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Icon for: John Holcomb


Cleveland State University

Operation STEM

NSF Awards: 1161152

2016 (see original presentation & discussion)


We highlight our STEM Peer Teachers (SPTs) in action as they help students in precalculus and calculus classes complete their required mathematics classes to move forward in their STEM degree.

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Discussion from the NSF 2016 STEM For All Video Showcase (6 posts)
  • Icon for: Colleen Lewis

    Colleen Lewis

    Assistant Professor
    May 16, 2016 | 02:42 p.m.

    How cool!!! I’m so excited to hear that you’re expanding beyond math too!
    The presentation (1:48) says that as the SPTs have gotten better at their job, the students have been learning better. Is that part of the research you’re addressing within the project? How are you measuring the SPTs’ knowledge/skills/practices?

    I love how the journals can help them develop their pedagogical content knowledge!
    Great work!
    - Colleen

  • Icon for: John Holcomb

    John Holcomb

    Lead Presenter
    Professor and Chair
    May 16, 2016 | 05:28 p.m.

    We simply have observed that the Precalculus students tend to do better with veteran (returning) STEM Peer Teachers (SPTs) than with the new-on-the-job SPTs. It is not part of our research at this point. Getting better at their job, and therefore, increased student performance can be attributed to numerous factors, i.e., content expertise, improved ability to explain concepts in a clearer fashion, and/or increased comfort with commanding and interacting with a roomful of peers as an undergraduate, etc. We measure the SPTs’ knowledge and skills by their grades in their own precalculus or calculus courses, faculty and peer-to-peer observations, student feedback through survey questions and SPT feedback through self-evaluations.

  • Icon for: Barry Fishman

    Barry Fishman

    May 17, 2016 | 03:42 p.m.

    Great model for getting peers to lead/teach peers! How are the SPTs compensated? Are they volunteers? Do they pay for the credit hours for the additional courses they take to prepare?

    This seems like a model that could work at any college.

    P.s. I love the photo wall behind Susan Carver in the video – are those all the STEM Peer Teachers?

  • Icon for: Joni Falk

    Joni Falk

    Co-Director of CSR at TERC
    May 17, 2016 | 03:51 p.m.

    You might be interested in discussing your work with presenters of
    http://videohall.com/p/811 as they are exploring related issues.

  • Icon for: Cullen White

    Cullen White

    May 19, 2016 | 02:45 a.m.

    I love how you’re developing SPTs as leaders, while simultaneously providing their peers with essential supports. I’m curious about the SPT to adoptee ratio. How many students do SPTs mentor? Have you experimented with the ratio during the program’s existence?

  • Robert Gould

    May 19, 2016 | 03:28 p.m.

    Exciting to hear students talk about learning “problem solving”!

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.