P276: Characterization of the research-practice gap in chemistry education and factors influencing it
Despite the ongoing development and demonstrated effectiveness of many research-based instructional strategies in chemistry, the level of uptake of these strategies in college chemistry classrooms is unclear. As recently indicated by the National Research Council’s Discipline-Based Education Research Report, there is a need to collect reliable baseline data on faculty instructional practices in STEM disciplines. This study addresses this critical need by characterizing the level of awareness and adoption of research-based instructional strategies within a chemistry department at a research-intensive institution as well as factors influencing these levels, such as communication channels and departmental environment. We utilized Roger’s Model of the Diffusion of Innovations as our theoretical framework. Data collection is multifaceted in order to alleviate the limitations of self-reported data. In particular, we collected and triangulated self-reported data on awareness and adoption of research-based instructional strategies, classroom observations, student surveys, as well as a validated and reliable survey characterizing faculty’s approaches to teaching. Classroom recordings have been analyzed using both the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) and the Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS). A summary and interpretation of our findings will be presented, including a brief comparison with similar data from biology and physics departments within the same institution. Implications from our research regarding the potential research-practice gap in chemistry will be discussed.