Resource Collections

Active learning strategies

Focus: Teaching strategies designed to engage learners


Approaches to Cell Biology Teaching: Cooperative Learning in the Science Classroom—Beyond Students Working in Groups

Tanner, Kimberly, Chatman, Liesl S., Allen, Deborah

Studies suggest that cooperative learning has a variety of positive and measurable outcomes on students at a variety of cognitive levels and in a variety of disciplines. The authors discuss five essential elements that are necessary to construct positive, effective cooperative group learning situations: Positive Interdependence, Face-to-Face Promotive Interaction, Individual and Group Accountability, Interpersonal and Small-Group Skills, and Group Processing.

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Developing undergraduate research and inquiry

Healey, Mick, Jenkins, Alan

In undergraduate research, students learn and are assessed in ways that come as close as possible to the experience of academic staff carrying out their disciplinary research. This report argues that all undergraduate students in all higher education institutions should experience learning through, and about, research and inquiry.

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Five Popular Study Strategies: Their Pitfalls and Optimal Implementations

Miyatsu, Toshiya, Mcdaniel, Mark A., Nguyen, Khu

A meta-analysis of five popular study strategies shows that students may benefit from training to use them most effectively.

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Creating Dynamic Learning Communities in Synchronous Online Courses: One Approach From the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL)

McDaniels, Melissa, Pfund, Christine, Barnicle, Katherine

After the conversion of a face-to-face research mentor training curriculum into an online course, graduate students and postdoc participants from the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) reported high satisfaction with the synchronous online training and increased confidence in their mentoring.

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Making Biology Learning Relevant to Students: Integrating People, History, and Context into College Biology Teaching

Chamany, Katayoun, Allen, Deborah, Tanner, Kimberly

Students model their instructors' behaviors, and follow their lead. If we integrate social issues into the biology curriculum, we model social responsibility for biology majors, and we demonstrate the need for biological literacy for nonmajors.

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Case study evaluating Just-In-Time Teaching and Peer Instruction using clickers in a quantum mechanics course

Sayer, Ryan, Marshman, Emily, Singh, Chandralekha

Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) is an instructional strategy that involves using feedback from students to design in-class activities that build on the continuing feedback from students. This study shows that student performance improved when lectures based around difficulties flagged in student feedback were combined with in-class individual clicker questions and in-class peer discussion. The results show that these teaching strategies varied in their usefulness for different students and for different topics, and that no single learning activity in the instructional sequence yields maximum learning gains for all students.

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Active learning increases student performance inscience, engineering, and mathematics

Freeman, Scott, Eddy, Sarah L., McDonough, Miles, Smith, Michelle K., Okoroafor, Nnadozie, Jordt, Hannah, Wenderoth, Mary Pat

The studies analyzed here document that active learning leads to increases in examination performance that would raise average grades by a half a letter and that failure rates under traditional lecturing increase by 55% over the rates observed under active learning.

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Attention Matters: How Orchestrating Attention May Relate to Classroom Learning

Keller, Arielle S., Davidesco, Ido, Tanner, Kimberly

The authors suggest instructors can leverage attention in the classroom by employing ideas from cognitive neuroscience and psychology using two key dimensions: intern/external attention and on-topic/off-topic attention. Claim that some teaching approaches are more effective than others because they leverage natural fluctuations in student attention.

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Promoting Student Metacognition

Tanner, Kimberly

This article emphasizes the importance of metacognition in biology today and suggests classroom strategies for encouraging student understanding of metacognition.

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The Lecture Machine: A Cultural Evolutionary Model of Pedagogy in Higher Education

Grunspan, Daniel Z., Kline, Michelle Ann, Brownell, Sara

Study examines pedagogical behaviors through a cultural evolutionary model that stresses the global nature of the issue, the generational time that change requires, and complications introduced by academic career trajectories. Cultural evolutionary theory focuses on how cultural transmission processes and selection events at different career phases shape not only who teaches in higher education, but also how they choose to teach. Change in higher education requires reforming pedagogy in departments that produce PhD students with the greatest chance of obtaining tenure-track positions.

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The Explorations Program: Benefits of Single-Session, Research- Focused Classes for Students and Postdoctoral Instructors

Hsu, Jeremy L., Wrona, Anna M., Brownell, Sara, Khalfan, Waheeda

Study investigates a program at Stanford University that allows undergraduates in an introductory biology course to explore specialized topics in the biological sciences while providing graduate students and postdoctoral scholars the unique opportunity to develop and teach single-session, research-focused classes. Most students reported that the program had a positive impact on their undergraduate careers and positively influenced their decision to participate in scientific. Research. In addition, undergraduates who participated were more likely to complete an honors thesis. Finally, Instructors reported that the program provided a valuable opportunity to develop their teaching skills.

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Small group gender ratios impact biology class performance and peer evaluations

Sullivan, Lauren L., Ballen, Cissy J., Cotner, Sehoya

Evidence suggests the microclimate of the classroom is an important factor influencing female course grades and interest, which encourages retention of women in STEM fields. The study varies the gender ratios in small groups in two biology courses (from 0% female to 100%) and finds that as the percent of women increases so does the overall course performance for all students regardless of gender.

