Dr. Laird Kramer

Dr. Laird Kramer


STEM Speaker Series
March 2019
Dr. Laird Kramer
Fostering Authentic Dialogue in the Classroom


Take aways
Evidence-based Advocacy - To change their courses faculty need: Time, Support and Resources

Learning Assistants: An Essential Strategy at FIU to facilitate learning in active learning classroom. Undergraduates: any major

  • Adaptive Across Lecture / Lab / Studio Courses
  • Students Partner with Faculty – can flip faculty
  • Faculty: Must adopt evidence-based practices to get LAs - Drives faculty change
  • Embedded Faculty Development Program
  • Impacts SUS Performance Metrics
  • Funding: Majority Institution, strategic grant support

Using LAs create a learning community. They bring back stories of how things work in this class.

Faculty find the change intellectually stimulating and rewarding (like research) and teaching becomes Fun.

Pass rates for mature implementations improved: 15-20%, up to 40%

Network of LA sites:

Here is Dr. Kramer's slide deck in .pdf for his USF presentation.


Laird Kramer - Fostering Authentic Dialogue in the Classroom
2:30 – 3:30 pm on Wednesday, March 20, 2019

ABSTRACT: Evidence supporting active learning using evidence based approaches demonstrates improved student outcomes across multiple measures. As a result, numerous initiatives have launched to implement reform in classrooms across the nation. Florida International University is changing its education landscape in order to improve opportunities for our diverse student population while simultaneously generating knowledge to inform STEM practitioners. A core design element brings the practices of scientists into the classroom to create an inclusive learning community. The presentation will provide an overview of FIU’s undergraduate Learning Assistant (LA) programs and course transformations, highlight our guiding principles, share our plans for the future, and provide ideas for application at USF.

BIO: Laird Kramer is the Founding Director of the STEM Transformation Institute and a Professor of Physics at Florida International University. His work focuses on facilitating institutional change through implementation of, and research on, evidence-based educational practices in STEM courses.

Active STEM Transformation Institute interventions target changing the instructional culture in STEM courses, especially through undergraduate Learning Assistants (LAs), cross-institutional partnerships, active learning classrooms and integrating discipline-based education research faculty into five STEM departments. Combined, these efforts impact over 320 LAs and 14,000 student enrollments each semester. This works situates FIU as a STEM education laboratory to develop inclusive models to meet the national need for qualified STEM professionals including teachers.

This continuing series of seminars is part of the USF STEM education project, “Systemic Transformation of Education Through Evidence-Based Reforms” (STEER).  The project is supported by the National Science Foundation (Grant DUE #1525574), the Coalition for Science Literacy, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence (ATLE), and the Office of Student Affairs and Student Success.