Below is a collection of research conducted by EDU-STEM collaborators that is relevant to the aims of the Network. Full papers for each study can be accessed through the linked titles.
Re-envisioning Biology Curricula to Include Ideological Awareness
Addressing the challenges facing society and the world will require an understanding of the biases and limitations of science. To combat these challenges, here, we advocate for the incorporation of ideologically aware (IA) material into postsecondary biology curricula. IA materials communicate to students how biases, assumptions, and stereotypes inform approaches to and outcomes of science. By engaging with IA materials, student awareness of the impact of science on social problems is expected to increase. Learn more.
Eight Recommendations to Promote Effective Study Habits for Biology Students Enrolled in Online Courses
To achieve meaningful learning experiences in online classrooms, students must become self-regulated learners through the development of effective study habits. Currently, there is no set of recommendations to promote study habits in online biology learning environments. To fill gaps in our understanding, a working group associated with a research coordination network (Equity and Diversity in Undergraduate STEM, EDU-STEM) convened virtually in June 2021. We identify student barriers to self-regulated learning in online environments and present eight practical recommendations to help biology educators and biology education researchers apply and advance evidence-based study habits in online courses. Learn more.
Are synchronous chats a silver lining of emergency remote instruction? Text-based chatting is disproportionately favored by women in a non-majors introductory biology course
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a reimagining of many aspects of higher education, including how instructors interact with their students and how they encourage student participation. Text-based chatting during synchronous remote instruction is a simple form of student-student and student-instructor interaction. The importance of student participation has been documented, as have clear disparities in participation between those well-represented and those under-represented in science disciplines. Thus, we conducted an investigation into who is texting, what students are texting, and how these texts align with course content. Learn more.
Meta-analysis of Gender Performance Gaps in Undergraduate Natural Science Courses
To investigate patterns of gender-based performance gaps, we conducted a meta-analysis of published studies and unpublished data collected across 169 undergraduate biology and chemistry courses. While we did not detect an overall gender gap in performance, heterogeneity analyses suggested further analysis was warranted, so we investigated whether attributes of the learning environment impacted performance disparities on the basis of gender. Learn more.
Teaching during COVID-19 Times: A Community College Perspective
In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic altered instructional and learning strategies at institutions across the globe. This emergency transition to remote instruction (ETRI) resulted in ambiguity regarding what to teach, how to teach, and instructor/student workload. We report on a survey-based study of 44 community college (CC) faculty at 16 institutions, with the aim of documenting how our CC faculty colleagues perceived the ETRI, the challenges they faced, and the resources that were—or would have been—most helpful. . Learn more.
What Questions Are on the Minds of STEM Undergraduate Students and How Can They Be Addressed?
Addressing common student questions in introductory STEM courses early in the term is one way that instructors can ensure that their students have all been presented with information about how to succeed in their courses. Here, we share tips, evidence-based strategies, and resources from faculty that instructors can use to develop their own responses for students. Learn more.
Implementing team‐based learning in the life sciences: A case study in an online introductory level evolution and biodiversity course
Team‐Based Learning (TBL) is a pedagogical tool that has great potential to develop student engagement, accountability, and equity in the online classroom. The use of these approaches is associated with better student performance, retention, and sense of belonging in the classroom, aspects that are often reported to be especially lacking in online courses. Learn more.
A Call for Data-Driven Networks to Address Equity in the Context of Undergraduate Biology
National efforts to improve equitable teaching practices in biology education have led to an increase in research on the barriers to student participation and performance, as well as solutions for overcoming these barriers. Fewer studies have examined the extent to which the resulting data trends and effective strategies are generalizable across multiple contexts or are specific to individual classrooms, institutions, or geographic regions. Learn more.
A scientist like me: demographic analysis of biology textbooks reveals both progress and long-term lags
White males make up the overwhelming majority of scientists featured in textbooks. While the representation of female scientists and scientists of color has improved, researchers failed to find a single black female scientist represented. If past trends continue, it could be centuries before we see these scientists highlighted. Learn more.
Gender Differences in Student Participation in an Active-Learning Classroom
Classrooms are implementing more active learning pedagogies than ever, but this alone isn't enough. This study finds that rates of self efficacy are lower in female students while men are more likely to be over represented in participation in proportion to class population. Learn more.
In A "Scientist Spotlight" Intervention, Diverse Student Identities Matter
The field of science isn't always recognized for its diversity, and this can make it more difficult for minority students to see themselves as future scientists. An intervention that aimed to expose students to the lives and work of diverse scientists helped. Learn more.
Starting the Conversation: Initial Listening and Identity Approaches to Community Cultural Wellness
Demographic, disciplinary, and geographic diversity help to bring a wide array of viewpoints to the table and expand conversations. By broadening perspectives and encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration. STEM fields may be able to increase retention of underrepresented students. Learn more.
Hidden Identities Shape Student Perceptions of Active Learning Environments
While active learning is regarded as a tool to create more engaging classrooms, some aspects such as group work may put stress on students that feel pressured to conceal aspects of their identity. Learn more.
Gender Performance, Test Anxiety, and Underlying Mechanisms
Social-psychological factors can have a significant bearing on the way female students approach and perform on exams. This paper explores the effects of test anxiety, distinctions between upper and lower divisions, and impacts of weed-out classes. Learn more.
Smaller Classes Promote Equitable Student Participation in STEM
Many factors affect student participation during lectures. Class size is one of the biggest factors for female students. Learn more.
Anatomy of STEM Teaching in North American Universities
Research supports the correlation between interactive, engaging courses and improved student outcomes. However, much of the data fails to account for the complexity of classroom dynamics. This report begins to paint a clearer picture of how STEM classes function. Learn more.
Ethnically Diverse Undergraduates and Their Mentors
This study reports on the variation in mentoring received by ethnically diverse students and how instrumental managing can greatly increase self-efficacy in STEM fields. Learn more.