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Evidence-Based Teaching, Faculty Mindset, Student Outcomes the Subject of New National Study

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The Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) is embarking on a major new study that will examine the relationship between evidence-based teaching practices, faculty mindset and student outcomes in gateway courses. The research initiative is funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The study will build on existing evidence of the impact of evidence-based teaching on learning outcomes, explained Meghan Snow, chief data officer for ACUE, in a statement: "To date, our 18 studies have established an incontrovertible link between the evidence-based teaching of ACUE-credentialed faculty and improved grades, higher completion rates and closed equity gaps by race, ethnicity and socio-economic status. With this new study, we can investigate these relationships in gateway courses — which are so consequential in a student's academic career."

"Last summer, when the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation asked to learn more about ACUE's impact, we took them on a deep dive," added ACUE CEO Scott Durand. "It was our honor to share compelling findings that ACUE-credentialed faculty close equity gaps and measurably improve student outcomes. This major national study that we are thrilled to announce today was granted on that basis, to further explore the transformative impact faculty can have on student success when equipped with evidence-based teaching practices and digital tools."

Ten institutions across the country will participate in the study. Their goal: to provide a quality education for all students and reduce "barriers in gateway courses that perpetuate inequitable outcomes for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Pell-eligible students," according to a news announcement. Those institutions are:

The study will begin in early 2022. It will involve more than 1,500 educators and impact 80,000-plus students nationwide. In addition, up to 700 faculty will have the opportunity to earn an ACUE credential in effective teaching practices. Preliminary findings are expected in 2023.

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