First In The World


The Department of Education (DOE) First In The World (FITW) Program funding has provided TAMUCC the opportunity to establish a new Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) Online Supplemental Instruction Project (STEM-OSIP). This project will focus on online Supplemental Instruction (SI) as the means to address global excellence through STEM graduates.

Purpose of the Research Project

The purpose of this project is to test the relative effectiveness of two different types of delivery of Supplemental Instruction (SI)--face-to-face SI and online SI--for undergraduates taking historically difficult STEM courses (i.e., STEM courses where typically 30% or more of enrolled students earn a grade of D or F or withdraw prior to the end of the semester). Why investigate the relative effectiveness of these two SI formats? Face-to-face has been the standard method of delivery for SI since the 1970s, and much evidence has been collected regarding the impact of face-to-face SI on student learning. However, many campuses across the USA find themselves with an extreme shortage of one of the most important resources for implementing face-to-face SI: classroom space. Moreover, nontraditional students, who continue to increase in number and representation on university campuses, often do not have the scheduling flexibility necessary to attend SI delivered in the traditional, face-to -face format. Due to recent advances in distance-learning technology and the ubiquity of electronic devices that feature high-speed internet access, online SI might be a viable means for replacing or augmenting face-to-face SI and thus addressing these resource-constraint and accessibility issues. However, the extent to which online SI is equivalent to face-to-face SI in terms of impact still needs to be ascertained. All questions regarding the research being conducted should be referred to the Principle Investigator, Dr. Patricia Spaniol-Mathews. 


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