Development and Validation of Instruments to Describe Teaching Practices in Online, Undergraduate STEM Courses
Abstract: The use of online instruction for undergraduate STEM courses is growing rapidly. In response to this trend, leaders in the field of STEM education, including the National Science Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, have called for the development of shared language and tools for researchers and practitioners to use to describe online STEM instruction. Educational researchers and practitioners have access to and have made productive use of validated instruments for studying face-to-face, classroom-based teaching practices, however analogous tools do not yet exist for online instruction. These tools are urgently needed in order to maximize the benefits of this rapidly growing mode of instruction for STEM learning. This project is developing and validating two measurement tools - an observational protocol and a self-report instrument - that can be used to reliably collect comparable, non-evaluative data for the description, study, and improvement of online, undergraduate STEM courses. These instruments will fill a gap in the available set of tools to study teaching and learning environments. They will be grounded in current theory guiding research on online courses. They will also be connected to current instruments (developed by this research team and others), forming a continuum of observation categories and codes, and self-reported practices that can be adapted for use across the spectrum of course approaches.
Presider: Annette Miller