7 Recommendations for Helping Students Thrive in Times of Trauma: Leveraging the Neuroscience of Now
Statistics of mental illnesses by students, including depression and anxiety, are compounded by the reality of COVID-19. Imad uses evidence from neuroscience concerning trauma and learning and suggests seven ways that professors can help students thrive in class during times of trauma.
Battey, Dan, Leyva, Luis A.
Documenting mathematics as a racialized space becomes difficult due to the invisibility and neutrality of Whiteness in institutions. The authors develop a framework that illustrates three dimensions of White institutional space - institutional, labor, and identity - to support mathematics educators in combating racist structures.
Pfund, Christine, House, Stephanie, Spencer, Kimberly, Asquith, Pamela, Carney, Paula, Masters, Kristyn S., McGee, Richard, Shanedling, Janet, Vecchiarelli, Stephanie, Fleming, Michael
The authors describe an eight-hour research mentor training curriculum that data suggest is an effective means of engaging mentors to improve their research mentoring practices. The training resulted in high satisfaction, self-reported skill gains, as well as behavioral changes of clinical and translational research mentors.
Miller, Casey, Stassun, Kievan
As an admissions requirement, the GRE is poor at selecting the most capable students and severely restricts the flow of women and minorities into the sciences. Studies find only a weak correlation between the test and ultimate success in STEM fields. De-emphasizing the GRE and augmenting admissions procedures with measures of other attributes — such as drive, diligence and the willingness to take scientific risks — would not make graduate admissions more predictive of the ability to do well and increase diversity in STEM.
A Course-Embedded Comparison of Instructor-Generated Videos of Either an Instructor Alone or an Instructor and a Student
Cooper, Katelyn M., Ding, Lu, Stephens, Michelle D., Chi, Michelene T. H., Brownell, Sara
Students prefer and do better in flipped classrooms when pre-class videos feature only the instructor, rather than the instructor with a student.
Powell, Candice, Demetriou, Cynthia, Morton, Terrell R., Ellis, James M.
Applies Critical Race Theory (CRT) to explain racial inequalities in retention and graduation rates. Proposes a practical model for leveraging CRT concepts to address racial inequalities in student outcomes and experiences.
A High-Enrollment Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience Improves Student Conceptions of Scientific Thinking and Ability to Interpret Data
Brownell, Sara, Hekmat-Scafe, Daria S., Singla, Veena, Seawell, Patricia Chandler, Conklin Imam, Jamie F., Eddy, Sarah L., Stearns, Tim, Cyert, Martha S.
Authors find that course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) enables shifts in student conceptions of what it means to think like a scientist. They move from more novice-like approaches to this thinking to more expert-like ones. At the end of the course, students identified experimental repetition, data analysis, and collaboration as important elements of thinking like a scientist.
Thompson, Seth K., Neill, Connor J., Wiederhoeft, Ellen, Cotner, Sehoya
Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) enable more students to gain research experience, compared with the traditional apprenticeship model. The authors propose expanding on the CURE model to provide field-based research experiences to more students.
Miller, Sarah, Tanner, Kimberly
Miller and Tanner organize and explain 50 key terms to improve scientific teaching, an intentional approach to teaching that focuses on student learning and involves iterative questioning, evidence collection, and innovation.
A psychological intervention strengthens students’ peer social networks and promotes persistence in STEM
Turetsky, Kate M., Purdie-Greenaway, Valerie, Cook, Jonathan E., Curley, James P., Cohen, Geoffrey L.
Fostering a classroom environment where STEM students build social relationships can increase their interest in and persistence towards a degree in STEM. Activities involving affirmation values are productive mechanisms for building students’ social networks in their STEM courses.
McGrath, Shelley M., Burd, Gail D.
There is a positive impact of administering a mandatory success course for first year college students placed on academic probation after their first semester. Such impacts include an increase in persistence and graduation.
Poole examines the costs and benefits of organizing universities in terms of disciplines and departments. He argues that disciplines often help scholars and students make sense of academic worlds and research processes, but they can also limit acceptance of divergent perspectives and abilities to understand other disciplinary ways of thinking and researching.
Freeman, Scott, Eddy, Sarah L., McDonough, Miles, Smith, Michelle K., Okoroafor, Nnadozie, Jordt, Hannah, Wenderoth, Mary Pat
The studies analyzed here document that active learning leads to increases in examination performance that would raise average grades by a half a letter and that failure rates under traditional lecturing increase by 55% over the rates observed under active learning.
Active learning narrows achievement gaps for underrepresented students in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and math
Theobald, Elli et al
This study asserts that on average, active learning reduces achievement gaps in exam scores and passing rates. Based on their findings, they suggest that widespread implementation of high-quality active learning can help reduce or eliminate achievement gaps in STEM courses and promote equity in higher education.
In this short chapter, Rose demonstrates the ways that context shapes writing strategies and abilities, making it difficult to judge or assess a student writer’s ability by examining one sample of writing. Rose argues that “all writers have more to learn” is a threshold concept that can help shape assessment practices and can help empower writers to view difficulties as opportunities for learning something new about writing.
Approaches to Cell Biology Teaching: Cooperative Learning in the Science Classroom—Beyond Students Working in Groups
Tanner, Kimberly, Chatman, Liesl S., Allen, Deborah
Studies suggest that cooperative learning has a variety of positive and measurable outcomes on students at a variety of cognitive levels and in a variety of disciplines. The authors discuss five essential elements that are necessary to construct positive, effective cooperative group learning situations: Positive Interdependence, Face-to-Face Promotive Interaction, Individual and Group Accountability, Interpersonal and Small-Group Skills, and Group Processing.
Scott, Tony, Inoue, Asao B.
This brief article describes the range of activities involved in writing assessment and demonstrates the ways that writing assessments can both shape and be shaped by classroom and disciplinary contexts. Inoue argues that assessment can shape relationships and power between teachers, students, and institutions, and can be shaped by individual or institutional factors and values.