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Structure Matters: Twenty-One Teaching Strategies to Promote Student Engagement and Cultivate Classroom Equity

Tanner, Kimberly

What specific teaching strategies might we instructors, as architects of the learning environment in our classrooms, use to structure the classroom learning environment? Article suggests  21 simple teaching strategies (under 5 categories) that biology instructors can use to promote student engagement and cultivate classroom equity.

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Order Matters: Using the 5E Model to Align Teaching with How People Learn

Tanner, Kimberly

The order in which we decide to do things with students when we teach is critical, yet the order of things happening in a class session often goes undiscussed and unexamined.

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The effects of collaborative testing on higher order thinking: Do the bright get brighter?    

Mahoney, John W., Harris-Reeves, Brooke

Collaborative testing has been shown to enhance student performance compared to individual testing. This study explores the benefits of collaborative testing on overall performance, as well as performance on higher order thinking questions. Students performed better overall on the collaborative test, with the exception of upper performers. Additionally, regardless of their academic abilities, students performed better on the higher order thinking questions under collaborative conditions.

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Using Expectancy Value Theory as a Framework to Reduce Student Resistance to Active Learning: A Proof of Concept

Cooper, Katelyn M., Ashley, Michael, Brownell, Sara

The authors seek to understand student resistance to transitioning to an active learning classroom by using the lens of expectancy value theory, a theory that suggests that students' perceptions of expectancy, value, and cost of active learning activities impact their resistance to active learning. The authors show that positive changes in the components of expectancy value theory lead to mitigating initial student resistance and raising levels of engagement in active learning classrooms

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Improving Academic Performance, Belonging, and Retention through Increasing Structure of an Introductory Biology Course

Wilton, Mike, Gonzalez-Niño, Eduaardo, McPartlan, Peter, Terner, Zach, Christoffersen, Rolf E., Rothman, Joel H.

Around 50% of Biology students leave the major by the end of the second year at UCSB. This article assesses the impact of incorporating more course structure and active-learning techniques on student retention, sense of belonging, and academic performance. To do so, the authors designed an increased-structure intervention course and compared the outcomes to the normative Introductory Biology course. Enrollees in the intervention course performed better on assessments, had a significantly higher sense of student belonging, and were more likely to proceed to Introductory Biology II.

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How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching

Ambrose, Susan et al

Ambrose et al. outline seven principles of effective learning: 1. Students’ prior knowledge can help or hinder learning. 2. How students organize knowledge influences how they learn and apply what they know. 3. Students’ motivation determines, directs, and sustains what they do to learn. 4. To develop mastery, students must acquire component skills, practice integrating them, and know when to apply what they have learned. 5. Goal-directed practice coupled with targeted feedback enhances the quality of students’  learning. 6. Students’ current level of development interacts with the social, emotional, and intellectual climate of the course to impact learning. 7. To become self-directed learners, students must learn to monitor and adjust their approaches to learning (principles 4-6).

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Active learning narrows achievement gaps for underrepresented students in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and math

Theobald, Elli et al 

This study asserts that on average, active learning reduces achievement gaps in exam scores and passing rates. Based on their findings, they suggest that widespread implementation of high-quality active learning can help reduce or eliminate achievement gaps in STEM courses and promote equity in higher education.

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Antiracist approaches

Focus: Identifying and addressing systemic, structural, and/or disciplinary racial inequities and their effects on students, faculty, and institutions


Normalizing Black Girls’ Humanity in Mathematics Classrooms

Joseph, Nicole M., Hailu, Meseret, Matthews, Jamaal Sharif

By conducting interviews with ten Black adolescent girls with varying engagement with mathematics, the authors argue that inclusive pedagogical approaches when teaching Black girls mathematics can humanize Black girls and their experiences in the mathematics classroom. 

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Black Women’s and Girls’ Persistence in the P–20 Mathematics Pipeline: Two Decades of Children, Youth, and Adult Education Research

Joseph, Nicole M., Hailu, Meseret, Boston, Denise

Through an extensive literature review (n=62), the authors identify three interrelated themes that contribute to Black women’s and girl’s persistence in the P-20 mathematics pipeline: structural disruptions, community influences, and resilience strategies. They also discuss a future research agenda based around new questions, paradigms, and ways of examining the experiences of Black women and girls in mathematics that could inform policy for increasing the persistence of Black women and girls in mathematics. 

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How To Respond to Racial Microaggressions When They Occur

Wood, J. Luke, Harris III, Frank

Educators have a moral duty to respond when a microaggression occurs; not interceding is allowing harm to occur.           

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Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth, Race Ethnicity and Education

Yosso, J. Tara

This article challenges deficit-based understandings of the knowledge, practices, customs, or traditions that minoritized students bring with them to the classroom, and offers an alternative framework titled “community cultural wealth.” Yosso identifies various forms of capital that align with community cultural wealth and classifies them as aspirational, navigational, social, linguistic, familial and resistant capital.

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To learn inclusion skills, make it personal

Asai, David

Asai details his personal experiences with learning inclusion skills, arguing that diversity without inclusion is an empty gesture. Inclusion is a feeling of belonging, and creating an empowering, embracing, egalitarian environment starts with the heart.

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A CRT-Informed Model to Enhance Experiences and Outcomes of Racially Minoritized Students

Powell, Candice, Demetriou, Cynthia, Morton, Terrell R., Ellis, James M.

