Congratulations to Sweetland Director Anne Gere and U-M Chemistry's Ginger Shultz who recently received a National Science Foundation Award for their project "Collaborative Research: Accelerating the pace of research and implementation of Writing-to-learn pedagogies across STEM disciplines."

More about this project in the "The Write Stuff" article from LSA Today.


National reports point to the importance of fostering a globally competitive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) knowledgeable workforce and a STEM literate population. This research represents a significant advance in understanding how Writing To Learn (WTL) pedagogies promote learning in science through mediating and moderating factors (i.e., mechanisms of effect). Focused on introductory and capstone courses, the research has the potential to be relevant across course levels, STEM disciplines, department, and institutions. Additionally, the research will advance knowledge of how faculty think about and use WTL in STEM, how WTL pedagogies can most effectively be developed with faculty (avoiding the failures of entirely pre-packaged curricula), and how to build and stimulate a nation-wide faculty network. The use of a common heuristic framework, protocols, and metrics and a shared implementation technology platform provides an opportunity to investigate WTL pedagogies in STEM and associated student achievement outcomes at an unprecedented scale.

Phase 4 of this research and implementation program investigates and promotes WLT pedagogies. Through integrating and expanding ongoing research across institutions, the overarching goals are to broaden the scope of systematic investigation of WTL practices in STEM education and to accelerate the pace of widespread adoption of WTL in STEM courses. A set of quasi-experimental studies of WTL in introductory and capstone courses in biology, chemistry, physics and statistics will examine student outcomes and moderating and mediating variables in the context of STEM courses. The combination of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies of student cognitive and affective outcomes with large sample sizes will contribute to establishing both construct and predictive validity of mediating/moderating variables and processes associated with student learning outcomes across a broad range of students, institutions, and conditions.