Influential Interventions: Improving STEM Learning ...· Influential Interventions: Improving STEM

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  • Influential Interventions: Improving STEM Learning Outcomes for Underrepresented Students

    James Diedrick, Associate Dean of the CollegeDrew Homa, Academic Assessment Coordinator

    25th International Conference on The First-Year Experience Vancouver, B. C. July 17, 2012

  • Agnes Scott CollegeAtlanta, GeorgiaStudent Body as of Fall 2011:

    883 students, representing 41 states and territories and 29 countries89% of traditional students live on campus11% are international studentsMore than 40% are students of color.About 40% will study abroad before they graduateHistorically and presently, Agnes Scott students have earned academias most prestigious scholarships including the Marshall, Rhodes, Fulbright, Goldwater, the Pickering Fellowship and the Gates Millennium Scholarship.

    Students in the Generating Excellence in Math & Science Summer Scholars Program (GEMS), Summer 2011

  • Our Commitment to STEM EducationMajors: Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Mathematics-Physics, Mathematics-Economics, Neuroscience, Public Health, Physics & Astronomy

    Dual degree programs in Engineering, Computer Science and Nursing with Emory University & Georgia Tech

    State-of-the art facilities in new science building, observatory on campus

    Emphasis on supporting & encouraging women in pursuit of STEM fields

  • Increasing Ethnic Diversity 1992-2011

    74.2%

    3.9%4.0%

    17.9%

    White Non-resident International

    1992

    57.9%

    5.2%4.5%

    32.5%

    White

    2002

    40.4%

    10.8%4.7%

    44.1%

    2011

  • Increasing Ethnic Diversity 1992-2011

    1992 2002 20110%

    10%

    20%

    30%

    40%

    50%

    60%

    70%

    80%

    90%

    100%

    American Indian/Alaska Native

    Unknown

    Hispanic

    Two or more races

    Asian/Pacific Islander

    Non-resident International

    African American

    White

    Diversity on Campus: Total

    UndergraduatePopulation

    1992 2002 20110%

    10%

    20%

    30%

    40%

    50%

    60%

    70%

    80%

    90%

    100%

    American Indian/Alaska Native

    Unknown

    Hispanic

    Two or more races

    Asian/Pacific Islander

    Non-resident International

    African American

    White

    Diversity on Campus: Total

    First-YearPopulation

  • Achievement Gap for URM STEM Students

    Percentage of STEM Majors Having a GPA 3.33 (2010)

    Analysis of performance in introductory STEM courses clearly demonstrated a trend that faculty had long noticed (data from 2004-2009)

    Achievement gap persists even for students who choose to major in a STEM discipline

  • GEMS Program

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    and

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    .GEMS Summer Scholars on field trip to Georgia Aquarium, 2011

  • Factors influencing success & persistence in STEM

    Family Background

    Skills & Abilities

    Prior Schooling

    Classroom ClimateStereotype Threat

    Feedback on Learning

    Inquiry-Based Learning

    Exposure to Real-World Applications &

    Careers

    Extracurricular Activities

    Peer Group Interactions

    Academic Integration

    Social Integration

    Re-evaluate commitments

    & goals

    Decision to enroll in STEM

    class/majorDecision to persist or

    depart from STEM

    Potential for peer-led Supplemental Instruction in gateway math & science courses to have a positive influence

    University of Michigan Center for Research and Learning

  • Teagle Foundation Support for Interventions to Promote STEM Student Success

    Two-year grant received in collaboration with Davidson College to develop academic support initiatives that particularly benefit first generation and URM students

    Initiative runs from August 2011-May 2013

    Goal includes use of student learning outcome data to continue the levels of academic support beyond the funding period

    Initiative includes joint meetings of two institutions, workshops on campus climate issues, stereotype threat, STEM pedagogy

  • Project Objectives

    Increase student success and persistence in STEM disciplines by adding peer-led supplemental instruction (SI) sessions to gateway math and science courses All students are encouraged to attend SI sessions Specific impact to URM and first generation students determined through

    assessment SI has been associated with more dramatic gains among URM students than

    among their peers*

    Addressing/improving campus/classroom climate issues (Diverse Learning Environments Survey (DLE) administered Spring 2012, comparative data to be released September 2012)

    * Rath, Kenneth, et. al. Supplemental Instruction in Introductory Biology I: Enhancing the Performance and Retention of URM Students (CBE Life Science Education 6 [2007]:203-216).

  • New forms of academic supportCoordinator for Resource Center for Math & Science (RCMS)

    Assisting in facilitating the implementation and assessment of the SI program

    Supporting & coordinating the work of all LAs and peer tutors (individual peer tutors have been in place for two decades)

    Increasing the level & variety of academic support available to our students in math and the sciences

    Peer Learning Assistants (LAs) Juniors or seniors selected by faculty

    Training: 2-day session in August, day session in January, and on-going training at regular meetings throughout each semester

    Responsibilities: attending course lectures, leading SI sessions, developing workshop content (to varying extents), holding 1:1 tutoring hours & attending regular staff meetings

    Grant support allowed for hiring students not eligible for traditional work-study

  • Math & Science Learning Center CoordinatorDr. Molly Smith, Math & Science Learning Center Coordinator

    Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from University of Michigan

    6 years experience working in a university environment as a graduate student, including voluntary service roles in coordination, leadership and planning of education programs and events

    5 years corporate experience managing projects and programs involving team members in multiple locations and partners at other companies and universities; included teaching intensive mini-courses on biology and chemistry fundamentals for employees

    Dr. Molly Smith

  • Ethnic & Racial Diversity of LAs

    Total of 11 LAs for 2011-12 and 12 LAs for 2012-13

    55%36%

    9%

    White

    2011-12

    50%

    25%

    8%

    17%

    White

    2012-13

  • SI Implementation: Overview

    FALL 2011Biology 191: Cell and Animal

    BiologyChemistry 101: Fundamental

    Concepts of Matter and Reactions

    Math 118: Calculus I

    Implemented SI in 6 gateway math & science courses (13 total sections, 194 individual students) during 2011-2012

    SPRING 2012Biology 192: Molecular Biology

    and GeneticsChemistry 102: Periodicity and

    Chemical ReactionsMath 118: Calculus IMath 119: Calculus II

  • COMMON All students encouraged to

    attend SI

    SI sessions offered weekly, in the evenings

    SI sessions led by peer Learning Assistants (LAs)

    LAs attend course lectures as often as possible

    VARIED Method of encouraging

    attendance

    Number of sessions per week

    Level of guidance professors provided LAs for SI content

    Some aspects of implementation were common across courses, while othersvaried by course/professor

    SI Implementation: Overview

  • Supplemental Instruction Rubric

    Session Date & Day of Week: __________________ SI Leader: ______________

    Course: ____________________ Course Instructor: _______________________

    Objective: What are the two most difficult concepts the students need to work on today?__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Beginning reminders:

    Arrange seats in a circleHand out Participation LogSet agenda with groupRemember to relax and be flexible!

  • Possible Processes: Informal Quiz, Matrix, Reciprocal Questioning, Paired Problem-Solving, Turn to Use Your Partner, Note Processing, Problem-Solving Rubric, Formal Definition (or IDs), Text Review (Divide and Conquer), Pictorial Representations, Sequencing

    Closure options: