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Effective STEM Education                                      (Mostly HigherEd & Biotechnology-relevant)
I'm curating this content to augment the proposal-writing resources at the CSUPERB website (www.calstate.edu/csuperb). The aim is to collect important reports, publications and resources for evidence-based instructional practices in STEM higher education, particularly for biotechnology-related disciplines. There is also a hefty dose of workforce development and job market references and reports included.
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2014 Life Science Industry Talent Report

2014 Life Science Industry Talent Report | Effective STEM Education                                      (Mostly HigherEd & Biotechnology-relevant) | Scoop.it
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

This report was crafted for "Educators and trainers who must prepare the right talent for the industry."  Of all the biotech workforce development reports I've read in the last decade - this one finally reads "right" based on my experience as a hiring manager in the industry and, now, as a higher-ed administrator.

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STEP Central Homepage

STEP Central Homepage | Effective STEM Education                                      (Mostly HigherEd & Biotechnology-relevant) | Scoop.it
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

This is an NSF-funded program to serve a "community of practice" to improve undergraduate STEM education and retain talented students in STEM degree paths.  The community hosts and organizes as series of informative webinars of interest to the CSUPERB community.

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Measuring-STEM-Teaching-Practices.pdf

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This recent AAAS publication provides measures and approaches to find out if faculty are employing the most effective evidence-based teaching practices. 

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Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at University of British Columbia

Susan M. Baxter's insight:

This is a link to the CWSEI's resources.  See especially the course transformation guide.

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The Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS): A New Instrument to Characterize University STEM Classroom Practices

The Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS): A New Instrument to Characterize University STEM Classroom Practices | Effective STEM Education                                      (Mostly HigherEd & Biotechnology-relevant) | Scoop.it
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

Many departments are looking for means to evaluate active learning pedagogies in use.  This 2013 paper offers one method of assessment and includes student engagement measures.  

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Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws

Susan M. Baxter's insight:

This is an extraordinarily brave and honest - and hopefully influential - assessment of the current US biomedical research enterprise.  It's included on this Scoop.it list because the authors suggest including more "professional science" concepts in biomedical training and education (project management, etc.).

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Integrating Cognitive Science and Technology Improves Learning in a STEM Classroom - Online First - Springer

Integrating Cognitive Science and Technology Improves Learning in a STEM Classroom - Online First - Springer | Effective STEM Education                                      (Mostly HigherEd & Biotechnology-relevant) | Scoop.it
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

Interesting paper with gory details about how to incorporate cognitive science into STEM classroom instruction. 

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STEM Attrition (2014 DoEd report)

Susan M. Baxter's insight:

This is an important piece of data analysis.  We've known for a few years that only ~30% of CSU students interested in majoring in a STEM discipline actually graduate (in 6 years) with a STEM major. Worse, only 17% of underrepresented students (URM) graduate with STEM degrees in 6 years. "Recapturing" the 2000 URM who didn’t graduate in STEM each year is a focus for the CSU.  But - how many can we realistically expect to retain?  What is it about STEM curriculum that is so daunting?  This report makes fair comparisons between students in STEM fields and non-STEM disciplines and shows that all of them see ~50% switching between majors.  See also Science magazine's analysis here: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/343/6167/125.full

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We Must Change the Culture of Science and Teaching: Freeman Hrabowski at TEDxMidAtlantic

Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, has served as President of UMBC (The University of Maryland, Baltimore County) since 1992. His research and publications focus on ...
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

Feeling in need of inspiration? Need some perspective on why undergraduate STEM education needs reform? Spend 15 minutes listening to President Hrabowski's 2012 STEMx talk once a term or so!

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AAC&U Report: Assessing Underserved Students' Engagement in High-Impact Practices

Susan M. Baxter's insight:

December 2013: Report written by Ashley Finley and Tia McNair studies student engagement linked to "high-impact practices" (HIPs) based on National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and student survey data. The report tracks impact, especially, of multiple HIPs during a college career. The report includes this comment:

underserved students "are absolutely certain that they want real-world applications for learning, and they seek caring relationships with adults."

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Science PhD Career Preferences: Levels, Changes, and Advisor Encouragement

Science PhD Career Preferences: Levels, Changes, and Advisor Encouragement | Effective STEM Education                                      (Mostly HigherEd & Biotechnology-relevant) | Scoop.it
PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

This 2012 PLoS One article explores the "degree to which there is a mismatch between scientists' desired careers and the career opportunities actually available to them."  The article is based on 2010 survey data from PhD students at 39 tier-one U.S. research universities.  This article complements the findings in the 2011 Fuhrmann, Halme, O'Sullivan and Lindstaedt article in CBE Life Sci Educ.  Both call for more career counseling and empathetic mentorship in graduate school programs.

