AAU, Purdue's Discovery Learning Research Center partner to launch HUBzero-based website for STEM education initiative

July 30, 2014  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Association of American Universities (AAU) has partnered with Discovery Learning Research Center's STEM-Ed Hub, powered by Purdue University's HUBzero, to create a website focused on the quality of undergraduate teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields at its member institutions.

AAU, an association of leading public and private research universities, announced that the website, AAU STEM Initiative Hub, is designed to support and widen the impact of its STEM-driven initiative.

"As institutions take steps to improve their use of evidence-based teaching practices, AAU hopes these examples will serve as a resource for all colleges and universities working to improve undergraduate teaching and learning in STEM," said AAU President Hunter Rawlings.

AAU STEM Initiative Hub will function as a "supergroup" within the Discovery Learning Research Center (DLRC) STEM-Ed Hub.

The AAU STEM Initiative Hub provides an interactive tool for AAU universities to showcase innovative institutional efforts they have undertaken to implement key elements of the Framework for Systemic Change in Undergraduate STEM Teaching and Learning, such as encouraging more interactive teaching practices and influencing departmental cultures to support faculty members who want to improve the quality of their teaching.

The website also will make the university examples accessible not only to AAU universities but also to non-member universities, the broader higher education community, and others engaged in STEM educational transformation, as well as the general public.

"Purdue has been a leader in STEM education innovation for many years, evidenced by its College of Science faculty in discipline-based educational research, its School of Engineering Education leading both research and implementation of next-generation approaches to teaching, and its commitment to education in the form of Discovery Park's Discovery Learning Research Center and the campus-wide IMPACT program," said Gabriela Weaver, the Jerry and Rosie Semler Director of the DLRC and a professor of chemistry and science education at Purdue.  

"So we are excited to be able to support the AAU STEM Initiative effort with the development of its hub for its pilot and member sites to network on their successes and challenges,” Weaver said. “Building these networks will help accelerate the pace of making 'innovative' practices the new normal in higher education."

The Hub will profile efforts being advanced by AAU's eight STEM Initiative project sites and provide a secure space for AAU STEM Network members to share information about successful strategies and challenges they are facing in improving STEM education. In addition, the Hub will help cultivate relationships among those leading reform efforts at AAU universities, providing a forum for ongoing interaction and exchange of information and ideas.

"Our goal is to support and link AAU institutions grappling with similar challenges and barriers in reforming and improving STEM teaching and learning for undergraduate students," Rawlings said.

To further advance campus-based dialogues on systemic change in undergraduate STEM education, AAU hosted an in-person workshop for the AAU STEM Network on July 21-23. Each participating campus also was asked to present a poster that showcases its own undergraduate STEM education reform efforts relevant to the AAU initiative.

The goal of the poster session at the reception, which will also be open to policymakers and the news media, is to provide an opportunity for attendees to learn about work occurring at major research universities to improve the quality of undergraduate teaching and learning in STEM fields.

The AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative is supported by grants from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, National Science Foundation and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

About the Association of American Universities

The Association of American Universities (AAU) is an association of 60 U.S. and two Canadian research universities organized to develop and implement effective national and institutional policies supporting research and scholarship, graduate and professional education, undergraduate education and public service in research universities.

About Purdue's Discovery Learning Research Center

The Discovery Learning Research Center (DLRC) is one of the centers comprising Purdue's innovative Discovery Park, an interdisciplinary research enterprise committed to advancing science, engaging industry, enhancing educational and work environments, and improving the quality of life. The DLRC is uniquely configured to support research that enhances our understanding of the learning process by designing and assessing innovative educational programs and interactive learning technologies. Discoveries gained from DLRC-supported research are transforming learning at all levels, from preschool to graduate school, and in the workplace and society as a whole. Since its inception in March 2003, the DLRC has fostered more than $80 million in funded research focused on identifying, developing, and nurturing interdisciplinary teams and projects that integrate, synthesize and promote discovery, learning and engagement.

About Purdue's HUBzero

HUBzero, developed by Purdue researchers, combines unique middleware with Web 2.0 functionality, providing a platform that is much more powerful than an ordinary website. Users can network and share information, while also creating, publishing and accessing interactive visualization tools powered by a rendering farm and other cloud computing resources, as well as engage in online collaboration supporting both education and research. HUBzero was created by the NSF-funded Network for Computational Nanotechnology starting in 2002 with the development of nanoHUB.org. In 2011, nanoHUB.org served 400,000 visitors from 172 countries. 

Media Contacts:

Phillip Fiorini, Purdue University, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu  

Barry Toiv, Association of American Universities, 202-408-7500, barry_toiv@aau.edu

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

2014 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Marketing and Media

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact Purdue Marketing and Media at online@purdue.edu.