The Association of American Universities (AAU), an association of leading public and private research universities, today launched the AAU STEM Initiative Hub, a website that will both support and widen the impact of the association's initiative to improve the quality of undergraduate teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields at its member institutions.
AAU has partnered with HUBzero, a web-based platform for scientific collaboration developed and managed by Purdue University, to create the AAU STEM Initiative Hub. The new website provides an interactive tool for AAU universities to showcase innovative institutional efforts they have undertaken to implement key elements of the Framework for Systemic Change in Undergraduate STEM Teaching and Learning, such as encouraging more interactive teaching practices and influencing departmental cultures to support faculty members who want to improve the quality of their teaching.
The new website will make the university examples accessible not only to AAU universities but also to non-member universities, the broader higher education community, and others engaged in STEM educational transformation, as well as the general public.
"As institutions take steps to improve their use of evidence-based teaching practices, AAU hopes these examples will serve as a resource for all colleges and universities working to improve undergraduate teaching and learning in STEM," said AAU President Hunter Rawlings.
The Hub will also profile efforts being advanced by AAU's eight STEM Initiative Project Sites and provide a secure space for AAU STEM Network members to share information about successful strategies and challenges they are facing in improving STEM education. The Hub will help cultivate relationships among those leading reform efforts at AAU universities, providing a forum for ongoing interaction and exchange of information and ideas.
"Our goal is to support and link AAU institutions grappling with similar challenges and barriers in reforming and improving STEM teaching and learning for undergraduate students," said Rawlings.
To further advance campus-based dialogues on systemic change in undergraduate STEM education, AAU will host an in-person workshop for the AAU STEM Network on July 21-23, 2014. All AAU member universities have been invited to participate in this conference. For a reception on the opening evening, July 21, each participating campus has been asked to present a poster that showcases its own undergraduate STEM education reform efforts relevant to the AAU initiative. The goal of the poster session at the reception, which will also be open to policymakers and the news media, is to provide an opportunity for attendees to learn about work occurring at major research universities to improve the quality of undergraduate teaching and learning in STEM fields.
The AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative is supported by grants from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the National Science Foundation, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.
The Association of American Universities is an association of 60 U.S. and two Canadian research universities organized to develop and implement effective national and institutional policies supporting research and scholarship, graduate and professional education, undergraduate education, and public service in research universities.