The STEAM-Active (Project Number: 2021-1-ES01-KA220-HED-000032107) project is funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.

Instructional practices in reformed undergraduate STEM learning environments: a study of instructor and student behaviors in biology courses

Partners' Institution
University of Peloponnese
Year of publication
Educational stage
University Level
Journal name
International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education
Thematic Area
STEAM intervention (teaching strategies, evaluation...)
In this study, the researchers examined the classroom behaviour of 13 STEM faculty teaching biology courses in a reformed undergraduate STEM learning environment.
Relevance for Complex Systems Knowledge
The researchers evaluated thirteen faculty teaching mostly introductory undergraduate biology courses.

Two to three class sessions were video-recorded for each instructor during the middle of the semester to capture the instructors’ representative teaching practices. hen, the researchers practiced coding videos of classrooms, discussed COPUS codes that were not unanimously selected, and calculated interrater reliability (IRR) for a subset of the overall video data using fully crossed design. The relative abundance of collapsed COPUS codes was determined to compare instructor and student behaviours across courses and class sessions in a reformed undergraduate STEM learning environment.

The results suggest that when teaching in reformed environments, instructors guided student learning three times more than they presented information while student worked individually or in groups and talked to the whole class 1.5 times more than they received information. They found significant positive correlation between instructor and student behaviours that suggests instructors can change their own classroom behaviours and expect changes in their student behaviours. Additionally, active-engagement instruction is a given in reformed learning environments.
Point of Strength
They found that while presenting information was positively associated with ‘students receiving’ that information, this approach limited students’ abilities to work with others and talk in class. Conversely, when instructors where mainly guiding students’ learning, students tended to work with others and talk during class.
Undergraduate, active learning, classroom observation protocol, COPUS, active-engagement instruction, evidence-based learning, science teaching
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

The STEAM-Active project | Copyright 2022