Applies Critical Race Theory (CRT) to explain racial inequalities in retention and graduation rates. Proposes a practical model for leveraging CRT concepts to address racial inequalities in student outcomes and experiences.

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Black Female Adolescents and Racism in Schools: Experiences in a Colorblind Society

Joseph, Nicole M., Viesca, Kara Mitchell, Bianco, Margarita

Most black female adolescents in student surveys define racism as centered on prejeduce, discrimination, and different treatment; most experiences girls described regarding racism in school illustrated issues of prejudice, discrimination, and differential treatment as well as stereotypes, labels and low teacher expectations.

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The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness(Chapter 5)

Alexander, Michelle

This chapter critiques the stereotype of the AWOL black father, or common refrain “where have all the black men gone?” because this type of stereotype or common refrain does not acknowledge a major cause, the mass incarceration of black men. Argues that mass incarceration of black men has been normalized through an entire system that allows it to occur and compares and contrasts mass incarceration to the Jim Crow era.

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Decolonising Science Reading List

Prescod-Weinstein, Chandra

Prescod-Weintein believes science need not be inextricably tied to commodification and colonialism. The discourse around “diversity, equity and inclusion” in science, technology, engineering and mathematics must be viewed as a reclamation project for people of color.

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Nothing to Add: A Challenge to White Silence in Racial Discussion

D'Angelo, Robin

D’Angelo argues that “White silence” functions to maintain White power and privledge. She uses Whiteness theory as a framework to explicate the common rationales that White people use to justify their silence in discussions of race and racism. Afterwards, she challenges each rational using an antiracist educational framework.

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Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth, Race Ethnicity and Education

Yosso, J. Tara

This article challenges deficit-based understandings of the knowledge, practices, customs, or traditions that minoritized students bring with them to the classroom, and offers an alternative framework titled “community cultural wealth.” Yosso identifies various forms of capital that align with community cultural wealth and classifies them as aspirational, navigational, social, linguistic, familial and resistant capital.

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A Framework for Understanding Whiteness in Mathematics Education

Battey, Dan, Leyva, Luis A.

Documenting mathematics as a racialized space becomes difficult due to the invisibility and neutrality of Whiteness in institutions. The authors develop a framework that illustrates three dimensions of White institutional space - institutional, labor, and identity - to support mathematics educators in combating racist structures.

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To learn inclusion skills, make it personal

Asai, David

Asai details his personal experiences with learning inclusion skills, arguing that diversity without inclusion is an empty gesture. Inclusion is a feeling of belonging, and creating an empowering, embracing, egalitarian environment starts with the heart.

CITRAL Summary

 

 

A CRT-Informed Model to Enhance Experiences and Outcomes of Racially Minoritized Students

Powell, Candice, Demetriou, Cynthia, Morton, Terrell R., Ellis, James M.

Applies Critical Race Theory (CRT) to explain racial inequalities in retention and graduation rates. Proposes a practical model for leveraging CRT concepts to address racial inequalities in student outcomes and experiences.

CITRAL Summary

 

 

Black Female Adolescents and Racism in Schools: Experiences in a Colorblind Society

Joseph, Nicole M., Viesca, Kara Mitchell, Bianco, Margarita

Most black female adolescents in student surveys define racism as centered on prejeduce, discrimination, and different treatment; most experiences girls described regarding racism in school illustrated issues of prejudice, discrimination, and differential treatment as well as stereotypes, labels and low teacher expectations.

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Identifying and Disrupting Deficit Thinking

Patton Davis, Lori and Museus, Samuel D.

While there are various issues within education, the ways in which these problems are identified and named are just as important to the research process as the efforts to actually address them. Understanding the language of deficiency is crucial to bring to light how even critical scholars are not immune to reproducing ideologies of deficiency when it comes to minoritized students.

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What Is Deficit Thinking? An Analysis of Conceptualizations of Deficit Thinking and Implications for Scholarly Research

Patton Davis, Lori and Museus, Samuel D.

David and Museus identify and outline four interrelated characteristics of deficit thinking frameworks - blaming victims, being part of a larger system of oppression, being pervasive and implicit, and reinforcing hegemonic systems. By doing so, they encourage scholars to begin analyzing, critiquing, and applying anti-deficit framing constructively in educational contexts.

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Changing social contexts to foster equity in college science courses: an ecological-belonging intervention

Binning, Kevin R., Kaufmann, Nancy, McGreevy, Erica, Fotuhi, Omid, Chen, Susie, Marshman, Emily, Kalender, Z. Yasemin, Limeri, Lisa, Betancur, Laura, Singh, Chandralekha

Social-belonging interventions (e.g., peer discussions and reflexive writing activities) can have an impact on outcomes and persistence of students minoritized by their race or gender. 

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Making Hidden Resources Visible in a Minority Serving College Context

Ramirez, Geraardo, Covarrubiaas, Rebecca, Jackson, Matthew, Son, Ji Y.

The authors argue that introductory courses and first year seminars should share the hidden “rules” for success in university systems. Such efforts are beneficial for students, particularly first-generation students. 

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Underrepresented Minority' Considered Harmful, Racist Language

Williams, Tiffani

Williams shares her frustration with the widely used term underrepresented minority (URM) and gives rationales and suggestions for moving away from such ‘racist language.'

