HHMI-ISEE Collaboration

With a generous grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), this initiative was aimed at transforming undergraduate biology, chemistry and physics. ISEE's role in this initiative consisted of multiple projects to train graduate students, conduct research in classroom practices, and collaborate with instructors to transform education practices. Read more about our work in this initiative below. 

    UCSC STEM Persistence Study

  • hhmi-2016-2017-bio-sem-models.jpg In collaboration with researchers in Psychology,we designedand conducted a study to understand student perceptions of classroom experiences and measures of persistence. Our results show thatclassroom experiences perceived by students have a strongimpact on their feelings and experiences in the course, and indicators of persistence such as career motivation. In particular, for students from underrepresented minority groups, beingrecognized for scientific contributions in class was disproportionately connected to changes in their science identity, a critical component of persistence in science. 

    rd-projects/UCSC STEM Persistence Study

  • Analysis of Introductory biology performance assessment data

  • The R&D team assisted in the redesign of an explanation rubric and scoring methods originally developed by McNeill & Krajcik (2009) using claim, evidence, and reasoning as the components of a complete explanation. 


  • STEM Practices Assessment Project

  • This project modeled and piloted a process for enabling STEM courses at UCSC to assess and teach STEM practices in an explicit manner in large-enrollment, non-lab contexts. We also produced tangible assessment tools for the UCSC STEM community. 


  • PDP support and training of graduate students

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    The HHMI-ISEE collaboration facilitated the professional development of UCSC graduate students and postdocs in the PDP. HHMI-funded PDP participants designed inquiry lab activities that supported UCSCcourses being transformed in the grant, often collaborating with those course instructors. 


    • Physics Demo Lab, 2017: Content informed by collaboration with Physics 6A instructor, and one member of PDP team was an HHMI-funded teaching postdoc for physics. Demo lab was offered to students in the course
    • Physics Inquiry, 2016: Content informed by intro physics course
    • Evolutionary Biology Inquiry, 2016: Content informed by lower-division biology course, offered to students in Bio20C
    • Chemistry Workshop for Engineering & Science Transfers, 2016
    • Evolution Inquiry, 2016: Inquiry designed for a lecture section in lower-division biology course

    In 2016, HHMI supported a number of PDP participants who applied their training to design lecture activites that were student-centered and utilized active learning. This Inclusive Active Learning cohort included:

    • Dr. Susanna Honig, HHMI postdoc at the time: Inferring microevolutionary processes from evolution scenarios, Bio 20C
    • Dr. Aimee Marceau & Dr. Eshwar Ramanan: Using multiple lines of evidence to construct phylogenetic trees, Bio 20C
    • Tonio Shuetze: Understanding the function of proteins with yeast two-hybrid system, Humanities 206
    • Mike Testa: Explaining simple harmonic motion using the restoring force, Physics 7A