Keller, Arielle S., Davidesco, Ido, Tanner, Kimberly
The authors suggest instructors can leverage attention in the classroom by employing ideas from cognitive neuroscience and psychology using two key dimensions: intern/external attention and on-topic/off-topic attention. Claim that some teaching approaches are more effective than others because they leverage natural fluctuations in student attention.
Barriers to Faculty Pedagogical Change: Lack of Training, Time, Incentives, and...Tensions with Professional Identity?
Brownell, Sara, Tanner, Kimberly
The authors call for biology faculty to move towards a more iterative, evidence based approach to teaching, but note that a key challenge is convincing many faculty to change the way they teach.
Seidel, Shannon et al
While analyzing the teaching in a biology course, Seidel and colleagues hypothesize that using different kinds of “non-content talk” can increase engagement and buy-in as well as mitigate stereotype threat and decrease the perceived distance between students and instructor.
Joseph, Nicole M., Viesca, Kara Mitchell, Bianco, Margarita
Most black female adolescents in student surveys define racism as centered on prejeduce, discrimination, and different treatment; most experiences girls described regarding racism in school illustrated issues of prejudice, discrimination, and differential treatment as well as stereotypes, labels and low teacher expectations.
Black Women’s and Girls’ Persistence in the P–20 Mathematics Pipeline: Two Decades of Children, Youth, and Adult Education Research
Joseph, Nicole M., Hailu, Meseret, Boston, Denise
Through an extensive literature review (n=62), the authors identify three interrelated themes that contribute to Black women’s and girl’s persistence in the P-20 mathematics pipeline: structural disruptions, community influences, and resilience strategies. They also discuss a future research agenda based around new questions, paradigms, and ways of examining the experiences of Black women and girls in mathematics that could inform policy for increasing the persistence of Black women and girls in mathematics.
Morton, Terrell R., Parsons, Eileen C.
While prior scholarship addresses Black women’s race and gender identity as risk factors that are the onset of hardship and oppression they experienced in STEM education, this study uncovers an alternative. Using PVEST (Phenomenological Variant Ecological Systems Theory), the authors demonstrate a group of Black women named and conceptualized their identity as “Black woman” to be a positive and protective factor for their STEM engagement.
Building Better Bridges into STEM: A Synthesis of 25 Years of Literature on STEM Summer Bridge Programs
Ashley, Michael, Cooper, Katelyn M., Cala, Jacqueline M., Brownell, Sara
After a systematic review of STEM bridge programs (summer programs designed to help transition students into college), the authors identify 14 distinct bridge program goals. These goals can be organized into three categories: academic success goals, psychosocial goals, and department-level goals. The authors also provide a set of recommendations for building better bridge programs.
Building National Capacity for Research Mentor Training: An Evidence-Based Approach to Training the Trainers
Pfund, Christine, Spencer, Kimberly C., Asquith, Pamela, House, Stephanie C., Miller, Sarah, Sorkness, Christine A.
Research mentor training (RMT), based on the published Entering Mentoring curricula series, has been shown to improve the knowledge and skills of research mentors across career stages, as self-reported by both the mentors engaged in training and their mentees.
Cotner, Sehoya, Ballen, Cissy J.
The authors focus on the impact of mixed methods of assessment, which minimizes the impact of high-stakes exams and rewards other methods of assessment, as a factor to explain the attrition of women in STEM. The authors demonstrate that the shift away from an exam emphasis benefits female students, thereby closing gaps in overall performance.
Dewsbury, Bryan, Taylor, Cynthia, Reid, Amy, Viamonte, Connie
Using Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) as a guiding framework, the authors explored how culturally-specific realities impacted first generation students’ career choices. The findings suggest that familial ties and cultural expectations played key roles in determining how students navigated career choice.
Caution, Student Experience May Vary: Social Identities Impact a Student’s Experience in Peer Discussions
Eddy, Sarah L., Brownell, Sara, Thummaphan, Phonraphee, Lan, Ming-Chih, Wenderoth, Mary Pat
Eddy et al. encourage instructors to consider structuring their in-class activities in ways that promote equity, which may require more purposeful attention to alleviating the current differential student experiences with peer discussions. The study’s results indicate that self-reported preferred roles in peer discussions can be predicted by student gender, race/ethnicity, and nationality.
Case study evaluating Just-In-Time Teaching and Peer Instruction using clickers in a quantum mechanics course
Sayer, Ryan, Marshman, Emily, Singh, Chandralekha
Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) is an instructional strategy that involves using feedback from students to design in-class activities that build on the continuing feedback from students. This study shows that student performance improved when lectures based around difficulties flagged in student feedback were combined with in-class individual clicker questions and in-class peer discussion. The results show that these teaching strategies varied in their usefulness for different students and for different topics, and that no single learning activity in the instructional sequence yields maximum learning gains for all students.
Changing social contexts to foster equity in college science courses: an ecological-belonging intervention
Binning, Kevin R., Kaufmann, Nancy, McGreevy, Erica, Fotuhi, Omid, Chen, Susie, Marshman, Emily, Kalender, Z. Yasemin, Limeri, Lisa, Betancur, Laura, Singh, Chandralekha
Laverty, James T., Underwood, Sonia M., Matz, Rebecca L., Posey, Lynmarie A., Carmel, Justin H., Caballero, Marcos D., Fata-Hartley, Cori L., Ebert-May, Diane, Jardeleza, Sarah E., Cooper, Melanie M.
Changes are underway in higher education to incorporate three-dimensional learning: emphasis on (1) scientific and engineering practices, (2) crosscutting concepts, and (3) disciplinary core ideas. This is based on literature about how people learn science and how we can help students put their knowledge to use. The authors introduce the Three-Dimensional Learning Assessment Protocol (3D-LAP), which is designed to characterize and support the development of assessment tasks in biology, chemistry, and physics that align with transformation efforts.
For students, who commute or have obligations outside of college, the classroom is the crossroads where the social and the academic meet. If academic and social involvement or integration is to occur, it must occur in the classroom. Thus research should do more to incorporate the role of the classroom into current theories.
