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Promising Practices in Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Summary of Two Workshops
in undergraduate STEM education—time constraints during the workshop, the availability of promising practices with known evidence of effectiveness, and the availability of speakers influenced the innovations that were discussed at the October meeting.
In addition to planning a broad exploration of the evidence, the committee sought to connect education researchers from different disciplinary fields and to provide foundational information for a parallel NSF-funded initiative by the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. That initiative, Engaging Critical Advisors to Formulate a New Framework for Change:Expansion of “Toward a National Endeavor to Marshal Post secondarySTEM Education Resources to Meet Global Challenges,” focused on future directions for STEM and aimed to identify new strategies for organizing and implementing STEM undergraduate education practices. It underscored the need for the STEM community to take stock of what has been learned and to attend to the evidence base for drawing conclusions.
This volume summarizes the two NRC workshops on promising practices in undergraduate STEM education. Chapters 2 and 3 summarize the first workshop: Chapter 2 focuses on the link between learning goals and evidence, and Chapter 3 presents a range of promising practices at the individual, faculty, and institutional levels. Subsequent chapters address the topics that were taken up in the second workshop, which involved deeper explorations of selected promising practices in STEM undergraduate education. Chapters 4-6 address a range of classroom-based promising practices: scenario-, problem-, and case-based teaching and learning (Chapter 4); assessments (Chapter 5), and improving student learning environments (Chapter 6). Chapter 7 focuses on professional development for future faculty, new faculty, and veteran faculty. The volume concludes with a broader examination of the barriers and opportunities associated with systemic change (Chapter 8).
It is important to be specific about the nature of this report, which documents the information presented in the workshop presentations and discussions. Its purpose is to lay out the key ideas that emerged from the two workshops and that should be viewed as an initial step in examining the research. The report is confined to the material presented by the workshop speakers and participants. Neither the workshop nor this summary is intended as a comprehensive review of what is known about the topic, although it is a general reflection of the field. The presentations and discussions were limited by the time available.
This report was prepared by a rapporteur and does not represent findings or recommendations that can be attributed to the steering committee.