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ERIC Number: EJ1120394
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
Validation and Application of the Survey of Teaching Beliefs and Practices for Undergraduates (STEP-U): Identifying Factors Associated with Valuing Important Workplace Skills among Biology Students
Marbach-Ad, Gili; Rietschel, Carly; Thompson, Katerina V.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v15 n4 Article 59 Dec 2016
We present a novel assessment tool for measuring biology students' values and experiences across their undergraduate degree program. Our Survey of Teaching Beliefs and Practices for Undergraduates (STEP-U) assesses the extent to which students value skills needed for the workplace (e.g., ability to work in groups) and their experiences with teaching practices purported to promote such skills (e.g., group work). The survey was validated through factor analyses in a large sample of biology seniors (n = 1389) and through response process analyses (five interviewees). The STEP-U skills items were characterized by two underlying factors: retention (e.g., memorization) and transfer (e.g., knowledge application). Multiple linear regression models were used to examine relationships between classroom experiences, values, and student characteristics (e.g., gender, cumulative grade point average [GPA], and research experience). Student demographic and experiential factors predicted the extent to which students valued particular skills. Students with lower GPAs valued retention skills more than those with higher GPAs. Students with research experience placed greater value on scientific writing and interdisciplinary understanding. Greater experience with specific teaching practices was associated with valuing the corresponding skills more highly. The STEP-U can provide feedback vital for designing curricula that better prepare students for their intended postgraduate careers.
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DUE0942020