Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: STEM Science and Mathematics Education
Lee Limbird - Fisk University
Co-Author(s): Natalie Arnett, Phyllis Freeman, Qingxia Li, and Brian Nelms
Fisk University has engaged in an Implementation Project to increase mathematics confidence, deeper learning of STEM content, and increase STEM persistence to the Bachelor’s degree before transitioning to STEM post-graduate training or careers. Multiple interventions were evaluated, all providing positive outcomes, but also providing insights about how to further enhance their impact on student interest and self-efficacy in the sciences. Mathematics preparation in Developmental Mathematics Courses was enhanced by introduction of Case-Based Studies; parallel assessment of the impact of Case based learning on STEM interest revealed that the students with prior STEM interest reported the strongest response to this pedagogy in terms of further pursuit of STEM. Deeper learning and student confidence in gatekeeper courses was addressed by the introduction of Mandatory SI in General Chemistry I and II, with an increase in the number of students obtaining B grades and an increase to > 86% of students with A, B or C Grades. However, we also learned that peer SI Instructors need an SI Coach in addition to the faculty instructor for the course, and development of a buffet of possible materials to share during SI sessions, depending on student needs at any particular part of the semester. Embedding authentic research into course-associated courses continues to encourage ongoing enhancement of overall course content, faculty interest in the course, and student skills in experimental design, data acquisition, analysis and planned next steps. Finally, faculty development in student-centered pedagogies across a broad spectrum of faculty disciplines, overseen by Fisk University’s newly launched Center for Teaching and Learning, has led to multiple faculty-launched initiatives in courses and in overall curricular pathways, affirming the transformative impact of this Implementation Project funding.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation HBCU-UP Implementation Project HRD 1332284
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,