Enhancing Learning and Retention in Graduate Physics

By Andrew Heckler, PI

The Ohio State University developed, adopted, and assessed innovative, research-based instructional best practices in graduate-level physics courses, especially focused on factors affecting retention and diversity. In particular, the project aimed at ensuring that the developed methods and materials were widely-applicable and adoptable by engaging multiple sites in the development process (initially four large Midwestern research universities), and collected data on effectiveness at each site.

The overall goal of the Ohio State project was to improve learning, retention, and the student experience for graduate physics students enrolled in the core graduate courses in order to better prepare a diverse population of students for graduate research, obtaining a PhD, and pursuing a productive STEM career. The project was especially aimed at helping students who tend to be somewhat underprepared and/or are from underrepresented groups, such as women or African American, Hispanic American, and Native American students.

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