Student Responses to Problematic STEM Teaching Methods

  • Raquel P. HarperEmail author
  • Timothy J. Weston
  • Elaine Seymour


In this first of four chapters that examine student learning experiences in STEM courses, we draw on two data sources that provide student assessments of the extent, nature, and consequences of teaching methods and course design that students define as of poor quality. The qualitative analysis is drawn from interview accounts from STEM switchers, relocators, and persisters that reference all four academic years. Both experiences with STEM instructors and with teaching assistants are discussed. The findings from the Student Assessment of their Learning Gains (SALG) survey reflect student assessments from a matched set of 80 foundational courses across the six study sites. This chapter is mirrored by Chap.  8, which presents positive student accounts of STEM learning experiences from the same two data sources. In both chapters, we compare findings with those reported in 1997 in the original study: Talking about Leaving: Why Undergraduates Leave the Sciences.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raquel P. Harper
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Timothy J. Weston
    • 1
    • 3
  • Elaine Seymour
    • 1
  1. 1.Ethnography and Evaluation Research (E&ER)University of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Center for STEM LearningUniversity of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA
  3. 3.National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT)University of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA

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