Projects & Collaborators

The team presently works on the following funded projects:

Seeing the Paths to Change: Evaluating Vision & Change Using a Pathway Modeling Approach (NSF, 2021-2023)

  • This project seeks to investigate V&C’s impact by leveraging an evaluation approach that organizes and then visualizes key factors and approaches already implemented by the V&C community and those that are underway. Specifically, it provides an organizing structure by identifying short-, mid-, and long-term V&C outcomes and connecting them in a way that affords V&C stakeholders a useful and helpful way to “see” the successes, opportunities, and future trajectory of V&C.

Defining and Measuring Student Trust of Instructor in College STEM Courses (NSF-ECR, 2020-2023)

  • Building on decades of research mostly from K-12 educational environments, the research project explores student trust in their instructor in college STEM classrooms. This careful and comprehensive characterization of student trust in higher education will allow further investigations on relationships between trust and key student outcomes such as buy-in, engagement, learning, and intent to persist in science. 

RAPID: Instructional Shifts in Response to COVID-19 and Their Impacts on Classroom-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (NSF, 2020-2022)

  • Leveraging the critical moment of the COVID-19 induced transition to online learning,  the research project explores how CURE course activities are translated into online formats and assessing the effects of course changes on students from different demographic groups. This careful characterization of online CUREs will inform undergraduate STEM educations stakeholders about what is possible when courses have to shift instructional practices.  It also researches what new CURE courses and ideas came out of the emergency online transition.

Transforming the Evaluation of Teaching (TEval): A Study of Institutional Change to Advance STEM Undergraduate Education (NSF-IUSE, 2017-2022)

  • STEM-PERL members are serving as External Evaluators and evaluation support persons on this grant that studies the institutional change processes associated with adopting new ways of evaluating teaching.

Science Education Alliance (SEA and SEA-PHAGES Evaluation) (HHMI, 2014-2022)

  • The STEM-PERL team collaborates to support evaluation of the Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (SEA-PHAGES) program. SEA-PHAGES supports discovery-based undergraduate research courses across the U.S. The large-scale evaluation efforts of this program are supported by the STEM-PERL team.

Evaluating the Impact of CURE Course Design Characteristics on Student Interest, Engagement, and Persistence (NSF-IUSE, 2019-2022)

  • Course-based undergraduate research experiences (abbreviated CUREs) bring the “authentic” characteristics of a faculty member’s research lab into a course environment. This increases the access that undergraduate students have to engaging in discovery and iterative research early in their academic careers, which benefits students’ STEM-related knowledge, motivation, and academic plans more than traditional learning contexts. In this project we study how and why CUREs are such effective learning environments, especially as related to student motivation.

Our previous awards include:

Impact of the Summer Institutes on Faculty Teaching and Student Achievement (NSF-TUES, 2014-2020)

  • The Summer Institutes on Scientific Teaching (SI) are annual professional development workshops that help current STEM university faculty develop in evidence-based teaching practices. The STEM-PERL team evaluates the impact of SI-trained faculty on their students (once they return to their home institutions), measuring student outcomes such as course engagement, final grade, and persistence in the sciences.

Preparing Future Faculty to Improve STEM Education: Broadening the National Impact of the CIRTL Network (NSF-IUSE, 2017-2020)

  • The STEM-PERL team is studying the program structure and evaluation efforts of institution-level CIRTL programs. Local CIRTL (Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning) programs are part of a national network of future faculty development programs that train graduate students and post-docs to be better STEM instructors. The STEM-PERL team is working to represent the local variation in CIRTL programs in order to strategically measure impact.

Undergraduate Science Education Campus Grant (HHMI, 2014-2020)

  • This grant supports several STEM programs and courses here at Yale (some are fully funded by the grant and others are partially funded). These include the introductory biology course sequence (BIOL 101-104), course-based undergraduate research lab courses (CUREs), Summer Research for All, Math 110/111, and Freshmen Scholars at Yale (FSY). The STEM-PERL team supports this grant by proving program management, grant management, and evaluation support.

Collaborators on current projects:

Ann Austin, Michigan State University

Jane Buckley, JCB Consulting

Alita Burmeister, Yale University

Xinnian Chen, University of Connecticut

David Hanauer, University of Pittsburgh

Lucas Hill, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Graham Hatfull, University of Pittsburgh

Philip Reeves, U.S. Army War College

Vic Sivanathan, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Paul Turner, Yale University

Gabriela Weaver, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Collaborators on previous projects:

Brian Couch, University of Nebraska

Mary Durham, University of Nebraska

Monica Hargraves, Cornell University

Claire Hebbard, Cornell University

Jennifer Knight, University of Colorado at Boulder

William Trochim, Cornell University

Tong Zhang, Indiana University of Pennsylvania