Closing the Achievement Gap in a Large Introductory Course by Balancing Reduced In-Person Contact with Increased Course Structure
Gavassa, Sat, Benabentos, Rocio, Kravec, Marcy, Collins, Timothy, Eddy, Sarah
Findings: Authors found that exam scores for all students were lowest in the face-to-face course. Hispanic and Black students had higher scores in the hybrid format compared with online and face-to-face, while white students had the highest performance in the online format.
Implications: Conclude that a hybrid course format with high structure can improve exam performance for traditionally underrepresented students, closing the achievement gap even while in-person contact hours are reduced.
Cognitive Difficulty and Format of Exams Predicts Gender and Socioeconomic Gaps in Exam Performance of Students in Introductory Biology Courses
Wright, Christian D., Eddy, Sarah L., Wenderoth, Mary Pat, Abshire, Elizabeth, Blankenbiller, Margaret, Brownell, Sara
Examines to what extent the characteristics of instructor-generated tests (designed to include more constructed response questions) impact the exam performance of male and female and middle/high- and low-socioeconomic status (SES) students enrolled in introductory biology courses? Find that males and middle/high-SES students were disproportionately favored constructed response questions exams increased. Additionally, middle/high-SES students were favored as the proportion of constructed-response questions on exams increased.
Coming Out in Class: Challenges and Benefits of Active Learning in a Biology Classroom for LGBTQIA Students
Cooper, Katelyn M., Brownell, Sara
LGTBQIA students do not always experience the undergraduate biology classroom to be a welcoming or accepting place for their identities. In contrast to traditional lectures, active-learning classes increase the relevance of their LGBTQIA identities due to the increased interactions among students during group work.
Good, Melanie, Mason, Andrew, Singh, Chandralekha
Introductory astronomy students' overall average attitudes and approaches to problem solving score was significantly more favorable than that of introductory physics students. Research suggests that introductory physics courses would benefit from more realistic contextualization.
Constructive Criticism: The Role of Student-Faculty Interactions on African American and Hispanic Students' Educational Gains
Constructive criticism within an educational environment of ‘wise-schooling’ could offer useful opportunities for faculty to enhance minority students’ academic success and educational satisfaction.
Kellam, Nadia, Boklage, Audrey, Coley, Brooke, Walther, Joachim, Cruz, Joshua M.
Kellam et al. demonstrate that for faculty, understanding students’ emotions can provide more complete understanding experiences that lead students to either persist or leave undergraduate engineering programs and that impact students’ experiences in engineering programs in ways that that influence learning.
Considering the Role of Affect in Learning: Monitoring Students’ Self-Efficacy, Sense of Belonging, and Science Identity
Trujillo, Gloriana, Tanner, Kimberly
Conceptual learning engages all aspects of an individual: cognitive, metacognitive, and affective. Within the affective domain, Trujillo and Tanner explore self-efficacy, sense of belonging, and science identity, as well as emerging assessment tools to monitor these dimensions of students’ learning.
Pleschová, Gabriela, Roxa, Torgny, Thomas, Kate Eileen, Felten, Peter
This special issue is both about and a product of conversations concerning academic development. It includes research and reflections on five major conditions that enable, and the changes that emerge from, ‘significant conversations’ about teaching in higher education. These five conditions include cross-disciplinary participation, trustful relationships, conducive spaces, co-construction practices, and caring attitudes.
UCLA’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
This booklet summarizes empirical studies on why the classroom climate is important for learning. It also examines some of the challenges associated with diversity in classroom environments. Lastly, it presents research on how to prepare for and sustain an inclusive classroom climate for all students.
Creating Dynamic Learning Communities in Synchronous Online Courses: One Approach From the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL)
McDaniels, Melissa, Pfund, Christine, Barnicle, Katherine
After the conversion of a face-to-face research mentor training curriculum into an online course, graduate students and postdoc participants from the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) reported high satisfaction with the synchronous online training and increased confidence in their mentoring.
Craig, Ryan, Williams, Allison
Craig and Williams argue that in order to keep up with current marketplace trends, universities should “unbundle” their services by focusing on individual competencies rather than degrees.
The author proposes a sequential approach, “deep teaching,” to help instructors create more positive classroom environments to address the ‘exclusive’ classroom atmosphere that is a barrier to underrepresented minority students in STEM majors. The deep teaching approach is based on self-awareness, empathy, classroom climate, and network leverage.
Middendorf, Joan, Pace, David
Typical course structures keep students from developing desired critical thinking skills in their disciscipline. Middendorf and Pace propose a seven-step model to overcoming learning obstacles by developing disciplinary knowledge.
Prescod-Weintein believes science need not be inextricably tied to commodification and colonialism. The discourse around “diversity, equity and inclusion” in science, technology, engineering and mathematics must be viewed as a reclamation project for people of color.
Scott, Emily E., Anderson, Charles W., Mashood, K. K., Matz, Rebecca L., Underwood, Sonia M., Sawtelle, Vashti
Scott et al. developed a characterization framework that described the reasoning patterns we found. Three explanatory frames were developed: a colloquial frame, an emerging mechanistic frame, and a causal mechanistic frame.
Healey, Mick, Jenkins, Alan
In undergraduate research, students learn and are assessed in ways that come as close as possible to the experience of academic staff carrying out their disciplinary research. This report argues that all undergraduate students in all higher education institutions should experience learning through, and about, research and inquiry.
Estrem identifies the ways that student identities are shaped by encounters with discipline-specific writing. While these encounters at first can threaten students’ sense of self, Estrem argues that students often grapple with new disciplinary identities through their writing as they advance through the university.
Discovery and Broad Relevance May Be Insignificant Components of Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) for Non-Biology Majors
Ballen, Cissy J., Thompson, Seth K., Blum, Jessamina E., Newstrom, Nicholas P., Cotner, Sehoya
Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) provide opportunities for undergraduates to participate in novel research. Based on data culled from surveying groups with varying levels of CURE component incorporation, this study shows that the “discovery” and “broad relevance” levels of a CURE have insignificant effects of student performance, self-efficacy, and sense of project ownership for non-majors in biology classes.
