OID’s Center for Educational Assessment researchers Casey Shapiro, Michael Soh, and Brit Toven-Lindsey, guided by CEA Director Marc Levis-Fitzgerald, collaborated with CEILS Director Erin Sanders and UCLA faculty on a large, national research study of STEM teaching methods that was published in the journal Science in March 2018.
This seminal study used classroom observations to reliably characterize teaching styles that use traditional lecture vs. various combinations of student-centered teaching practices in STEM courses. Teaching practices were systematically characterized into three types, Didactic, Interactive Lecture, and Student-Centered, and these practices were observed in over 2000 classes taught by over 500 STEM instructors across 25 universities. These classes ranged from lower to upper level and were conducted in learning spaces ranging from smaller rooms, some with flexible seating arrangements, to large lecture halls. It was discovered that teaching practices were not dictated by learning spaces or course level and that simply creating flexible spaces does not automatically lead to student-centered teaching.