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Reimagining How We Define Equity Gaps: Decentering Whiteness and Privilege

Brown, Tia McNair

Enacting equity in higher education will require the decentering of whiteness as the marker for success and aspiration for racially minoritized or marginalized groups.  

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Decolonising Science Reading List

Prescod-Weinstein, Chandra

Prescod-Weintein believes science need not be inextricably tied to commodification and colonialism. The discourse around “diversity, equity and inclusion” in science, technology, engineering and mathematics must be viewed as a reclamation project for people of color.

CITRAL Summary

 

 

Creating a Positive Classroom Climate for Diversity

UCLA’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

This booklet summarizes empirical studies on why the classroom climate is important for learning. It also examines some of the challenges associated with diversity in classroom environments. Lastly, it presents research on how to prepare for and sustain an inclusive classroom climate for all students.

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Diversity in the Classroom

UCLA’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

This booklet summarizes empirical studies on the educational benefits of diversity and examines some of the challenges associated with diversity in the classroom. It also presents research on microaggressions in order to help faculty members meet the needs of diverse students responsibly and create a classroom environment where all students feel safe, valued, and respected. 

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Nothing to Add: A Challenge to White Silence in Racial Discussion

D'Angelo, Robin

D’Angelo argues that “White silence” functions to maintain White power and privledge. She uses Whiteness theory as a framework to explicate the common rationales that White people use to justify their silence in discussions of race and racism. Afterwards, she challenges each rational using an antiracist educational framework.

CITRAL Summary

 

 

Recruiting underrepresented minority students

Felten, Peter

Despite investments in recruiting minoritized students in aspects of higher education, many of the efforts aren’t successful. Upon giving explanations on why these efforts fall short, Felten asks that recruiters heavily reconsider their templates for what constitutes a promising undergraduate.

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From HHMI: Doubling Down on Diversity

Asai, David, Bauerle, Cynthia

Using their experience with initiatives at The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the authors offer three suggestions to guide a concerted national strategy for “doubling down” on the persistence of minoritized students in science. They argue that by insisting that institutions take responsibility for creating inclusive campuses, leveraging successful models through adaptation and adoption, and aligning strategies across the STEM ecosystem, instructors can double the persistence of students from all backgrounds in STEM.

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Race Matters

Asai, David

Despite their initial high interest in science, students who belong to excluded racial and ethnic groups leave science at unacceptably high rates. ‘‘Fixing the student’’ approaches are not sufficient at stemming the loss. Asai offers three key suggestions for making science culture more inclusive.

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What Are We Seeking to Sustain Through Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy? A Loving Critique Forward

Paris, Django and Alim, Sami 

The authors provide a “loving” critique of asset pedagogies which were developed to combat deficit arguments surrounding the cultures that minoritized students bring with them into the classroom. In doing so, they offer Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies (CSP) as a viable alternative to previous iterations of asset pedagogies as it offers a framework to understand students’ cultures as pluralistic rather essentialistic, as emergent rather static or traditional, and as eligible for critique.

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Understanding English Language Variation In U.S. Schools

Charity Hudley, Anne, Mallinson, Christine

Charity Hudley and Mallinson argue that successfully educating culturally and linguistically diverse students in U.S education will depend on teachers' having awareness of language variation. By knowing the principles and patterns of language variation in both speech and writing, teachers can allow their students to use and hone different dialects without ridicule while also gaining competence in “Standardized English.”

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(No) Harm in Asking: Class, Acquired Cultural Capital, and Academic Engagement at an Elite University

Jack, Anthony Abraham

Using data collected through interviews with Black and Latino undergraduates about their engagement with authority at an elite university, Jack identifies two types of low-income students: the privileged poor and the doubly disadvantaged. He shows that colleges are not just biased towards undergraduates from privileged backgrounds, but also toward undergraduates with college preparatory experiences. Therefore, institutions—and not solely the family—can equip students with the cultural competencies needed to succeed in college.

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Multilingual students

Focus: Examining/supporting experiences of students from multilingual homes/backgrounds


English Learners in STEM Subjects TRANSFORMING CLASSROOMS, SCHOOLS, and LIVES

Francis, David and Stephens, Amy

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was supported by the Nation Science Foundation (NSF) to examine and form a report on research concerning EL’s learning, teaching, and assessment in STEM subjects. In doing so, this report addresses the factors that affect ELs’ access and opportunity to rigorous, grade-appropriate STEM learning.

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Writing Instructors’ Perceptions of International Student Writers:What Teachers Want and Need to Know

Dana Ferris, Linda Jenson, and Margi Wald

This article presents the results of a UC-wide survey that aimed to understand composition instructors’ perceptions of international multilingual students’ writing. Results show that only 25% of instructors had ever received formal coursework on teaching second language writers and about 75% of instructors “expressed varying degrees of ambivalence about their abilities” in teaching international multilingual students. The authors identify a need for in-service training, as well as advocacy, from UC writing programs.

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Does explicit teaching of critical thinking improve critical thinking skills of English language learners in higher education? A critical review of causal evidence

El Soufi, Nada, Seeb, Beng Huat

This paper presents the results of a systematic review of studies to determine the effects of explicitly teaching critical thinking to students in an English language course in higher education. Additionally, the researchers identify the most effective approaches to instruction in critical thinking in the language classroom. Findings suggest that research in this field is still rather immature, and more large-scale, replicable robust studies are needed to advance the field.