UCLA’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
This booklet summarizes empirical studies on the educational benefits of diversity and examines some of the challenges associated with diversity in the classroom. It also presents research on microaggressions in order to help faculty members meet the needs of diverse students responsibly and create a classroom environment where all students feel safe, valued, and respected.
Cotner, Sehoya, Thompson, Seth, Wright, Robin
The authors survey biology majors and non-STEM majors in introductory courses in order to discern whether there are significant differences between the two groups. Specifically, they analyze patterns within characteristic differences (gender, ethnicity, academic preparation, citizenship), feelings of “science identity,” level of scientific confidence, and perceptions of science and scientific methods.
“Do I Really Belong Here?”: The Stigma of Being a Community College Transfer Student at a Four-Year University
Shaw, Spink, K., & Chin-Newman, C.
This article presents the results of a qualitative study that explored the attitudes of 14 community college transfer students. The study shows that transfer students reported a sense of stigma for having attended a community college and how they have overcome these feelings. Recommendations are provided for how community colleges and four-year universities can help students combat these feelings.
Does explicit teaching of critical thinking improve critical thinking skills of English language learners in higher education? A critical review of causal evidence
El Soufi, Nada, Seeb, Beng Huat
This paper presents the results of a systematic review of studies to determine the effects of explicitly teaching critical thinking to students in an English language course in higher education. Additionally, the researchers identify the most effective approaches to instruction in critical thinking in the language classroom. Findings suggest that research in this field is still rather immature, and more large-scale, replicable robust studies are needed to advance the field.
Engaging Families to Foster Holistic Success of Low-income, Latinx First-Generation Students at a Hispanic-Serving Institution
Rebecca Covarrubias, Andrea Vazquez, René Moreno, Judith Estrada, Ibette Valle, and Kimberly Zunigas
Through surveys completed by conference participants, Covarrubias et al. explore servingness by evaluating an HSI initiative - the Regional Family Conference (RFC) - which is designed to engage families in the college transition and college-going process for low-income, Latinx first-generation students.
Harrison, Jamie and Shi, Hong
While international students and other English Language Learners (ELLs) have demonstrated a strong command of English upon university admittance, they still may face language-based issues when navigating higher education. University educators should be prepared to make pedagogical adjustments that support their ELL students.
Francis, David and Stephens, Amy
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was supported by the Nation Science Foundation (NSF) to examine and form a report on research concerning EL’s learning, teaching, and assessment in STEM subjects. In doing so, this report addresses the factors that affect ELs’ access and opportunity to rigorous, grade-appropriate STEM learning.
Leslie, Sarah-Jane, Cimpian, Andrei, Meyer, Meredith, Freeland, Edward
Surveys revealed that some fields are believed to require attributes such as brilliance and genius, whereas other fields are believed to require more empathy or hard work. In fields where people thought that raw talent was required, academic departments had lower percentages of women.
Carrell, Scott E., Kurlaender, Michal, Bhatt, Monica P.
Students scored higher on exams, homework assignments, and final course grade, when they received “light-touch” feedback consisting of two personalized emails from the professor.
Kuncel, Nathan R., Hezlett, Sarah A.
Standardized measures of intelligence, ability, or achievement are all measures of acquired knowledge and skill and have consistent relationships with multiple facets of success in life, including academic and job performance.
Shortlidge, Erin E., Bangera, Gita, Brownell, Sara
This study presents the first qualitative investigation into the perspectives of a diverse group of faculty members who have developed and taught course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) stemming from their own research interests. The faculty participants reported a number of faculty benefits that can result from a CURE, identified a variety of challenges to implementing CUREs, and speculated about the attributes of a successful CURE instructor.
Miyatsu, Toshiya, Mcdaniel, Mark A., Nguyen, Khu
A meta-analysis of five popular study strategies shows that students may benefit from training to use them most effectively.
Asai, David, Bauerle, Cynthia
Using their experience with initiatives at The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the authors offer three suggestions to guide a concerted national strategy for “doubling down” on the persistence of minoritized students in science. They argue that by insisting that institutions take responsibility for creating inclusive campuses, leveraging successful models through adaptation and adoption, and aligning strategies across the STEM ecosystem, instructors can double the persistence of students from all backgrounds in STEM.
Marshman, Emily, Maries, Alexandru, Henderson, Charles, Singh, Chandralekha, Yerushalmi, Edit
When making grading decisions in a simulated setting, the majority of TAs’ grading considerations focused on correctness and did not encourage expert-like approaches.
Fostering a Sense of Belonging in the College Classroom: Peer Interactions that Improve Student Success
Kevin R. Binning, Nancy Kaufmann, Erica M. McGreevy, Omid Fotuhi, Susie Chen, Emily Marshman, Z. Yasemin Kalender, Lisa Limeri, Laura Betancur, & Chandralekha Singha
Performance gaps between genders and other minoritized groups may be closed with a 30-minute exercise that allows students to address their fears of “not belonging” and identify how they have or will overcome challenges in college.
Grading Practices and Considerations of Graduate Students at the Beginning of their Teaching Assignment
Yerushalmi, Edit, Marshman, Emily, Maries, Alexandru, Henderson, Charles, Singh, Chandralekha
In a study of 43 physics TAs, a majority noticed but did not grade on solution features which promote expert-like approaches to problem-solving.
UT Austin News
Multilingual students are the fastest-growing student group in U.S. schools. Yet, as the country continues to promote STEM literacy for all, multilingual students still face systemic barriers in accessing high-quality instruction to confidently enter the workforce. New research is emerging at the University of Texas at Austin to study what may ensure a successful start in STEM for multilingual students.
How diverse are physics instructors’ attitudes and approaches to teaching undergraduate levelquantum mechanics?
Siddiqui, Shabnam, Singh, Chandralekha
Unlike other subjects such as electricity and magnetism, there is no widespread agreement on the essential topics to teach in the college undergraduate QM course for physics majors, the order in which those topics should be taught and the amount of time that should be spent on various topics.
Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning with additional material from the Committee on Learning Research and Educational Practice, National Research Council
The difference between what experts and novices do is not rooted in general abilities, intelligence, or memory. Instead, the difference is that experts have extensive knowledge that impacts how they organize, represent, and interpret information in their environment. Novices do not yet have these skills.
