STEM Central

A Community of Practice for NSF STEM Projects

Increasing success for underserved students: Redesigning Introductory Courses

Low-income, minority, and adult students’ lower rates of passing introductory courses reduce their chances of earning a degree. Introductory courses are often generic and lecture-based, failing to meet the learning needs of students, but some institutions have effectively redesigned instructional approaches to increase rates of course completion. In this monograph, researchers identified six characteristics integrated into the student learning experience in the effective approaches, including student-centered learning, computer-based learning and testing resources, and on-demand help. Examining the implementation of redesigned courses in colleges with large populations of under-served students, the authors found improved outcomes for under-served students.

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