discipline. However, Sadler and his colleagues found no cross-disciplinary effects, meaning that students who took multiple chemistry courses did not perform significantly better in college biology; students who took multiple high school physics courses did not perform better in college chemistry; and so on. Sadler also reported that the use of technology in high school science classes did not predict success in college science; however, experience in solving quantitative problems, analyzing data, and making graphs in high school did seem to predict success in college science courses.


In small groups, participants identified what they considered to be the most important promising practices in undergraduate STEM education. The following list emerged from the small-group reports:

  1. Teaching epistemology explicitly and coherently.

  2. Using formative assessment techniques and feedback loops to change practice.

  3. Providing professional development in pedagogy, particularly for graduate students.

  4. Allowing students to “do” science, such as learning in labs and problem solving.

  5. Providing structured group learning experiences.

  6. Ensuring that institutions are focused on learning outcomes.

  7. Mapping course sequences to create a coherent learning experience for students.

  8. Promoting active, engaged learning.

  9. Developing learning objectives and aligning assessments with those objectives.

  10. Encouraging metacognition.

  11. Providing undergraduate research experiences.

To close the workshop, steering committee members reflected on the main themes that were covered throughout the day. Susan Singer focused on the question of evidence and observed that the workshop addressed multiple levels of evidence. Explaining that assessment and evidence are not synonymous, she pointed out that classroom assessment to inform teaching generates one type of evidence that workshop participants discussed. Another type of evidence is affective change, and she observed that some people gather evidence to convince their colleagues to change their practice. Singer said the workshop clearly showed that scholars in some disciplines have given careful thought to the meaning of evidence and have begun to gather it to build a general knowledge base.

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