Upcoming Presentations

AAC&U Transforming STEM Higher Education Conference

Creative Strategies to Support Self-Directed Learning in Online Intro STEM Courses

In this session, researchers will report on findings from a study of the ways that instructors teaching online introductory STEM courses use instructional strategies and educational technology to help students develop self-directed learning (SDL) skills and mindsets like motivation, planning, help-seeking, and reflection. Drawing on 12 in-depth interviews with faculty members at community colleges and broad-access institutions, the presenters will describe how instructors are using creative strategies to set the foundation for students' development of SDL skills and mindsets at the start of online STEM courses and the ways they enable students to practice and grow their skills as the courses progress. The presenters will then engage participants in a discussion of how STEM classroom-level strategies can be supported through institutional policies and practices, how context and culture shape student learning, and how SDL strategies can better support students from diverse backgrounds.


Amy E. Brown, Research Associate, CCRC

Krystal Thomas, Education Researcher, SRI Education

Putting Learning at the Center: Looking Ahead to the Next Decade of Community College Reform

Community College of Baltimore County Symposium for Developmental Education/General Education
August 22, 2019
Baltimore, MD

In this talk, CCRC's Susan Bickerstaff invited faculty to consider the strides the field has made over the last decade in its thinking on developmental education. Ten years ago, the problem of a multi-course sequence was only recently identified, the best solutions were not obvious, and scaling up promising practices was a major preoccupation. Today, the field has coalesced around a set of best practices—including co-requisite remediation, mathematics pathways, and placement reform—and in many contexts, those approaches are being implemented at scale. Bickerstaff argued that the great challenge in the next decade of reform will be to put learning at the center of our institutional improvement efforts. This will require institutional commitment to an assessment process that yields usable information for faculty, strong curricular materials aligned with student learning goals and evidence-based instructional practices, and a multi-faceted support system that helps faculty evaluate and improve their teaching. Bickerstaff drew on examples from K–12 and CCRC research to imagine what the community college reform landscape might look like 10 years in the future.


Senior Research Associate
Community College Research Center