UNDERGRADUATE INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY FACULTY’S INFLUENCE ON STUDENT PERSISTENCE IN STEM
Johns Hopkins University
Persistence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) undergraduate programs is low in most demographic groups and is significantly lower for students from marginalized groups (Eagan et al., 2015). Classroom climate and interaction with faculty are two of the reasons studies cite for students leaving the STEM major (Geisinger & Raman, 2013; Seymour & Hewitt, 1997; Suresh, 2006). However, undergraduate biology faculty often have limited training in pedagogy and may lack the expertise to create a classroom environment that fosters learning and belonging. A mixed methods study of Introductory Biology faculty who interact with BioInteractive examined faculty’s beliefs about the nature of intelligence, current knowledge and use of research-based instructional strategies (RBIS), and faculty’s needs and desire for professional development (PD) to embed inclusive instructional practices effectively in their courses. The study included survey data from 1,439 participants (N = 1,439; 2-year n = 622; 4-year n = 817) and an analysis of 151 syllabi. The study also sought to identify differences in beliefs and behaviors pertaining to a growth mindset, RBIS use, and PD needs between faculty at 2-year and 4-year institutions. These findings were used to inform BioInteractive’s online PD initiatives and directly impact the design of a free 20+ hour online course on inclusive teaching.
Undergraduate Introductory Biology, Inclusive Teaching, Persistence, PD