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Skills to pay the bills?

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Science  10 Feb 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6325, pp. 592-593
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6325.592-f

Circular and pedagogical reform is often occurring in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) departments. How can institutions measure whether these curriculum changes are successful? The Survey of Teaching Beliefs and Practices for Undergraduates (STEP-U) developed by Marbach-Ad et al. measures the value that students attribute to skills needed for the workplace (e.g., the ability to work in groups) and teaching practices intended to promote these skills (e.g., group assignments). Specifically, STEP-U is able to simultaneously assess student experiences and teaching practices, ultimately allowing departments to design curricula that better prepare students for the STEM workforce. STEP-U's potential for driving both departmental and institutional change is high, because it can be used to illustrate student experiences between cohorts, within subdisciplines, or between majors.

CBE Life Sci. Educ. 10.1187/cbe.16-05-0164 (2016).

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