Anatomy of STEM teaching in North American universities

Published on Mar 30, 2018in Science41.063
· DOI :10.1126/science.aap8892
Marilyne Stains12
Estimated H-index: 12
Jordan Harshman5
Estimated H-index: 5
+ 28 AuthorsAnna M. Young2
Estimated H-index: 2
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.
  • References (11)
  • Citations (46)
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
1,689 Citations
310 Citations
196 Citations
78% of Scinapse members use related papers. After signing in, all features are FREE.
#1Kenneth Akiha (UMaine: University of Maine)H-Index: 1
#2Emilie Brigham (UMaine: University of Maine)H-Index: 1
Last. Michelle K. Smith (UMaine: University of Maine)H-Index: 15
view all 8 authors...
Despite the need for a strong Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) workforce, there is a high attrition rate for students who intend to complete undergraduate majors in these disciplines. Students who leave STEM degree programs often cite uninspiring instruction in introductory courses, including traditional lecturing, as a reason. While undergraduate courses play a critical role in STEM retention, little is understood about the instructional transitions students encounter upon movi...
3 CitationsSource
#1Susan E. Shadle (BSU: Boise State University)H-Index: 7
#2Anthony Marker (BSU: Boise State University)H-Index: 9
Last. Brittnee Earl (BSU: Boise State University)H-Index: 1
view all 3 authors...
Background Calls to improve student learning and increase the number of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) college and university graduates assert the need for widespread adoption of evidence-based instructional practices in undergraduate STEM courses. For successful reforms to take hold and endure, it is likely that a significant shift in culture around teaching is needed. This study seeks to describe the initial response of faculty to an effort to shift teaching norms, with a lo...
15 CitationsSource
#1Cody Tyler Williams (WMU: Western Michigan University)H-Index: 4
#2Emily M. Walter (CSU: California State University)H-Index: 5
Last. Andrea Beach (WMU: Western Michigan University)H-Index: 12
view all 4 authors...
Background Collecting data on instructional practices is an important step in planning and enacting meaningful initiatives to improve undergraduate science instruction. Self-report survey instruments are one of the most common tools used for collecting data on instructional practices. This paper is an instrument- and item-level analysis of available instructional practice instruments to survey postsecondary instructional practices. We qualitatively analyzed the instruments to document their feat...
13 CitationsSource
#1Travis J. Lund (Oregon Institute of Technology)H-Index: 3
#2Matthew Pilarz (Rowan University)H-Index: 4
Last. Marilyne Stains (NU: University of Nebraska–Lincoln)H-Index: 12
view all 7 authors...
Researchers, university administrators, and faculty members are increasingly interested in measuring and describing instructional practices provided in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses at the college level. Specifically, there is keen interest in comparing instructional practices between courses, monitoring changes over time, and mapping observed practices to research-based teaching. While increasingly common observation protocols (Reformed Teaching Observation Pr...
39 CitationsSource
#1Scott Freeman (UW: University of Washington)H-Index: 20
#2Sarah L. Eddy (UW: University of Washington)H-Index: 14
Last. Mary Pat Wenderoth (UW: University of Washington)H-Index: 20
view all 7 authors...
1,689 CitationsSource
#1Michelle K. Smith (UMaine: University of Maine)H-Index: 15
#2Francis Jones (UBC: University of British Columbia)H-Index: 5
Last. Carl E. Wieman (UBC: University of British Columbia)H-Index: 66
view all 4 authors...
123 CitationsSource
#1Susan RundellSinger (Carleton College)H-Index: 19
#2Karl A. Smith (UMN: University of Minnesota)H-Index: 31
Engineering education research (EER) has been on the fast track since 2004 with an exponential rise in the number of Ph.D.s awarded and the establishment of new programs, even entire EER departments. The National Research Council’s Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) report (National Research Council, 2012) captures the state-of-the-art advances in our understanding of engineering and science student learning and highlights commonalities with other science-based education research program...
328 CitationsSource
#1Andrew ZiefflerH-Index: 10
#2Jiyoon Park (UMN: University of Minnesota)H-Index: 2
Last. Audbjorg Bjornsdottir (UMN: University of Minnesota)H-Index: 2
view all 5 authors...
This paper reports on an instrument designed to assess the practices and beliefs of instructors of introductory statistics courses across the disciplines. Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, this project developed, piloted, and gathered validity evidence for the Statistics Teaching Inventory (STI). The instrument consists of 50 items in six parts and is administered online. The development of the instrument and the gathering and analysis of validity evidence are described. Pl...
26 CitationsSource
#1Maura Borrego (VT: Virginia Tech)H-Index: 27
#2Jeffrey E. Froyd (A&M: Texas A&M University)H-Index: 19
Last. T. Simin Hall (VT: Virginia Tech)H-Index: 3
view all 3 authors...
Background Despite decades of effort focused on improvement of engineering education, many recent advances have not resulted in systemic change. Diffusion of innovations theory is used to better understand this phenomenon. Purpose (Hypothesis) Research questions include: How widespread is awareness and adoption of established engineering education innovations? Are there differences by discipline or institutional type? How do engineering department chairs find out about engineering education inno...
