1. What are and what should be some of the most important learning goals for science students in lower division courses? We are interested in goals over a range of grain sizes from activities within an individual course to college-wide efforts.

  2. In the context of the learning goals you identified, what types of evidence would be needed in order to conclude that a specific goal had been achieved?

  3. With so many forms of evidence available to us in science education, are there some types of evidence that carry more weight in your experience? If so, what makes that evidence particularly compelling?

  4. As you consider learning goals and evidence, where are the biggest gaps in evidence in science undergraduate education?

  5. How important has the quality of evidence been in influencing or guiding the widespread uptake of a promising practice? Can you identify specific examples where the presence or absence of evidence of effectiveness has had a major impact on dissemination or use?

9:30 a.m.

Audience discussion of panel

10:00 a.m.

Break and transition to small groups

10:15 a.m.

Small groups to discuss learning goals and evidence


Each group will hold a discussion, using the following questions as guidance. Please take notes for the report out following the discussion.


Questions to guide small-group discussion:


  • What are the varied learning goals in your discipline? Of these, what do you consider to be the most important learning goals?

  • What types of evidence are needed to establish effectiveness given the goals identified?

  • Are there differences across disciplines in the desired learning goals? In what counts as evidence of effectiveness?

11:00 a.m.

Report out by small groups

11:30 a.m.

Panel: What Is the State of Evidence in Discipline-Based Education Research?



Kenneth Heller, University of Minnesota

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