Ambrose, Susan et al
Ambrose et al. outline seven principles of effective learning: 1. Students’ prior knowledge can help or hinder learning. 2. How students organize knowledge influences how they learn and apply what they know. 3. Students’ motivation determines, directs, and sustains what they do to learn. 4. To develop mastery, students must acquire component skills, practice integrating them, and know when to apply what they have learned. 5. Goal-directed practice coupled with targeted feedback enhances the quality of students’ learning. 6. Students’ current level of development interacts with the social, emotional, and intellectual climate of the course to impact learning. 7. To become self-directed learners, students must learn to monitor and adjust their approaches to learning (principles 4-6).
How to Assess Your CURE: A Practical Guide for Instructors of Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences
Shortlidge, Erin E., Brownell, Sara
To assess course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs), Shortlidge and Brownell recommend that instructors first identify their anticipated learning outcomes, then work to identify an assessment instrument that aligns to those learning outcomes and critically evaluate the results from their course assessment. To aid instructors in becoming aware of what instruments have been developed, the authors have also synthesized a table of “off-the-shelf” assessment instruments that instructors could use to assess their own CUREs.
Wood, J. Luke, Harris III, Frank
Educators have a moral duty to respond when a microaggression occurs; not interceding is allowing harm to occur.
Baik, Chi, Larcombe, Wendy, Brooker, Abi
Based on a study that collected 2,776 student responses to the question, “What can be done to improve student wellbeing?,” this article identifies and provides insights into seven categories of student recommendations: academic teachers and teaching practices; student services and support; environment, culture and communication; course design; program administration; assessment; and student society activities.
Patton Davis, Lori and Museus, Samuel D.
While there are various issues within education, the ways in which these problems are identified and named are just as important to the research process as the efforts to actually address them. Understanding the language of deficiency is crucial to bring to light how even critical scholars are not immune to reproducing ideologies of deficiency when it comes to minoritized students.
Improving Academic Performance, Belonging, and Retention through Increasing Structure of an Introductory Biology Course
Wilton, Mike, Gonzalez-Niño, Eduaardo, McPartlan, Peter, Terner, Zach, Christoffersen, Rolf E., Rothman, Joel H.
Around 50% of Biology students leave the major by the end of the second year at UCSB. This article assesses the impact of incorporating more course structure and active-learning techniques on student retention, sense of belonging, and academic performance. To do so, the authors designed an increased-structure intervention course and compared the outcomes to the normative Introductory Biology course. Enrollees in the intervention course performed better on assessments, had a significantly higher sense of student belonging, and were more likely to proceed to Introductory Biology II.
Estrada, Mica, Burnett, Myra, Campbell, Andrew G., Campbell, Patricia B., Denetclaw, Wilfred F., Gutiérrez, Carlos G., Hurtado, Sylva, John, Gilbert H., Matsui, John, McGee, Richard, Okpodu, Camellia Moses, Robinson, T. Joan, Summers, Michael F., Werner-Washburne, Maggie, Zavala, MariaElena
Members of the Joint Working Group on Improving Underrepresented Minorities (URMs) Persistence in STEM suggest stronger focus on institutional barriers. They offer five recommendations that capitalize on known successes, recognize the need for accountability, and are framed to facilitate greater progress in the future. The impact of these recommendations rests upon enacting the first recommendation: to track successes and failures at the institutional level and collect data that help explain the existing trends.
Bryan Dewsbury and Cynthia J. Brame
Inclusive teaching is most effective when the academic experience is based on relationships and dialogue. The other components that stem from that dialogue point to the environment and activities created to sustain the dialogue, as well as the external resources leveraged to support it. Pedagogical practices that improve sense of belonging and self-efficacy help reinforce a classroom climate that is inclusive.
Investigating Instructor Talk in Novel Contexts: Widespread Use, Unexpected Categories, and an Emergent Sampling Strategy
Harrison, Colin D., Tanner, Kimberly et al.
Instructor Talk is present and abundant across a wide range of courses, instructors, and institutions. While ?90% of Instructor Talk samples could be characterized using the originally published Instructor Talk framework, new categories emerged, which drove the development of a Negatively Phrased Instructor Talk framework, complementary to the original framework, now referred to as “Positively Phrased” Instructor Talk.
It Matters Long Before: How Early Exposure to Faculty and Advisors at Baccalaureate Institutions Relates to Upward Transfer
Wang, Lee, S. Y., Nachman, B. R., & Zhu, X.
Little is known about whether community college students’ exposure to faculty and advisors at 4 year institutions early in their educational journey has positive long-term outcomes for transfer students. This study fills this gap through longitudinal survey data, showing that such exposure supports an upward transfer process.
This book uses ethnographic methods to understand the outcomes of English-Medium Instruction (EMI) through the lens of students. Through productive strategies used in EMI, English language learners develop their use of English outside of the university context.
Harrison, Colin D., Tanner, Kimberly
Identifying and addressing microaggressions in the everyday language of our scientific environments may be key to making our disciplines, our classrooms, our laboratories, and our conferences all professional contexts in which everyone can succeed.
Learning from Mistakes: The Effect of Students' Written Self-Diagnoses on Subsequent Problem Solving
Mason, Andrew, Yerushalmi, Edit, Cohen, Elisheva, Singh, Chandralekha
This study highlights that an important challenge for instructors is finding the right balance between limiting support to allow deep-level engagement and providing support to allow students to connect what they are learning with their prior knowledge. A self-diagnosis activity that makes students struggle appropriately and gets them primed to learn is most effective.
Listening to Makers: Exploring Engineering Students’ Recommendations for Creating a Better Makerspace Experience
Jennings, Madeleine, Coley, Brooke, Boklage, Audrey, Kellam, Nadia
In a study of university makerspaces, it was generally found that women and ethnic minorities tended to recommend social change in makerspaces, while men of all ethnicities tended to recommend equipment and technology changes. The implications of this study are to establish student makerspace recommendations to create more inclusive and welcoming environments in makerspaces and other engineering spaces.
