Achieve Scholars Program – Impacting Graduation and Retention Through Research
Everardo Barraza, Office of Undergraduate Research, Cal Poly Pomona
Co-authors: Winny Dong, Nina Abramzon, Paul Beardsley, Rebecca Eddy, Monique Matelski (Cal Poly Pomona)
Undergraduate research is a known high-impact practice for retaining and graduating students. However, many students begin research late in their college careers due to not having sufficient research experiences or understanding of the research process. The Achieve Scholars Program (ASP) attempts to bridge the gap and introduce research experiences through training courses starting with first year students with special focus on low-income and underrepresented minority students in STEM. URM and low-income students are nearly four times more likely to drop out of institutions of high education compared to their counterparts (Engle and Tinto, 2008). Challenges in training students from various disciplines are evident; however, pre and post survey results indicate significance in student’s perception and skill repertoire in conducting independent research. Overall, program participants are satisfied with program courses and have indicated high levels of STEM awareness.
Co-authors: Colin Wikholm, Daniel Pascoe (Loyola Marymount University)
In spring 2016, students in an introductory physics course were asked, immediately after taking a final exam, to report the number of hours they had slept the night before. Despite having been urged to get adequate sleep, most students did not, and this was reflected in final exam scores. Scores for those who slept 1 to 3 hours averaged 50%, whereas those who slept 7 to 9 hours averaged 68%. In a subsequent course in fall 2016, students were asked to review the spring 2016 sleep/exam data. In contrast to the spring course, most of the students in the fall course did get adequate sleep. Students were much more responsive to seeing actual data than to simply being told that sleep was important.
Success and Barriers for Underrepresented Minorities in STEM
Nicole Duong, Psychology & Sociology, Cal Poly Pomona
Co-author: Viviane Seyranian, (Cal Poly Pomona)
The Mentoring, Education, Networking, & Thematic Opportunities for Research in Engineering and Science (MENTORES) program, a STEM-related research-based program at Cal Poly Pomona funded by the U.S. Department of Education, is intended to promote academic and professional opportunities for underrepresented populations in STEM. Students in the MENTORES program complete a research project under the guidance of a mentor and are expected to attend professional networking events and conferences. To examine the impact of the MENTORES program on variables relating to academic and professional success, a 4-year ongoing evaluative study assesses the MENTORES program’s intended objectives through mixed methods. Qualitative results from interviews of MENTORES students and faculty underscores the importance of faculty-student research and underlines a variety of barriers that may hinder minority student success in STEM fields (Fagenson, 1989).
Using an Online Learning Platform to Enhance Student Success in a Mechanical Engineering Course
Juliana Fuqua, Psychology & Sociology, Cal Poly Pomona
Co-authors: Priscilla Zhao, Faye Wachs, Paul Nissenson, Sofia Pedroza, Angela Shih, (Cal Poly Pomona)
To improve student performance in a bottleneck course, features of McGraw-Hill Connect (an online assignment and assessment platform) were introduced and class time was used for engaging activities. Elements of the course redesign were introduced each quarter to one experimental class section, while a second section was used as a control. Grades were recorded along with pre-test and post-test concept inventory data. In Fall Quarter, the experimental group (online platform) showed some evidence of greater success than the control group (traditional class). In Winter Quarter, a similar experiment was conducted with a new instructor, but the experimental section had similar success to the control group. Focus groups of students in Winter generated innovative ideas for Spring. In Spring Quarter, the experimental group (online platform and engaging work in-class and derivations covered in videos) showed some evidence of greater success than the control group (online platform only). Gender and major may have played a role. In all quarters, students in the experimental sections held more positive perceptions of the class than the control group. The results provide some evidence that the innovations enhanced student success and student perceptions of the course.
Transdisciplinary Scientific Collaboration Evaluation
Juliana Fuqua, Psychology & Sociology, Cal Poly Pomona
Cross-disciplinarity has the potential to lead to novel intellectual ideas, products, and outcomes in STEM. An increase in societal interest in trans-disciplinarity (TD) has led national funding initiatives by agencies (e.g., National Cancer Institute) to fund TD endeavors. Designed for an inter-disciplinary audience of instructors and research investigators of STEM-Ed, this presentation provides a synopsis of the definition, benefits, barriers, facilitators of TD scientific collaboration and is based on several years of evaluation work by Daniel Stokols, Juliana Fuqua, Richard Harvey, and colleagues. The presentation emphasizes components of meetings that can facilitate collaboration (e.g., setting shared goals, avoiding movement away from disagreement, informal “hallway conversation” time and fun time, completing the cycle of small group development) and provides a conceptual model of TD scientific collaboration. For a searchable site with published innovations in the evaluation of TD scientific collaboration and more broadly the science of team science, please see https://www.teamsciencetoolkit.cancer.gov/public/Home.aspx
Flipping the Large-Enrollment Introductory Physics Classroom
Chad Kishimoto, Physics & Biophysics, University of San Diego
Co-authors: Michael Anderson (UC Riverside), Joe Salamon (Mira Costa College)
Most STEM students experience the introductory physics sequence in large-enrollment (N> 100 students) classrooms, led by one lecturer and supported by a few teaching assistants. We describe methods and principles in creating an effective “flipped classroom” in large-enrollment introductory physics courses by replacing a majority of traditional lecture time with in-class student-driven activity worksheets. This poster compares student learning in courses taught by the authors with the flipped classroom pedagogy versus a more traditional lecturer-centered pedagogy. By comparing identical questions on exams, we find significant learning gains for students in the student-centered flipped classroom compared to students in the lecturer-centered traditional classroom. Furthermore, we find that female students attain significantly greater learning gains as compared to male counterparts in the flipped classroom, closing the gender gap in the introductory physics sequence.