191 CitationsSource
#1Charles Henderson (WMU: Western Michigan University)H-Index: 25
#2Melissa H. Dancy (Johnson C. Smith University)H-Index: 15
During the Fall of 2008 we designed and administered a web survey to collect information about pedagogical knowledge and practices of physics faculty. The survey was completed by a representative sample of 722 physics faculty across the United States (a 50.3% response rate). This paper presents results of one part of the survey where faculty were asked to rate their level of knowledge and use of 24 Research-Based Instructional Strategies (RBIS) that are applicable to an introductory quantitative...
103 CitationsSource
Cited By46
#1Robert M. ErdmannH-Index: 1
#1Robert Erdmann (UMN: University of Minnesota)H-Index: 1
Last. Marilyne Stains (UVA: University of Virginia)H-Index: 1
view all 3 authors...
Local and national initiatives to improve the learning experiences of students enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses have been on-going for a couple of decades with a heightened momentum within the last 10 years. However, recent large-scale studies have demonstrated that transmission of information is still the primary mode of instruction in STEM courses across the undergraduate curriculum. The limited impact of instructional change reform efforts can be pa...
1 CitationsSource
#1Eva Knekta (FIU: Florida International University)H-Index: 5
#2Ashley A. Rowland (CU: University of Colorado Boulder)H-Index: 5
Last. Sarah L. Eddy (FIU: Florida International University)H-Index: 14
view all 4 authors...
Boosting students’ disciplinary interest has long been considered an important mechanism to increase student success and retention in STEM education. Yet, interest is a complex construct and can mean different things to different people, and many of the existing interest questionnaires do not identify a specific theoretical framework underlying their items. To demonstrate that curricular interventions targeting students’ interest are effective, educators need a theoretically based instrument to ...
#1Allyson Barlow (OSU: Oregon State University)H-Index: 1
#2Shane Brown (OSU: Oregon State University)H-Index: 9
Within STEM education, research on instructional practices has focused on ways to increase student engagement and thereby reap the associated benefits of increased learning, persistence, and academic success. These meaningful-learning goals have been tied most specifically to cognitive engagement, a construct that is often difficult for instructors to assess on their own. While it has been shown that certain instructional practices are tied to higher cognitive engagement in students, tools to me...
1 CitationsSource
#1Daniel L. Reinholz (SDSU: San Diego State University)H-Index: 8
#2Tessa C. Andrews (UGA: University of Georgia)H-Index: 7
This commentary focuses on the difference between a theory of change and change theory, as it relates to systemic change projects in STEM higher education. A theory of change is project-specific and related to evaluation. It makes the underlying rationale of a project explicit, which supports planning, implementation, and assessment of the project. In addition, a theory of change is often required by funding agencies as part of grant proposals. In contrast, change theories represent theoretical ...
#1Tong Wan (UCF: University of Central Florida)H-Index: 1
#2Ashley A. Geraets (UCF: University of Central Florida)H-Index: 1
Last. Jacquelyn J. Chini (UCF: University of Central Florida)H-Index: 6
view all 5 authors...
Graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) often lead laboratory and tutorial sections in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), especially at large, research-intensive universities. GTAs’ performance as instructors can impact student learning experience as well as learning outcomes. In this study, we observed 11 chemistry GTAs and 11 physics GTAs in a research-intensive institution in the southeastern USA. We observed the GTAs over two consecutive semesters in one academic year, res...
#1Emily J. Borda (WWU: Western Washington University)H-Index: 4
#2Emily Schumacher (WWU: Western Washington University)
Last. Lauren Stredicke (WWU: Western Washington University)
view all 7 authors...
A faculty development program was implemented over four years at a 4-year regional comprehensive university and two partnering community colleges. This project was focused on improving student learning in introductory Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) courses at each institution, by helping faculty adopt inclusive, student-centered pedagogies. Survey data were combined with data from classroom videos, faculty interviews, and student questionnaires collected during the first two y...
#1Yinghui Shi (CCNU: Central China Normal University)H-Index: 4
#2Huiyun Yang (CCNU: Central China Normal University)H-Index: 1
Last. Harrison Hao Yang (CCNU: Central China Normal University)H-Index: 9
view all 5 authors...
Technology-enabled active learning environments (TE-ALEs) have attracted considerable research interest, particularly in higher education. However, research shows inconsistent results describing th...
2 CitationsSource
#1Daniel L. Reinholz (SDSU: San Diego State University)H-Index: 8
Last. Elena Nardi (UEA: University of East Anglia)H-Index: 13
view all 3 authors...
This research commentary argues for more research that attends to the processes of organizational change in mathematics departments. It outlines both the ways that research on organizational change can benefit scholarship in mathematics departments, and how mathematics education researchers are needed to develop theories of change that are contextualized to the teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematics. This commentary closes with a research agenda for moving this emergent field of stud...
#1Anna M. Semanko (NDSU: North Dakota State University)H-Index: 1
#2Jared L. Ladbury (Minnesota State University Moorhead)H-Index: 1
Active learning can have a substantial impact on STEM student learning outcomes. This study used the reasoned action approach to predict the presence of active teaching techniques. Instructor attitudes, perceived social norms, perceived behavioral control and intentions concerning active learning strategies were assessed before and after a teaching workshop, in addition to retrospectively. Behavioral teaching practices were recorded using the Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM...
#1Lindsay B. Wheeler (UVA: University of Virginia)H-Index: 4
#2Dorothe J. Bach (UVA: University of Virginia)H-Index: 1
This study explored three US educational development (ED) programs: a weeklong course design institute, a new faculty learning community (NFLC), and a STEM learning community (STEM-LC). We compared...