Undergraduate Science Education Grants to Research Universities (2014)

Florida International University

The Collaborative for Institutionalizing Scientific Learning at FIU (CISL) Project will transform Florida International University's (FIU's) educational practices across science and mathematics disciplines. We leverage over 10 years of research on the development and implementation of student-centric instructional practices for diverse learners at FIU. Our past endeavors have led to a coordinated set of grassroots faculty-led projects and administrative commitments such as the STEM Transformation Institute and two new discipline-based education research hires for this project. This groundwork has placed FIU on the verge of transforming its instructional practices in the STEM disciplines. To answer institutional commitments to STEM education, CISL will build a robust culture of evidence-based learning strategies within FIU's mathematics and science faculty and support the transformation of STEM learning at FIU. These learning strategies ultimately target student success in the individual courses, foundational to their persistence through STEM programs. The CISL Project will provide the critical injection of evidential and experiential resources to firmly establish evidence-based instructional strategies at FIU.

FIU's standing as a majority-minority institution provides a unique opportunity to build a nationally recognized model of how to best support the learning and academic persistence of students from historically underrepresented backgrounds. To achieve our goal, this project will realize four interacting objectives: 1) Expand the number of science and mathematics faculty utilizing evidence-based strategies, 2) Integrate effective measures of classroom learning into all science and mathematics courses, 3) Solidify a culture of evidence-based instructional strategies across the institution, 4) Develop and deploy a research framework for analyzing institutional change in STEM education.

By the end of the project, we will have facilitated lasting change in the classrooms of 15 additional science and mathematics faculty. Combined with the 19 Scholars in the existing project, results in a total of 34 faculty engaged in evidence-based strategies. This represents 19% of the science and mathematics instructional faculty, consistent with the PCAST recommendations for sustaining change. We will also have created a professional development model that will foster ongoing faculty course transformation. The CISL Project bridges the faculty and administrative domains, integrating multiple change agents including faculty, science and mathematics department chairs, the STEM Transformation Institute, the Center for the Advancement of Teaching, the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and the Office of Academic Affairs.

For More Information

Laird Kramer, PhD
Florida International University
Department of Physics
11200 SW 8th ST, CP 204
Miami, FL 33199-0001
305/348-6073
laird.kramer@fiu.edu

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