Collaboration is an integral part of CIRCLE’s mission to integrate scholarship in cognitive science with classroom teaching and learning.

CIRCLE collaborates with faculty and departments to improve teaching and learning at Washington University. CIRCLE collaborations are often scholarly projects that involve working closely with faculty to design, implement, and evaluate new teaching methods that are informed by recent research on teaching, learning, and cognitive science.  Additional CIRCLE collaborations include initiatives and programs that have stakeholders across campus.

  • The STEM Education Initiatives are helping to establish a collaborative culture of active-learning pedagogies, scholarly teaching, and inclusive excellence at Washington University.
  • The Concept-building Approaches in STEM study asks whether students’ general concept-building approaches (theory- based vs. rote) predict performance in introductory Chemistry courses and other STEM courses at Washington University and collaborating institutions.
  • The Studies in Introductory Physics center around understanding student attitudes, conceptual gains, problem-solving performance, and knowledge structures in introductory physics courses.
  • The Studies in Introductory Psychology entail the creation of an assessment tool for student learning of core concepts in introductory psychology as well as investigation of the impact of active-learning strategies on student learning in introductory psychology.
  • For the Studies in Biology, CIRCLE and the Department of Biology are collaborating on evaluation of evidence-based curricular innovations in the introductory biology sequence and an upper-division biology course.
  • The Psychological Interventions in General Chemistry explore the effects of promoting a growth mindset and fostering social belonging on student performance in the course. A growth mindset is an outlook that sees ability and intelligence as fluid and built through practice, rather than predetermined and fixed. Social belonging involves a feeling of connectedness and a sense of having positive relationships with others.
  • The Partnership for Undergraduate Life Science Education (PULSE) Project assesses the progress of life sciences departments nationwide as they implement and sustain pedagogical improvements.
  • Learning Communities bring together faculty, staff, and researchers interested in research on teaching and learning.
  • Peer-Led Team Learning is an evidence-based method of small-group peer learning used in multiple STEM courses across the university.
  • The Transition Program in General Chemistry focuses on supporting incoming students transitioning to college-level science courses.

CIRCLE also consults with Washington University faculty to evaluate and develop active-learning pedagogies for upper level courses.

If you are interested in conducting evaluative studies of your teaching, contact:

Gina Frey

CO-DIRECTOR, CIRCLE