Scaffold for Scientific Thinking in Non-Quantitative Classes
Bradley "Peanut" McCoy, Physics, Azusa Pacific University
Non-quantitative classes pose a challenge for developing problem solving skills. While in quantitative problem solving situations the logical structure of math provides a framework for the problem solver, that logical support is not available in non-quantitative situations. Meanwhile, the students in non-quantitative general science classes are often less developed in their scientific thinking skills. This poster presents a framework for scientific thinking that is used in an Earth Science course for pre-service K-8 education students. The framework is intended to provide scaffolding for students as they work through non-quantitative problem solving situations in which they apply concepts they have learned to situations that are new to the students.
CAMPARE and Cal-Bridge: Two California Institutional Networks Increasing Diversity in Physics and Astronomy
Alexander L. Rudolph, Physics and Astronomy, Cal Poly Pomona
Co-authors: Dawn Digrius (Cal-Bridge and CAMPARE), Tammy Smecker-Hane (UC Irvine)
CAMPARE and Cal-Bridge’s mission is to increase participation of underrepresented groups in physics and astronomy, through summer research opportunities, in the case of CAMPARE, scholarships in the case of Cal-Bridge, and significant mentoring in both programs, creating a national impact on their numbers successfully pursuing a PhD in these fields. CAMPARE has sent 80 students, >80% from underrepresented groups, to conduct summer research at research institutions around the country. The graduation rate among CAMPARE scholars is 98%, and more than 60% are pursuing graduate degrees. Cal-Bridge is a CSU-UC Bridge program comprised of 28 UC, CSU, and community colleges in SoCal. Cal-Bridge Scholars benefit from financial support, joint mentoring by CSU and UC faculty, professional development workshops, and research opportunities. Over 90% of the first two cohorts have been accepted into one or more PhD programs in physics, astronomy, or a related field.
Values Affirmation: Empowering Minority Students in STEM Towards Academic Success
Viviane Seyranian, Psychology/Sociology, Cal Poly Pomona
Co-authors: Alex Madva, Nina Abramzon, Nicole Duong (Cal Poly Pomona)
Values affirmation is a social psychological intervention where students reflect and write about values that are most important to them. Values affirmation improves women's performance in physics (Miyake et al., 2010) and increases course grades, retention, and GPA among first-generation biology students (Harackiewicz et al., 2014) with effects persisting three years (Tibbets et al., 2016). An experiment is currently underway at Cal Poly Pomona that extends this work by randomizing students from Physics, Philosophy, Economics courses into three variants of the values affirmation exercise (interdependent, independent, both) and a control condition. We expect that minority students in the values affirmation conditions (particularly interdependent) to evidence higher GPA and well-being than control students. This research provides a more nuanced understanding of the types of values that optimize performance and well-being and could help close achievement gaps for STEM minority students.
Investigation of Team Based Learning For Teaching General Education Astronomy
Rick Sturdivant, Engineering and Computer Science, Azusa Pacific University
This poster reports a method for implementing team based learning for teaching general education science courses. Teaching general education science courses can be challenging for several reasons. For instance, the students are usually not science majors and often enter the classroom with minimal interest in the topic. Worse yet, many have fear regarding the challenge of learning about science. As a result, the required general education science class is often viewed as an undesired hurtle to achieving their college degree. The instructor in these courses faces significant challenges teaching and student engagement with the material. One approach to increase student learning may be to use team based learning methods. This poster session describes the team based learning approach used in an introduction to astronomy course and some initial student reactions.
Designing a Richer Flipped Classroom Experience
Matthew Voigt, Math and Science Education, San Diego State University and UC San Diego
Co-author: Helge Fredriksen (University of Agder)
The study presented here is an illustrative example of a research project, which was focused on broadening student participation in the flipped classroom experience in order to address issues of equity and engagement in the calculus curriculum. While flipped classrooms have gained recent traction within the literature, these studies have primarily addressed the efficacy of using a flipped classroom approach on student outcomes, often failing to account for the classroom activities and learning theories used to design the curriculum. Our study draws on a curriculum framework in order to highlight how using realistic mathematics education (RME) and culturally responsive pedagogy to inform design principles during the creation of the written curriculum, can effectively target the hidden curriculum and shape the norms and classroom discourse features witnessed in the enacted and assessed curriculum.
Questions? Email BreakingBoundaries@lmu.edu