Retaining students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors


In this paper we present results relating undergraduate student retention in STEM majors to the use of Peer Instruction in an introductory physics course at a highly- selective research institution. We compare the percentages of students who switch out of a STEM major after taking a physics course taught using traditional lectures only or one using Peer Instruction, finding that nearly twice the percentage of students switch after the lecture-based course. By examining these results in light of the literature on STEM retention, we propose that providing opportunities for students to think, respond, and interact in class may have a substantial impact on the retention of students in STEM disciplines.
Last updated on 07/24/2019