Characteristics of teaching innovations in undergraduate STEM

The undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education community has developed a large number of innovative teaching strategies and materials, but the majority of these go unused by instructors. To help understand how to improve adoption of evidence-based education innovations, this study focuses on innovations that have become widely used in college-level STEM instruction. Innovations were identified via a questionnaire emailed to experts in STEM instruction. Descriptions of identified innovations were validated by preparing brief descriptions of each innovation and sending them to the original developers, when applicable, for feedback, and searching relevant literature. Publicly available funding data was collected for each innovation. STEM disciplines surveyed include biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geoscience, mathematics, and physics.

This paper presents the full list of instructional innovations produced, which can be used by educational innovation developers to understand how their ideas fit within the broader landscape and to identify innovations in one discipline that may have promise for transfer. The findings regarding funding of the branded innovations have important implications for both educational innovation developers and funding agencies. In particular, the study indicates that a long-term mindset and access to long-term funding are vital for broad adoption of new teaching innovations.

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Khatri, R., Henderson, C., Cole, R., Froyd, J.E., Friedrichsen, D. & Stanford, …