Making Biology Learning Relevant to Students: Integrating People, History, and Context into College Biology Teaching
Chamany, Katayoun, Allen, Deborah, Tanner, Kimberly
Students model their instructors' behaviors, and follow their lead. If we integrate social issues into the biology curriculum, we model social responsibility for biology majors, and we demonstrate the need for biological literacy for nonmajors.
Ramirez, Geraardo, Covarrubiaas, Rebecca, Jackson, Matthew, Son, Ji Y.
The authors argue that introductory courses and first year seminars should share the hidden “rules” for success in university systems. Such efforts are beneficial for students, particularly first-generation students.
Making the Implicit Explicit: Building a Case for Implicit Racial Attitudes to Inform Mathematics Education Research
Battey, Dan, Leyva, Luis A.
A potentially missing piece in understanding mechanisms that produce disparities in mathematics education is implicit racial attitudes. To make this theoretical case, Battery and Levya draw on work both inside and outside of mathematics education across four literatures: (1) the quality of mathematics instruction that African American students receive, (2) relationships developed with teachers, (3) racialized teacher perceptions of behavior and academic aptitude, and (4) racial microagressions in mathematics."
Lambert, Leo M., Husser, Jason, Felten, Peter
College is full of new experiences and challenges, and one of the best ways to succeed in college is with a mentor. In the first year of college, students should begin to build a diverse network of faculty, staff and peers who will get them out of their comfort zone and challenge them.
(No) Harm in Asking: Class, Acquired Cultural Capital, and Academic Engagement at an Elite University
Jack, Anthony Abraham
Using data collected through interviews with Black and Latino undergraduates about their engagement with authority at an elite university, Jack identifies two types of low-income students: the privileged poor and the doubly disadvantaged. He shows that colleges are not just biased towards undergraduates from privileged backgrounds, but also toward undergraduates with college preparatory experiences. Therefore, institutions—and not solely the family—can equip students with the cultural competencies needed to succeed in college.
Joseph, Nicole M., Hailu, Meseret, Matthews, Jamaal Sharif
By conducting interviews with ten Black adolescent girls with varying engagement with mathematics, the authors argue that inclusive pedagogical approaches when teaching Black girls mathematics can humanize Black girls and their experiences in the mathematics classroom.
D’Angelo argues that “White silence” functions to maintain White power and privledge. She uses Whiteness theory as a framework to explicate the common rationales that White people use to justify their silence in discussions of race and racism. Afterwards, she challenges each rational using an antiracist educational framework.
This short article describes the impacts of the Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to PhD Bridge Program on assisting minoritized scholars’ pursuit and attainment of PhDs in the sciences.
Taylor, Cynthia, Dewsbury, Bryan
Paper has three goals in assessing how metaphors used by scientists can inadvertently undermine goals of inclusive science.
1) Examines the generative potential of metaphors to the advancement of scientific knowledge and science communication
2) Highlights the ways in which outdated metaphors may limit scientific inquiry and contribute to public misunderstandings
3) Critically analyzes the implications of cryptic social and political messages embedded in common metaphors in the life sciences.
A modern liberal arts education prepares people to see and make connections in their surroundings to make sense of the world.
The order in which we decide to do things with students when we teach is critical, yet the order of things happening in a class session often goes undiscussed and unexamined.
Morton, Terrell R., Ramirez, Nestor A., Meece, Judith L., Demetriou, Cynthia, Panter, Abigail T.
Using focus group interviews framed by Social Capital Theory, the authors examine the perspectives and experiences of high-achieving students who attended a rural high school. Collectively, the researchers find that the students’ rural communities communicate norms that further complicate college attainment because of the limited resources provided to their schools.
This article emphasizes the importance of metacognition in biology today and suggests classroom strategies for encouraging student understanding of metacognition.
Despite their initial high interest in science, students who belong to excluded racial and ethnic groups leave science at unacceptably high rates. ‘‘Fixing the student’’ approaches are not sufficient at stemming the loss. Asai offers three key suggestions for making science culture more inclusive.
Despite investments in recruiting minoritized students in aspects of higher education, many of the efforts aren’t successful. Upon giving explanations on why these efforts fall short, Felten asks that recruiters heavily reconsider their templates for what constitutes a promising undergraduate.
Brown, Tia McNair
Enacting equity in higher education will require the decentering of whiteness as the marker for success and aspiration for racially minoritized or marginalized groups.
Shukla, Sarita, Theobald, Elli, Abraham Joel K., and Price, Rebecca
This paper reviews the "negative and racialized history" of the inter "achievement gap." It examines how the idea of "achievement gaps" perpetuates deficit frameworks and outlines alternative frameworks and the ways that students, learning, and structures are conceptualized within them..
Research Mentor Training: Initiatives of the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research
Imad argues that any educational philosophy that does not actively integrate, affirm, and promote creativity and freedom threatens to model and reinforce conformity, fragmentation, and overspecialization.
Research Mentor Training: Initiatives of the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research
Sorkness, Christine A., Pfund, Christine, Asquith, Pamela, Drezner, Marc K.
The most recent research mentor training initiative at UW, funded by a CTSA supplement, has been creation of a Web-based Legacy Resource for mentoring development, which has been established to serve national and international mentors and mentees by dissemination of resources, most notably research mentor training curricula ( https://mentoringresources.ictr.wisc.edu/).
Sullivan, Lauren L., Ballen, Cissy J., Cotner, Sehoya
Evidence suggests the microclimate of the classroom is an important factor influencing female course grades and interest, which encourages retention of women in STEM fields. The study varies the gender ratios in small groups in two biology courses (from 0% female to 100%) and finds that as the percent of women increases so does the overall course performance for all students regardless of gender.
Strategies for Group-Level Mentoring of Undergraduates: Creating a Laboratory Environment That Supports Publications and Funding
Overman, Amy A.
This article describes several strategies for group-level mentoring of undergraduates to foster research productivity and simultaneously provide valuable high-impact educational experiences for students. Three types of strategies for group level-mentoring which encourage cohort building which increases sense of belonging which impacts student performance and health.
