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Effectuating Evidence-based Transformative Pedagogical Approaches in STEM Foundational Courses—A Pilot Study

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Diffusion and Adoption of Teaching Practices

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.586.1 - 26.586.17



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Paper Authors


Xiang (Susie) Zhao Alabama A&M University

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Dr. Xiang (Susie) Zhao, Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Alabama A&M University, has over 15 years of teaching experience in traditional on-campus settings or online format at several universities in US and aboard. Her teaching and research interests include numerical modeling & simulation, high performance algorithm design, and evidence-based STEM teaching pedagogies. Her recent research work has been funded by DOE, NRC, NASA and NSF, and generated over 40 journal and conference papers. Dr. Zhao also serves as the Principle Investigator of AAMU’s NSF WIDER grant-“Effectuating Evidence-based Transformative Pedagogical Approaches in STEM Foundational Courses at AAMU”.

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Fayequa Majid Alabama A&M University

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Fayequa Majid received her Ph.D. in Physics from University of Alabama. She has over twenty years of teaching and research experience. Currently, she is a full professor and Coordinator of Mathematics program at Alabama A&M University. Her current research is primarily in the area of solitons. She is also involved in research for improving undergraduate STEM education. Currently, she is Co-PI of NSF WIDER grant.

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V. Trent Montgomery Alabama A&M University


Chance M Glenn Sr. Alabama A&M University

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Chance Glenn received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park. He then received his Master’s of Science degree and Doctor of Philosophy degree, both in Electrical Engineering, from The Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering. He also holds a certificate from the Management Development Program in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.

In August of 2012 Dr. Glenn became the Dean of the College of Engineering, Technology, and Physical Sciences at the Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, Alabama. Dr. Glenn returned to Huntsville after starting school at Alabama A&M years ago. He is now leading the college through its expansion to prepare students and researchers to meet the global needs of the 21st century. Dr. Glenn is also the President and Executive Director of the newly formed Alabama A&M Research, Innovation, Science and Engineering (AAMU-RISE) Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to create new opportunities for the region in research and development. Prior to coming to A&M he was the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. He holds several patents and is internationally recognized for research in rf communications and digital signal processing.

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Juarine Stewart Alabama A&M University

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Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Studies, Director, Centers for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

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Effectuating Evidence-based Transformative Pedagogical Approaches in STEM Foundational Courses—A Pilot StudyAbstractA critical juncture in the undergraduate STEM education pathway is the first two years ofcollege when the majority of attrition occurs because students experience many academicchallenges in gatekeeping courses. Among many factors to this failure, an important one isattributed to the lack of engaging pedagogy inside and outside classrooms. Through this NSFWIDER Program sponsored planning project, a team of faculty and administrators at AlabamaAgricultural and Mechanical University (AAMU) are implementing evidence-based instructionalpractices in foundation courses in STEM curricula. Recognizing that it is essential to implementeffective pedagogy in gateway courses where most attrition occurs, this project has conducted apilot study, which focuses on: (1) collecting baseline data about the extent to which evidence-based practices are currently being used in STEM gateway courses; (2) redesigning threefoundational gateway courses in electrical engineering, computer science and mathematics byapplying evidence-based teaching strategies—student-centered problem-based teaching(SC-PBT), example-based teaching, and just-in-time teaching (JITT); (3) incorporating classroom andlaboratory activities that require active student engagement, conceptual understanding, criticalthinking, and problem-solving; and (4) Employing model students to lead SupplementaryInstruction (SI) courses with evidence-based peer-to-peer learning strategies. The studentassessment data indicated the effectiveness of the evidence-based instructional practices, the SIpeer-to-peer learning strategies, as well as existing engagement challenges. In addition, positivefeedback is obtained from the student survey data on the redesigned courses. The broader impactof this project is twofold. First, data generated through assessment and evaluation is expected tosupport the theoretical rationale that systematic change in STEM education must include a widespectrum of stakeholders (administrators, faculty, staff, and students). Secondly, disseminationof the results of this work is expected to provide a model for institutional implementation ofevidence-based practices at colleges or universities of similar size and/or student bodydemographics as AAMU, a land-granted minority serving university.

Zhao, X. S., & Majid, F., & Montgomery, V. T., & Glenn, C. M., & Stewart, J. (2015, June), Effectuating Evidence-based Transformative Pedagogical Approaches in STEM Foundational Courses—A Pilot Study Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23924

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