750+ first-year students authentic research experience, broad mentorship and degree credit that impact academic success, personal development, a strong sense of community and professional opportunity. FIRE is operated through Dr. Killion’s coordination and leadership of 17+ dedicated professional track faculty and in partnership with UMD’s Teaching and Learning Transformation Center, Office of Undergraduate Studies and Division of Student Affairs.

Dr. Killion shared the key pillars that drive the operations, research engaged, affiliated courses and ongoing assessment of the First-Year Innovation & Research Experience (FIRE) program at The University of Maryland. These key takeaways target principles that support scalable, efficient and effective course-based undergraduate research engagements.

Dr. Patrick Killion is the Director of Discovery-Based Learning in the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost and Assistant Clinical Professor of Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD). In this role, he is leading new initiatives focused on the university-wide adoption of discovery and inquiry across the curriculum. He continues to serve as the founding director of FIRE (The First-Year Innovation & Research Experience), initiated in 2014.

Dr. Killion joined the University of Maryland in 2013 after serving as an Assistant Professor of Biology at Delaware Valley University in Pennsylvania where he drove discovery and inquiry-based reform efforts in the first-year Biology curriculum. Prior to this role he helped grow the University of Texas Freshman Research Initiative, a model that informed and inspired the UMD FIRE program. His research interests and capacities include learning analytics and data science focused on higher education administration, decision-making and reform. He is a former Councilor in The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and serves as a consultant to both Rice University and The University of California, Riverside as a part of an NSF-funded four-year effort to rethink and transform the experience of students at these institutions. Prior to beginning his career in higher education, Dr. Killion was a software engineer with IBM and several technology startups in Austin, Texas. Dr. Killion has a Ph.D. in Cell & Molecular Biology from the University of Texas and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Texas A&M University.

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