Structure Matters: Twenty-One Teaching Strategies to Promote Student Engagement and Cultivate Classroom Equity
What specific teaching strategies might we instructors, as architects of the learning environment in our classrooms, use to structure the classroom learning environment? Article suggests 21 simple teaching strategies (under 5 categories) that biology instructors can use to promote student engagement and cultivate classroom equity.
Weatherton, Maryrose and Schussler, Elisabeth
How is student success defined in research and by students? This paper examines five years of quantitative studies to analyze how "success" was defined, comparing these definitions to studies that bring in student definitions of "success" as a contrast.
Mason, Andrew, Singh, Chandralekha
Authors administered an attitudes and approaches to problem solving survey in two large introduction to physics courses, physics PhD students and physics faculty. They find that many introductory students have a shallow understanding of the mathematics involved in physics problems. They also find that introductory students are in general less expert-like than the physics faculty and PhD students.
Owens, Melinda T., Tanner, Kimberly
The goal of this paper is to connect what is known in neurobiology to what is known from science education research about how innovative teaching is effective at promoting learning. Article seeks to understand biological learning processes in the context of think-pair-share and how teachers can harness neurological mechanisms to improve learning.
Shanahan, Jenny Olin, Ackley-Holbrook, Elizabeth, Hall, Eric, Stewart, Kearsley, Walkington, Helen
Through a narrative review of the literature, this paper revealed 10 salient practices which form a pedagogy of mentored undergraduate research. At their core, these practices corroborate the three-pronged focus of UR mentoring described by Thiry and Laursen (2011), which highlighted the need for facilitating intellectual support, personal/emotional support, and professional socialization throughout the research experience.
The challenges of changing teaching assistants’ grading practices: Requiring students to show evidence of understanding
Marshman, Emily, Sayer, Ryan, Henderson, Charles, Yerushalmi, Edit, Singh, Chandralekha
TAs may not necessarily grade in a manner that encourages students to provide evidence of understanding in their solutions. Study assesses how TAs’ grading criteria changed after discussing the benefits of a well-designed rubric emphasizes problem-solving. TAs written responses, class discussions, and individual interviews suggest that the instructional activities involving the grading rubrics in this study were not sufficient to change their grading practices.
Swanson, Elizabeth, McCulley, Liza V., Osman, David J., Lewis, Nancy Scammacca, Solis, Michael
This article reports a synthesis and meta-analysis of intervention studies investigating the effects of team-based learning on content knowledge outcomes. Studies find that team-based learning improves students’ end of course grades, test performance, and classroom engagement. In addition, the analysis indicated that group size moderated the magnitude of effect to a statistically significant degree, with smaller group sizes contributing to additional effects.
Mahoney, John W., Harris-Reeves, Brooke
Collaborative testing has been shown to enhance student performance compared to individual testing. This study explores the benefits of collaborative testing on overall performance, as well as performance on higher order thinking questions. Students performed better overall on the collaborative test, with the exception of upper performers. Additionally, regardless of their academic abilities, students performed better on the higher order thinking questions under collaborative conditions.
The Explorations Program: Benefits of Single-Session, Research- Focused Classes for Students and Postdoctoral Instructors
Hsu, Jeremy L., Wrona, Anna M., Brownell, Sara, Khalfan, Waheeda
Study investigates a program at Stanford University that allows undergraduates in an introductory biology course to explore specialized topics in the biological sciences while providing graduate students and postdoctoral scholars the unique opportunity to develop and teach single-session, research-focused classes. Most students reported that the program had a positive impact on their undergraduate careers and positively influenced their decision to participate in scientific. Research. In addition, undergraduates who participated were more likely to complete an honors thesis. Finally, Instructors reported that the program provided a valuable opportunity to develop their teaching skills.
The Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-Ph.D. Bridge Program: Recognizing, enlisting, andcultivating unrealized or unrecognized potential in underrepresented minority students
Stassun, Keivan, Sturm, Susan, Holley-Bockelmann, Kelly, Burger, Arnold, Ernst, David J., Webb, Donna
The Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-Ph.D. Bridge Program is a model for substantially increasing the number of underrepresented minority students earning doctoral degrees in the physical sciences. The two of its core strategies of the program are partnering a minority-serving institution and a major research university through collaborative research, and using the master’s degree as a pathway to the Ph.D.
The influence of active learning practiceson student anxiety in large-enrollment college science classrooms
Cooper, Katelyn M., Downing, Virginia R., Brownell, Sara
Can active learning activities reduce students’ anxiety? The study investigated how three active learning practices, clicker questions, group work, and cold call/random call, increase and decrease student’ anxiety. Students reported that clicker questions and group work had the potential to both increase and decrease their anxiety. Conversely, students reported that cold call and random call only increased their anxiety.
The Influence of Affirming Kindness and Community on Broadening Participation in STEM Career Pathways
Estrada, Mica, Eroy-Reveles, Alegra, Matsui, John
Social science theory and research provide evidence that social contextual variables—specifically kindness cues affirming social inclusion— influence chronic underrepresentation of some groups within STEM career pathways. The current STEM academic context does not consistently provide cues that affirm social inclusion to all members of the academic population, and that policies that address this disparity are essential to broadening STEM workforce development in the United States.
Grunspan, Daniel Z., Kline, Michelle Ann, Brownell, Sara
Study examines pedagogical behaviors through a cultural evolutionary model that stresses the global nature of the issue, the generational time that change requires, and complications introduced by academic career trajectories. Cultural evolutionary theory focuses on how cultural transmission processes and selection events at different career phases shape not only who teaches in higher education, but also how they choose to teach. Change in higher education requires reforming pedagogy in departments that produce PhD students with the greatest chance of obtaining tenure-track positions.
This chapter critiques the stereotype of the AWOL black father, or common refrain “where have all the black men gone?” because this type of stereotype or common refrain does not acknowledge a major cause, the mass incarceration of black men. Argues that mass incarceration of black men has been normalized through an entire system that allows it to occur and compares and contrasts mass incarceration to the Jim Crow era.
