Anatomy of STEM teaching in North American universities
A large body of evidence demonstrates that strategies that promote student interactions and cognitively engage students with content ( 1 ) lead to gains in learning and attitudinal outcomes for students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses ( 1 , 2 ). Many educational and governmental bodies have called for and supported adoption of these student-centered strategies throughout the undergraduate STEM curriculum. But to the extent that we have pictures of the STEM undergraduate instructional landscape, it has mostly been provided through self-report surveys of faculty members, within a particular STEM discipline [e.g., ( 3 – 6 )]. Such surveys are prone to reliability threats and can underestimate the complexity of classroom environments, and few are implemented nationally to provide valid and reliable data ( 7 ). Reflecting the limited state of these data, a report from the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine called for improved data collection to understand the use of evidence-based instructional practices ( 8 ). We report here a major step toward a characterization of STEM teaching practices in North American universities based on classroom observations from over 2000 classes taught by more than 500 STEM faculty members across 25 institutions.