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Language learning and use in English-medium higher education

Ward, Lia-Blaj

This book uses ethnographic methods to understand the outcomes of English-Medium Instruction (EMI) through the lens of students. Through productive strategies used in EMI, English language learners develop their use of English outside of the university context.

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Ethics in Academic Writing Help for International Students in Higher Education: Perceptions of Faculty and Students

Eun-Young Julia Kim and Asta Sakala LaBianca

Through perceptions of faculty and international students at one U.S. university, the current research study investigates what is ethical in academic writing help for international students based on 17 different scenarios. Findings suggest that students, far more than faculty, lacked certainty and agreement on whether certain help they may receive is ethical.

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Understanding English Language Variation In U.S. Schools

Charity Hudley, Anne, Mallinson, Christine

Charity Hudley and Mallinson argue that successfully educating culturally and linguistically diverse students in U.S. education will depend on teachers' having awareness of language variation. By knowing the principles and patterns of language variation in both speech and writing, teachers can allow their students to use and hone different dialects without ridicule while also gaining competence in “Standardized English.”

CITRAL Summary

 

 

Greater Inclusion, Equity in STEM Education for Multilingual Students is Fous of New Research

UT Austin News

Multilingual students are the fastest-growing student group in U.S. schools. Yet, as the country continues to promote STEM literacy for all, multilingual students still face systemic barriers in accessing high-quality instruction to confidently enter the workforce. New research is emerging at the University of Texas at Austin to study what may ensure a successful start in STEM for multilingual students.

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English Language Learners in Higher Education: An Exploratory Conversation

Harrison, Jamie and Shi, Hong

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was supported by the Nation Science Foundation (NSF) to examine and form a report on research concerning EL’s learning, teaching, and assessment in STEM subjects. In doing so, this report addresses the factors that affect ELs’ access and opportunity to rigorous, grade-appropriate STEM learning.

CITRAL Summary

 

 

Engaging Families to Foster Holistic Success of Low-income, Latinx First-Generation Students at a Hispanic-Serving Institution

Rebecca Covarrubias, Andrea Vazquez, René Moreno, Judith Estrada, Ibette Valle, and Kimberly Zunigas

Through surveys completed by conference participants, Covarrubias et al. explore servingness by evaluating an HSI initiative - the Regional Family Conference (RFC) - which is designed to engage families in the college transition and college-going process for low-income, Latinx first-generation students.

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Retention strategies

Focus: Approaches/interventions designed to support student persistence/success


Black Women’s and Girls’ Persistence in the P–20 Mathematics Pipeline: Two Decades of Children, Youth, and Adult Education Research

Joseph, Nicole M., Hailu, Meseret, Boston, Denise

Through an extensive literature review (n=62), the authors identify three interrelated themes that contribute to Black women’s and girl’s persistence in the P-20 mathematics pipeline: structural disruptions, community influences, and resilience strategies. They also discuss a future research agenda based around new questions, paradigms, and ways of examining the experiences of Black women and girls in mathematics that could inform policy for increasing the persistence of Black women and girls in mathematics. 

CITRAL Summary

 

 

#BlackGirlMagic: The identity conceptualization of Black women in undergraduate STEM education

Morton, Terrell R., Parsons, Eileen C.

While prior scholarship addresses Black women’s race and gender identity as risk factors that are the onset of hardship and oppression they experienced in STEM education, this study uncovers an alternative. Using PVEST (Phenomenological Variant Ecological Systems Theory), the authors demonstrate a group of Black women named and conceptualized their identity as “Black woman” to be a positive and protective factor for their STEM engagement.

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Improving Underrepresented Minority Student Persistence in STEM

Estrada, Mica, Burnett, Myra, Campbell, Andrew G., Campbell, Patricia B., Denetclaw, Wilfred F., Gutiérrez, Carlos G., Hurtado, Sylva, John, Gilbert H., Matsui, John, McGee, Richard, Okpodu, Camellia Moses, Robinson, T. Joan, Summers, Michael F., Werner-Washburne, Maggie, Zavala, MariaElena

Members of the Joint Working Group on Improving Underrepresented Minorities (URMs) Persistence in STEM suggest stronger focus on institutional barriers. They offer five recommendations that capitalize on known successes, recognize the need for accountability, and are framed to facilitate greater progress in the future. The impact of these recommendations rests upon enacting the first recommendation: to track successes and failures at the institutional level and collect data that help explain the existing trends.

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Classrooms as Communities: Exploring the Educational Character of Student Persistence

Tinto, Vincent

For students, who commute or have obligations outside of college, the classroom is the crossroads where the social and the academic meet. If academic and social involvement or integration is to occur, it must occur in the classroom. Thus research should do more to incorporate the role of the classroom into current theories.

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Building Better Bridges into STEM: A Synthesis of 25 Years of Literature on STEM Summer Bridge Programs

Ashley, Michael, Cooper, Katelyn M., Cala, Jacqueline M., Brownell, Sara

After a systematic review of STEM bridge programs (summer programs designed to help transition students into college), the authors identify 14 distinct bridge program goals. These goals can be organized into three categories: academic success goals, psychosocial goals, and department-level goals. The authors also provide a set of recommendations for building better bridge programs.

