- ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more »
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Frontiers in Education
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
Flexible classroom spaces, which have movable tables and chairs that can be easily rearranged into different layouts, make it easier for instructors to effectively implement active learning than a traditional lecture hall. Instructors can move throughout the room to interact with students during active learning, and they can rearrange the tables into small groups to facilitate conversation between students. Classroom technology, such as wall-mounted monitors and movable whiteboards, also facilitates active learning by allowing students to collaborate. In addition to enabling active learning, the flexible classroom can still be arranged in front-facing rows that support traditional lecture-based pedagogies. As a result, instructors do not have to make time- and effort-intensive changes to the way their courses are taught in order to use the flexible classroom. Instead, they can make small changes to add active learning. We are in the second year of a study of flexible classroom spaces funded by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education. This project asks four research questions that investigate the relationships between the instructor, the students, and the classroom: 1) What pedagogy do instructors use in a flexible classroom space? 2) How do instructors take advantage of the instructional affordances (including the movablemore »
Enlisting historically excluded undergraduates in the effort to extend knowledge of West Antarctica’s bedrock, through course-based undergraduate research experiences (cures) and Art-Science initiativesAn enormous reserve of information about the subglacial bedrock, tectonic and topographic evolution of Marie Byrd Land (MBL) exists within glaciomarine sediments of the Amundsen Sea shelf, slope and deep sea, and MBL marine shelf. Investigators of the NSF ICI-Hot and NSF Linchpin projects partnered with Arizona Laserchron Center to provide course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) for from groups who do not ordinarily find access points to Antarctic science. Our courses enlist BIPOC and gender-expansive undergraduates in studies of ice-rafted debris (IRD) and bedrock samples, in order to impart skills, train in the use of research instrumentation, help students to develop confidence in their scientific abilities, and collaboratively address WAIS research questions at an early academic stage. CUREs afford benefits to graduate researchers and postdoctoral scientists, also, who join in as instructional faculty: CUREs allow GRs and PDs to engage in teaching that closely ties to their active research, yet provides practical experience to strengthen the academic portfolio (Cascella & Jez, 2018). Team members also develop art-science initiatives that engage students and community members who may not ordinarily engage with science, forging connections that make science relatable. Re-casting science topics through art centers personal connections and humanizes science, to promotemore »
Towards an Adaptive Learning Module for Materials Science: Comparing Expert Predictions to Student PerformanceThe emphasis on conceptual learning and the development of adaptive instructional design are both emerging areas in science and engineering education. Instructors are writing their own conceptual questions to promote active learning during class and utilizing pools of these questions in assessments. For adaptive assessment strategies, these questions need to be rated based on difficulty level (DL). Historically DL has been determined from the performance of a suitable number of students. The research study reported here investigates whether instructors can save time by predicting DL of newly made conceptual questions without the need for student data. In this paper, we report on the development of one component in an adaptive learning module for materials science – specifically on the topic of crystallography. The summative assessment element consists of five DL scales and 15 conceptual questions This adaptive assessment directs students based on their previous performances and the DL of the questions. Our five expert participants are faculty members who have taught the introductory Materials Science course multiple times. They provided predictions for how many students would answer each question correctly during a two-step process. First, predictions were made individually without an answer key. Second, experts had the opportunity to revisemore »
Over the past two decades, educators have used computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) to integrate technology with pedagogy to improve student engagement and learning outcomes. Researchers have also explored the diverse affordances of CSCL, its contributions to engineering instruction, and its effectiveness in K-12 STEM education. However, the question of how students use CSCL resources in undergraduate engineering classrooms remains largely unexplored. This study examines the affordances of a CSCL environment utilized in a sophomore dynamics course with particular attention given to the undergraduate engineering students’ use of various CSCL resources. The resources include a course lecturebook, instructor office hours, a teaching assistant help room, online discussion board, peer collaboration, and demonstration videos. This qualitative study uses semi-structured interview data collected from nine mechanical engineering students (four women and five men) who were enrolled in a dynamics course at a large public research university in Eastern Canada. The interviews focused on the individual student’s perceptions of the school, faculty, students, engineering courses, and implemented CSCL learning environment. The thematic analysis was conducted to analyze the transcribed interviews using a qualitative data analysis software (Nvivo). The analysis followed a six step process: (1) reading interview transcripts multiple times and preliminary in vivomore »
STEM instructors who leverage student thinking can positively influence student outcomes and build their own teaching expertise. Leveraging student thinking involves using the substance of student thinking to inform instruction. The ways in which instructors leverage student thinking in undergraduate STEM contexts, and what enables them to do so effectively, remains largely unexplored. We investigated how undergraduate STEM faculty leverage student thinking in their teaching, focusing on faculty who engage students in work during class.
From analyzing interviews and video of a class lesson for eight undergraduate STEM instructors, we identified a group of instructors who exhibited high levels of leveraging student thinking (high-leveragers) and a group of instructors who exhibited low levels of leveraging student thinking (low-leveragers). High-leveragers behaved as if student thinking was central to their instruction. We saw this in how they accessed student thinking, worked to interpret it, and responded in the moment and after class. High-leveragers spent about twice as much class time getting access to detailed information about student thinking compared to low-leveragers. High-leveragers then altered instructional plans from lesson to lesson and during a lesson based on their interpretation of student thinking. Critically, high-leveragers also drew on much more extensive knowledge ofmore »
This study revealed that not all undergraduate STEM instructors who actively engage students in work during class are also leveraging student thinking. In other words, not all student-centered instruction is student-thinking-centered instruction. We discuss possible explanations for why some STEM instructors are leveraging student thinking and others are not. In order to realize the benefits of student-centered instruction for undergraduates, we may need to support undergraduate STEM instructors in learning how to learn from their teaching experiences by leveraging student thinking.