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Promising Practices in Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Summary of Two Workshops PROMISING PRACTICES IN UNDERGRADUATE SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, AND MATHEMATICS EDUCATION SUMMARY OF TWO WORKSHOPS Natalie Nielsen, Rapporteur Planning Committee on Evidence on Selected Innovations in Undergraduate STEM Education Board on Science Education Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington D.C. www.nap.edu
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Promising Practices in Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Summary of Two Workshops THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Grant No. DUE-0745112 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-18723-7 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-18723-0 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2011 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2011). Promising Practices in Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Summary of Two Workshops. Natalie Nielsen, Rapporteur. Planning Committee on Evidence on Selected Innovations in Undergraduate STEM Education. Board on Science Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
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Promising Practices in Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Summary of Two Workshops THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Promising Practices in Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Summary of Two Workshops PLANNING COMMITTEE ON EVIDENCE ON SELECTED INNOVATIONS IN UNDERGRADUATE STEM EDUCATION SUSAN SINGER (Chair), Department of Biology, Carleton College MELVIN GEORGE, President Emeritus and Professor of Mathematics Emeritus, University of Missouri KENNETH HELLER, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota DAVID MOGK, Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University WILLIAM B. WOOD, Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder HEIDI SCHWEINGRUBER, Study Director JAY LABOV, Senior Advisor for Education and Communications MARGARET HILTON, Senior Program Officer NATALIE NIELSEN, Rapporteur REBECCA KRONE, Program Associate
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Promising Practices in Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Summary of Two Workshops BOARD ON SCIENCE EDUCATION HELEN R. QUINN (Chair), Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Stanford University PHILIP BELL, Learning Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle GEORGE BOGGS, American Association of Community Colleges (retired), Washington, DC WILLIAM B. BONVILLIAN, Washington, DC, Office, Massachusetts Institute of Technology JOSEPH S. FRANCISCO, Department of Chemistry, Purdue University ADAM GAMORAN, Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin, Madison JERRY P. GOLLUB, Natural Sciences and Physics Departments, Haverford College MARGARET A. HONEY, New York Hall of Science, New York JANET HUSTLER, Partnership for Student Success in Science (PS3), Synopsys, Inc., Mountain View, California SUSAN KIEFFER, Department of Geology, University of Illinois, Urbana BRETT D. MOULDING, Utah Partnership for Effective Science Teaching and Learning, Ogden CARLO PARRAVANO, Merck Institute for Science Education, Rahway, New Jersey SUSAN R. SINGER, Department of Biology, Carleton College WILLIAM B. WOOD, Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder MARTIN STORKSDIECK, Director HEIDI A. SCHWEINGRUBER, Deputy Director MARGRET HILTON, Senior Program Officer THOMAS E. KELLER, Senior Program Officer NATALIE NIELSEN, Senior Program Officer SHERRIE FORREST, Research Associate REBECCA KRONE, Program Associate
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Promising Practices in Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Summary of Two Workshops Acknowledgments This workshop summary is based on discussions at two workshops convened by the Board on Science Education of the National Research Council (NRC) on June 30 and October 13-14, 2008. We thank our colleagues who served on the planning committee, each of whom brought deep and varied expertise to the process of planning the workshop. The planning committee members identified presenters, organized the agenda, selected paper authors, and facilitated the discussion, although they did not participate in the writing of this report. This summary reflects their diligent efforts, the excellent papers and presentations by other experts at the workshop, and the insightful comments of the many workshop participants. The workshop would not have become a reality without the generous support of the National Science Foundation. This summary has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published summary as sound as possible and to ensure that the summary meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this summary: George M. Bodner, Arthur Kelly Professor of Chemistry, Engineering and Education, Department of Chemistry, Purdue University; Paula Heron, Department of Physics, University of Washington; Julie Libarkin, Department of Geological Sciences, Division of Science and Mathemat-
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Promising Practices in Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Summary of Two Workshops ics Education, Cognitive Science Program, Center for Research on College Science Teaching and Learning, Michigan State University; and William B. Wood, Distinguished Professor, Emeritus, Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Kendall Starkweather, executive director of the International Technology Education Association. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the author and the institution. We are grateful for the leadership and support of Robert Hauser, executive director of the NRC Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, and Martin Storksdieck, director of the Board on Science Education. We also thank Margaret Hilton, senior program officer, for her valuable contributions to the design and implementation of the workshop agenda, her collaborations with the commissioned paper authors, and her considerable work on this summary; Natalie Nielsen for serving as rapporteur for the two workshops; and Rebecca Krone for her flawless logistical support throughout the project. Susan Singer, Chair Heidi Schweingruber, Study Director Planning Committee on Evidence on Selected Innovations in Undergraduate STEM Education
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Promising Practices in Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Summary of Two Workshops Contents 1 INTRODUCTION 1 Project Origin, 2 Report Overview, 3 2 LINKING LEARNING GOALS AND EVIDENCE 5 Examples from the Disciplines, 5 The State of Evidence in Discipline-Based Education Research, 15 3 SURVEYING PROMISING PRACTICES 21 Promising Practices for Faculty and Institutions and Predicting Success in College Science, 21 Small-Group Discussions and Final Thoughts, 24 4 SCENARIO-, PROBLEM-, AND CASE-BASED TEACHING AND LEARNING 26 Problem-Based Learning, 27 Case-Based Teaching, 29 Use of Complex Problems in Teaching Physics, 31 Discussion, 33 5 ASSESSMENT TO GUIDE TEACHING AND LEARNING 35 Concept Inventories in the Sciences: Examples from the Geosciences Concept Inventory, 35 Concept Inventories in Engineering, 37
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Promising Practices in Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education: Summary of Two Workshops Identifying and Addressing Student Difficulties in Physics, 38 Discussion, 40 6 STRUCTURING THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT 42 Studio Courses, 42 Redesigning Large Classes for Learning, 44 Doing Science: Providing Research Experiences, 50 Small-Group Discussions, 52 7 FACULTY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 53 Professional Development of Future Faculty, 53 Workshops by a Professional Society for New Physics Faculty, 55 Changing Instruction, 57 8 SYSTEMIC CHANGE: BARRIERS AND OPPORTUNITIES 60 Diffusion of Promising Practices, 60 Reflections on Linking Evidence and Promising Practices in STEM, 64 Future Directions and Next Steps, 66 REFERENCES 69 APPENDIXES A June Workshop Agenda and Participants List 75 B October Workshop Agenda and Participants List 80