Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate STEM Education: CAUSE for Transformation to Evidence-based Teaching Practices

Thursday 1:45pm - 2:15pm Woodlawn I
Oral Presentation

Mary Pat Wenderoth, University of Washington-Seattle Campus
Jennifer Doherty, University of Washington-Tacoma Campus
Deborah Wiegand, University of Washington-Tacoma Campus
We have created the Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate STEM Education (CAUSE) to implement evidence-based teaching in STEM departments at Univeristy of Washington. The goal of CAUSE is to transform the UW's undergraduate teaching mission, by taking best practices from the change and faculty development literature to inform the design of our efforts. The core of the program is a 2-year Exploration and Implementation experience that helps participants learn evidence-based teaching methods. The project emphasizes 1) incremental and continued change in teaching practice, 2) providing training and support for a critical mass of faculty in units across STEM, 3) producing a broad spectrum of data on change in faculty practice and student outcomes, 4) providing "graduates" with opportunities for professional advancement as CAUSE Fellows and 5) builds enduring, cross-disciplinary communities of practice.
CAUSE is comprised of cohorts of teams of three faculty from seven STEM departments. Each year a new cohort of three faculty is recruited from the same departments. CAUSE is collecting seven types of data, each of which will play a role in characterizing faculty practice and student performance: 1) quantifying classroom practice by coding videos of four random classes from each CAUSE participant using the PORTAAL rubric, 2) using Bloom's taxonomy and IRT to measure the cognitive challenge level of exams, 3) probing achievement gaps in exam performance based on gender, ethnicity, or family income, 4) documenting fail rates, retention and graduation rates across student demographics 5) assessing the climate for instructional change at the department level, 6) monitoring changes in faculty beliefs about teaching and 7) measuring student perception of the learning environment. End of quarter reports are generated as feedback for the CAUSE participants to help them monitor change in classroom practices and the impact those changes have on student learning. Results will be presented.