ITS Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology is a collaborator in the NSF-sponsored project entitled: “TILE: Transform, Interact, Learn, and Engage for Success in STEM Education.” This project uses the ‘TILE” acronym in its title to reflect, in part, that the TILE initiative has been a sustainable teaching innovation that has been adopted by a wide variety of instructors on campus. Increasingly, there is recognition that ample evidence exists in support of teaching strategies in STEM that are grounded in active learning. But the main issue continues to be the propagation of active learning in STEM (especially in the courses in the first two years of college). Thus, the main purpose of this project is not to establish evidence in support of active learning, but to incrementally promote a university climate that values the investment that instructors put into their transition from instructor-centered to student-centered teaching strategies in STEM.


  1. Use observations and interviews to determine which teaching strategies are used in STEM courses at the University of Iowa;
  2. Use survey methods and interviews to assess the institutional climate for the adoption of evidence-based teaching strategies;
  3. Promote the use of multiple methods to assess teaching and support instructors’ adoption of evidence-based teaching strategies; and
  4. Use faculty development programs and other programming for department chairs to build a sustainable, institution-wide system for promoting a climate that values evidence-based teaching in STEM.


Renée Cole (PI), associate professor in the Department of Chemistry

Jean Florman (co-PI), director of the Center for Teaching

Wayne Jacobson (co-PI), University Assessment Director

Bernd Fritzsch (co-PI), professor and DEO of the Department of Biology

Jae-eun Russell (senior personnel), instructional and research specialist in the Center for Teaching

Sam Van Horne (senior personnel), assessment director in Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology & assessment coordinator in the Office of Assessment


Chemistry students talking next to a centrifuge.