Lessons Learned During COVID-19

Strategies Transforming the Future of STEM Education

Leveraging this Moment to Transform STEM Education

In the beginning of 2021, the AAAS-IUSE Initiative asked the community of undergraduate STEM faculty, researchers, and professionals working in higher education, how they are adapting to the challenges of teaching and learning during COVID-19. After reviewing over 100 submissions, we found that the IUSE community had gone beyond creating best practices for teaching in a pandemic and instead developed strategies with implications after the pandemic for broadening participation, increasing accessibility, and transforming the way we teach STEM.

Submissions from the AAAS-IUSE community addressed issues on a range of topics including (but not limited to) student engagement, course design, internships, and online labs. Below are highlights of a few lessons learned that have implications beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the examples below were featured in the AAAS-IUSE STEM for All Video Showcase. A larger resource with a summary of submissions and more case studies will be released in Fall 2021.

Strategies for Faculty

  • How Supporting Faculty Through Communities of Practice Leads to More Equitable Teaching Practices

    Through the creation of an online Community of Practice (CoP) for STEM faculty across the state, the WA CTC system is able to provide professional development …

  • How Supporting Student Well-Being Creates a Positive Learning Environment

    Dr. Glaser recognized that the switch to remote learning, coupled with the stresses of living during a pandemic, negatively impacted many of her students. Unde…

  • How New Assessment Practices Encourage Student Intellectual Engagement Online and Beyond

    Intellectual engagement of students in STEM courses has been especially challenging in the virtual environment. Dr. Anya Goodman saw this problem and made chan…

  • How a Virtual Internship Model Promotes Experiential STEM Learning

    Since 2017, the research team at Northeastern University has been developing a virtual internship and team project model. The original focus of these efforts w…

  • How a Mentorship Program Adapted and Built Connections to Last

    The STEM Leaders Program at Oregon State provides research and mentorship opportunities that support students often underrepresented in STEM (first-generation,…

  • How the Abrupt Shift Online Led to a Permanent Shift in Course Design

    COVID disrupted and, in some cases, devastated students’ ability to learn from traditional courses that are designed for synchronous classroom instruction. Wit…

  • How an Online Engineering Lab Experience Promotes Inclusion

    Lab activities are important for helping students visualize course concepts and apply knowledge through hands-on learning. However, faculty who teach face-to-f…

Related Content

  • Best Practices for Supporting Undergraduate STEM Faculty and Students in the Online Transition: Results of NSF RAPID Awards Supported by IUSE

    In the Spring of 2020, undergraduate courses pivoted quickly to an online environment, with many universities and colleges remaining online or partially online…

  • Responses to COVID-19: Adapting Classroom Teaching Techniques and Hands-On Learning to an Online Environment

    How can we adapt STEM courses to the online environment without missing out on the benefits of hands-on learning or strong teaching techniques used in-person? …