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Project-based learning could help attract and retain women in STEM

Project-based learning could help attract and retain women in STEM | Effective STEM Education                                      (Mostly HigherEd & Biotechnology-relevant) | Scoop.it
RT @mary_churchill: "Project-based learning could help attract and retain women in STEM, study suggests" http://t.co/nYyybqg3oV rethinking …
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

Retrospective data related to Worcester Polytechnic Institute's project-based learning framework confirms that the pedagogy retains women.  Their implementation also includes projects that can be characterized as service learning and community-based learning.

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Improving Graduate Education to Support a Branching Career Pipeline: Recommendations Based on a Survey of Doctoral Students in the Basic Biomedical Sciences

Susan M. Baxter's insight:

This is one of my favorite articles from 2011 focused on career paths of doctoral-level biomedical research students.  It's based on data from one university - UCSF - but punches a hole in the widely-held assumption that the vast majority of doctoral students from "elite" universities go on to academic, tenure-track professorships.  This has not been the case since the late 1970s; Fuhrmann and coworkers' data demonstrates today's reality. Why does this matter to CSU students, faculty and administrators?  I think it is incumbent on all of us in mentoring roles to inform students of research and research-related career opportunities outside academia. This mission informs the annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium programming.

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The High-Impact Practices

Susan M. Baxter's insight:

This is the companion chart to George Kuh's report, High-Impact Educational Practices: What they are , who has access to them, and why they matter" (AAC&U, 2008). Full report here: 

http://www.neasc.org/downloads/aacu_high_impact_2008_final.pdf

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Online Learning via JOLT

Susan M. Baxter's insight:

The CSU Office of the Chancellor's MERLOT project is continuing to publish JOLT - the Journal of Online Teaching.  A subset of papers in each issue focus on STEM Education so it's a good resource for instructors aiming to flip classrooms and provide out-of-classroom learning materials online.

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A test that fails : Naturejobs

A test that fails : Naturejobs | Effective STEM Education                                      (Mostly HigherEd & Biotechnology-relevant) | Scoop.it
A standard test for admission to graduate school misses potential winners, say Casey Miller and Keivan Stassun.
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

A study showing only a very weak correlation between GRE scores and ultimate success or performance in STEM fields.  The GRE may be yet another barrier to underrepresented groups in STEM disciplines.  From the article, " According to data from Educational Testing Service (ETS), based in Princeton, New Jersey, the company that administers the GRE, women score 80 points lower on average in the physical sciences than do men, and African Americans score 200 points below white people. In simple terms, the GRE is a better indicator of sex and skin colour than of ability and ultimate success."

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Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics

Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics | Effective STEM Education                                      (Mostly HigherEd & Biotechnology-relevant) | Scoop.it
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

This is the metadata analysis we've been waiting for - evidence that active learning pedagogies matter across STEM discplines.  Carl Weiman writes the accompanying commentary, including this stark quote: " However, in undergraduate STEM education, we have the curious situation that, although more effective teaching methods have been overwhelmingly demonstrated, most STEM courses are still taught by lectures—the pedagogical equivalent of bloodletting." So - there you go.

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An interdisciplinary shift in demand for talent within the biotech industry

Susan M. Baxter's insight:

I am not sure the data analysis here is as robust as the similar report that followed later from Georgetown and Burning Glass (http://www.workforcedqc.org/sites/default/files/images/Georgetown%20U%20Real-time%20LMI%20Full%20Report.pdf) - but this one focuses on biotech job ads so is relevant here.  The soft skills part of the paper is based on a very limited hiring manager survey.  That said, the results echo other surveys point-for-point - graduates need to work with teams, understand budgets and milestones, and the regulatory context of biotechnology industry.

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The Myth of the Science and Engineering Shortage

The Myth of the Science and Engineering Shortage | Effective STEM Education                                      (Mostly HigherEd & Biotechnology-relevant) | Scoop.it
American students need to improve in math and science—but not because there's a surplus of jobs in those fields.
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

Michael Teitelbaum has been trying to dampen the hype around the need for STEM graduates in the US.  He finally wrote a book about it; Derek Lowe at the "In the Pipeline" blog suggests, "Next time you run across someone going on about scientist shortages, hit them over the head with it." 

 

This is a nuanced issue - unilateral calls for "more" STEM students should be met with skepticism, in my opinion. However, calls for more women in computer science, more currently underrepresented (latino/a, african american, etc.) scientists, calls for improvements in how we teach STEM on our campuses, etc. are all worth not only considering but also addressing.

