Improving Undergraduates’ Motivation and Retention in STEM Through Classroom Interventions: A Meta-Analysis

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Teacher and student working on an engineering project in a classroom

Participation gaps in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) continue to hinder efforts to achieve educational equity, a priority for a growing number of postsecondary institutions, as well as efforts to meet the growing demand for a robust national and global workforce with STEM skills and experience. A growing body of research shows the success of interventions in undergraduate STEM classrooms that target a variety of barriers and supports to the achievement, motivation, and retention of students from historically underrepresented groups.

AIR is synthesizing empirical evidence on how classroom interventions can increase motivational outcomes and retention for undergraduates in STEM fields. This project aims to contribute both theoretically and practically to the field by conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of two largely separate bodies of literature on undergraduate STEM classroom interventions: (a) motivational interventions (e.g., values affirmation) and (b) instructional interventions (e.g., active learning).