Getting STEM FIT! STEM-Forum for Inclusive Teaching as a model for broad dissemination of evidence-based inclusive teaching practices

Friday 10:20 am – 10:45 am PT / 11:20 am – 11:45 am MT / 12:20 pm – 12:45 pm CT / 1:20 pm – 1:45 pm ET Online
Concurrent Session

Kimberly Mulligan, California State University-Sacramento
Kelly McDonald, California State University-Sacramento
Undergraduate STEM disciplines have notoriously large equity gaps and suffer from disproportionate rates of attrition of systemically minoritized groups. Evidence-based inclusive teaching practices can both mitigate equity gaps and improve student retention—yet many instructors continue to teach in non-equitable ways. This is partially due to a lack of training; while STEM instructors have expertise in their respective fields, few have received formal pedagogical training. Although some instructors independently pursue professional development opportunities to learn about inclusion and equity in the classroom, ensuring such training is easily accessible to all instructors is critical. Together with our Center for Science and Math Success, we have developed an approach for broad dissemination of inclusive pedagogies called STEM-FIT (Forum for Inclusive Teaching). At the core of STEM-FIT is a bi-monthly infographic delivered via email using a college-wide listserv, which enables the information to be accessed by all instructors in six distinct departments within the college of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at our university. Each STEM-FIT infographic describes a different inclusive teaching practice in three sections: 1) the "Concept" section defines the practice, 2) the "Tips and Tools" section provides strategies for its implementation and includes examples used by instructors on campus, and 3) the "Resources" section presents references for those interested in accessing published studies. We house all STEM-FIT infographics, which range from 350-500 words, and an expanding bank of resources on a Canvas webpage that all instructors have access to. Finally, we hold intermittent virtual meetings to facilitate in-depth conversations about equity-focused, student-centered, inclusive teaching practices. Since its inception in Fall 2020, STEM-FIT has covered nine inclusive practices, including syllabus decolonization, growth mindset-based activities, alternative assessments, and community building. Instructors will be surveyed at the end of Spring 2021 to measure the impact of STEM-FIT on inclusive teaching practices in our college.