 

 

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Issues In Science And Technology, Summer 2013, What Shortages? The Real Evidence About the STEM Workforce

Issues In Science And Technology, Summer 2013, What Shortages? The Real Evidence About the STEM Workforce | Effective STEM Education                                      (Mostly HigherEd & Biotechnology-relevant) | Scoop.it
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

Hal Salzmann (Rutgers) tilts at the prevailing opinions that there is a shortage of STEM workers in the US.  See also the interview/podcast hosted by AAAS here: http://news.sciencemag.org/education/2014/01/live-chat-making-or-breaking-science-major

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TRANSFORMING STEM EDUCATION - AAC&U Conference Materials (October 2013)

ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES: THE NATIONAL HIGHER EDUCATION ASSOCIATION COMMITTED TO MAKING THE AIMS OF LIBERAL LEARNING A VIGOROUS AND CONSTANT INFLUENCE ON EDUCATIONAL PRACTICE AND INSTITUTIONAL PLANNING.
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

In October 2013 the AAC&U's PKAL division hosted and organized a very well attended conference in San Diego on "Transforming STEM Education."  This link provides access to presentation materials and resources from the meeting, including podcasts of the plenary talks.  Based on a survey of CSU faculty who attended the meeting, we especially recommend Saundra Yancy McGuire's talk on metacognition.  Among the materials here, find presentations from CSU faculty from CSU San Marcos (Kantardjieff) and Humboldt State (Nuhfer). 

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Project Based Learning vs. Problem Based Learning

Project Based Learning vs. Problem Based Learning | Effective STEM Education                                      (Mostly HigherEd & Biotechnology-relevant) | Scoop.it
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

It's hard keeping up with higher education and learning jargon!  The bloggers over at the "Experts & Newbies" website help us all out with some analysis.  Importantly, they also provide some historical context to prove these teaching practices aren't just fads!

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Coursesource - a new biology education journal

Coursesource - a new biology education journal | Effective STEM Education                                      (Mostly HigherEd & Biotechnology-relevant) | Scoop.it
a journal of peer-reviewed biology education materials using evidence-based pedagogy
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

Coursesource will be a new online journal in which to publish "peer-reviewed biology education materials using evidence-based pedagogy."  The journal is now accepting applications.

 

See especially the Lesson Example at: http://coursesourcejournal.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/whymeiosismatterslesson.pdf

 

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iBiology Scientific Teaching Series

iBiology Scientific Teaching Series | Effective STEM Education                                      (Mostly HigherEd & Biotechnology-relevant) | Scoop.it
The iBiology Scientific Teaching Series project is a series of talks relating to evidence-based biology education.
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

Erin Dolan (editor, CBE Life Sciences) writes: "...with leadership from Malcolm Campbell, Kimberly Tanner (SFSU), and William Wood, iBiology will launch its Scientific Teaching Series project to help new and aspiring biology faculty design and implement evidence-based pedagogy."

 

The Video series will launched in 2014 - the active learning module of the Scientific Teaching is now available.

 

Full CBE Life Sciences article: http://www.lifescied.org/content/12/4/577.full.html

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CURE Survey | Grinnell College

Susan M. Baxter's insight:

David Lopatto at Grinnell College pioneered surveys of student learning gains from research experiences.  His surveys have been used widely by faculty and program directors to assess summer research programs (like CSUPERB's Presidents Commission Scholars programs). He expanded offerings and now has a survey to assess in-class research experiences (the CURE survey linked here) and integrated science curriculum (RISC survey).  Find below a recent (Nov. 2013) email with links:

 

"Dear Colleagues,

 

This is a reminder that the CURE and RISC post-course surveys are now available for use.  These instruments are part of Prof. Lopatto’s ongoing research concerning undergraduate education, and are supported by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. If you have been using the CURE and wish to give a URL to students where they can start the survey, use this URL: 

 

https://survey.grinnell.edu/se.ashx?s=251137453FF4386E

 

If you have been using the RISC and wish to give a URL to students for the post-course survey, use this URL:

 

https://survey.grinnell.edu/se.ashx?s=251137453FF438B5

 

Please note that the CURE & RISC post-course surveys may be used even if your students have not participated in the pre-course surveys.  Each post-course survey still yields useful information about student learning gains. 

 

The CURE survey (classroom undergraduate research experiences) is a survey system that captures the pattern of reported learning gains from a variety of pedagogies.  It is most useful in a disciplinary course, particularly where the instructor may be using research-like laboratory or field work. 

 

The RISC survey (research on the integrated science curriculum) is a variation of the CURE survey that includes items that are relevant to an interdisciplinary or integrated course.

 

I invite you to inspect these research tools by visiting

 

http://www.grinnell.edu/node/25703

 

and

 

http://www.grinnell.edu/node/25711

 

The surveys are not password protected and so are open for your inspection.

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