Uprooting STEM Classes: A flipped-out class, data-driven decisions, and lessons learned

August 13, 2015
Presented by Dr. Rob Petros, Assistant Professor, University of North Texas A major overhaul of our higher education system is desperately needed to increase interest and competence in STEM disciplines. Currently, only 40 percent of entering college students who declare STEM majors complete degrees in STEM disciplines. The efflux of students from STEM majors has been attributed in part to the teaching style that has been used in most lower-level science courses, which is a traditional PowerPoint lecture format. This style of teaching has persisted even in the presence of convincing, discipline-based education research data that other strategies generate better student-learning outcomes. Engaged-learning activities have been especially effective for improving student learning in large enrollment classes; however, implementation can be difficult because of the significant time needed to conduct such activities while still covering all the required material. One way to create the time needed to include engaged-learning activities in the classroom is to make use of recent innovations in technology. NextGen course redesign is an outcome-based model that is predicated on the seamless alignment of course objectives with instructional strategies and assessment, allowing for student attainment of course goals to be explicitly quantified. The model also facilitates identification (and redesign) of areas where student attainment is low. This presentation will discuss the ongoing NextGen redesign of a large enrollment organic course (approximately two hundred students) based on a data-driven approach that has consistently led to improved student performance and interest in STEM disciplines. (Recorded on 4/30/2014 at 3pm ET)
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