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Improving Academic Performance, Belonging, and Retention through Increasing Structure of an Introductory Biology Course

Wilton, Mike, Gonzalez-Niño, Eduaardo, McPartlan, Peter, Terner, Zach, Christoffersen, Rolf E., Rothman, Joel H.

Around 50% of Biology students leave the major by the end of the second year at UCSB. This article assesses the impact of incorporating more course structure and active-learning techniques on student retention, sense of belonging, and academic performance. To do so, the authors designed an increased-structure intervention course and compared the outcomes to the normative Introductory Biology course. Enrollees in the intervention course performed better on assessments, had a significantly higher sense of student belonging, and were more likely to proceed to Introductory Biology II.

CITRAL Summary

 

 

Perceived Barriers, Anxieties, and Fears in Prospective College Students from Rural High Schools

Morton, Terrell R., Ramirez, Nestor A., Meece, Judith L., Demetriou, Cynthia, Panter, Abigail T.

Using focus group interviews framed by Social Capital Theory, the authors examine the perspectives and experiences of high-achieving students who attended a rural high school. Collectively, the researchers find that the students’ rural communities communicate norms that further complicate college attainment because of the limited resources provided to their schools. 

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What’s in a Name? The Importance of Students Perceiving That an Instructor Knows Their Names in a High-Enrollment Biology Classroom

Cooper, Katelyn M., Haney, Brian, Krieg, Anna, Brownell, Sara

Based on student surveys and interviews from a college-level introductory biology course, this article describes how students can benefit academically from solely perceiving that their instructors know their names.

CITRAL Summary

 

 

From HHMI: Doubling Down on Diversity

Asai, David, Bauerle, Cynthia

Using their experience with initiatives at The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the authors offer three suggestions to guide a concerted national strategy for “doubling down” on the persistence of minoritized students in science. They argue that by insisting that institutions take responsibility for creating inclusive campuses, leveraging successful models through adaptation and adoption, and aligning strategies across the STEM ecosystem, instructors can double the persistence of students from all backgrounds in STEM.

CITRAL Summary

 

 

Race Matters

Asai, David

Despite their initial high interest in science, students who belong to excluded racial and ethnic groups leave science at unacceptably high rates. ‘‘Fixing the student’’ approaches are not sufficient at stemming the loss. Asai offers three key suggestions for making science culture more inclusive.

CITRAL Summary

 

 

A Success Course for Freshmen on Academic Probation: Persistence and Graduation Outcomes

Shelley M. McGrath and Gail D. Burd

There is a positive impact of administering a mandatory success course for first year college students placed on academic probation after their first semester. Such impacts include an increase in persistence and graduation.

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Using Learning Strategies to Improve the Academic Performance of University Students on Academic Probation

Sarah Renzulli 

Half of all students who begin college do not complete their degrees, causing a need to help failing students improve their study skills. Through mixed methods (e.g., qualitative and comparative case studies), this study outlines how a 3-week study strategies course improved the performance of students on academic probation.

CITRAL Summary

 

 

Sense of belonging (academic and social)

Focus: defining ‘belonging’ and creating interventions/approaches to support students’ engagement


Approaches to Cell Biology Teaching: Cooperative Learning in the Science Classroom—Beyond Students Working in Groups

Tanner, Kimberly, Chatman, Liesl S., Allen, Deborah

Studies suggest that cooperative learning has a variety of positive and measurable outcomes on students at a variety of cognitive levels and in a variety of disciplines. The authors discuss five essential elements that are necessary to construct positive, effective cooperative group learning situations: Positive Interdependence, Face-to-Face Promotive Interaction, Individual and Group Accountability, Interpersonal and Small-Group Skills, and Group Processing.

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Experimental Evidence of Professor Engagement on Student Outcomes

Carrell, Scott E., Kurlaender, Michal, Bhatt, Monica P.

Students scored higher on exams, homework assignments, and final course grade, when they received “light-touch” feedback consisting of two personalized emails from the professor.

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Considering the Role of Affect in Learning: Monitoring Students’ Self-Efficacy, Sense of Belonging, and Science Identity

Trujillo, Gloriana, Tanner, Kimberly

Conceptual learning engages all aspects of an individual: cognitive, metacognitive, and affective. Within the affective domain, Trujillo and Tanner explore self-efficacy, sense of belonging, and science identity, as well as emerging assessment tools to monitor these dimensions of students’ learning.

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Learning from Mistakes: The Effect of Students' Written Self-Diagnoses on Subsequent Problem Solving

Mason, Andrew, Yerushalmi, Edit, Cohen, Elisheva, Singh, Chandralekha

This study highlights that an important challenge for instructors is finding the right balance between limiting support to allow deep-level engagement and providing support to allow students to connect what they are learning with their prior knowledge. A self-diagnosis activity that makes students struggle appropriately and gets them primed to learn is most effective.

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Connected Ways of Knowing: Uncovering the Role of Emotion in Engineering Student Learning

Kellam, Nadia, Boklage, Audrey, Coley, Brooke, Walther, Joachim, Cruz, Joshua M.

Kellam et al. demonstrate that for faculty, understanding students’ emotions can provide more complete understanding experiences that lead students  to either persist or leave undergraduate engineering programs and that impact students’  experiences in engineering programs in ways that that influence learning.

