Documenting the Nature of STEM Instruction Across Campus and Using the Findings to Inform Faculty Professional Development Efforts

Michelle Smith (School of Biology and Ecology) and I have been collaborating for several years on a project in which area middle school and high school teachers observe university STEM classes and employ a research-based observation protocol.  This NSF-supported project has enabled us to document the nature of STEM instruction at UMaine, to use our findings to offer targeted faculty professional development workshops (on topics such as facilitating peer discussion), and to offer year-long STEM faculty collaboratives centered around peer observation.  The research findings emerging from this project have been reported in several publications to date.  Most recently, we have investigated the range of clicker implementation in STEM courses at a campus-wide level.

Researchers on project:

MacKenzie R. Stetzer
Michelle Smith
Justin Lewin (M.S.T. student, co-advised with Michelle Smith)
Erin Vinson (RiSE Staff)


  • J. D. Lewin, E. L. Vinson, M. R. Stetzer, and M. K. Smith, “A campus-wide investigation of clicker implementation: The status of peer discussion in STEM classes,” CBE Life Sci. Educ. 15, ar6 (2016).
  • M. K. Smith, E. L. Vinson, J. A. Smith, J. D. Lewin, and M. R. Stetzer, “A campus-wide study of STEM courses: New perspectives on teaching practices and perceptions,” CBE Life Sci. Educ. 13, 624-635 (2014).

MacKenzie Stetzer’s Home Page