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Introduction to Discipline-Based Education Research : Course Readings

Week 1: History and Introduction to DBER

National Research Council. 2012. Discipline-Based Education Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Week 2 - DBER methodologies & the qual-quant debate

Libarkin, J. C., & Kurdziel, J. P. (2002). Research methodologies in science education: Qualitative data. Journal of Geoscience Education, 50(2), 195-200.

Libarkin, J. C., & Kurdziel, J. P. (2002). Research methodologies in science education: The qualitative-quantitative debate. Journal of Geoscience Education, 50(1), 78-86.

Week 3 – Systemic barriers part 1

Niu, S. X., & Tienda, M. (2010). Minority student academic performance under the uniform admission law: Evidence from the University of Texas at Austin. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis32(1), 44-69.

Salehi, S., Burkholder, E., Lepage, G. P., Pollock, S., & Wieman, C. (2019). Demographic gaps or preparation gaps?: The large impact of incoming preparation on performance of students in introductory physics. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 15(2), 020114.

Week 4 - Systemic barriers part 2: role models

Wood, S., Henning, J. A., Chen, L., McKibben, T., Smith, M. L., Weber, M., ... & Ballen, C. J. (2020). A scientist like me: demographic analysis of biology textbooks reveals both progress and long-term lags. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 287(1929), 20200877.

Schinske, J. N., Perkins, H., Snyder, A., & Wyer, M. (2016). Scientist spotlight homework assignments shift students’
stereotypes of scientists and enhance science identity in a diverse introductory science class. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 15(3), ar47.

Week 5 – Affect part 1: role of affect in learning, sense of belonging

Role of affect
Trujillo, G., & Tanner, K. D. (2014). Considering the role of affect in learning: Monitoring students' self-efficacy, sense of belonging, and science identity. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 13(1), 6-15.

Sense of belonging
Lewis, K. L., Stout, J. G., Pollock, S. J., Finkelstein, N. D., & Ito, T. A. (2016). Fitting in or opting out: A review of key social-
psychological factors influencing a sense of belonging for women in physics. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 12(2), 020110.

Johnson, D. R., Soldner, M., Leonard, J. B., Alvarez, P., Inkelas, K. K., Rowan-Kenyon, H. T., & Longerbeam, S. D. (2007). Examining sense of belonging among first-year undergraduates from different racial/ethnic groups. Journal of College Student Development, 48(5), 525-542.

Week 6 - Affect part 2: anxiety

Salehi, S., Cotner, S., Azarin, S. M., Carlson, E. E., Driessen, M., Ferry, V. E., ... & Ballen, C. J. (2019). Gender performance gaps across different assessment methods and the underlying mechanisms: the case of incoming preparation and test anxiety. In Frontiers in Education (Vol. 4, p. 107). Frontiers.

England, B. J., Brigati, J. R., & Schussler, E. E. (2017). Student anxiety in introductory biology classrooms: Perceptions about active learning and persistence in the major. PloS one, 12(8), e0182506.

Week 7 - Affect part 3: Social-Psychological Interventions (they’re not magic)

Yeager, D. S., & Walton, G. M. (2011). Social-psychological interventions in education: They’re not magic. Review of Educational Research, 81(2), 267-301.

Schwartz, D. L., Cheng, K. M., Salehi, S., & Wieman, C. (2016). The half empty question for socio-cognitive interventions. Journal of Educational Psychology, 108(3), 397.

Week 8 - Active learning in large lectures

Freeman, S., Eddy, S. L., McDonough, M., Smith, M. K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., & Wenderoth, M. P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(23), 8410-8415.

Theobald, E. J., Hill, M. J., Tran, E., Agrawal, S., Arroyo, E. N., Behling, S., ... & Freeman, S. (2020). Active learning narrows achievement gaps for underrepresented students in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and math. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences117(12), 6476-6483.

Week 9 - Equitable assessment of learning

Key points and factors from the review paper “Conditions Under Which Assessment Supports Student Learning” - by G. Gibbs and C. Simpson

Wright, C. D., Eddy, S. L., Wenderoth, M. P., Abshire, E., Blankenbiller, M., & Brownell, S. E. (2016). Cognitive difficulty and format of exams predicts gender and socioeconomic gaps in exam performance of students in introductory biology courses. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 15(2), ar23.

Stanger-Hall, K. F. (2012). Multiple-choice exams: an obstacle for higher-level thinking in introductory science classes. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 11(3), 294-306.

Smith, M.K., Knight, J.K. (2020). Clickers in the Biology Classroom: Strategies for Writing and Effectively Implementing Clicker Questions That Maximize Student Learning. In: Mintzes, J.J., Walter, E.M. (eds) Active Learning in College Science. Springer, Cham.

Smith, M. K., Wood, W. B., Adams, W. K., Wieman, C., Knight, J. K., Guild, N., & Su, T. T. (2009). Why peer discussion improves student performance on in-class concept questions. Science, 323(5910), 122-124.

Week 10 - Instructor Implementation

Seidel, S. B., & Tanner, K. D. (2013). “What if students revolt?”—considering student resistance: origins, options, and opportunities for investigation. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 12(4), 586-595.

Stains, M., & Vickrey, T. (2017). Fidelity of implementation: An overlooked yet critical construct to establish effectiveness of evidence-based instructional practices. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 16(1), rm1.

Week 11 - Classroom climate

Seidel, S. B., Reggi, A. L., Schinske, J. N., Burrus, L. W., & Tanner, K. D. (2015). Beyond the biology: A systematic investigation of noncontent instructor talk in an introductory biology course. CBE—Life Sciences Education14(4), ar43.

Harrison, C., & Tanner, K. D. (2018). Language matters: Considering microaggressions in science. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 17(1), fe4.

Hales, K. G. (2020). Signaling Inclusivity in Undergraduate Biology Courses through Deliberate Framing of Genetics Topics Relevant to Gender Identity, Disability, and Race. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 19(2), es2.

Week 12 – Reframing educational outcomes

Shukla, S. Y., Theobald, E. J., Abraham, J. K., & Price, R. M. (2022). Reframing educational outcomes: moving beyond achievement gaps. CBE—Life Sciences Education21(2), es2.


Ladson-Billings, G. (2006). From the achievement gap to the education debt: Understanding achievement in US schools. Educational Researcher35(7), 3-12.

Week 13 - Projects

Week 14 - Projects

Week 15 – Thanksgiving, no class!

Week 16 – Projects