The Validity of the Graduate Record Examination for Master’s and Doctoral Programs: A Meta-Analytic Investigation
Kuncel, Nathan R., Serena Wee, Lauren Serafin, Hezlett, Sarah A.
This study is a meta-analysis of previous studies that examine whether or not the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) predicts the performance of students in master’s programs as well as the performance of doctoral students. Across nearly 100 studies and 10,000 students, this study found that GRE scores predict first year grade point average (GPA), graduate GPA, and faculty ratings well for both master’s and doctoral students, with differences that ranged from small to zero.
Asai details his personal experiences with learning inclusion skills, arguing that diversity without inclusion is an empty gesture. Inclusion is a feeling of belonging, and creating an empowering, embracing, egalitarian environment starts with the heart.
Jain, Bernal, S., Lucero, I., Herrera, A., & Solorzano, D.
Through a Critical Race Theory framework, this study highlights five elements of a transfer receptive culture and its connection to the Summer Transfer Enrichment Program (STEP) administered by the Community College Outreach Center (CCOC) at Best Coast University (all pseudonyms).
Turning Good Intentions into Good Teaching: Five Common Principles for Culturally Responsive Pedagogy
Hailu, Meseret, Pan, Joy, Mackey, Janice, Arend, Bridget
The purpose of this chapter is to focus on teaching practices that go beyond inclusive intentions, and instead focus on pedagogy that is truly responsive to diverse groups of students, especially in terms of the most prominent cultural aspects, such as race, gender, and nationality.
Williams shares her frustration with the widely used term underrepresented minority (URM) and gives rationales and suggestions for moving away from such ‘racist language.'
Boklage, Audrey, Coley, Brooke, Kellam, Nadia
There has been much research showing how successful student-centered teaching strategies are, but despite this, student-centered teaching practices have not been widely adopted. The authors identify three engineering faculty who have made the transition to student-centered teaching strategies and detail their stories about the transition.
Charity Hudley, Anne, Mallinson, Christine
Charity Hudley and Mallinson argue that successfully educating culturally and linguistically diverse students in U.S education will depend on teachers' having awareness of language variation. By knowing the principles and patterns of language variation in both speech and writing, teachers can allow their students to use and hone different dialects without ridicule while also gaining competence in “Standardized English.”
Understanding “Zoom fatigue”: Theorizing spatial dynamics as third skins in computer-mediated communication
The implications of the authors arguments are twofold
For readers interested in the underlying causes of CMC exhaustion, this work presents a framework to test the ideas proposed and develop mitigating strategies.
For readers who study SOC’s, third skins might explain previously observed limitations in the effectiveness of visuality in CMC.
Using Expectancy Value Theory as a Framework to Reduce Student Resistance to Active Learning: A Proof of Concept
Cooper, Katelyn M., Ashley, Michael, Brownell, Sara
The authors seek to understand student resistance to transitioning to an active learning classroom by using the lens of expectancy value theory, a theory that suggests that students' perceptions of expectancy, value, and cost of active learning activities impact their resistance to active learning. The authors show that positive changes in the components of expectancy value theory lead to mitigating initial student resistance and raising levels of engagement in active learning classrooms
Using Learning Strategies to Improve the Academic Performance of University Students on Academic Probation
Half of all students who begin college do not complete their degrees, causing a need to help failing students improve their study skills. Through mixed methods (e.g., qualitative and comparative case studies), this study outlines how a 3-week study strategies course improved the performance of students on academic probation.
Marcia Chatelain describes a 10-week course developed at Georgetown University that helps first generation students understand and navigate the “hidden curriculum” of higher education. The article also provides links to similar initiatives at other campuses.
Paris, Django and Alim, Sami
The authors provide a “loving” critique of asset pedagogies which were developed to combat deficit arguments surrounding the cultures that minoritized students bring with them into the classroom. In doing so, they offer Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies (CSP) as a viable alternative to previous iterations of asset pedagogies as it offers a framework to understand students’ cultures as pluralistic rather essentialistic, as emergent rather static or traditional, and as eligible for critique.
“What if students revolt?”—Considering Student Resistance: Origins, Options, and Opportunities for Investigation
Seidel, Shannon B., Tanner, Kimberly
Students often resist active learning approaches because these are unfamiliar. Understanding the expressions and origins of student resistance can help instructors address it effectively.
What Is Deficit Thinking? An Analysis of Conceptualizations of Deficit Thinking and Implications for Scholarly Research
Patton Davis, Lori and Museus, Samuel D.
David and Museus identify and outline four interrelated characteristics of deficit thinking frameworks - blaming victims, being part of a larger system of oppression, being pervasive and implicit, and reinforcing hegemonic systems. By doing so, they encourage scholars to begin analyzing, critiquing, and applying anti-deficit framing constructively in educational contexts.
What’s in a Name? The Importance of Students Perceiving That an Instructor Knows Their Names in a High-Enrollment Biology Classroom
Cooper, Katelyn M., Haney, Brian, Krieg, Anna, Brownell, Sara
Based on student surveys and interviews from a college-level introductory biology course, this article describes how students can benefit academically from solely perceiving that their instructors know their names.
Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth, Race Ethnicity and Education
Yosso, J. Tara
This article challenges deficit-based understandings of the knowledge, practices, customs, or traditions that minoritized students bring with them to the classroom, and offers an alternative framework titled “community cultural wealth.” Yosso identifies various forms of capital that align with community cultural wealth and classifies them as aspirational, navigational, social, linguistic, familial and resistant capital.
“You Never Become Fully Independent”: Family Roles and Independence in First-Generation College Students
Covarrubias, Rebecca, Valle, Ibette, Laiduc, Giselle, Azmitia, Margarita
This study explores the lived experiences of first generation (FG) students and provides insights into how universities should recognize their valuable strengths. The researchers analyze “soft independence” (i.e., gaining freedom, becoming self-expressive, pursuing their individual interests, and becoming mature) as well as “hard independence” (e.g., being resilient, being self-reliant, being tough, being mature, and breaking tradition) among university students. To better serve FG students, the researchers suggest a need to explore FG students’ beliefs and practices as they navigate familial responsibilities and the middle-class norms of the university.