Honors Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Bremers, E. 2020. Measuring Scientific Teaching Practices in Undergraduate STEM Courses. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Emily Bremers 2020.


National calls have been made by various science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) organizations for faculty to utilize student-centered teaching practices in undergraduate courses in order to address student persistence and students’ scientific literacy in STEM degree programs. Scientific Teaching (ST) is a pedagogy that addresses these issues through the use of evidence-based teaching practices, and countless studies have noted the efficacy of ST in college classrooms. However, these studies have not assessed the amount of all documented ST practices occurring in the classroom. Systematic observations of college classrooms are necessary to gauge the frequency of ST implementation and understand how student learning is affected. Other surveys and observation tools have been developed that assess certain aspects of ST, however they leave out other important practices that also impact student outcomes. To measure the full range of ST practices occurring in undergraduate course, we developed a survey and observation tool from the ST framework that records the frequency of all observable ST practices. We also developed a training guide to allow for greater use of the observational tool by other researchers and institutions. From these tools, we found that implementation of ST practices varies widely among courses and that student and instructor perceptions are related to ST usage.