TABLE 3-1 Summary of Promising Practices

Promising Practices

Rating with Respect to Implementation Standards

Rating with Respect to Student Performance Standards

1: Prepare a set of learning outcomes

Strong

Good

2: Organize students in small groups

Strong

Strong

3: Organize students in learning communities

Fair

Fair to good

4: Scenario-based content organization

Good to strong

Good

5: Providing students feedback through systematic formative assessment

Strong

Good

6: Designing in-class activities to actively engage students

Strong

Strong

7: Undergraduate research

Strong or fair

Fair

8: Faculty-initiated approaches to student-faculty interactions

Strong

Fair

NOTE: Strong = easy and appropriate to implement, good = slightly less so, and fair = even less so.

SOURCE: Froyd (2008). Reprinted with permission.

vision of how the pieces of the undergraduate learning environment in STEM fit together and a commitment to work together as an institution to realize that vision.

Philip Sadler (Harvard University) focused on lessons from pre college science education. He described a large-scale survey that he and his colleagues conducted of students in introductory biology, chemistry, and physics courses at 57 randomly chosen postsecondary institutions. The focus of the study was on certain aspects of high school STEM education (e.g., advanced placement courses, the sequencing of high school science courses) that predict students’ success or failure in their college science courses. Sadler reported that 10 percent of students in introductory science courses had previously taken an advanced placement (AP) course in the same subject in high school, and those students performed only slightly better in their introductory college courses than non-AP students. Moreover, AP students who took introductory (101-level) courses did better in 102-level courses than AP students who began with 102-level courses. These findings led Sadler to recommend against AP courses for most high school students.

Next, Sadler discussed the effect of high school science-course taking on students’ performance in introductory college science courses. Overall, students who took more mathematics in high school performed better in all of their science courses than students who took fewer mathematics courses. Moreover, students who took multiple high school courses in a given science discipline performed better in college science courses in that



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