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Caution, Student Experience May Vary: Social Identities Impact a Student’s Experience in Peer Discussions

Eddy, Sarah L., Brownell, Sara, Thummaphan, Phonraphee, Lan, Ming-Chih, Wenderoth, Mary Pat

Eddy et al. encourage instructors to consider structuring their in-class activities in ways that promote equity, which may require more purposeful attention to alleviating the current differential student experiences with peer discussions. The study’s results indicate that self-reported preferred roles in peer discussions can be predicted by student gender, race/ethnicity, and nationality.

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Deep teaching in a college STEM classroom

Dewsbury, Bryan

The author proposes a sequential approach, “deep teaching,” to help instructors create more positive classroom environments to address the ‘exclusive’ classroom atmosphere that is a barrier to underrepresented minority students in STEM majors. The deep teaching approach is based on self-awareness, empathy, classroom climate, and network leverage.

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Listening to Makers: Exploring Engineering Students’ Recommendations for Creating a Better Makerspace Experience           

Jennings, Madeleine, Coley, Brooke, Boklage, Audrey, Kellam, Nadia

In a study of university makerspaces, it was generally found that women and ethnic minorities tended to recommend social change in makerspaces, while men of all ethnicities tended to recommend equipment and technology changes. The implications of this study are to establish student makerspace recommendations to create more inclusive and welcoming environments in makerspaces and other engineering spaces.

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Constructive Criticism: The Role of Student-Faculty Interactions on African American and Hispanic Students' Educational Gains

Cole, Darnell

Constructive criticism within an educational environment of ‘wise-schooling’ could offer useful opportunities for faculty to enhance minority students’ academic success and educational satisfaction.

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#BlackGirlMagic: The identity conceptualization of Black women in undergraduate STEM education

Morton, Terrell R., Parsons, Eileen C.

While prior scholarship addresses Black women’s race and gender identity as risk factors that are the onset of hardship and oppression they experienced in STEM education, this study uncovers an alternative. Using PVEST (Phenomenological Variant Ecological Systems Theory), the authors demonstrate a group of Black women named and conceptualized their identity as “Black woman” to be a positive and protective factor for their STEM engagement.

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A Framework for Understanding Whiteness in Mathematics Education

Battey, Dan, Leyva, Luis A.

Documenting mathematics as a racialized space becomes difficult due to the invisibility and neutrality of Whiteness in institutions. The authors develop a framework that illustrates three dimensions of White institutional space - institutional, labor, and identity - to support mathematics educators in combating racist structures.

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To learn inclusion skills, make it personal

Asai, David

Asai details his personal experiences with learning inclusion skills, arguing that diversity without inclusion is an empty gesture. Inclusion is a feeling of belonging, and creating an empowering, embracing, egalitarian environment starts with the heart.

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The Influence of Affirming Kindness and Community on Broadening Participation in STEM Career Pathways

Estrada, Mica, Eroy-Reveles, Alegra, Matsui, John

Social science theory and research provide evidence that social contextual variables—specifically kindness cues affirming social inclusion— influence chronic underrepresentation of some groups within STEM career pathways. The current STEM academic context does not consistently provide cues that affirm social inclusion to all members of the academic population, and that policies that address this disparity are essential to broadening STEM workforce development in the United States.

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Strategies for Group-Level Mentoring of Undergraduates: Creating a Laboratory Environment That Supports Publications and Funding

Overman, Amy A.

This article describes several strategies for group-level mentoring of undergraduates to foster research productivity and simultaneously provide valuable high-impact educational experiences for students. Three types of strategies for group level-mentoring which encourage cohort building which increases sense of  belonging which impacts student performance and health.

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Building Better Bridges into STEM: A Synthesis of 25 Years of Literature on STEM Summer Bridge Programs

Ashley, Michael, Cooper, Katelyn M., Cala, Jacqueline M., Brownell, Sara

After a systematic review of STEM bridge programs (summer programs designed to help transition students into college), the authors identify 14 distinct bridge program goals. These goals can be organized into three categories: academic success goals, psychosocial goals, and department-level goals. The authors also provide a set of recommendations for building better bridge programs.

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Improving Academic Performance, Belonging, and Retention through Increasing Structure of an Introductory Biology Course

Wilton, Mike, Gonzalez-Niño, Eduaardo, McPartlan, Peter, Terner, Zach, Christoffersen, Rolf E., Rothman, Joel H.

Around 50% of Biology students leave the major by the end of the second year at UCSB. This article assesses the impact of incorporating more course structure and active-learning techniques on student retention, sense of belonging, and academic performance. To do so, the authors designed an increased-structure intervention course and compared the outcomes to the normative Introductory Biology course. Enrollees in the intervention course performed better on assessments, had a significantly higher sense of student belonging, and were more likely to proceed to Introductory Biology II.

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Perceived Barriers, Anxieties, and Fears in Prospective College Students from Rural High Schools

Morton, Terrell R., Ramirez, Nestor A., Meece, Judith L., Demetriou, Cynthia, Panter, Abigail T.

Using focus group interviews framed by Social Capital Theory, the authors examine the perspectives and experiences of high-achieving students who attended a rural high school. Collectively, the researchers find that the students’ rural communities communicate norms that further complicate college attainment because of the limited resources provided to their schools. 

