July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session
We report here on the implementation over five years of a comprehensive project to improve STEM education in a large, public university. The STEER project, funded by NSF-IUSE, seeks to achieve this improvement by (1) advocating and incentivizing the adoption of Evidenced Based Teaching (EBT) methods in STEM courses and (2) facilitating change to a culture in which student-centered learning is valued within research-driven STEM departments. A number of synergistic thrusts have been implemented to support these efforts and include:
(1) Facilitating and Incentivizing Adoption of EBT Methods: Faculty can apply for development grants to incorporate EBT methods into their course. They can apply for travel grants to learn more about adopting EBT within their discipline. A peer observation program places STEM faculty from different disciplines into small groups where each member observes a class taught by the others and also a class taught by a separate faculty member versed in one or more EBT approaches. Teaching assistants for STEM laboratory courses are provided training in EBT methods. A new program developed during COVID solicited STEM faculty to produce videos in which they illustrate one or more methods useful in online teaching.
(2) Retreats: STEER facilitates departmental retreats in which faculty are guided to fine- tune their curricula and align departmental courses. These retreats include an introduction to EBT methods. STEER also hosts interdisciplinary retreats, in which STEM faculty from various disciplines are grouped and encouraged to explore ways in which their courses can build upon each other.
(3) Support for Transfer Students: Faculty from our campus and from our main feeder institution meet to align common courses at the two institutions. Students who have previously transferred from the feeder institution are hired as “STEER Peers”. They advise students who are in the process of transferring, participate in transfer student orientation, and design and deliver workshops on study skills and professional/career development.
(4) Creating Momentum for Change: A seminar series attended by faculty, administrators, graduate assistants and advisors brings in nationally known presenters who speak on a variety of topics such as EBT methods, institutional change, and student retention (both overall and for under-represented groups). STEER members facilitate STEM Teaching Workshops sponsored by the university provost. Each year, STEM Scholar Awards are made to several faculty who have successfully applied EBT to their courses.
We described many of these thrusts at the 2019 ASEE conference. In this paper, we will focus more on describing the thrusts that have been implemented, or have evolved, since then. Also, as this grant is in its no-cost extension year, we will present results and lessons learned. Specifically, we will address the number of faculty, graduate assistants and undergraduate students directly impacted by each thrust and will quantify, to the extent possible, the effect of that impact. Institutional data related to retention and graduation rates for STEM disciplines over the course of the project will also be presented. Finally, we will discuss lessons learned, with an eye towards helping institutions who are in the early stages of a project like ours.
Potter, R. L., & Meisels, G. G., & Stiling, P., & Yee, K., & Sears, R., & Beneteau, C. A., & Schuler, K. G., & Camacho, A. D., & Campbell, S. W. (2021, July), Systemic Transformation of Education Through Evidence-based Reform (STEER): Results and Lessons Learned Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37797
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