Our Work

Write us at: seminal@aplu.org


SEMINAL Resources

Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics
Freeman, S., Eddy, S. L., McDonough, M., Smith, M. K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., & Wenderoth, M. P. (2014). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Analysis of data from 225 studies comparing the effect of traditional lecturing versus active learning on exam performance or failure rates in undergraduate STEM courses.

Active Learning in Post-Secondary Mathematics Education
Tanner, J. D., Bryant, R., Thomas, C. D., Utts, J., Kohlenbach, U., Hill, R. R., . . . Kinch, D. (n.d.). Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences.
Statement released defining active learning as “classroom practices that engage students in activities, such as reading, writing, discussion, or problem solving, that promote higher-order thinking” and argues for the use of active learning techniques in post-secondary mathematics courses.

Active learning narrows achievement gaps for underrepresented students in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and math
Theobald, E. J., Hill, M. J., Tran, E., Agrawal, S., Arroyo, E. N., Behling, S., … & Grummer, J. A. (2020). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Achievement gaps increase income inequality and decrease workplace diversity by contributing to the attrition of underrepresented students from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors.

Seven characteristics of successful calculus programs
Bressoud, D., & Rasmussen, C. (2015). Notices of the American Mathematical Society.
A discussion of seven characteristics of successful calculus programs uncovered by a study examining seventeen ”successful” colleges and universities, following a national survey in Fall 2010.

Insights and recommendations from the MAA National Study of College Calculus
Bressoud, D., Mesa, V., & Rasmussen, C. (2015).
Report utilizes findings from the MAA’s Characteristics of Successful Programs in College Calculus to explore undergraduate calculus programs across the US.

Characteristics of Successful Programs in College Calculus – Publications & Reports.
Theobald, E. J., Hill, M. J., Tran, E., Agrawal, S., Arroyo, E. N., Behling, S., … & Grummer, J. A. (2020). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
A collection of the publications coming from the Characteristics of Successful Programs in College Calculus.

SEMINAL: A project studying active learning mathematics at different institutions
Smith, W. M., Williams, M., Donsig, A., & Wakefield, N. (Oct., 2016). Poster presentation and ignite talk at the Nebraska STEM Education Day, Lincoln, NE.
Overview of the SEMINAL grant, including primary research question and research design. Data specific to University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

SEMINAL: A grant aimed at helping institutions develop and maintain active learning in the P2C2 sequence
Donsig, A., Grant, D., & O’Sullivan, M. (Mar., 2017). PowerPoint presentation at the TPSE Math Chairs + 1 Conference #2, College Park, MD.
Overview of the SEMINAL grant, which aims to help institutions implement active learning in the Pre-Calculus to Calculus II sequence. This presentation includes data from three participating universities (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Colorado University Boulder, San Diego State University), as well as strategies utilized at the departmental and classroom levels to produce sustainable change.

Transformational Change Efforts: Student Engagement in Mathematics through an Institutional Network for Active Learning
Smith, W. M., Voigt, M., Ström, A., Webb, D. C., Martin, W. G (Eds.). (2021). American Mathematical Society.
The purpose of this handbook is to help department chairs, deans, and mathematicians launch institutional transformations in mathematics departments to improve student success.

Discipline-based education research: Understanding and improving learning in undergraduate science and engineering
Singer, S. R., Nielsen, N. R., & Schweingruber, H. A. (Eds.). (2012). National Academies Press.
Findings of a 2010-2011 study on the current state, efforts, and future work of discipline-based education research (DBER) in undergraduate chemistry, biology, geosciences, and physics.

Barriers and Opportunities for 2-Year and 4-Year STEM Degrees: Systemic Change to Support Students’ Diverse Pathways
Malcom, S., & Feder, M. (Eds.). (2016). National Academies Press.
Report examines existing policies and programs which support degree completion and systemic reforms necessary to improve undergraduate STEM education.

Achieving Systemic Change: A Sourcebook for Advancing and Funding Undergraduate STEM Education
Fry, C. L. (Ed.). (n.d.). The Coalition for Reform of Undergraduate STEM Education. Association of American Colleges and Universities.
This sourcebook from the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) provides support for philanthropists, policy makers, and university stakeholders dedicated to supporting sustainable change in STEM education reform efforts. Authors present seven overarching goals, and coordinated recommendations to support systemic change, including the development of student and faculty supports, the collection and utilization of data, and institutional expectations.

Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership (MTEP)
The Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership (MTE-Partnership) provides a coordinated research, development, and implementation effort for secondary mathematics teacher preparation programs to promote research and best practices in the field. The Partnership addresses the significant national shortage of well-prepared secondary mathematics teachers who can support their students in achieving the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM).

The Partnership seeks to achieve a range of outcomes as a result of this project, including validating interventions to make progress on particular problems, developing strategies for the continued growth of the partnership, and disseminating our knowledge to the broader community. Particular criteria that we will use to judge our progress include (1) the number of candidates produced, (2) improved quality of candidates, (3) the improved performance by students in beginning college mathematics, and (4) promising interventions to improve secondary mathematics teacher preparation and introductory college mathematics courses that can be scaled to a growing number of institutions over time.


Featured Project & Initiative

The Data Literacy Institute – a partnership between APLU and the Association for Institutional Research with funding from Ascendium – brings together cross-departmental teams from 11 Powered by Publics institutions from Cluster 14 to engage in training that enhance their use of data to improve equitable student outcomes. In May 2022, Powered by Publics held […]

Featured Publication

2022 APLU Annual Report