What is it about?

We need more college graduates who have majored in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) for the health of our nation's workforce. But STEM classes are notoriously difficult, and STEM professors have a reputation for poor teaching. We know that certain teaching strategies are more effective for more students--we call them Evidence-Based Instructional Practices or EBIPs--but STEM faculty don't always use them. In this study, we investigated what influences STEM faculty to decide to use or not use EBIPs.

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Why is it important?

We hope that this work will help professors, college administrators, and providers of professional development make positive changes in their teaching strategies so more students succeed.


I was so impressed in doing this research with the many ways that STEM faculty were trying to do their best for their students. Sometimes there's a tendency to blame them for not adopting EBIPs faster, but they are doing the best they know how, and we ought to give them the benefit of the doubt. To make larger scale changes, we have to think about the whole system and how to make it easier for faculty to learn about EBIPs and support them as they make changes to their teaching.

Rebecca Sansom
Brigham Young University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Factors that influence STEM faculty use of evidence-based instructional practices: An ecological model, PLoS ONE, January 2023, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0281290.
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