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What’s in a Name? The Importance of Students Perceiving That an Instructor Knows Their Names in a High-Enrollment Biology Classroom

Cooper, Katelyn M., Haney, Brian, Krieg, Anna, Brownell, Sara

Based on student surveys and interviews from a college-level introductory biology course, this article describes how students can benefit academically from solely perceiving that their instructors know their names.

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A psychological intervention strengthens students’ peer social networks and promotes persistence in STEM

Turetsky, Kate M., Purdie-Greenaway, Valerie, Cook, Jonathan E., Curley, James P., Cohen, Geoffrey L.

Fostering a classroom environment where STEM students build social relationships can increase their interest in and persistence towards a degree in STEM. Activities involving affirmation values are productive mechanisms for building students’ social networks in their STEM courses.

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Fostering a Sense of Belonging in the College Classroom: Peer Interactions that Improve Student Success

Kevin R. Binning, Nancy Kaufmann, Erica M. McGreevy, Omid Fotuhi, Susie Chen, Emily Marshman, Z. Yasemin Kalender, Lisa Limeri, Laura Betancur, & Chandralekha Singha

Performance gaps between genders and other minoritized groups may be closed with a 30-minute exercise that allows students to address their fears of “not belonging” and identify how they have or will overcome challenges in college. 

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Creating a Positive Classroom Climate for Diversity

UCLA’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

This booklet summarizes empirical studies on why the classroom climate is important for learning. It also examines some of the challenges associated with diversity in classroom environments. Lastly, it presents research on how to prepare for and sustain an inclusive classroom climate for all students.

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Stereotype threat

Focus: identifying and addressing tensions that result when members of stereotyped groups “fear being judged according to stereotypes” (Ambrose et al)


How To Respond to Racial Microaggressions When They Occur

Wood, J. Luke, Harris III, Frank

Educators have a moral duty to respond when a microaggression occurs; not interceding is allowing harm to occur.           

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href="https://ucsb.app.box.com/s/huzlfx6j26c68s3ub6rwjd1n7kgyyxak/file/7245748... target="_blank">Language Matters: Considering Microaggressions in Science

Harrison, Colin D., Tanner, Kimberly

Identifying and addressing microaggressions in the everyday language of our scientific environments may be key to making our disciplines, our classrooms, our laboratories, and our conferences all professional contexts in which everyone can succeed.

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#BlackGirlMagic: The identity conceptualization of Black women in undergraduate STEM education

Morton, Terrell R., Parsons, Eileen C.

While prior scholarship addresses Black women’s race and gender identity as risk factors that are the onset of hardship and oppression they experienced in STEM education, this study uncovers an alternative. Using PVEST (Phenomenological Variant Ecological Systems Theory), the authors demonstrate a group of Black women named and conceptualized their identity as “Black woman” to be a positive and protective factor for their STEM engagement.

CITRAL Summary

 

 

A Framework for Understanding Whiteness in Mathematics Education

Battey, Dan, Leyva, Luis A.

Documenting mathematics as a racialized space becomes difficult due to the invisibility and neutrality of Whiteness in institutions. The authors develop a framework that illustrates three dimensions of White institutional space - institutional, labor, and identity - to support mathematics educators in combating racist structures.

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Black Female Adolescents and Racism in Schools: Experiences in a Colorblind Society

Joseph, Nicole M., Viesca, Kara Mitchell, Bianco, Margarita

Most black female adolescents in student surveys define racism as centered on prejudice, discrimination, and different treatment; most experiences girls described regarding racism in school illustrated issues of prejudice, discrimination, and differential treatment as well as stereotypes, labels and low teacher expectations.

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Changing social contexts to foster equity in college science courses: an ecological-belonging intervention

Binning, Kevin R., Kaufmann, Nancy, McGreevy, Erica, Fotuhi, Omid, Chen, Susie, Marshman, Emily, Kalender, Z. Yasemin, Limeri, Lisa, Betancur, Laura, Singh, Chandralekha

Social-belonging interventions (e.g., peer discussions and reflexive writing activities) can have an impact on outcomes and persistence of students minoritized by their race or gender. 

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Improving Underrepresented Minority Student Persistence in STEM

Estrada, Mica, Burnett, Myra, Campbell, Andrew G., Campbell, Patricia B., Denetclaw, Wilfred F., Gutiérrez, Carlos G., Hurtado, Sylva, John, Gilbert H., Matsui, John, McGee, Richard, Okpodu, Camellia Moses, Robinson, T. Joan, Summers, Mchael F., Werner-Washburne, Maggie, Zavala, MariaElena

Members of the Joint Working Group on Improving Underrepresented Minorities (URMs) Persistence in STEM suggest stronger focus on institutional barriers. They offer five recommendations that capitalize on known successes, recognize the need for accountability, and are framed to facilitate greater progress in the future. The impact of these recommendations rests upon enacting the first recommendation: to track successes and failures at the institutional level and collect data that help explain the existing trends.

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Beyond the Biology: a systematic investigation of noncontent talk in the biology classroom

Seidel, Shannon et al

While analyzing the teaching in a biology course, Seidel and colleagues hypothesize that using different kinds of “non-content talk” can increase engagement and buy-in as well as mitigate stereotype threat and decrease the perceived distance between students and instructor. 

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