Improv to Improve Science Communication and Teaching


Dates / Times (Spring 2023): Tuesdays, 1:00pm–3:00pm, starting January 24
Location: 305 Wendt Commons
Instructor: Anne Lynn Gillian-Daniel
Credit information: 1 optional credit (MSE 803)
Satisfies prerequisite toward the Delta Certificate: Δ (1 delta)
Register Here


Improv requires the ability to listen carefully, think quickly, and communicate clearly — and so do science communication and teaching.

Using the storytelling and character-development techniques of theatrical improvisation, participants will build confidence, teamwork, leadership, listening and decision-making skills through the performance of short games and scenes. Participants will be able to better think on their feet, manage a constructivist classroom, and communicate science more effectively to both technical and non-technical audiences. Each session will be comprehensive, diverse, and dynamic (in addition to being a lot of fun), and will build on the skills from the week before. Due to the sequential nature of the class and the necessity of building a supportive learning community, please defer taking the course if you know in advance that your schedule will require you to miss more than two classes.

What do past participants say?

“My comfort level speaking/teaching in front of a group has really increased.”

“This course helped me build confidence in speaking off the cuff, answering unexpected questions, and responding in the moment to difficult situations. Each week was a new, but welcome, challenge. The instructor created an environment where it felt safe to try new things, make mistakes, and then try again. I never imagined I would take an improv class, but I’m sure glad I did. One of the most enjoyable and rewarding classes I’ve taken!”

Want to learn more about this course? 

Check out this podcast episode from Sustainable Nano, where you hear how this course had a lasting impact on two Delta participants.

Or read the article “Using Improvisation to Increase Graduate Students’ Communication Self-Efficacy” from instructor Anne Lynn Gillian-Daniel, which was published in Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning.


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